Best Home Generators

Choosing The Best Home Generator For Your Needs

 

Electricity has become the backbone of our daily lives and in today's world, we rely on technology more than ever before.  From lighting and heating our homes to powering our phones and computers, modern society has become increasingly dependent on electricity.  This dependence has led to power outages becoming a significant concern for homeowners.  When there is a power outage, we are left without the basic necessities we often take for granted.  Purchasing a home generator is a great way to ensure that your household is protected from a sudden and unexpected blackout.  A power outage can occur due to various reasons, including severe weather conditions, system failures, or equipment damage.  Regardless of the reason, when the power goes out, it can be inconvenient, disruptive, and even dangerous. Without electricity, we're unable to keep our homes warm or cool, cook food, keep our electronics charged, and run medical equipment. This can be especially troubling for those living in areas prone to extreme weather conditions, where power outages can last for days or even weeks.  Fortunately, a home generator can provide a reliable source of backup power, ensuring that your household can function as smoothly as possible during a power outage.  A home generator can be your lifeline during a power outage, keeping your family safe and comfortable.  Generators are available in different types, including portable and standby generators also known as home generators. Portable generators can be moved from one location to another, making them ideal for camping or outdoor activities. However, they typically have a lower power output and may not be able to power all the appliances required during a power outage.  On the other hand, home generators are permanently installed and can provide more power in the event of a blackout. They are available in different sizes, and the power output can be customized to meet your specific needs.  Home generators can run on natural gas or propane, which makes them a more convenient option as you don't have to worry about constantly refilling the fuel tank.  Ultimately, a home generator is a wise investment that can provide reliable backup power and keep your household safe, comfortable, and stress-free during a power outage.

 

In this article we will go over what you should consider before purchasing a particular home generator as well as compare and contrast some of the best home generator brands on the market such as Kohler, Generac, Cummins, and Briggs and Stratton.  By taking the time to choose the best home generator for your family’s needs, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are prepared for any power outage.

KOHLER

best home generators kohler

 

Most home owners recognize the name Kohler but many aren’t aware of Kohler’s long history in the generator industry. Kohler has been in the generator business for over 100 years, and in 1920 they developed the first modern generator to be powered by a gasoline engine.

Though Kohler is a trusted name for commercial, industrial and even marine generators, their residential product line is built with the same level of excellence and durability.

Powered by Kohler’s renowned commercial grade engines, their residential product line is built to last and perform when you need it most.

Features:

 

  • Reliable KOHLER built engines-Every KOHLER® generator is equipped with a heavy-duty, commercial-grade engine that stands up to extreme weather.
  • PowerBoost™ Technology-Provides power to start large loads such as central air conditioners without dropping power to other appliances. Extraordinary peak motor-starting capacity compared to other brands.
  • Clean Digital Power-Premium power quality delivers exceptional digital voltage and frequency regulation along with low levels of harmonic distortion to protect sophisticated electronics
  • OnCue® Plus Remote Monitoring-Access your generator from your smart device and receive real time notifications about your generators status.
  • Most advanced technology in the industry-The RDC2 controller designed for today's sophisticated electronics manages both the generator set and Model RXT transfer switch functions
  • Sleek and durable sound housing- Quiet, neighborhood-friendly operation with sound levels similar to a typical central air conditioner. Stylish corrosion-proof enclosure impact tested to -30°F.
  • Standard 5-Year / 2,000 Hour Limited Warranty

 

CUMMINS

best home generators cummins

Cummins is another respected name in the generator industry, with over 100 years of experience. Much like Kohler, Cummins has a well known and highly esteemed name in the industrial world but isn’t quite as well known among home owners. Cummins built our first diesel engines in 1919, and have been a trusted name for engines and generators across many industries ever since. Their home generator line has many options and their unique housing design is quieter than some home generator options.

Features:

  • Weather Protective Aluminum/Steel Sound Enclosure-Can be installed within 18" of a home with sound dampening housing limits noise level to a low 65dB
  • Cummins Air-Cooled V-Twin OHV Engine-Field-selectable, runs on ultra efficient natural gas or LP (vapor)
  • < 5% THD (Total Harmonic Distortion-Clean power that won't damage your electronic devices
  • Patented "Crank Only" Exercise Mode-Provides diagnostics without running engine for less wear and lower fuel cost.
  • Cummins Connect Cloud For Remote Monitoring-Monitor, exercise and manually run the generator. Use your computer, tablet or phone for maximum monitoring flexibility
  • Cold Weather Equipped-Operates in cold weather with performance down to 0 °F.
  • Standard 5-Year / 2,000 Hour Limited Warranty

 

GENERAC

best home generators generac

 

Generac is another highly recognized name with over 60 years of experience in the generator industry. Most known for their residential generator line, Generac has become a popular option for many homeowners. Having the largest residential product line compared to the competitors, Generac has many options to choose from. Their signature product line, the Guardian Series, is a budget friendly choice for many homeowners looking for a stand-by power solution.

Features:

  • Quiet-Test Self Test Mode-runs the generator more slowly during a five or twelve minute test, making generators quieter and more efficient.
  • RhinoCoat powder coated finish-reduces corrosion and protects your generator during adverse weather conditions.
  • True Power™ Technology-delivers less than 5 percent total harmonic distortion for clean, smooth operation of sensitive electronics and appliances.
  • Mobile Link™ Remote Monitoring-allows you to monitor the status of your generator from anywhere in the world using a smartphone, tablet, or PC.
  • Smart, User-Friendly Controls-Generac’s Evolution™ Controller features a multilingual LCD display that allows users to monitor generator status and track maintenance.
  • 5 Year Limited Warranty

BRIGGS & STRATTON

    best home generators briggs & stratton

Briggs and Stratton is a well-known brand in the outdoor power equipment industry and has been manufacturing generators since 1959. Their home generator options start at 8kW and are powered by their very own Briggs and Stratton engines. Though Briggs and Stratton hasn’t been in the home generator market as long as some of their competitors, they have become a great solution for many customers who have long trusted their name.

Features:

  • Quiet Weekly Test Mode-Over 70% quieter during weekly test mode.
  • Commercial Grade Vanguard Engines-Rugged, reliable engines trusted for demanding commercial applications, so you always get the power you need.
  • Simple Installation and maintenance-Approved for installation as close as 18" to a building for flexibility of placement around the home - simple toolless panel removal also allows for easy serviceability and maintenance.
  • Corrosion Resistant Enclosure & Base-Automotive grade galvanneal steel base and aluminum enclosure to resist rust, and powder-coated paint for years of protection against chips and abrasions.
  • 6 Year Limited Warranty

Other Considerations When Choosing the

Best Home Generator for You

Other Considerations When Choosing the Best Home Generator for You

Possibly the most important aspect of buying a home generator isn’t which brand to choose, but who to buy from. Though home generators can be purchased through many outlets, that’s only the first step in a process that will continue for the lifespan of your generator. Having it properly installed, maintained and serviced is just as important as the quality of the equipment itself and will determine just how well it performs. Having been in this industry for decades, I have experienced countless dissatisfied customers that bought their home generator through a home center or online outlet, only to find themselves unable to find a reputable service company to install or maintain their generator after the purchase.  I recall one customer going as far as to label his home generator as a “useless $10,000 boat anchor” because he learned his warranty had been voided due to an improper installation by an uncertified installer.

 

At Surfside, our recommendation is to purchase from a single Factory Authorized source that will be able to install, service and honor your manufacturers warranty for the life of your generator. Some companies, like Surfside, even offer emergency response service to give you peace of mind that even if there’s a problem with your generator, you’ll be able to get help quickly. Make sure to have a detailed list of questions to ask perspective companies when getting quotes for your home generator and be sure to request proof of insurance, trade licenses and dealer certifications.

 

In conclusion, choosing the right home generator depends on various factors. There are many online resources comparing the major competitors as well as trusted publications that rate different units and brands. Some dealers even go as far as doing in house comparison videos contrasting the different units. One such video I would recommend watching was performed by a service company that wanted to check power performance by performing monitored load test on the largest air cooled generators offered by Kohler, Generac, Cummins, and Briggs and Stratton.  The video is linked below or you can watch it by clicking here.

What's The Best Home Generator For You?

If you’d like more information on home standby generators or if you’d like a free consultation with one of our trained industry experts, give Surfside a call today.

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February 4, 2024.
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As more than just HVAC technicians servicing Baldwin, Escambia, and Mobile County AL, Surfside is here to service your home's every need.  From its HVAC systems to its plumbing systems, even its cleaning needs, Surfside Services has the experts to get the job done right.