7 Best Standby Generators: Permanent Power Backup

Watching your favorite team vying for a major cup or binge-watching your favorite TV show then the power goes out is the most frustrating thing ever. And the worst part is finding out your neighbor across the street has power, yet you share the same power line.

You can avoid these unnecessary disappointments by getting the best standby generator for your home. It will automatically restore power, and you can continue enjoying the TV show with no fuss.

While portable generators are great for home backup power, they cannot compete with standby models in terms of convenience. For portable generators, you have to do things manually; add fuel if there’s none, run the engine, and connect the cords to your most important items. This means you have to be home for it to work.

Standby models take the uncertainty out of the equation. They are hooked up to your natural gas or propane line so you’ll never have to worry about buying fuel or starting your generator.

Overview table

A standby generator is a significant investment and can cost thousands of dollars. To maximize your investment, you want to find the right one for your needs. We’ve done the heavy lifting for you and rounded up the best options in the market today. But before we go any further, let’s take a quick overview of our top 7 options.

Editor choice 1 Generac 70432
Generac 70432
(Best Advanced Home Standby Generator)

By far the largest air-cooled standby generator available in the market. It’s easy to use and reliable. It also provides the lowest cost per kilowatt MSRP of any residential unit. This makes it an excellent back up option.

2 Generac 7033
Generac 7033
(Best Efficient Whole-House Standby Generator)

Being part of the Guardian series, the 7033 is a dependable generator that keeps your house humming when the power goes out. It’s easy to install courtesy of the three removable all-weather aluminum enclosure. It can run on both liquids: propane and natural gas.

Best seller 3 Kohler 20RESCL-100LC16
Kohler 20RESCL-100LC16
(Best All-Weather Standby Generator)

This generator restores power to your appliances in just 10 seconds. Therefore, you may not even notice an outage unless you hear it running. It’s quieter than some competitors and can be monitored online. It’s reasonably priced and comes with a 5-year limited warranty.

4 Briggs & Stratton 76180
Briggs & Stratton 76180
(Best Powerful Standby Generator for Large Houses)

The 76180 liquid-cooled engine is modified to run on either liquid propane or natural gas. It can power two AC units in addition to your other household appliances. Very reliable and offers a customer-friendly warranty.

Best value 5 Briggs & Stratton 40394
Briggs & Stratton 40394
(Best Powerful Standby Generator for The Money)

The 40394 is a remarkably solid standby generator. It offers powerful and reliable performance in a smaller, affordable package. The 20000 watts can power your 5-ton air conditioner along with other items at the same time.

6 Champion Power Equipment 100294
Champion Power Equipment 100294
(Best Quiet Standby Generator)

The Champion Power Equipment is powerful enough to supply power to your essential appliances. It among the quietest standby generators in the market. Besides, this is the only unit on the list that’s backed by a 10-year limited warranty.

Best price 7 Generac Guardian 7030
Generac Guardian 7030
(Best Standby Generator for Small Houses)

This model has a significantly lower fuel consumption compared to other standby options. Not the most powerful generator by any means but, it can provide enough power to run essential items in your house. It’s also pocket-friendly.


1 Editor choice

Generac 70432 – Best Advanced Home Standby Generator


  • Mobile Link monitoring
  • 67 dB noise level
  • Generac’s G-Force engine
  • Five-year warranty
  • Customer support 24/7-365
  • 22000-watt liquid propane
  • 19500-watt natural gas

The Generac 70432 is among largest air-cooled standby generator available in the market. With 22000-watt liquid propane and 19500-watt natural gas, the generator can supply enough power to meet the demands of your home without a glitch. Even if you have multiple air conditioners or power-hungry appliances, this model is capable of handling the tasks. The 200amp automatic transfer switch keeps your home’s electric appliances safe and secure.

Just like most Generac Guardian Series, the 70432 model is driven by the pressure-lubricated G-Force engine. This engine is built for maximum power output, trouble-free performance, and durability. So this means it’s reliable and can handle frequent use with minimal maintenance.

While some generators are designed to run for 8 or 24 hours, the 70432 if well maintained can run for days in a row. This is as long as there is a supply of liquid propane or natural gas. It has a fuel consumption rate of 228 cubic ft/hr at half load on natural gas and 98 cubic ft/hr on liquid propane. Hence, you don’t have to worry about your utility bills going up if the generator keeps running.

The Generac 70432 isn’t the quietest generator on the market but, less noisy than a lot of other models. At a normal operating load, the 67dB produced by this device is just a bit louder than normal human conversation – normal being 60 dB.

7 Best Standby Generators: Permanent Power BackupIn addition, the generator features the innovative Mobile Link Remote Monitoring. It allows you to keep tabs on your generator wherever you are on your smartphone, tablet or PC. The True Power Technology incorporated in this Guardian series lessens harmonic distortion to less than 5 percent. This makes it safe for direct charging of sensitive electronic devices such as laptops and smartphones.

Another interesting feature is the evolution controller. It allows you to monitor your battery status and maintenance interval on an LCD, which is multilingual.

Overall, the 70432 is a generator that ticks all the boxes; it’s fuel-efficient, superior power, easy to use and it’s loaded with features to ensure every appliance in your house is up and running.

  • Reliable and fuel-efficient
  • Clean, smooth power for sensitive electronics
  • Convenient mobile monitoring
  • Not too loud for such a powerful model
  • User-friendly
  • 5-year limited warranty plus 24/7-365 customer support
  • Expensive installation costs

Generac 7033 – Best Efficient Whole-House Standby Generator


  • 200-amp automatic switch
  • True Power technology
  • Noise rating of 63 dB
  • Power coated enclosure
  • 11000-watts continuous power on liquid propane
  • 10000 watts natural gas

Generac is a household name for a superior and reliable generator, and the 7033 is no exception. This model can generate up to 11000 watts of power using liquid propane or 10000 watts using natural gas. While not as powerful as its brothers, it runs strong with things like water pumps, heaters and AC unit going simultaneously.

A 200-amp automatic switch is included in the package. This is enough for most residential applications as an averaged sized home has a 200-amp main breaker.

With a noise rating of only 63dB at a normal operating load, this generator is still quieter than most units on the market. Additionally, it uses the True Power Technology just like its 70432 counterpart for a smooth operation of sensitive appliances and tools.

This model comes with three removable sides to provide easy access to the generator set elements. This makes installation and maintenance much easier. The aluminum enclosure is coated with RhinoCoat powder, making it corrosion resistant.

For your convenience, the generator is equipped with the Monitor Link. It lets you assess the status of your generator like maintenance schedules, system updates, review logs directly from your mobile phone or computer.

The not-so-great thing about the Generac 7033 is that the battery is not included in the package. Hence, you have to purchase separately, adding to the total cost of the generator.

If you’re looking for the ultimate entry-level standby generator, this unit can be a great option.

  • Affordable
  • Protects your sensitive electronics from damage
  • Convenient remote monitoring
  • Smart transfer switch
  • Less maintenance resulting in a lower maintenance cost
  • Might not be suitable for larger homes with tons of electronic appliances running at the same time
  • Battery sold separately
3 Best seller

Kohler 20RESCL-100LC16 – Best All-Weather Standby Generator


  • Heavy-duty Kohler Command Pro engine
  • 20000 watts on liquid propane
  • Composite enclosure
  • Noise level of 69 dB
  • 5-year warranty

When it comes to dependability, the 20RESCL from Kohler is among the best standby generators in the market. It provides 20000 watts continuous power on propane, which is enough to power two air conditioners and other high demanding appliances. Besides, it features a heavy-duty Kohler Command Pro engine that is built to withstand extreme weather. The engine is enclosed in a corrosion-proof composite.

The unit includes a 100-amp smart transfer switch. For a smooth-running operation, make sure your electrical service panel and transfer switch have the same amperage. What’s more, the generator automatically detects when power is off and switches on within seconds.

The alternator produces less than 5 percent total harmonic distortion along with +/- 1 percent voltage regulation. This protects even your most sensitive electronics from danger. Moreover, you can monitor your generator with your mobile phone or computer.

This model is a bit louder than some other generators. It hits 69dB at full operating speed which is pretty decent considering its size.

  • Protects sensitive appliances from unstable power quality
  • Polymer base allows easy installation
  • Provides a robust, reliable performance
  • Fast response to power outage
  • All-weather protection
  • Unsatisfactory customer service
  • Can be a bit loud

Briggs & Stratton 76180 – Best Powerful Standby Generator for Large Houses


  • Liquid cooled engine
  • 25000 watts on both liquid propane and natural gas
  • Symphony II Power Management
  • Whole house protection
  • 5-year limited warranty

Unlike other units on the list, the Briggs & Stratton 76180 has a liquid-cooled engine. This engine works similar to most car engines. While the air-cooled generators use air circulation to keep the temperature of internal elements down, the liquid cooling system uses oil or coolant.

Liquid-cooled generators are more expensive but, can handle tough demanding power needs that their air-cooling counterparts can’t handle. So if you have a large home with a host of power demanding appliances and tools, this unit can be a great option. Besides, it produces substantially less noise than most air-cooled generators.

The 25000 watts on both LP (liquid propane) and NG (natural gas) is the biggest selling point of this unit. This translates to reliable performance even in the most demanding conditions. The Symphony II Power Management incorporated in the unit is also a major contributor to this.

This model comes in a sleek and elegant design. The enclosure and base steel are powder-coated to protect the unit from chips and abrasions.

Pay attention that the automatic electric switch for this generator is sold separately. It’s not cheap but it’ll insure hassle-free operation.

Despite its high price, the Briggs & Stratton 76180 is a great product that can make a big difference in your large home when the power goes out.

  • Whole house protection
  • Powerful, reliable and durable
  • Quieter than equally powered units
  • Simple installation
  • 5-year warranty on parts, labor, and travel
  • A bit expensive
  • Automatic electric switch is purchased separately
  • Poor customer support
5 Best value

Briggs & Stratton 40394 – Best Powerful Standby Generator for The Money


  • Symphony II Power Management for a whole-house power supply
  • Fully automatic operation
  • Noise levels at 64 dB
  • 100-amp transfer switch
  • 20000 watts on LP and 18500 on NG

The 40354 is a small brother to the 76180. But unlike its big brother, it uses the air-cooling system. This unit just like all the other units on the list run off LP and NG. By providing 20000 watts, this unit can power all your major home appliances within seconds of a power outage.

This generator package comes with a 100-amp transfer switch which can be mounted either inside or outside. This is decent but might not be enough if you have a lot of electrical appliances. Running on a V-Twin commercial-grade Vanguard engine, this generator provides reliable, full-strength power when you need it.

A corrosion-resistant, steel mounting pad is included for easy installation while galvanized enclosure protects your unit from elements. Additionally, it can be placed as close as 18 inches from your home. It’s tested against the National Fire Protection Agency standards, making it an excellent choice for households on small lots.

When it comes to noise levels, the 40394 is on the quieter side. It won’t be higher than 70 dB on a half load and it’s barely audible at home when the windows are closed.

Whether you’re looking to power the whole house or have multiple major appliances, this unit has the capability to handle those demands.

  • Commercial grade engine
  • Solid back up power supply
  • 5-year limited warranty
  • Flexible placement options
  • Poor customer support

Champion Power Equipment 100294 – Best Quiet Standby Generator


  • 200-amp distribution panel
  • 14000 watts on propane
  • 12500 on natural gas
  • Operates in sub-zero or extreme heat
  • 10-year limited warranty
  • Neighborhood friendly 63 dB noise level
  • Performs self-diagnostic test weekly

While not as powerful as other units in its price range, 14000 watts is still enough to power small homes’ major household appliances such as water pumps, AC unit, among other items. However, it compensates the lack of enough power with being the best quietest standby generator around.

When it comes to fuel consumption, 100294 is by far the most economical. At half load, it only consumes 58 cubic feet of propane and 116.5 cubic feet of natural gas per hour. This means it won’t have a significant impact on your utility bill even if it runs for days on end.

Like other standby generators, this unit from Champion Equipment switches on automatically when the power goes out. It returns to standby mode when power is restored.

While this generator can handle 8 high demanding appliances, sometimes it can lack the reserve power to start all of them simultaneously. So when this happens, the generator manages power for top demanding devices to avoid overload. When demand lowers, the managed appliances are reacquired and allowed to run.

This unit is quieter than most standby models of its caliber, thanks to its sound-dampening lining. Aside from performing self-diagnostic tests each week, this machine is designed to operate in sub-zero temperatures. That’s between -22-degree F and 104-degree F. Just make sure to install it propretly!

best standby generator 3

  • Fairly priced
  • 10-year limited warranty
  • Designed to run quiet
  • Modest fuel consumption
  • Manages power for major appliances
  • Runs in any weather conditions
  • Not suitable for larger homes
7 Best price

Generac Guardian 7030 – Best Standby Generator for Small Houses


  • True Power Technology
  • LED multilingual display for status updates
  • NEMA 3R outdoor aluminum enclosure
  • Powers 16 circuits to home
  • 9000 watts on liquid propane, 8000 watts on natural gas
  • 100-amp automatic transfer switch with an integrated load center

As part of the Guardian series, the 7030 is powered by G-force engine. Engineered and built in the USA, the engine can stand the test of time and requires little maintenance.  Plus, it is enclosed with aluminum that is powder-coated for durability.

This reasonably priced generator utilizes the Generac’s True Power Technology for a smooth operation. It also features a transfer switch that can power 16 circuits. This is quite impressive for a 9000 watts generator. Additionally, this machine is very fuel-efficient! It only consumes 36 cubic feet of propane per hour and 109 cubic feet of natural gas per hour at half load.

The power rating of this machine is competitively low. However, it will provide you with just enough power to keep water pump, fridge, coffee maker, heaters, and a few small electronics running.

In terms of noise level, it’s on the higher side considering its size. Furthermore, the battery is not included in the package, which is a bit disappointing.

In all, if you’re looking for a standby generator for your small house that does the job, the Guardian 7030 can be a perfect choice.

  • Low fuel consumption
  • Engine can handle the demanding environment
  • Automated with 16 circuits
  • Affordable
  • It’s a bit loud
  • Battery and Mobile Link are purchased separately

Buyers’ guide

There are so many models of standby generators on the market today. That’s making it essential to assess your needs before purchasing a good generator.

In this regard, consider things that will influence the performance, convenience, reliability, durability, and safety of the unit you intend to purchase. You also need to be conscious of how much you’re willing to spend on a standby generator.

That said, here are the key things to consider:

Power Output

This is probably the most important aspect that you need to consider. How much power does your home need? The answer is in a number and power consumption of appliances and tools you want to use in the event of an outage.

Typically, generators’ output is measured in watts/kilowatts. They come in various power capacities, from the 9 kilowatts like Guardian 7030 provides to 25 kilowatts like Briggs & Stratton offers. The higher the wattage, the more appliances it can power at any given time.

That’s why we’ve outlined units that are perfect for smaller homes and those that can power an entire house.

There are two ways to determine how much power your home needs. One is to add up the watts of your electrical appliances and fixtures you want to power. The second option is to use online calculators. They base their estimation on the square footage of your home plus the number and type of the appliances. While this option is hassle-free, the former is the most accurate.

Regardless, it’s always a good idea to add 1000 watts to the total in case you forget an item. Avoiding overload is paramount.

Noise Level

Nobody wants to be that neighbor with a noisy generator that keeps people up at night. Likewise, nobody likes the idea of being around someone who has a loud generator. This is probably the reason why most people don’t own a generator.

There are a number of generators like the Generac 7033 that are remarkably quiet and won’t bother you even at night.


Standby generators can come in a wide range of price points and can meet your particular needs. Knowing how much money you can spend can help you to determine the type of standby generator you’d like, as well as which specific model will work for you.

Taking time to window shop as you compare prices of different models and from different dealers can help you get the best standby generator deal.

Additional cost

Do I need to purchase anything separately? How much does the maintenance cost? How much are the spare parts? Standby generators don’t come cheap, and the last thing you’d want is additional costs. The 76180 model by Briggs & Stratton for instance, sell the automatic switch separately. This will add to the total cost of the machine that you probably hadn’t budgeted for.

When it comes to maintenance, check your user’s manual for detailed information. Generac generators are easier to maintain. Most models are equipped with the Mobile Link, so users can monitor and assess maintenance schedules and system updates.

Another thing to consider is the installation cost. Installing standby generators isn’t for rookies or DIY projects. It needs a professional. He or she will assess your home energy needs, prepare the site, select equipment necessary, and install the generator correctly. These costs vary from one contractor to another.

In case you can install it yourself, remember that standby generators are heavy, so it’s really hard to move or position where it’s needed. We suggest using a cart. Take a look at Generac 5685 Transport Cart. It can be used or any air-cooled standby generator.

best standby generator 4


Understanding a standby generator’s warranty is critical when buying one for any purpose. You need to know how long the warranty is and precisely what it covers. Don’t be swayed by lower-prices only to end up with a 1-year warranty deal that only covers mechanical parts.

Most standby generators have a five-year warranty as its evident on our list. It mostly covers parts and labor. However, there are some manufacturers like Champion Power that offer an impressive 10-year warranty.


Q: What Size Generator Do I Need for My House?

A: This depends on your power needs. First, list the appliances that you want to power during an outage. Secondly, check how many watts (both running and starting) each appliance needs and add them up. All appliances have the wattage info at the data plate on the back. You can as well use the wattage meter or online calculator.

Q: How Long Can My Standby Generator Run for?

A: This solely depends on the fuel source. Generators on natural gas can run for days on end since there is an unlimited supply of gas from the utility company. Machines running on liquid propane, however, provide power with the amount of fuel in the tank.

Regardless of the run time, it’s not wise to keep the generator running nonstop for days. You need to shut it off periodically to let the engine cool off.

Q: Are Standby Generators Worth it?

A: There’s no definitive answer to this question. People have different needs and view things differently. How often do you experience power outage? How long can you stay without electricity? Are you preparing for an upcoming hurricane/ storm? Can you keep up with the inconveniences of portable generators? Answers to these questions can help you figure it out.

However, standby generators are undeniably the safest and most convenient solution for a power outage.

Q: Does Installing a Standby Generator Increase Home Value?

A: If installed legally and properly, a standby generator can increase your home resale value. In fact, it can even increase by 3 to 5 percent according to consumer reports. In short, it’s a worthy investment.


best standby generator 5

There is no doubt that generators as a whole have made our lives a little bit more convenient. By turning automatically when the power goes out, a standby generator means you can continue to bake or watch a movie as if nothing happened. Besides the convenience, these units are very scalable depending on your needs.

If you want whole house protection, the Briggs & Stratton 76180 with its 25 kW power and reliable performance can be up to the task. If you want a generator to power only essential equipment, units like Champion Power can serve you well.

However, we feel Generac 70432 is the best standby generator thanks to its lowest cost per kilowatt MSRP of residential units, massive 22000 -watts power rating, 24/7 customer support, and many innovative features.

You have read the article! Great job! Do not forget to rate the article.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      Login/Register access is temporary disabled