Standby generators differ significantly from portable generators in many respects. Standby generators are static units that sit close to the home and are usually tied into the home electrical grid via a transfer switch.
This allows the generator to detect a drop in utility power and, therefore, activate quickly to supply power to the home.
Additionally, standby generators are usually powered by residential gas connections such a propane or natural gas and thus have a longer run time.
While standby generators can be purchased in the lower wattages, usually they offer enough power to supply the entire home. While some companies product both portable and standby units, not every company who produces a portable also makes a standby generator.
What’s In A Name?
Often, generators are engineered in the States but assembled in other countries and even with generators that are produced in the U.S., quality can vary. What is important about the name of the manufacturer is how long that manufacturer has been in business and the reputation it has.
In addition, some generators will have multiple components from different companies. The alternator could be from one company and the engine from another, thus complicating the brand identity further. The best option is to do the research necessary on a specific model as the quality can vary from model to model.
Top Rated Standby Generator for Home
While there have been some issues in the past with different Generac models, the newer models employ new “smart” technology that adds, even more, versatility to their line and significantly improved quality.
A good example of an affordable, Generac generator for home standby use is the Generac Model #6438.
It produces 11K Watts of power, enough for an average size home and it has all the necessary parts and components to get you set up right away. It comes with a two-year warranty and it is fully CARB compliant. Perfect for any home.
Best Rated Standby Generator to Buy
Yes, the company that makes plumbing fixtures also makes standby generators. For generations, Kohler has been producing a wide range of products since it introduced the enameled bathtub back in the 1800’s.
Because this process required electricity the company expanded into the power generation market producing large industrial generators for power plants and over the years have refined the process down to standby generators for residential use.
A good example is the Kohler Model #20RESAL-100LC16. It produces over 20K Watts of power and it comes with a transfer switch. One important thing about Kohler standby generators is they have models rated for seaside use and are highly corrosion resistant.
Most Reliable Standby Generator
Briggs & Stratton has been a household name in outdoor equipment for generations. Taking their knowledge and experience with small engines and translating it into power generators was not a large leap.
Since adding them to the lineup, Briggs & Stratton generators have increased in use to now rank near the third in the generator market, for both standby and portable power.
For Briggs & Stratton standby units, the Briggs & Stratton Model #40346 generator offers good representation. Producing over 20K Watts of power and includes a transfer switch. Backed by a four-year warranty and with their legendary customer service, this generator offers plenty of peace of mind in case of a power failure.
Excellent Standby Generator for Homeowners
While their line is more limited in models that the other manufacturers, their experience in producing quality, industrial gen-sets have filtered down to their residential cousins.
The main difference is that often other parts such as transfer switches are required during installation and do not come with the units. However, this also means you can install it any way you like for the most part.
A good unit for consideration is Cummins Model #RS20 / GSBB. It produces up to 20K Watts like the other generators but it does not come with the 12V battery for electric starting. It does have one feature the others don’t. It has a remote web server set up for operation and monitoring.
When considering a standby generator for your home the best option is to look at the features you want at the power level you need and then research the specific models in those categories.
Compare warranties and look into the quality of their customer service. The key is information and the more information you have, the better your buying decision will be.