Choosing The Right Home Standby Generator- A Buying Guide

Whether it is an extreme weather condition where an unexpected storm hit your area or an overloaded electrical grid, the lights are out; generators can help you stay warm in the winters and cold in the summers.

In the current time, the generator has become a necessity, and people are prone to making this desperate decision to buy a generator. It is better to invest in a commodity that gives you a lasting facility rather than throwing out spoiled food from the refrigerator and stumbling around lighting candles.

You have a plethora of options for buying a generator, including choosing portable home generators or going with any best home standby generators, inverter generators, and portable power stations. But now, we will shed some light on choosing the right home standby generator.

Home Standby Generator Basics


If you search for the best home standby generators, you must know all the details about it, starting with what it actually is. Following are few insights regarding Home Standby Generators that you must know before you make a decision.

Home Standby Generators are the back-up electrical system that provides electricity's felicity within seconds of light. It is an automatic system that doesn't require any manual support to get started.

The standby generator automatically transfers a sense of power to the switches, and it throws back the electrical load to the generator and supplies the power to the circuits just after the there is a utility outage.

This option is considered more viable and efficient because it doesn't take much time plus. These options are also smarter than the other as they run a self-diagnosis and highlight maintenance areas through email or text.

These generators have multiple options when it comes to the fueling part. You can choose whatever options are more convenient for you; however, it is recommended that you go with propane, which is considered less risky than gasoline and natural gas. These two types of gas provide an unlimited supply of power.

The Home Standby Generators provide more power as compared to the other options and range from around 5,000 to 20,000 watts. 

How Can You Buy The Best Home Standby Generator?


Buying a Home Standby Generator is an easy process. You just have to follow specific ways and understand your requirements, and then you can officially own a standby generator that can supply power to your house at all times.

It would be best if you knew a few more things regarding the generator, such as Carbon Monoxide poisoning, which is shared among the people who usually go and start their portable generators. That is why people prefer buying any of the best home standby generators. 

Buying the best standby generators for home use can be challenging if you are unaware of the right reasons. The priority requirements that allow you to identify the kind of generator will be most suitable for you. Moreover, there are several other things that you must find out before buying any home standby generators.

To begin with …

1. You Must Know Your Power Requirements

Generators are measured in watts, and they are even sold in this way. A consumer looks out for the power output that a product is giving. This also sets the bar for the price you will be paying for your generator. The watts are observed after you know how much power your appliances and light acquires.

You must know that what are your priority appliances and which are the once you can stay without. Try making a list and add up the watts they consume to figure out the total power output you will be needing.

To make it a little easier for you, we have shortlisted a few essential appliances and their rough numbers, which can give you an idea of how things will work.

Refrigerator: 700 watts

Sump pump: 800 to 1,500 watts

Portable heater: 1,000 watts

Window air conditioner: 1,500 watts

Lights: 60 to 600 watts

Computers: 600 watts

In this case, you can go with a generator that delivers around 5,000 watts of power output.

You can also label your circuit breaker in which the appliances are paneled. This will allow you to figure out the watts for each product and help you make a list for your priority power requirement. 

2. Learn And Identify The Type You Want

Even if you have modeled your mind to buy one of the best home standby generators, it is necessary that you also know the other types available in the market. This will allow you to make a wise decision, and you can explore your options.

There are four basic types of generators, including Home Standby Generator, also known as Whole house generators, Portable Generators, Inverter Generators, and Portable Power Stations. We are going to discuss the ones that are other than the Home Standby Generator. 

Portable Generators


It is cheaper than the home standby generator but tends to require a manual starting process. The best portable generators for home usually run on gasoline that you will have to store and requires stabilizer. You have to keep this generator at least 20 feet away from your home for security purposes.

Inverter Generators


These generator types are more complicated to run but are more sophisticated and quieter than the portable generators. They are also less in cost and produce fewer emissions, but it is still recommended that you use similar safety rules.

Portable Power Stations


These generators are powered by the battery and don't require any gas or propane. You can connect them to a solar panel or an electrical outlet, and you are good to go. These power stations are more expensive than any other generator type as they are new in the market.

3. You Should Know The Right Size

When you search for the best home standby generators, you must keep this one thing at the top of your priorities. Buying the right size generator is the core of your installation process, where you must know the proper electrical knowledge to get your assumptions right. 

Although it is a bit complicated process, our tip of selecting the right size for the generator will help you immensely.

First, you must search for the starting amperage of each appliance you want to run on your generator. You can easily find it on the manufacturer’s data plate.

Secondly, use this formula: Starting Amps x Volts = Watts. You will get the total kilowatts by dividing the answer with 1,000.

Lastly, you will choose a 20 to 25% higher rating of the generator output then the total kW you have calculated.

Try this method for getting a clear picture of what size will be better for you to get in your home standby generator.

4. Don’t Miss Out On The Transfer Switches

Are you wondering what a transfer switch is? Well, this switch is a cable that connects the home standby generator with your circuit panel. If you are skipping this and think it not that important, we must tell you that it is a long haul expense and awaiting you in a few months or maybe just weeks.

The transfer switch prevents your appliances from getting fried and damaged. Typically these switches are developed in 220-volt input, and it also works automatically and shuts down when the power goes. We suggest you call a professional electrician for the installation procedure.

5. Do Consider The Following Features

While searching for one of the best home standby generators, few things will help you pick the right choice and run away from every hassle of the year. 

Automatic CO Shutoff

This is an advanced feature that you will find in the new generators, and we recommend considering it. With this CO shutoff, the generator contains sensors that automatically detect any deadly gas building up and shut down the engine.

This feature is only present in the generators that are tested by the consumer report. And there are some terms through which you can identify that if your generator carries the automatic CO shutoff.

CO Guard

CO Protect

CO Detect

CO Shield

CO Sense

ANSI/UL2201 Certified for Carbon Monoxide Safety

ANSI/PGMA G300 Certified Safety & Performance

Alternative Fuel Capacity

You must make sure that your generator allows you to use alternative fuel methods, and you don't have to run it on only the gasoline.

Multiple Outlets

You must have four or more outlets that utilize the wattage by distributing the load. This will be the best practice for reducing power load, and you should only use it when you are away.

Removable Console

The best home generators must have this removable console where you can connect the appliances with the generator without exposing the cords. This is to avoid the hazards of electric shock or electrocution, fire, and burns.

Low-Oil Shutoff

This is pretty common among the portable generators where the oil falls below the minimum level, and the generator shuts off automatically to prevent any damage.

To Wind Up

This guide contains al; the necessary information regarding the best home standby generators. And if you are preparing for the groundwork of buying one for yourself, make sure you understand every point and go through the tips and insights we have shared.

This will allow you to make an informed decision and complete the generator and keep your selected best home standby generators ready for use.