Powering Through Outages: Choosing the Best Generac Generator for Your Home

Losing power is no fun for anyone, especially homeowners. The lights cut out, appliances stop running, and AC shuts off, leaving you hot and in the dark. But thanks to Generac generators, you can keep essentials items powered up when the utility lines fail.

Generac makes high-quality, reliable home generators to seamlessly provide electricity during blackouts and storms. Having a Generac unit on standby gives homeowners peace of mind knowing their family, home, and valued possessions are protected.

In this guide, we’ll explore the best Generac generators for home installation across a range of power outputs, fuel compatibility, noise levels and smart features. Let’s review what Generac offers so you can decide which model is right for your needs when the lines go down.

Overview of Generac’s Home Generator Lineup

Generac designs several series of standby generators intended for residential use:

  • Guardian Series – The most affordable and basic Generac models for essential backup needs.
  • Evolution Series – Generac’s most popular home models with user-friendly digital displays.
  • Elite Series – Top of the line Generac generators with maximum power and WiFi connectivity.

The aspects that differentiate Generac’s home generator models include:

  • Fuel Compatibility – Natural gas, propane or diesel options available
  • Power Output – Measured in kilowatts (kW), higher is more powerful
  • Noise Level – Expressed in decibels (dB), lower is quieter
  • Connectivity – Select models allow WiFi monitoring

Next, let’s explore these key factors in greater depth.

Key Generator Features to Consider for Your Home

Fuel Compatibility

Generac home generators run on three primary fuel sources. Each has pros and cons:

  • Natural Gas – Connects to existing home gas lines. No refueling needed. Most popular option.
  • Liquid Propane – Requires external fuel tank that needs periodic refills. Provides more placement flexibility.
  • Diesel – Used in high end home models. Needs large external diesel fuel tank.

Most homeowners prefer the convenience of natural gas since it taps into existing utility lines. But propane and diesel give you more freedom on install location if needed.

Power Output

A generator’s power output determines how many appliances and devices it can run during an outage. This is measured in kilowatts (kW):

  • 3250-6500W – Suitable for essentials like fridges, lights, furnaces, some small appliances
  • 7500-11000W – Can power more lights, appliances, some AC units
  • 16000W+ – Whole home coverage including central air and pool pumps

For a typical home under 4000 sq ft, a 7500-11000W unit will provide sufficient backup capability to run critical systems. Larger luxury homes will require 16000W or more for full power coverage.

Noise Level

Generator noise is measured in decibels (dB). The closer the dB is to 60, the quieter the unit operates. Key home decibel levels:

  • Standard units = 62-69 dB range during operation
  • QuietSource models = Ultra quiet 59-62 dB for minimal sound

If your generator will be near living spaces or you have close neighbors, look for QuietSource models rated at 62 dB or less.


Some premium Generac models allow full WiFi connectivity to enable remote monitoring and control from smartphones. Benefits include:

  • Real time status updates and outage tracking
  • Generator health diagnostics
  • Maintenance reminders and notifications
  • Access anywhere via cellular connection

WiFi capability provides maximum convenience but does add cost over basic models. Consider if it’s worth the investment based on your needs and technical skills.

Now let’s review some of the best Generac generators suited for home installation.

Reviews of Our Top Generac Picks for Homeowners

Here are complete reviews of 4 excellent Generac generators suitable for home use across various power outputs and features:

Generac GP3250 – Compact and Affordable

Overview: A smaller, affordable Generac model adequate for supplying basic backup power in small homes and condos.

Power: 3250 watts is enough to run essential lights, refrigerator, furnace and small appliances during shorter outages.

Fuel: Uses either liquid propane or natural gas fuel sources.

Noise: Extremely quiet operation at just 62 dB, making it suitable for dense housing areas.

Features: Compact size, basic controls and LED indicators. No advanced features.

Connectivity: No WiFi capability offered on this basic model.

Dimensions: Just 27 x 22 x 38 inches makes it easy to place.

Warranty: 2 year limited warranty.

Price: Approximately $599 MSRP for affordable emergency power.

Ideal For: Condos, apartments, cabins and smaller living spaces with basic electrical needs. An excellent value.

Generac GP5500 – Mid-Range Gas Power

Overview: A step-up standby generator from Generac that provides greater power for larger homes.

Power: 5500 watts can run lights, fridge, major appliances, some AC units, electronics and more during extended outages.

Fuel: Liquid propane or natural gas compatible. Choose what works for your home’s hookups.

Noise: Average noise rating of 67 dB, not intrusive but not ultra-quiet.

Features: Digital LED display, covered outlets and sturdy build.

Connectivity: No WiFi connectivity offered.

Dimensions: 48 x 29 x 28 inches, substantial but maneuverable.

Warranty: 3 years limited for parts.

Price: Around $999 MSRP makes it very affordable backup power.

Ideal For: Larger homes that need sufficient power to run more than just the essentials during prolonged outages.

Generac GP6500 – Most Powerful Open Frame

Overview: Generac’s highest output open frame generator meant for serious home backup power.

Power: 6500 watts can handle complete home coverage including central AC, most appliances and electronics.

Fuel: Liquid propane or natural gas powered.

Noise: Silent operation at just 60 dB, incredibly quiet for the output.

Features: Telescoping fold-down handle, never flat wheels and outlets.

Connectivity: No WiFi monitoring, focused on providing basic power.

Dimensions: 48 x 26 x 28 inches with built-in maneuverability.

Warranty: 3 years limited warranty.

Price: Around $1,399 MSRP for the power and quietness.

Ideal For: Homeowners with larger electrical needs who want ultra-quiet yet powerful generator backup for outages.

Generac GP8000E – Fully Equipped Smart Generator

Overview: Generac’s highest homeowner rated generator provides whole home power with WiFi monitoring.

Power: 8,000 watts can run all home systems including central AC, multiple appliances and electronics with power to spare.

Fuel: Compatible with natural gas or liquid propane fuel sources.

Noise: Quiet 66 dB suitable for neighborhoods. Fully enclosed for sound dampening.

Features: WiFi connectivity, multilingual LED touchscreen, enclosed metal housing.

Connectivity: Yes, monitors status and enables control from mobile app.

Dimensions: 48 x 25 x 29 inches with integrated handles.

Warranty: Industry leading 5 year limited warranty.

Price: Around $3,999 MSRP for premium home power with smart tech.

Ideal For: Homes wanting the maximum electrical power protected with high-tech monitoring and control. This highest rated model brings together Generac’s best homeowner features.

Now that you understand Generac’s home generator options, let’s go through how to select the ideal unit for your needs.

How to Choose the Right Generac Generator for Your Home

Choosing the proper Generac generator involves more than just your budget. Consider these factors:

  • Make a list of essential appliances and devices you’ll want powered during an outage to guide your wattage needs.
  • Estimate your home’s square footage as smaller units often suffice for condos while larger homes need more output.
  • Determine which fuel type – natural gas, propane or diesel – makes sense for your home’s existing hookups and placement.
  • Review the posted noise levels and your proximity to neighbors to decide if a QuietSource model should be chosen.
  • Decide if WiFi capabilities for remote monitoring appeal to your needs and lifestyle or if a standard unit will do.
  • Have an electrician size your transfer switch and circuit breakers to integrate the generator properly.
  • Pick an outdoor location that provides proper ventilation and clearance from windows, doors and ground.
  • Work with a licensed Generac dealer for professional local installation and permitting.
  • Compare pricing across authorized Generac dealers using MSRP as a baseline. Dealers may offer discounts.

Choosing the appropriate sized unit for your actual power consumption, rather than overbuying, ensures your generator operates optimally when needed most.

Frequently Asked Questions About Generac for Homes

Q1: What size Generac generator does my house need?

For a typical home, a 7500-11000 watt unit will provide ample power. Larger luxury homes may need 16000W or more for full coverage. Have an electrician properly size.

Q2: Where should I install a home generator outside?

Generac recommends installing on a concrete pad with proper clearance from windows, doors, vents and ground level for sound, ventilation and maintenance access. Overhead protection is also advised.

Q3: How long can Generac generators run on a tank of fuel?

Expect 24-48 hours from a full propane tank depending on load. Natural gas and diesel generators tap into larger external supplies for extended run times before needing refuel.

Q4: Do Generac generators require professional installation?

Yes, Generac strongly advises having a certified dealer handle permitting, installation, hookups and integration with your home’s electrical system to ensure proper function and safety.

Q5: What maintenance do Generac home generators require?

Just occasional oil/filter changes, battery replacement every 3-4 years, fuel line inspections, exercising to prevent gumming, and cleaning debris as needed. Very minimal.

Q6: How noisy are Generac home generators?

Most Generac home units operate quietly at 62-69 decibels, comparable to background music. Their QuietSource models reach down to just 59 dB, equal to a window AC unit.

Q7: Can Generac generators automatically turn on when the power goes out?

Yes, they automatically detect a power outage and start within seconds to restore electricity before you even notice the utility power failed. They also automatically shut off when utility line power returns.

Q8: Do I need to install a transfer switch with my Generac?

Yes, a transfer switch is code required and critical for safely isolating your generator from the grid when running and avoiding any back feed hazards. An electrician can install.

Q9: Are Generac generators reliable for emergency power?

Yes, Generac generators have a long track record of proven reliability. When sized correctly and maintained as directed, Generac standby units can provide decades of outage protection.

Q10: Do Generac generators require a permit?

In most areas, permits are needed for permanent standby generator installation to meet local codes and regulations. Your Generac dealer can handle permitting.

Looking for trusted home backup power? I hope this guide better informs you on the excellent Generac options so you can decide which model best fits your family’s needs. Contact me anytime for personalized advice! Stay resilient.

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