How to select the right generator for your home

Are you looking for the perfect generator for your home but don’t know which one is best? You’re in the right place!

This guide will provide you with all the information you need to select the right generator for your home. From assessing your power needs to researching different types, this comprehensive guide will help ensure you make an informed decision.


Having a reliable source of electricity is absolutely essential for most homes. Whether you’re looking to provide power in an emergency situation or just have peace of mind that you’ll be able to keep your family comfortable when the power goes out, a generator is a great way to help. Before selecting a generator for your home, it’s important to consider all the details. In this guide, we’ll look at the different types of generators available, how much power they require, and other considerations like cost and installation. After reading through this guide, you should have a better understanding of what type of generator will best suit your needs.

Let’s get started.

Explanation of the importance of selecting the right generator for your home

Having a generator in your home is important for maintaining power in the event of a blackout. However, selecting the right generator for your home requires research, knowledge and understanding. The size of generator you purchase should depend on your household’s power use since different types have different wattage outputs. Selecting the right generator also refers to consideration of the local climate, costs of installation and usage efficiency.

For households in climates that experience frequent power outages, standby generators tend to be the best choice as these systems are carefully installed and react quickly when electric grids or local conditions require. For those living in areas where electric grids are more reliable, a smaller portable option is often suggested as these small generators provide enough electricity consumption for basic household uses while being more cost effective on installation than standby options.

When purchasing any kind of generator it’s essential to understand what type of fuel is needed to operate it effectively – this may range from gasoline, diesel or even propane depending on model – as well as learning how to properly check maintenance levels before and after operating them. Regular maintenance rules are often convoluted with each model generating different rules and regulations; furthermore, accessing certified NPS-certified repair stores should be taken seriously when possessing such equipment!

Understanding Home Generators

When selecting a home generator, there are several things you should consider. The guidelines below will help to ensure that you purchase the right generator for your home’s needs.

— Power Needs: Assess your household’s electrical needs and choose a generator with a wattage/voltage combinations that meets those needs. Consider all major appliances and fixtures, including lights, TVs, refrigerators, furnaces, fans, etc. It is best to purchase a generator that has an output rating at least 21 percent higher than the total wattage of all devices combined to prevent overloading the generator.

— Fuel Type: Most home generators require gasoline or diesel fuel. Choose one that best suits your preferences and available fuel sources based on convenience and safely stored fuel supply. If you live in a more rural area with farther distances between fuel stations, diesel may be more suitable for your needs as it can typically store longer without degrading than gasoline can.

How To Choose The Right Size Generator For Your Needs – Forbes Home

— Noise Level: Consider the amount of noise your chosen model produces when in use before purchasing a unit for residential use. Regulations increasingly require lower noise output for residential use and it is important to only operate generators within their allowed decibel ranges outdoors in order to remain within city codes or avoid annoying neighboring homes..

— Cost: Examine available options within your budget range while also keeping quality in mind as this will affect how well it functions throughout its lifetime. A good way to measure quality is by researching customer reviews because they often provide comprehensive feedback on both product performance as well as customer-service measures taken by the seller if any issues arise after purchase.

Types of home generators

Home generators come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each designed for a different set of purposes. The basic types of home generators include:

Portable Generators: Often the most affordable option, portable generators are lightweight, easy to transport and provide enough electricity for basic needs like running appliances or light and heat during an emergency. They are best suited for small-scale applications and light use.

Standby Generators: Larger and more powerful than portable generators, standalone generators provide backup power to an entire house during an outage. Most residential standby models have outputs ranging from 8kW to 20 kW of power. Standby models are typically installed outside the home and require professional installation, meaning they cost significantly more than other types of home generator.

Inverter Generators: These types of generators are equipped with inverters that modify current as it flows through the generator to make it compatible with sensitive electronic devices such as computers or touch screens. Inverter home generator models typically range from 3kW to 10 kW in size and can be moved around the house from one place to another when needed but require dedicated fuel supply like gasoline or propane stored on site.

Power and voltage requirements

When selecting a generator for your home, it is important to take into account the power and voltage requirements of the items you plan to use. The number of watts required will vary depending on what type of equipment you are using. Large appliances typically require more wattage than smaller electronics, so it is important to estimate the wattage needs before choosing a generator. For example, a refrigerator may require 800 – 1800 watts, while an electric hairdryer requires 1400 – 1800 watts.

You should also consider the voltage requirement for your home. Most generators provide either 120 or 240 volts, and it is important to be aware of which one your appliances require. A 120-volt outlet can deliver 10 amps; whereas, a 240-volt outlet can deliver much more–up to 30 amps in some cases. Smaller electronic devices usually run on 120 volts but any appliance that has an electric motor typically requires more power and runs at 240 volts.

Be sure to check with each manufacturer’s user guide for exact wattage and voltage requirements of your equipment before settling on a model.

III. Factors to Consider When Choosing a Home Generator

Different generators offer a variety of features, so when making your selection, you should consider the size, power output, fuel type, noise level, and design of the unit.

Size: Generators come in a variety of sizes and they vary in physical dimensions. Before selecting one for your home, you should consider it’s weight and storage availability.

Power Output: This is measured in watts and voltages. The larger wattage will allow the generator to perform more power-intensive tasks like running multiple devices or appliances. You should also think about the voltages required for each appliance you plan to use with it and make sure that your generator can provide the correct voltage output for them.

Fuel Type: Generators are either powered by gasoline or propane depending on what is accessible and convenient to use in your home area.

Noise Level: Choose an appropriate model depending on how loud you are willing to tolerate from your generator.

Design: Most generators have heavy-duty frames which can withstand wear and tear from various weather elements such as rain, cold temperatures or extreme heat as well as accidental drops during transportation. They also usually feature handles for portability so make sure that these are comfortable to grip even when wearing gloves if needed.

Power output and capacity

The power output and capacity of a generator is often the most important factor for a home, as this directly relates to the size of appliances that a generator can provide power to. Generators typically have ratings in watts ranging from 1,800-20,000 depending on the model and size. It’s important to understand how many watts an appliance or device uses to determine how much generator capacity you need.

Choosing the Right Size Generator - The Home Depot

Home generators usually range from 8-20 kilowatts (kW) and are measured in kilowatts or even megawatts (MW). Most homes require at least 8kW for their basic electrical needs; however, depending on your home’s size, additional functions like air conditioning may require additional kW. Consider any other appliances (such as washers and dryers) that you may need to power up at once when selecting your generator—generators with higher wattage levels offer more flexibility with what they can run simultaneously. Additionally, some generators come with options such as Smart Management Modules that allow you to control multiple circuit breakers or plug into specific parts of an electrical panel; consult your manual on these options if available.

All in all, it’s important to evaluate the products you intend on running when selecting your generator so you can determine the right numbers for your needs!

Fuel type and consumption

The choice of fuel type and consumption rate is the first step to finding the right generator for your home. Depending on the size of your home, and the appliances you want to power, there are different types of fuel generators available. Generally speaking, larger homes with more appliances will require a generator that runs off a larger amount of fuel over a given period.

To determine how much fuel you will need, consider how many kilowatts (kW) will be generated by each appliance or device run off your generator. This helps you pinpoint the kind of generator that works best for you while considering both safety and efficiency measures. For example, diesel generators require more maintenance than other types and can be pricey up-front – but if it’s the most efficient option for your power needs, then it may be worth the investment. Other factors to consider include gas capacity, noise level, ease of start-up and self-circuit breaker protection. The following table outlines common types of fuel generators available for your home:

Fuel Type | Efficiency | Cost | Features
— | — | —|—
Diesel|High| Expensive| Long lifespan with low maintenance; high output; safe – very low risk of fire; inaudible noise level from small engines
Natural Gas |High| Medium/expensive (depending on supply)| Readily available; relatively clean burning; longer running times than gasoline or propane depending on tank size
Gasoline |High|Inexpensive| Easy to find and use; convenient due to minimal storage requirements; portable options available
Propane (LPG) |Medium but highly efficient under light load conditions such as powering some smaller appliances at once or one appliance at a time such as microwave ovens/air conditioners/refrigerators etc. Very cost effective but emits more CO2 than natural gas or diesel models Low Inexpensive Easily stored in tanks; requires no electric hook up

Portability and mobility

Choosing a generator for your home can be overwhelming since there are so many features to consider. One of the most important factors to consider is portability and mobility. For example, if you’re looking for a lightweight generator that you can take with you to campgrounds or tailgate parties, a portable model is right for you. Portable generators are usually small and light enough to be loaded and unloaded by hand or by lifting device, making them much easier to transport and maneuver than larger models. Furthermore, some of these generators have wheels which make them even easier to move around from one place to another. If your location is prone to power outages often, an xpll portable generator provides the convenience of easily transporting it inside for long-term emergency power supply.

On the other hand, if mobility is not a major concern for you, then a standby generator might be better option as it functions on its own without user intervention when triggered by an outage in power supply. It requires virtually no effort from your side besides programming it during set up and scheduling periodic maintenance intervals during its lifetime. Standby generators would require professional installation though as they are heavily wired into both the electrical grid as well as plumbing lines like natural gas line or LP oil tank connection in order to function correctly over time. Additionally, one should take into consideration factors such as noise level output of the generator before buying in order choose one that fits our specific needs best at minimal risk involved with running it at our location over time.

Noise level

Noise level is an important consideration when selecting a generator for your home. While some models can be relatively quiet, others emit unpleasant sounds that may interfere with day-to-day activities. Be sure to read the product specifications as some generators may generate more noise than others.

The decibel (dB) rating of a generator determines how loud it is when running. A generator running at 68 dB is about as loud as a typical conversation, while one running at 100 dB would be similar to listening to car music at full blast. The floor or ground in your home may also affect the noise level of the generator significantly, depending on where it is located and what material it rests on. If possible, make sure to place the generator on a stable surface such as asphalt or concrete to help reduce vibration and noise levels.

Matching the Generator to Your Home’s Needs

When selecting the generator that’s best for your home, it’s important to consider the size and type of generator you will need. This is determined by the electrical circuit requirements of your home and your budget.

Generators come in a wide range of sizes, from small portable units to large stationary models. Smaller generators are sufficient for powering one or two circuits, while larger models can power entire homes. For example, a 6-kilowatt (kW) generator can power several lights and general appliances such as a refrigerator or microwave simultaneously, while a 15-kW model can supply most of a home’s power needs.

Buying a Home Generator? Here's What You Need to Know - CNET

It is also important to consider whether the generator should be powered by diesel fuel or gasoline. Diesel generators typically cost more upfront but are less expensive to run because they have better fuel efficiency and fewer maintenance costs. Gasoline engines are generally preferred for smaller systems because they cost less initially than diesel machines and don’t require as much labor for maintenance or repairs. Diesel engines may require specialized service every 500 operating hours, however this figure may vary depending on the manufacturer’s specifications and how it is used.

Additionally, when selecting the right generator for your home there are other factors that must be considered such as safety features, noise levels, warranty details and size options. It is important to take all of these into account before making an informed selection on which type of generator will best meet your needs and budget requirements.

Standby power

Standby power is the perfect energy solution when you don’t have access to the grid – if you live off-grid, in remote locations, or in an area prone to natural disasters or extended periods of blackouts. To provide you with an uninterrupted supply of power during these times, a standby generator is usually the best choice.

Standby generators rely on an automatic transfer switch which isolates your generator from the grid and can automatically detect outages within 10-20 seconds, start up your generator, and then restore power to your home. This type of residential generator is available in both diesel and gas models with manual and automatic start options for fuel efficiency, convenience, reliability and safety. Standby generators are rated from 10 KW (kilowatt) up to over 200 KW for larger homes or businesses.

When selecting a standby generator for your home it’s important to assess how much power it will need in order to run efficiently – both during an emergency situation and on a daily basis – without being overloaded or underpowered. Consider what essential electronic appliances you want it to cover as well as any appliances that might increase your power needs such as those run by large motors like water pumps. You’ll need an experienced electrician to help install the necessary wires between the transfer switch boxyour chosen generatorandthemain service panelof your home safely; they can also advise on local regulations pertaining to any city permits required for installation.

Portable power

Whether you need a generator for home backup power or to take out camping and on adventurres, portable generators offer the flexibility to power up a variety of appliances, tools and other devices away from home.

Before selecting a portable generator, consider the wattage you will need. The wattage you require depends upon the items you plan to use. Consider each of your devices’ watt requirements as many don’t explicitly state what type of generator they need. In most cases, it’s best to refer to your appliance’s manual for specific requirements.

Once you know how much power you’ll need, follow these guidelines when selecting a portable generator:

  • Know the size of your fuel tank and the run time based on that size before deciding on an appropriate model. Compare various sizes so that you can rest assured knowing how long it will last with different appliance loads before refueling is necessary. For convenience when refueling, select models that include low-refuel alerts such as blinking lights and alarms that indicate when fuel is running low.
  • Select a rated output model to accurately gauge its total output in order to better match your needs. Verify if the generator model provides both peak and constant outputs for optimal performance in powering several appliances at once after factoring in voltage drops under full load circumstances caused by fewer outlets than necessary leading up to a larger load requiring more power supply capabilities – both factors often overlooked!
  • Consider portability features such as engine handles for easy transportation between locations or built-in wheels for situations where weight is an issue or placing the generators into tight, hard-to reach spaces; many smaller compact models come with this feature option included – which makes them great candidate choices if space or moving concerns arise!


In conclusion, when selecting the best generator for your home it is important to think about your needs, do your research and purchase a generator that not only meets all of your needs but will provide you with safety and peace of mind. Furthermore, be sure to find the right technician that can install it safely and properly.

It is important to remember that in order to ensure its longevity make sure you check the engine oil level, perform regular maintenance checks and store the unit indoors when not being used. Doing these things will guarantee more efficient performance in extreme weather conditions as well as adding many years to its lifespan.

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