While many people use a portable generator for these situations, the optimal solution is to have a standby generator, connected to the home via a transfer switch that can activate in seconds, when there is a loss of grid power.
These standby generators typically run on propane or natural gas and can run as long as fuel is supplied. These are static units connected to the home and can supply power to either the entire home or selected parts, depending on the specific wiring.
Understanding Standby Generators
Standby generators are static units, as previously mentioned, however typically they also should be installed by a qualified technician as they are usually wired into the main circuit coming into the home. This fact makes it imperative that you purchase a generator that will supply the majority of the home, and specifically any critical appliances required in an outage.
For those with medical equipment, this also includes making sure that any standby generator provides clean and steady power as the sensitive nature of the device can be disrupted by variable power coming from a generator.
Most appliances, including AC units, freezers and sump pumps cause a surge in power demand when first activated. Therefore, it is also important to understand the surge demand.
To accurately determine your power demand, add all the voltage of the appliances to be used then multiple by the accumulated amperage to derive the total continual wattage demand. Afterwards, add 1-500 Watts of surge capacity for each AC unit, freezer, fridge and sump pump that will be part of the system. Often, the surge wattage can be found by consulting the owners manual of the specific appliance in question.
Five Great Standby Home Generators
Best Home Standby Generator System for Power Outages
Briggs and Stratton has been a household name in power equipment for generations and in the last several decades have branches into the generator market. Known for reliability, this generator – Briggs & Stratton Model #40445 Generator produces 8000 Watts of house running electricity.
Designed to activate in seconds when there is a power loss, this generator comes with a 50 amp transfer switch and is designed to be easy to install and run. You can purchase an optional wireless monitor to keep track of all aspects of the unit. This is an great standby generator for a small home.
Best Gas Powered Standby Generator under $3000
Producing everything from portable generators to large industrial gen sets, this standby generator – Generac Model #6438 Generator continues with the quality tradition that is Generac. Running on natural gas or propane, this 11,000 Watt generator is ready to power your home during an outage.
It is fully CARB compliant and self starting, this unit comes with a 200 Amp transfer switch to get power to your home. Solid and well built exterior, this quality generator will stand ready for years to come to supply power to you, when you need it.
Top Standby Backup Generator System
This generator – Briggs & Stratton Model #40346 Generator supplies a generous 20,000 Watts of electricity, more than enough to a medium to large home. It comes with a 200 Amp transfer switch and will activate in seconds when a loss is detected. Additionally, it can be places as close as 18 inches to the home, perfect for tight spaces.
Well built quality exterior does not require painting and will last for years. Backed by an industry leading four year warranty, this generator stands read to supply you with the power that you need, when you need it most.
Best Dual Fuel Home Standby Generator
This EPA approved generator – Kohler 20 Kw Series 83Amp Generator uses both natural gas or propane and can be placed close to the home. It does require a transfer switch to supply the power to the home, as this is just the generator.
This unit has a polymer base, so there is no need for a concrete pad and the exterior construction allows for easy access and fast maintenance. This is an excellent generator for any home and will be there to supply you power when the grid fails.
Best Standby Generator for Home Outages
This 20,000 Watt generator – Kohler Model #20RESAL-100LC16 Generator comes with a transfer switch and the exterior is designed to corrosion resistant so it can be eased in seaside settings.
It is air cooled and will start within 10 seconds of a detectable outage. It has an easy access panel and the transfer switch is 100 amp service. It has less than five percent total harmonic distortion, meaning the power is very clean and stable.
This powerful generator will allow you to run multiple large appliances at once and the run time is near unlimited on propane or natural gas. A generator for any home that requires power.
For optimal results, please follow closely the maintenance cycle. Additionally, be sure to test your standby generator at least once even six month to ensure it is ready and able to supply power when needed.