Is a Whole House Generator Worth It - Pros and Cons

Electricity has revolutionized our world and we can’t imagine our life without it. But due to the changes in the environment globally, we have seen some unusual power outages. In a storm or flood, you can’t expect electricity. At this time you must need a whole house backup generator. So, my answer is a Big YES! Yes, a whole-house generator is totally worth it. This is a lifetime investment that your house needs.

But how the whole house generator is worth it and what it can do for you and your family. There are some questions that most people ask. If you continue reading this article we will get the answer and it will help you a lot in finding the best generator for your home. So, let’s start;

What is a Whole House Generator?

The simple answer is a whole-house generator is often called a backup generator that powers your house at the time of power outages. It is installed outside your home. These generators can run on all three fuel types propane, gasoline, and natural gas. It depends on the availability of fuel sources.

Do I need a Whole House Generator?

Everyone doesn’t need a whole-house generator. It depends on the situation you are facing. First of all, ask yourself some questions and then find the answer. If you live in areas where there is always a chance of a storm, flood, or another climatic disaster? Do you own a big house? Do you have such appliances that need a continuous power source? Do you have a big family?

Do I need a Whole House Generator

If the answer is yes, then you really need a whole house generator that with back up your home electricity supply. Now let’s discuss these situations.

Climatic Conditions

If you live in areas where the climatic conditions are drastic, you need a backup generator for your home. Because of these conditions, you can expect a long time power outage. So sometimes when there is a severe frost, you need to heat your home otherwise the pipelines burst. And for continuously heating your house you need a backup generator.

Big House

A big house, where you don’t live alone has many heavy appliances that need to be stay powered all the time. Here again, you need a back power. Or people also have some medical equipment like dialysis machines and they continuously need a supply of power.

Work from Home

With the widespread pandemic situations, many people have shifted their physical job to online jobs where they have to stay home and work from there. In this condition, you need a power supply that will not intercept your job task.

Pros and Cons of Whole House Generator

A whole-house generator or a standby generator is getting more popular day by day. People depend on them as these generators provide a safe and secure solution to power outages. But every technology has its upsides and downsides and we will discuss both here.

Pros and Cons of Whole House Generator

Whole House Generator – Pros

  • Whole house generators are connected permanently to your house connections. It can supply you with power to run your appliances as long as the fuel is enough. You don’t need to worry about power outages.
  • Whole house generators can also save you and your family from severe frost when there is a chance of a pipeline bursting. It keeps your heaters on and balances the room temperature.
  • These generators are hassle-free. You don’t have to go all time to turn on them; they automatically turn on because of their built-in technology.
  • Sensors are present in the generator that automatically detects the low fuel supply and you can refill that easily.
  • These generators have CO Alert technology to detect any carbon monoxide that could be highly dangerous for you and your family.
  • In extended power outages, the generator backup plan is highly efficient.
  • Now you can work from home without any tension of power outages.
    Fortunately, these generators can also recharge your vehicle batteries.
  • These whole-house generators are less noisy as compared to portable generators.

Whole House Generators – Cons

  • The most common disadvantage is the price of these generators that most people face. These generators are very expensive because of the latest technology used in their manufacturing.
  • These generators though placed outside your home but take up a lot of space because their size is large compared to portable generators. So if you have a small house, these generators are not for you.
  • As these generators are very heavy so on whole they are noisy, if you placed them near your living area. I usually recommend putting these generators in the garage or at least 30 to 60 feet away from your home.

Alternative to Whole House Generator – GO GREEN

Though generators are very popular still there are some people who really care about the environment and feel that there must be some alternative to the whole-house generator. As these generators release dangerous gases into the air and can be harmful to all of us.

So on the safer side, there are some eco-friendly alternative generators that you can use to power your home available. Let’s have a look at these green options.

1. Solar Panels

Solar Panels are the most eco-friendly and durable options as an alternative to the whole house or portable generators. People are now more educated and know what these panels have for you in the box.

All you have to do is arrange solar plates that are facing toward the sun and a battery to save all the solar energy. Batteries then convert this solar energy into electrical energy. This eco-friendly solution is the best solution if you want a long-term and budget-friendly solution.

Solar Panels

2. Wind Turbines

Another great green option is the use of Wind Turbines in place of generators. Wind turbines are also a valuable resource for you. You have to invest in it at once and within a few years; you will get that through its amazing output.

Wind turbines rotate on their own axis and convert wind into kinetic energy. This in turn converts into electrical energy. But wind turbines have some limitations. You can’t be able to use turbines in your small place. If you have a very large space like some farmland then it is very beneficial for you. Wind turbines work perfectly in areas where there is a windy climate.

3. Battery

Battery generator’s energy is still better than fuel generators release toxic elements into the air and cause global warming. You can attach the battery to any electric source and it will store energy for use in power outages. This is a more eco-friendly option than the other generators. But you can run only limited appliances on battery-operated generators.

How much does a Backup generator cost?

There are a variety of generators available in the market. These generators are of different categories, small, medium, and large. Depending on the size of your appliances, and how long you want to run them. According to our market research of prices, liquid-cooled generators start at around $9,000, while air-cooled generators are typically priced at $2,500.

Whereas the cost to install one of these ranges from $7,000 to $9,000 depending on how easy or complex the job is, as previously stated, you would need a generator of at least 15kW to power a full house.

How Do Whole House Generators Work?

As we have discussed above a whole-house generator is becoming a necessity for everyone. There are many types of generators available in the market to meet your needs. Whole house generators are very efficient generators and they are considered best if you have a big house. They have the capacity to provide a continuous supply of power.

The working of a generator is very simple; a generator is connected to the electrical circuits of the home. When there is a sudden loss of power these generators start automatically and light up your home. These generators connect directly to all the home appliances through the circuit. Because of this, there are no more chances of food spoiling, low mobile battery, and whatnot. You can use all your appliances.

How Do Whole House Generators Work

These generators are not portable and require professional installation by an electrician or technician. The benefit of owning one is that you won’t need to deal with cables, extension cords, or gas supplies whereas for portable generators you have to use cables and extensions. Additionally, compared to portable generators, whole-house generators deliver a lot higher output.

To install a whole house generator you need a flat and smooth surface. First of all, contact a contractor to build a suitable surface if you don’t already have one because these generators are very heavy and needed more space. Technically, you can’t install this generator on your own if you don’t know the A.B.C of it. These generators are significantly more expensive than portable ones and usually, they are installed permanently, so if you are renting a property they generally aren’t worth the expense.

Standby generators, in contrast to portable generators, operate until the grid power is restored. As long as there is an adequate supply of fuel and you have kept it well-maintained, they will run continually. Every week, these generators must run for a few minutes while doing self-diagnostic tests to look for any potential issues. When the electricity goes out, a full house generator automatically turns on; in contrast, a portable generator needs to be manually started.

How Big of a Generator is needed for a whole House?

There is no exact answer to this question as it depends on the size of your house and the electrical appliances that you want to use on the generator. We can give you a rough estimation only. In order to calculate the size of the generator, make a list of the appliance you want to power and add up their wattage or amperage.

This method gives you a general idea, but we will recommend you consult some professionals to write an accurate estimation. He will guide you better after careful analysis of the wattage and amperage of the products. Most often, when selecting a size, people believe that everything is running simultaneously, although we all know that rarely occurs.

A 15kW generator minimum is typically required to power an entire house.

Whole House Generators VS Portable Generators

People usually confuse whole-house generators and portable generators. But there is a huge difference between them and here we will discuss that difference. Let’s have a view at the difference chart;

Whole House Generators Portable Generators
Whole House Generators are also called Standby generators Portable generators as the name suggests are not stationary generators. You can move them from one place to another
Whole house generators are pricey as compared to portable generators because they are quite heavy and made to power heavy appliances in your home Portable generators on other hand are a bit cheap. They are made to run small electric appliances in your home.
These generators are installed permanently outside your house and their installation needs the help of a professional electrician You don’t need to install these generators permanently, you can take them everywhere with you and anyone can connect this generator to home appliances.
There is no need of using cables and extensions as it connects to your home appliances through the electrical grid. You have to connect appliances by the extensions and cable and it’s quite messy.
Whole house generator is a perfect choice for big houses For small houses and camping, these generators are best
These generators turn on automatically

Is a Whole House Generator Worth It – FAQs

Is a home generator a good idea?
Yes, a home generator is definitely a good idea if you face power outages in your area. It will be very helpful for you.
How long do whole house generators last?
A whole-house generator will last as long as there is a fuel supply. But it is recommended to shut it down every 4 hrs to give it some rest.
How often should a generator be replaced?
There is no need of replacing a generator until your current generator is working properly. These generators have a long life and can be expected to have a 25-30 years life.
How far away from the house does a whole house generator need to be?
A generator should be at least 20-25 feet away from your house. As these generators are very noisy and release dangerous smoke.
Does having a generator increase home value?
Of course, a generator is a pricey investment and almost a basic necessity. So it will increase your home value.
What is the most reliable whole house generator?
There are different brands that manufacture whole-house generators. You can also search online. According to our research, Generac made the best whole-house generators in the world.



It is worth investing in a whole-home generator. It’s actually among the wisest purchases you can make for your house and family. Your appliances will continue to function even if there is a power outage, and you’ll feel more at ease knowing that you are ready for the worst.

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