Power outages can happen when you least expect them. Severe weather, grid failures, even squirrels chewing through power lines can leave you sitting in the dark. Having backup power is crucial to keep your home livable and safe during extended outages.
Generac is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to home standby generators. With a wide range of models to choose from, Generac has a solution suitable for small homes up to large properties.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the key factors in picking the right Generac generator. We’ll also review the top-rated Generac models and provide helpful tips for installation, maintenance and operation.
Let’s get started!
Selecting the Ideal Generac Generator for Your Home
Choosing a home backup generator is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. You need adequate power to run essential appliances and systems, but you don’t want to overspend on a larger capacity than you need. With Generac’s diverse product line, you can zero in on the best size generator for your home’s electrical requirements.
Here are the key factors to consider:
Generac generators can run on either natural gas or liquid propane. Natural gas generators connect directly to your home’s gas supply line. This provides a limitless fuel source as long as the main line is active.
Propane generators require an external tank to be refilled periodically. Propane gives you more placement flexibility if natural gas isn’t available. Compare fuel availability and costs in your region.
Generac home generators are rated by kilowatts (kW) of power they can produce. This determines how many appliances/systems the generator can run. Audit your home’s electrical load and get a generator that meets it, without excessive overcapacity.
Larger generators make more noise. Measure the decibel levels of different Generac models and choose one that won’t disturb you excessively. Sound enclosures can reduce noise.
Stand-by generators are permanently installed outside and connect to your home’s electrical panel to power circuits. Portable generators are moved manually to run specific appliances indoors/outdoors.
Larger Generac models offer advanced features like WiFi monitoring, extended runtime, quieter operation, whole house coverage etc. Choose features that best fit your budget and needs.
Generac Product Lines
Guardian Series: Top tier home standby line with quiet operation and whole home power coverage.
Evolution Series: Affordable and customizable home standby generators.
GP Series: Industrial grade portable generators for heavy-duty backup power.
iX Series: Inverter generators for cleaner and quieter portable power.
Use this overview to narrow down the Generac series that aligns with your usage requirements and budget.
The Best Generac Generators for Home Use
Generac’s catalog includes dozens of home generator models across their product lines. Here we cover 4 of their top-rated and best-selling home generators to give you a head start on your buying decision.
Generac GP8000E – Best Portable Generator for Home Backup
The Generac GP8000E earns top marks as the most powerful and popular portable generator from Generac. Here are its key highlights:
- Power: 8000 watts for running high-draw appliances, electric motors etc.
- Portability: At just 127 pounds, it’s easy to move around on its roll cage.
- Fuel: Runs 10 hours on a 6.6 gallon propane tank.
- Start Type: Electric start for quick, reliable startups even in cold weather.
- Noise Level: Just 74 dBA, quieter than other portable generators.
- Price Range: $$
With the ability to power an entire home during shorter outages, the GP8000E is Generac’s premier portable home backup generator. Its relatively quiet operation and easy mobility also make it ideal for RVs, tailgating, worksites and outdoor events.
Generac Guardian 22kW – Best Home Standby for Large Properties
The 22kW Guardian series is Generac’s most powerful home standby generator, recommended for large homes upwards of 6,000 square feet. Let’s examine why it’s rated so highly:
- Power: 22kW and 150 amps gives full home backup. Runs large HVAC systems and pool pumps with ease.
- Fuel: Available in natural gas and liquid propane models.
- Noise: Only 63 dBA in quiet mode, for a generator this size.
- WiFi: Monitor and control from anywhere with Mobile Link. Get outage alerts and runtime estimates.
- Price Range: $$$$
With its robust power output and ultra-quiet operation, this Guardian model provides full home coverage with minimal noise disruption. It’s the top Generac recommendation for large luxury homes and properties wanting uncompromised backup power.
Generac GP15000E – Best for Portable Heavy-Duty Use
The GP15000E from Generac’s commercial-grade GP series has the highest power output of all their portable generators. It’s optimized for events, worksites and heavy-duty backup.
- Power: 15,000 watts for running large loads from a single generator.
- Run Time: Up to 12 hours at 50% load on a single 8 gallon tank.
- Outlets: Four 120V 20A outlets, one 120V/240V 30A twist lock.
- Noise Level: Just 74 dBA for a generator this size.
- Added Features: Digital controls, lifting eye, hour meter etc.
- Price Range: $$$
This muscle-bound portable unit provides incredible power in a portable package. It’s a great backup solution for large homes when paired with a manual transfer switch. The GP15000E is also ideal for off-grid worksites, events and food trucks needing up to 15kW of portable power.
Generac Home Standby Generator 17kW
This mid-sized 17kW home standby generator is Generac’s most popular model for residential applications. Here’s an overview of its capabilities:
- Power: 17kW /150 amps covers most homes 3,000-6,000 sq. ft.
- Fuel: Available for natural gas or liquid propane.
- Noise: Just 63 dBA while running, average for its output.
- WiFi: Monitor and control the unit remotely with Mobile Link.
- Runtime: Up to 12 hours for natural gas models, 24 hours for propane models.
- Price Range: $$$
This Generac standby generator is the ideal capacity for most homes needing full backup coverage across essential circuits. It can run HVAC systems, major appliances, well pumps and more during prolonged outages. The fuel flexibility, WiFi controls and relatively quiet operation make it Generac’s bestselling home generator.
Smooth Generator Installation and Ongoing Maintenance
Proper generator installation and maintenance ensures your Generac investment provides years of reliable service when you need it most.
Installation – DIY or Professional?
Standby generators require significant electrical wiring, fuel line connections and concrete mounting pads. Generac recommends professional installation for any permanently wired standby unit.
For portable generators, you can safely handle the electrical connections yourself using temporary extension cords and power strips. Use portable models outdoors only.
Regular Maintenance is Crucial
Follow Generac’s maintenance schedule to keep your generator operating at peak efficiency. This involves periodic inspections, oil changes, battery replacement, fuel line/filter changes, testing etc. Neglecting maintenance can severely shorten a generator’s lifespan.
Stock up on spare parts like air, oil and fuel filters. Schedule annual servicing by a Generac authorized dealer to keep warranties valid and catch any issues.
Frequently Asked Questions About Generac Home Generators
Here we answer some of the most common questions from homeowners considering a Generac generator purchase.
How loud are Generac home generators?
Noise levels depend on the model, but most Generac home generators run at 63-74 dBA. For comparison, normal conversation is about 60 dBA. The larger kW generators may require sound attenuation.
How long do Generac generators last?
With proper maintenance, Generac generators can provide 20-30 years of reliable service. The engine lifespan is 10-15 years. Schedule periodic servicing and follow Generac’s maintenance guidelines for longevity.
Can a Generac generator power my whole house?
Generac offers standby generators from 8-22kW to power homes of any size. A 7-11kW unit can run essentials. 17-22kW models can power large homes with all major appliances and HVAC running.
What size Generac generator do I need?
Add up the wattage of essential lights, appliances, HVAC system and well pump. Choose a generator at least 20% larger than your total calculated load. An electrician can audit your home’s actual load.
How much does a Generac home generator cost?
The cost ranges from $800 for a small portable to $5,000+ for a large permanently installed unit. The generator size, fuel type and additional features impact the price. Get free quotes from local Generac dealers.
Do you need a transfer switch with a Generac generator?
Yes, a transfer switch is mandatory for any permanently wired standby generator to safely deliver power to your home’s circuits. The switch prevents backfeeding the utility lines.
Are Generac generators reliable?
Generac has over 50 years of experience making residential generators. When properly installed and maintained, Generac generators are extremely reliable for backup power during outages.
How often should you test a Generac generator?
Test it under load monthly by letting it run for 30 minutes powering appliances. This confirms it’s operating correctly and ready for outages. Change oil and perform other maintenance per Generac’s schedule.
How often should you service a Generac generator?
Generac recommends annual servicing of home standby generators. This involves oil/filter changes, battery replacement, inspections and tune-ups. Keep service records for warranty purposes.
Can a Generac generator run on natural gas or propane?
Most larger Generac home generators offer dual-fuel capability. Smaller portable models run on gasoline or propane. Select the most economical and available fuel type for your location.
Get the Peace of Mind of Generac Home Backup Power
Generac generators provide the protection you need when unexpected outages occur. Now that you know how to select the right Generac generator for your home’s needs and budget, you can safeguard your family against storm-related power failures.
Proper sizing, professional installation and ongoing maintenance will ensure your Generac generator provides decades of reliable emergency power. Consult Generac’s network of certified dealers to get personalized advice and competitive quotes on the perfect backup power solution for your property.