Generac Guardian Whole House Generator

Generac's power station tops the list of best whole house generators. (Credit: Generac)

When the electricity goes out, panic sets in. It’s a nightmare, and in the darkness, your first thought is likely to be: the food! This perfect storm of bad luck certainly feels anything but perfect. You need something to help light the way while you wait for power to be restored. You need a generator, and that’s why we here at StudyFinds scoured the web to find the consensus best whole-house generators you can trust to keep you out of the dark.

You’ll want to assess your needs before shopping for a generator. What will need powering if electricity goes out? Generators are not one size fits all. So, it’s best to figure out what kind of wattage you’ll need.

Another factor to consider is whether you’ll want a generator on your property. Much like an air conditioning unit, generators can be hardwired to your house. They can also be bulky. If this thought doesn’t sit well, you can find plenty of portable options instead.

Rather than worry about the electric company taking too long to restore power, check out our list of the five best home generators, according to the pros. Of course, we want to hear which generator keeps your lights on, so comment below to let us know!

A wooden house sculpture with a lightbulb inside
Home electricity (Photo by sommart sombutwanitkul on Shutterstock)

You Can Rely on The Best Whole House Generators on our List


1. Generac 22000-Watt (LP)/19500-Watt (NG) Air-Cooled

Generac 22000-Watt (LP)/19500-Watt (NG) Air-Cooled
Generac 22000-Watt (LP)/19500-Watt (NG) Air-Cooled

If you’re looking to go big in power, this may be an option for you. Keep in mind this model will sit on your property; it’s not portable, but it’s worth it according to expert reviews. This generator will make sure everything’s covered, according to Bob Vila. They say that most homes only need 5,000 watts, but this generator boasts the ability to produce up to 22,000 watts. With this model, you are prepared for anything. Bob Vila also loves that this can operate on both liquid propane and natural gas and connects through Wi-Fi so you are always in-the-know on the state of your generator.

And if you need more convincing, Forbes raves about its low cost and high output. They say it may even be “enough to keep not just your home powered but possibly your neighbors’ houses, too.”

2. Champion 12.5 kW Home Standby Generator with 100-Amp Transfer Switch

 Champion 12.5-kW Home Standby Generator
Champion 12.5-kW Home Standby Generator

Though this generator won’t power the sun, it’ll cover the things most important to you. And, as a standby generator, it’ll always be ready when you need it. This model is equipped with a NEMA 3R outdoor-rated 100-amp transfer switch that covers 12 circuits.

The Spruce loves how self-reliant this machine is. Instead of hassling with a ton of power cords after an outage, this generator automatically powers up what you deem essential and can handle up to a four-ton AC system.

When the power goes out you can remain at ease if you have this unit installed. According to Norwall Power Systems this model responds to outages within seconds, making flooded basements and spoiled food a thing of the past that we are happy to bid adieu to.

3. DuroMax XP5500EH Electric Portable Generator

DuroMax XP5500EH Electric Portable Generator
DuroMax XP5500EH Electric Portable Generator

If you prefer a portable generator that will cover basic needs, here is a great option that landed on many experts’ lists. Its starting power is 5500 watts, and its continuous running power is 4500 watts. Linquip says this wattage allows it to handle most household appliances and commends its dual-fuel option as well.

This generator is also budget friendly and comes in at a much lower price than the first two on our list. According to Electronics Hub, you don’t have to spend a fortune for this brand, but you will still get a mid-range generator.

Though you may want to make sure you have enough fuel on hand at all times. Electronics Hub mentionsthat one drawback to this generator is that the “fuel tank should have been larger.”

4. Westinghouse WGen 9500DF

Westinghouse WGen 9500DF
Westinghouse WGen 9500DF

Another highly-rated portable option is dual fuel model. According to Thomas, the Westinghouse WGen 9500DF has 9,500 running watts and 12,500 peak watts when powered with gasoline and slightly less when powered with propane. This gives you up to 12 hours of run time on a full tank.

A cool feature also mentioned by Thomas is that it has “a remote start key fob so you can power it from inside the house.” Pretty handy considering most power outages are due to inclement weather.

One thing we haven’t discussed yet is noise. Some generators, as I’m sure you’ve heard, can be quite obnoxious. But you won’t run into that issue here. The Strategist writes that customers describe this model as quiet enough to keep on the porch without disturbing the neighbors.

And because of that, The Strategist did rate this model as the “Best quiet inverter generator” out of the twelve that made their list.

5. Kohler 20RESCL-100LC16

Kohler 20RESCL-100LC16
Kohler 20RESCL-100LC16

You’ve heard the name; and you’ve seen their products many places. The reason for it? They’re trusted. House Grail shares its thoughts on this Kohler generator, saying that all of the brand’s promises to power your house no matter what are true. Hospitals, stadiums, and airports can be found using this generator, so “they can probably do a good job at your home,” adds House Grail.

Though they have a solid reputation for producing quality products, House Grail did note that they have “unhelpful support staff.” Something to keep in mind should you be interested in this generator.

Generator Advisor ranks this generator number eight on their list of 10. They say it runs “pretty smooth” in the event of a significant outage. “Some minor adjustments may come along due to slight vibration and known engine throttle problems that can cause dirty power flow. The cause is often a faulty carburetor gasket that’s relatively cheap to replace. Cold-weather users will want to pick up a carburetor heater,” they write in their review.

But never mind the refrigerator, everyone wants to know about the important things, like electronics. “In addition to being very quiet for its size, it also has low levels of harmonic distortion, so you don’t have to worry about running your HD TV or laptops with this unit,” writes Generator Advisor.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

About Joe Vitiello

Content Strategist at Skyward IT Solutions
Freelance Writer & Photographer
Precision Nutrition Level 1
Introvert Level 10
Student for Life

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  1. Dewey Sutich says:

    I’ve heard mixed reviews on Generac’s performance in extreme cold weather in addition to the external body not faring well in extreme heat and cold. Curious why Cummins generators never made the list? Their new ones are getting good reviews for residential.

  2. Gordon Morozoff says:

    I have a generac since fall 2018 and it has failed 5 winters in a row. The first 4 were warenty now I fight. I would never recomend a Generac. The warrenty only covers minimum travel time for service tech and I have paid more in travel than whaT the generator was to buy.

    1. Raul R Pared says:

      Thank you for saying what no one else will

  3. Menotu says:

    Hate these ad filled sites!
    And why no pics of the units your reviewing?

  4. JD says:

    I’m sure the other gensets are good equipment. However, as a professional generator tech who deals with garbage generac / gener”crap”! Don’t buy from this company. Unreliable tech support. Horrible programming and software. Not to mention you can forget about warranty coverage. Lastly they are only assembled in America. Most component’s are outsourced from overseas.

  5. Joshua McGinnis says:

    I find this list to be very misleading for customers. I think some of the sourcing on these articles should involve experienced generator technicians and Generator installation/service companies. I work on every brand of generators in the field and I completely disagree with this list. The Cummins C20N6H model is a whole house generator that will out perform all of the generators on this list. That Kohler model isn’t the current available version nor is it the best of the Kohler models to feature for this list. The Generac model does have place on this list only due to its availability and low installation costs, but it is not the top available model. I would rank the Briggs and Stratton 26kW PPDX model ahead of the Generac model with a fairly similar price point, better warranty support and better end user support.

  6. Bert Gaza says:

    As a tech that made generators my career of 50 years, they will all fail. I don’t care who PMs the thing and how often it exercises. I live and worked in the Gulf Coast where the generator is in many cases life support, as well as Comms for our First responders. Most folks have these two pole 3600 rpm generators in there homes and businesses, and as a previous Service Manager during a storm, I saw just how many of this things go bad, granted many many are working, those shut down on day three when they ran out of oil.

  7. Julio Marin says:

    We are distributors and we install them too in mexico on any state you can contact us in our main office located in mexico city+52 5550591587 ask for julio marin I speak Spanish/English thanks for reading and hace a great day

  8. Peter says:

    I had two Generac generators one failed under warranty ( 5 months ) and the next one 12 years with about fifteen hundred in repairs. The Generac dealer gave up dealing with Generac and switched to another company. Now I have a Cummings.

  9. J Brooks says:

    I chose a Taylor 27000 watt because all the hospitals and first responder departments use them for their dependability. The article was possibly a paid advertisement with the listed makers.