Witnessing a natural disaster like a flood, earthquake or a hurricane can be a terrifying experience in itself. A subsequent power outage and long periods without electricity can be a nightmare. This is why having power backup is indispensable in case of emergencies. This is far more crucial if you reside in disaster prone areas.
Thus, we recommend that you understand and go through our carefully curated guide on the best home emergency generator for your survival needs so that you are ready to face any situation with ease. A reliable power generator greatly minimizes the impact of such disasters and emergencies.
Top 15 Best Home Emergency Generators 2021
This high-capacity, dual fuel generator is portable and functions well as a home backup generator. It is popular for its affordability and versatility as a standby generator. It also holds enough power for all your household energy needs. When running on gasoline, this engine is powerful enough to deliver about 12,000 Watts and 9,500 surge and continuous power respectively.
Apart from the fact that it is great if you want your electronic devices to run efficiently, this heavy-build generator comes with solid-fill wheels. These wheels are greatly convenient in places like construction sites. In addition, the full metal frame with complete isolated motor location acts as a protective case for the generator.
- Dual capabilities
- Long run-time with a simple switch to the other fuel
- Top quality build, perfect for construction sites
- 74 dB noise level is considerably high
With a surge wattage of about 5,500 W, this is a great portable-yet-efficient generator. This fuel-powered unit can deal with the day-to-day requirements of your house along with any emergency needs. If you are fond of travelling in a recreational vehicle and are looking for the best home emergency generator, you should check out the Duromax XP5500EH.
It is also great for all those occasions, parties and get-togethers that require uninterrupted electricity for very long periods of time. This model from Duromax has gained great popularity owing to its high power, dual fuel capability and portability.
- Has GFCI included
- Dual fuel capacity
- Low energy consumption
- Very lightweight
- No remote start feature
- Shorter runtime
If you have a small budget and want a trustworthy portable generator, you should check out the Durostar DS4000S. It offers great help even in remote locations without easy access to power sources, like construction sites and campgrounds. This user-friendly generator is easy to handle especially if you have zero experience with operating generators.
The fuel gauge keeps the users informed of the level of fuel present in the 4 gallon fuel tank. Given the size and power of this generator, the sound generated by it is relatively low (owing to the muffler system) compared to other models.
- Considerably long run time
- High efficiency
- No wheels. Difficult to transport
- Not so quiet
With the Jackery portable generator, you can stay charged on the go. It has an AC output port which lets you charge devices that are rated less than 200 watts since the continuous power of the jackery portable power station explorer is 200 W.
The auto shut off technology of the generator is another advantage. The convenient and easy-to-read LCD screen offers accurate readings of power. In addition, a portable battery charger allows you to easily charge USB-compatible devices.
- Offers green power solutions in the outdoors
- Clean and eco-friendly power
- Easy recharge owing to the efficient solar panel
- Takes a long time to recharge the battery
One of the advantages of the new Champion portable generator is its dual capability to run on gas or propane. You can connect it to the fuel tank right after taking it out of the box. When running on propane, this generator is efficient enough to offer 3800W for about 10 and a half hours on a single propane tank of 20lb capacity.
What’s better? It has an electrical start option. It is popular as it is both affordable and easy to handle. It also features a low oil sensor light that alerts users before hitting the ground level. In addition to the sensor, it also has a low oil shut off feature which is great at helping maintain the life of the generator.
- Convenient to use
- CARB compliant
- Affordable price
- Light in weight
- Comes with a wheel kit
- Not so quiet
This dual fuel portable generator can be relied on in case of any natural disaster or emergency. This is because LPG is often easily available and offers better storage options. It has an 8-gallon fuel tank that can provide 12 hours of continuous operation at 50 percent load while running on gasoline.
It also comes with wheels for enhanced mobility and convenient storage. In addition, it features low oil auto shut off technology, easy-to-use dropdown handles, a 3-in-1 digital meter, and automatic voltage regulation thereby reducing the hassle.
- Great mobility
- Up to 12 hours of continuous operation
- Dual-fuel capability
- Auto shut off technology
- Not so quiet
The FlashFish 200W generator is designed for supplying power to recreational outdoor activities. Despite the small size, it offers a huge capacity of 150 Wh and is a great choice for those who prefer portable generators. This all-in-one power station can fulfill your demands for energy wherever you need it- be it for camping or events or emergencies.
However, this generator cannot support and supply power to devices rated higher than 200 W- like microwave ovens, toasters, and heaters. On the other hand, it does the job of lighting up your surroundings, charging your devices, and powering up delicate appliances pretty well. Features like short-circuit protection, low voltage protection, etc are a bonus.
- BMS technology offers higher protection
- Dual-fuel capability
- Cannot supply enough power for your household needs
WEN is known to deliver top-quality generators at affordable prices, and the DF475T dual-fuel portable generator is no different. It has a decent run time of about 11 hours on gasoline and about 7 hours on propane. There is enough power for when you are out tailgating or trying to power your appliances in an RV.
This CARB compliant generator features an electric start, never-flat tires, folding handles, and a fuel type switch. Not just that, this generator is backed with 2 years of warranty from the manufacturer and has easily accessible customer service for a hassle-free experience.
- Dual-fuel capability
- Limited power outlets
- Limited display
Generac released the 7127 range of inverter generators that calim to be super quiet. In addition to less noise, these generators also feature Powerrush advanced technology that offers about 50 percent higher starting capacity in a sleek and compact design.
The generator also has handles on either side of the machine to ease transport. The under friendly and the LCD display along with the electrical start feature are a bonus. The Power Dial helps in conveniently integrating about 3 kinds of different operational settings into one dial.
- Intuitive LCD display
- Great power output
- Parallel compatibility
- Better fuel efficiency
- Comparatively heavy for this model of generators.
The 4750 portable generator from Wen is capable of running up to about 11 hours at 50 percent load capacity. It comes with a considerably sized gas tank of about 4 gallons and has sufficient fuel efficiency. It also has foldaway handles and comes in a smoothly rolling set of wheels to ensure seamless mobility.
The electric start switch, low-oil shut-off technology, automatic voltage regulator, hour meter, and overload protection guarantee ensure that all your appliances are safe and they run securely. This CARB compliant generator is powerful, efficient, and has a compact design.
- Digital readout aids in the management and maintenance of oil levels
- Automatic voltage regulator
- Overload protection
- Compact design
- Easy to maneuver
- Build quality isn’t great
This easy-to-use inverter generator can be started just by the pull of a string and the turn of a knob. The convenient control panel offers easy navigation between the features. In addition, the generator also alerts users in case of low oil, overload, and output readiness. The 2 USB ports can be used to charge all your electronic devices.
It is not new information that most of the generators operate at the level of 70 to 78 dB. However, at about 25 percent load, the noise rating for the Westinghouse inverter generator is about 52 dB from approximately 20 feet away. This is thus considered a quiet generator and is obviously one of the best home emergency generators.
- Low noise
- Simple to use
- Low maintenance
- High power output
- Good design
- Plastic construction
This budget solar generator has 3 USB outlets for conveniently charging all your USB devices like mobiles and cameras. The generator is made from a combination of plastic and metals, which enhances the overall quality of the generator. It is light in weight and is thus great for all outdoor applications.
This generator can easily be recharged via solar panels or AC wall outlets. If both the above options are unavailable, the generator can also be charged by using your car’s charging port. Multiple safety features along with the manufacturer’s warranty make this a hassle-free experience for customers.
- Lightweight design
- Built-in handles make transport easy
- Huge battery capacity
- Long run time
- A variety of safety protections that offer good usability
- No USB type C port
This powerful generator from Champion is perfect for those who love to go out and explore new places in RVs. This generator is 100 percent RV-ready and can be used immediately after unboxing. It is capable of switching between 2 different kinds of fuels, i.e, propane, and unleaded fuel.
The power supply is coupled with a design that prioritizes safety at all levels. The generator also features technology like auto shut sensors to alert users when the oil is low. It also comes with a display that has useful data. Compared to the other models, this inverter generator is relatively quiet with a noise level of about 68 dBA from approximately 23 feet away.
- Safety-first design
This portable generator from Westinghouse comes with 3700 W of continuous power and 4500 W of surge power, along with a convenient dual fuel option. This gasoline-powered engine runs super quietly, making just about 52 dB of sound, and has twice the power of usual inverter generator models.
This model from Westinghouse is a great choice for all the people who need higher power but do not want to end up with high end, loud and immobile units. However, the huge battery tends to make the generator look bigger and feel heavier.
- Compact design
- Convenient LCD control panel
- Not parallel capable
One of the best home emergency generators, this model from Generac is sturdy, reliable, and powerful. Generac also offers a 5-year manufacturer warranty on the 22,000 W unit. This model boasts the highest capacity of a generator when running on propane, and is sufficient to power huge homes with lots of electrical appliances.
The multilingual LCD display can be used for careful monitoring of the battery, and the study body is coated by Rhinocoat powder. Along with the automatic self-test, this standby generator will be ready to operate just in a few seconds when there is a power outage.
- Dual fuel
- Weather resistance
- Multilingual LCD display
- Quiet self-test mode
- Low THD
- Mobile link remote monitoring system
- Excludes battery
Factors To Consider Before Buying Best Home Emergency Generator
The wattage of the generator is an indicator of the amount of power it has to operate whenever devices are plugged into it. Obviously, this is one of the most important things to know about the generator you are planning to invest in. Here is a simple way to know how much wattage you need in a generator.
Simply add up the number of watts of all appliances that you wish to connect to a generator in case of a power outage. This will give you a brief idea of the amount of load you need your generator to handle.
In addition, pay close attention to starting watts vs running watts. Many generators will require a higher amount of power to start up than while they are running. Thus, do not forget to add this starting value to the number of watts you calculated above.
Here are some rough numbers that help you sum up the basic necessities.
- Refrigerator: 600 watts
- Sump pump: 750 to 1,500 watts
- Portable heater: 1,500 watts
- Window air conditioner: 1,000 watts
- Lights: 60 to 600 watts
- Computers: 60 to 300 watts
2. Type Of Fuel
The three commonly used sources of fuels include natural gas, gasoline and propane. Of these three, most generators are powered by gasoline but have special cautions with regard to the exhaust fumes and carbon monoxide poisoning. It is thus important to operate such a generator outside of closed structures like houses or garages where there is plenty of ventilation.
On the contrary, natural gas and propane are the chosen alternatives for larger home standby generators. These fuels are much cleaner compared to gasoline. If you are concerned about the pollution a generator might create, you can always switch to a solar-powered model.
Although the capabilities and run times of solar-powered generators vary a great degree, they could be the right option for you if you have minimal needs.
3. Automatic Start
The automatic start feature of a generator allows it to get started immediately after the power goes out in your house/office, without the manual start-up process. This mightbe especially valuable if you frequently go on long trips away from your house. With a generator that starts on its own, you can be at peace as the vital systems like HVACs and sump pumps will still be up and functional.
On the other hand, some of them feature an electronic start option. This implies that the generator can be started by pushing a button instead of a recoil start type seen in small motor machines.
4. Transfer Switch
If you are planning on giving power to hardwired appliances in the event of a power outage, it is best to look for a machine that can be installed to work with a functional transfer switch. A professionally set up transfer switch will take care of safely disconnecting your house from the power grid and will supply power to the required circuits alone.
Which Type Of Generator Is Best For You?
Yes, we know there are too many models and variants available in the market to choose from. If you are confused about how to pick the right one for your needs, read this concise section to find out which kind of generator you might need.
1. Portable Generators
The most popular models of generators come in compact sizes and are usually mounted on wheels for enhanced mobility and positioning. From serving as an auxiliary source of power on sites to keeping appliances up and running during power outages, they are perfect for everything.
These generators require gasoline or propane as fuel. For this reason, they should always be left in open spaces and not inside enclosed buildings or garages. They are best suited for powering a minimal number of appliances. Therefore, check the wattage of the model you wish to buy beforehand and compare it to the required demands of energy.
This is one of the most sought after alternatives to noisy and stationary home generators. It is powered by gasoline but has quickly gained popularity owing to its high efficiency and cleaner emission. It is commonly used in recreational activities like tailgating and camping.
An inverter generator could be the best home emergency generator for your needs if you are looking for something that is compact yet fuel-efficient. It is great for occasional recreational activities. You could also choose a more robust model if you are planning to operate it at home.
While robust models have greater height and weight dimensions, the efficiency of fuel consumption and the significantly reduced noise factor make this device a worthwhile investment.
3. Home Standby
Are you on the hunt for the best home emergency generator that comes with a huge capacity and can supply power for longer periods? Thanks to a readily available supply of fuel and high wattages, these home standby generators can supply for several days together if their fuel needs are taken care of from time to time.
These units are usually installed outside the houses and are connected to a fuel tank that is filled with propane or natural gas. The capacity of these tanks ranges anywhere between 500 gallons to 1,000 gallons in size and can easily last you a week’s duration or more.
These home standby generators usually have higher wattage and can power a variety of appliances at your home like HVACs, kitchen equipment, televisions, sump pumps, etc. The majority of the residential standby models of generators offer a wattage between 10,000 and 20,000 units of power. Some also offer up to 48,000 watts for greater durations of uninterrupted power.
Maintenance And Warranties
Even if the power does not go out frequently at your place, it is important to fire the generator up once in a while and let it run for some time. This ensures that the generator is in tip-top shape. Most manufactures provide you with information pertaining to basic maintenance.
However, the following pointers need to be followed to be sure of a safely functioning generator.
- Let the generator run for at least 30 minutes per month. This will ensure that the motor and other components inside do not seize up and become prone to breakage. It is crucial to do these short maintenance runs in a fully-ventilated and open area.
- Buy a fuel stabilizer and add it to the tank when you store a gasoline-powered generator for long periods of time. This additive will ward off any rust, sediment, or corrosion. Did you know that gas gone bad is one of the top causes of small engine failures? Thus, we advise you to not take proper fuel storage lightly.
- Regular repairs and replacement of motor components (if necessary) should be done to minimize the failure of the generator. Look out for those constituents of the generator that are prone to damage/wear and tear like fuel and air filters, spark plugs, etc.
- Do not let your generator run on low oil. By doing so, you are inviting major motor/engine damage. Keep an eye on oil levels and replenish them whenever necessary.
Most generators today are backed by a manufacturer’s warranty. Most residential portable and inverter generators come with about 2 to 3 years of warranty periods from the brand, which takes care of parts and labor charges. On the other hand, standby generators, which are usually a bigger investment, come with 3 to 5 years of warranty periods.
The terms and conditions of these warranties vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some of them take care of the cost of travel for a technician to visit your residence and service the generator. On the other hand, some do not cover these costs and will require the customer to pay.
Thus, it is advisable to pay attention to the fine print and know what will be covered in this regard beforehand.
Best Home Emergency Generators – Summing Up
During power outages, it is essential to have a generator that will keep you, your family, and your house warm in winters and cool in summers. Although the investment is considerable, we can assure you that it is worth every penny you spend. You no longer have to adjust to cold food or worry about your phones and laptops running out of charge.
Most people decide to invest in home emergency generators in case unforseen events like major storms were to occur. This makes them take desperate decisions without having the time to plan and analyze the real utility of such a generator. They might skip the basic and crucial safety steps during setup and many people die every year from carbon monoxide related poisoning.
Therefore, we advise you to consider our brief guide to help you buy the best home generator, calculate how much wattage you need, carefully examine the features of the generator, and cautiously get the unit up and running at your home!