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Power outages are a familiar occurrence. Horrid weather conditions remain the biggest culprit.

You want to keep using those power gurgling appliances. But the average gas generators don’t cut it.

Whole home generators are what you need.

Generac 6237Briggs & Stratton 40303Generac 6438Kohler 20RESCL-200SELSBriggs & Stratton 40396
48 x 25 x 29 inches48 x 33 x 30.5 inches29 x 25 x 48 inches29 x 26.2 x 48 inches31 x 34 x 48 inches
8/7 kW LP/NG18,5(15)/17(14) kW LP/NG11 kW20/18 kW LP/NG20 kW
33.3/29.2 Amps LP/NG125/62.5, 116.7/58.3 Amps LP/NG45.8/41.7 Amps LP/NG83/75 Amps LP/NG83/75 Amps LP/NG
Steel EnclosureGalvanneal steel enclosuresSteel EnclosureComposite enclosuresGalvanneal steel enclosures
Natural gas or liquid propanePropane (LP vapor), natural gasNatural gas or liquid propaneNatural gas or liquid propanePropane (LP vapor), natural gas
DetailsDetailsDetailsDetailsDetails

This review is focused on providing you with information on the best whole house generators.

Let get to it!

Generac 6237 Whole House Generator

Generac 6237 Guardian Series

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First on this best generator reviews is the Generac 6237. This whole house generator has an impressive power output of about 7000 – 8000 watts. This depends on the fuel used. Such an output should cater for all your appliances without any problem.

The Generac 6237 uses any of two gas fuels; natural gas or liquid propane. You will find this beneficial since these hydrocarbons burn efficiently. This is in comparison to gasoline.

This unit is built to supply stable electricity thanks to Generac’s innovative technology. You can power your sensitive appliances without fears of damage. It has a fuel tank capacity of about 250 gallons. This should last long enough to accomplish your desired needs.

It has a mechanism which protects the engine against damage. This shuts down the generator when either the fuel or oil levels are low. The unit automatically starts when there’s a power outage.

The unit is built to weather the storm. Its exterior is made of galvanized steel. You won’t have to expend your resources on a concrete base. It comes with a mounting pad to eliminate this need.

PROS:
  • Sufficient power output
  • It’s not cumbersome to install
  • Uses propane or natural gas
  • Automatically starts on a power outage
CONS:
  • Reviews by customers suggests a flawed service
  • Generac doesn’t honor its warranty claims
  • Loads of problems associated with consistent use of the generator
  • Expensive
CONCLUSION:
The Generac 6237 is a decent generator but with a lot of drawbacks. The company not honoring the warranty on their product is appalling. It’s not advisable to purchase this unit.

Briggs & Stratton 40303 15,000 Watt Natural Gas Home Standby Generator

Briggs & Stratton 40303

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Briggs and Stratton are one of the best brands in the industry. The B&G 40303 is another generator which runs on natural gas or propane. It commences operation seconds after a power outage.

This unit has a power output of about 15KW; 14KW on natural gas. With this amount of power, you can run all your appliances. It’s just like you never went off the grid. Noise level is supposed to be low. At least that’s what the use of specific components and technology tells us. But it’s quite loud.

This top rated whole house generator was built to withstand the rigors of outdoor use. The water and rustproof enclosure provide evidence of such. It could last years without any problems.

The size of this top-rated generator is just perfect though it’s heavy. It comes with a four-year warranty offer. This should inspire a much-needed confidence if you have doubts.

PROS:
  • Efficient performance
  • Power output is tremendous
  • A 4-year warranty offer is remarkable
  • This generator is apparently well-built
  • It is great in an emergency
  • 2000 hour or 5-year warranty
CONS:
  • Costly to install
  • Noise level is unpleasant
CONCLUSION:
The Briggs & Stratton 40303 is a good quality generator. It comes highly recommended as indicated by customer reviews. Want your entire house powered up? Buying this unit might be a great idea.

Generac 6438 11,000 Watt Gas Powered House Generator

Generac 6438 11,000 Standby Generator

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Another unit considered in this review of top standby generators is the Generac 6438. Its power output is a substantial 10KW. This should be adequate for your entire household.

The smart transfer switch ensures you are never left in the dark when a power outage occurs. It runs on natural gas or liquid propane. This has an added advantage of a more efficient engine. Our environment benefits greatly from this.

Generac’s patent technology ensures the power output is stable. You can enjoy your sensitive appliances without worries. It uses an electric start. However, this requires a battery which is sold separately.

It has an LCD. This provides vital information and gives you control over the activity of the generator. This cheap house generator is built to survive the harsh conditions of the outdoors. A galvanized steel enclosure is sufficient proof.

PROS:
  • It is affordable considering the output
  • Installation cost is budget friendly
  • Power output is satisfactory
  • Your sensitive appliances are well catered for
  • It has a commendable design
CONS:
  • Maintenance cost is rather high
  • Generac fails to honor its 2-year warranty offer
CONCLUSION:
This is a decent whole house backup generator. It has a power output capable of keeping your house warm during power outages. Generac’s nonchalance to its warranty offer is the main drawback to buying this unit.

Kohler 20RESCL-200SELS 20,000-Watt Standby Generator

Kohler 20RESCL 20,000-Watt

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Interested in a stationary generator with more power? The Kohler 20RESCL has a massive power output of about 20KW. It automatically powers your house when the grid falters.

There’s a lag time of a few seconds which is remarkable. To ensure the unit performs at an optimal level it is air cooled through vents in the enclosure.

The transfer switch of this generator is available in two options rated: 100 Amp and 200 Amp. Sizing is just about average though it’s somewhat heavy. You’re assured of stable power due to a less than 5% harmonic distortion. This prevents your expensive appliances from damage.

This home backup generator has a decibel rating of just around 69dB. This is satisfactory for such a powerful unit. The Kohler 20RESCL 200SELS is built to work outdoors. The enclosure ensures the unit is protected against the elements. This improves the durability of the generator.

A specific battery type is needed for the smooth operation of this unit. This high quality standby generator has the automatic load shedding feature. This comes in handy when a load of your household exceeds the output of the unit.

PROS:
  • Well built generator
  • Awesome power output
  • It comes with a five years warranty offer
  • Noise level isn’t disturbing
CONS:
  • Support staffs lack the required information
  • Maintenance cost can be incredulous
CONCLUSION:
The Kohler brand wasn’t letdown with this generator. It performs well and would serve a full house of appliances without faltering. Their warranty package indicates the company’s trust in its unit.

Briggs & Stratton 40396 Home Standby Generator System

Briggs & Stratton 40346 20000-Watt Home Standby Generator System with 200 Amp Automatic Transfer Switch

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To complete this home generators review is the Briggs & Stratton 40396 generator system. It has a power output of about 20KW. This should prove adequate for all the appliances in your home.

It comes with a 100 amp transfer switch. Depending on the power of the appliances your household uses, this might be inefficient. You can opt for a bigger one, but this is more costly.

The fuel type for this unit is either propane or natural gas. It gives you an option. This is great when you consider the availability of the gases. It requires a battery to power certain electrical components.

Noise level isn’t loud. The use of innovative technology reduces the noise generated. It wouldn’t be a source of disturbance to your neighborhood. This good home generator has the load shedding capability. You will find this handy if you have a wide array of power consuming appliances.

The unit comes in an enclosure to protect it against the weather. Made from galvanized steel, the enclosure will not deteriorate prematurely. You wouldn’t have to worry about improvising in the long run.

PROS:
  • It is a dependable generator
  • It comes with a 5-year limited warranty offer
  • Power output is amazing
  • Lower noise generated
CONS:
  • Maintenance and accessory cost are on the high side
  • It’s not easy to install
CONCLUSION:
The Briggs & Stratton 40396 would make a great standby generator. It has power and durability on its side. Add the warranty coverage, and you will be glad you purchased it.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a House Generator

You might be wondering:

“What do I need to know if I am to choose a house generator?”

Well, put simply, a lot.

But not worry, they are not technical. You will understand thanks to the outlined factors.

Cost

This could alter your decision to purchase a house generator. These heavy power generating devices are not cheap. Rather, they could cost you thousands of dollars. And that’s excluding the maintenance cost.

You could spend a substantial amount of money running a home generator system. Installation cost will also be taken into the big picture. You will need to be sure of what you want and your financial capability to make it happen.

Fuel type

Every generator requires a source of fuel. The house variety is not an exception. They often use diesel, liquid propane, and natural gas. Your choice of fuel could affect the cost of running the generator. How available is the said fuel? This is another relevant question.

Your locality and its rules could affect your choice of fuel. Keep this in mind.

Installation

Due to the technical nature of the setup of a house generator, a trained technician will be needed. This adds to the cost of the entire process. Also, you will need to decide on the perfect place to set up the unit.

Transfer switch type

This device is responsible for the switch in power source. It is often of two types; manual and automatic. The transfer switch is available in difference Ampere ratings.

Your choice of this gadget is dependent on the coverage. Is the generator installed to cater for only specific tools or the entire house appliances? You will need to answer this question to find out the most suitable transfer switch for you.

How About the Price of a Home Generator?

Now:

House generators are expensive.

That’s a fact.

They supply ample power for most of your appliances.

But what’s the possible price range? This depends on the type of generator. There’s also the installation cost.

The best price for a backup house generator is affected its power output. A unit with an output lower than 20KW cost within $3000 – $5000. Those capable of delivering 20KW and beyond could have a price tag of as much as $10000.

It’s essential you calculate the total wattage of your property before purchasing a house generator. This could prevent a major disaster after installation.

You will also need to consider the cost of installing a unit. This often ranges from $500 to $1000. The cost of useful accessories could amount to something as well.

Backup Generator Comparison: Kohler vs. Generac

You are probably thinking:

“Which is better between the Kohler and Generac?”

You are not alone. Many have asked the same question. The Kohler vs. Generac debates has also taken place in the past.

Well, let’s throw more light on both rivals.

Kohler and Generac are two brands whose popularity has grown. One is a newcomer, the other – a veteran. Their house generators are probably up there with the best. They differ in several ways besides power output. The most conspicuous differences are seen in two aspects:

Controller board

This provides vital information concerning the operation of the generator. Generac uses the Evolution controller board. It has mobile connectivity. You will also get activity logs. There’s a USB port with which you can update its firmware.

Kohler generators have the DC or RDC2 controllers. This lacks the level of sophistication of Generac’s Evolution. A strong evidence of such is the absence of any USB port.

Enclosure material

Both brands use different materials for their generators.

Kohler utilizes modified plastic for the enclosure of their units. This could put your property in danger if not correctly spaced.

Generac generators possess only metal enclosures. This is much safer compared to that of a Kohler unit.