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Keep the Lights On: Choosing the Best Generac Home Standby Generator for Your Needs

When the power goes out, life at home can come to a standstill. Critical systems like heating, refrigeration, medical devices and more may be left stranded without electricity. A home standby generator from Generac offers reliable backup power to keep your home running uninterrupted when the grid fails. In this guide, we’ll explore Generac’s standout home generator models and how to select the ideal unit for your household’s needs and budget.


Since the 1950s, Generac has engineered innovative power solutions including home backup generators used by over 1.5 million homeowners. Generac’s leadership in residential standby power stems from their focus on product performance, reliability and continuous improvement.

A home standby generator offers protection by automatically restoring electricity to pre-wired circuits when an outage occurs. Within seconds of detecting a power loss, the generator turns on to supply backup power seamlessly. This prevents the inconvenience, disruption, and potential damage of an outage.

Generac’s home standby product lineup provides solutions for a wide range of requirements and budgets. From their premium Guardian line to affordable Protector models, to ultra-quiet QuietSource units, Generac has generators sized from 6 kW to 22 kW. Their innovative EcoGen fuel cell technology even offers a green energy option. We’ll take a closer look at how these core models compare.

The 4 Best Generac Home Standby Generators

Generac Guardian Series

The Guardian Series represents the pinnacle of Generac home backup power. Serving as fully automated whole house generators, Guardian units deliver 24/7 protection with ample capacity to supply homes up to 5,000 square feet or more.

With intuitive controls, flexible fueling, and quiet operation, Guardian generators provide premium features and the reliability that Generac is known for. Available in a range of power outputs from 17 kW up to 22 kW, they can comfortably handle the largest household loads with power to spare.

Key Benefits:

  • Whole home backup even for large properties
  • Automatic operation restores power in 10 seconds
  • Mobile LinkTM monitoring via WiFi/cellular
  • QuietTESTM noise reduction as low as 52 dBA
  • Runs on natural gas or LP propane
  • 5 or 10 year limited warranty

Potential Drawbacks:

  • Large-capacity models have higher costs
  • Permanent professional installation required
  • Overkill for smaller households

As Generac’s flagship for full-home coverage, the Guardian Series offers maximum protection when power fails. For homeowners with high power needs or frequent outages, the premium costs bring long-term peace of mind.

Generac Protector Series

For more affordable whole or partial home protection, Generac’s Protector Series provides cost-effective home standby power ranging from 7 kW to 16 kW. The streamlined Protector variants make certain trade-offs to hit lower price points while maintaining Generac’s standards of quality.

Ideal for backing up essential circuits like refrigeration, home security systems, and necessary outlets, a Protector can operate freezers, medical devices, and more during a blackout. It provides ample capacity for peace of mind without the cost of full home coverage.

Key Benefits:

  • Lower upfront cost than the Guardian line
  • Compact design with integrated fuel tank
  • Simplified controls reduce complexity
  • Quiet operation from 62-69 dBA
  • 5 year limited warranty

Potential Drawbacks:

  • Not intended for full house backup
  • Less rugged enclosure than Guardian
  • Limited expandability compared to larger units

For budget-focused buyers, the Protector offers reliable partial power backup for your critical home standby needs.

Generac QuietSource Series

Homeowners needing backup power with minimal noise should look no further than Generac’s QuietSource generators. With sound levels as low as 53 decibels, QuietSource models allow quiet conversation even while operating. This makes them an excellent choice when installing near bedrooms or close to neighbors.

Offering whole or partial home coverage from 8 kW to 24 kW, QuietSource units can match the capabilities of a Guardian with the acoustic profile of a library. QuietSource models utilize a rugged steel enclosure with advanced sound dampening.

Key Benefits:

  • Extremely quiet operation from 53 dBA
  • Ideal for noise restrictions or close proximity
  • Available for whole or partial home backup
  • Uses natural gas or liquid propane fuel
  • 5 or 10 year limited warranty

Potential Drawbacks:

  • Steel enclosure not as durable as Guardian
  • Higher cost than equivalent Protector model
  • Larger units require professional installation

When low noise is the priority, QuietSource generators provide exceptional acoustic performance perfect for suburban homes or communities with strict noise codes.

Generac EcoGen Series

For an eco-friendly and sustainable backup power solution, Generac’s EcoGen Series uses breakthrough LP fuel cell technology. Utilizing a chemical process instead of conventional combustion, EcoGen generators produce minimal emissions for a green, environmentally conscious operation.

Currently available in smaller 6 kW and 8 kW capacities, the compact EcoGen units are well-suited to partial home backup. Running silently at just 57 dBa, they can operate cleanly in garages, basements or sheds with minimal noise or exhaust fumes.

Key Benefits:

  • Proprietary fuel cell generator
  • Extremely low emissions
  • Small, space-saving footprint
  • Whisper-quiet operation at 57 dBa
  • No noisy engine or exhaust

Potential Drawbacks:

  • Higher initial cost than traditional generators
  • Currently limited to smaller power outputs
  • LP propane fuel can be more expensive

For green-minded homeowners seeking sustainable backup power, the EcoGen fuel cell generator offers an innovative, eco-friendly advantage over traditional engine-driven models.

Choosing the Right Generac Home Standby Generator

Selecting an appropriately sized Generac generator involves weighing several key factors:

Electrical Load – Determine the wattage needed to power essential loads or your entire panel. This establishes the required generator capacity, influenced by home size and circuits to be backed up.

Fuel Type – Available fueling on Generac models includes natural gas, propane and diesel. Fuel availability and costs are considerations. EcoGen’s fuel cell uses only propane.

Noise Tolerance – If low noise is critical, QuietSource models are the quietest. Other Generac series use QuietTEST noise reduction to mute sound at moderate levels.

Budget – Guardian and QuietSource units entail a larger upfront investment but provide premium features and capacity. Protector and EcoGen are more budget-oriented options.

Placement – Most units require an outdoor concrete pad or mounting. Smaller portable generators can be moved as needed. Local zoning laws may apply.

Features – Additional capabilities like cellular monitoring, cold weather packages or dual fuel hookup may be desirable.

Consulting with a Generac dealer is highly recommended to analyze your electrical loads and unique needs for the optimal home standby generator solution.

Frequently Asked Questions About Generac Home Standby Generators

How do standby generators work automatically?

Standby generators constantly monitor utility power. When an outage is detected, they automatically start the engine, warm up, and begin supplying backup power to pre-wired circuits typically within 10-20 seconds.

What are the benefits of a standby generator?

Key benefits include automatic operation to restore power seamlessly, whole home or partial coverage, fuel flexibility, advanced monitoring, quiet operation, durable construction and proven reliability.

How do I choose the right size Generac standby generator?

Your dealer can perform an analysis of your essential electrical loads and recommend the ideal Generac model to provide necessary backup capacity, whether whole home or partial coverage.

How long do Generac home standby generators last?

With proper maintenance, a Generac home standby unit can deliver 15-25 years of reliable service. Some达achieve 30 years before major overhauls. Guardian and QuietSource models typically have the greatest longevity.

How often should a Generac generator be serviced?

Generac recommends annual servicing including checks of all systems, oil/filter changes, battery replacement, and testing under load. Exercise the generator every 1-2 weeks.

Where should a Generac home generator be installed?

Generac advises installing standby generators outdoors on a concrete pad 18+” above grade, away from windows and doors. Attached garages, sheds or rooftops are ideal.

What kind of fuel do Generac generators use?

Most Generac models offer dual fuel capability using either natural gas or liquid propane. This provides flexibility if one fuel type is interrupted. EcoGen uses only liquid propane.

How quiet are Generac home generators?

QuietSource models are exceptionally quiet at just 53 dBa. Other Generac series with QuietTEST keep noise levels between 62-72 dBa during operation.

How much does a Generac home generator cost?

A Generac home standby generator typically ranges from $2,500 – $15,000 including professional installation. Exact cost depends on capacity, fuel type and features.

Do you need a transfer switch for a Generac generator?

Yes, a transfer switch safely isolates the generator from the grid and is required for any permanently installed standby generator.

Can a Generac generator be installed indoors?

No, Generac does not recommend indoor installation due to risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Outdoor installation is advised.

What are Generac’s best home generators for poor weather conditions?

For extreme cold climates, Generac offers remote radiator relocation and cold weather kits. Guardian models have the most weatherproof enclosures and all units run on natural gas or propane.


Providing reliable home backup power, Generac’s standby generators offer automated protection when emergencies and outages occur. Models like the premium Guardian provide full home coverage while QuietSource generators operate with minimal noise. For smaller essential loads, the Protector gives an affordable option. Generac’s EcoGen fuel cell generators offer a green energy solution.

Carefully weighing factors like your household’s electrical load, noise tolerance, budget and placement considerations will ensure you select the ideal Generac generator. With proper sizing, fuel supply and professional installation, Generac home standby generators can deliver peace of mind that your essential systems will keep running smoothly even when the lights go out.

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