Table of Contents
- Home Power Generator Buying Guide
- 5 Best House Generators at an Affordable Price: Review
- Final Word
Working from home might seem an appealing idea for many of us in modern times in which the sanitarian emergency has forced worldwide companies to opt for in-house work. However, before we start adapting our home as an office, we must wonder if it’s equipped enough to receive in-house incoming employment on a regular basis.
If you are a professional that has traded a business office for remote outsourced work, portable generators will always come in handy, as they maintain your whole house energy-powered through a power outage, preventing information loss on your computer equipment.
Other benefits of house generators may include keeping appliances running, even if they’re away or disconnected from the main power grid; keeping your house warm during a winter storm; a hurricane, or any natural contingency that can produce a prolonged blackout in your area. In the summertime, a house generator will keep your fridge and freezer working without electricity preventing your groceries from going bad, saving you money in the long run. They efficiently power camper vans and motor homes for many hours.
In this detailed guide, we will help you find the best cheap home generator of great quality for your house or your recreational vehicle. Most of those models are cost-effective and easy to transport. We will walk you through a buying guide and a FAQs section. Come with us, let’s get started!
Home Power Generator Buying Guide
What’s the Best Home Generator that Suits Your Needs?
To help you decide what is the best home generator that might suit your needs, we have briefly reviewed the most common types of them below.
Portable generators: They’re usually compact and easy to carry to a camping weekend for example. Bigger, bulkier models although would be more difficult to roll them outside your home in case of a blackout, the bigger the tank capacity of a home generator might be, it can assure you more hours of power for your RV or your appliances. Unlike many whole-house backup generators, portable ones do not need installation.
Many portable generators come with retractable handles and wheels, making it easy to move them around.
Inverted generators: Inverted generators present some advantages in the category of portable house generators. These devices are capable of throttling their engine up and down instead of running full all the time they’re switched on. They’re capable of working with the Eco-Throttle technology, making them more environmentally friendly as they produce lowers emissions; also, they are usually quieter.
Other advantages of acquiring a power generator for your home include powering work tools without caring if those are being used away from the house electrical sockets. Making it easy to do remote housework away from the power grid.
Small generators: Emergency small generators might be suitable for safely powering small devices outdoors, such as cellphones, personal computers, and other electronic appliances for up to 8 hours. Some of them may come with USB ports and might include a power-saving economy mode. Their lightweight makes them easy to move them around, and their price might start from $300 dollars, which is a great investment for such a helpful device.
Features of Power Generators
Of course, before buying a family device that can last for over 20 years with us, we have to consider some specifications, and pay attention to the characteristics of the generator, before taking it home.
Power: You must check first if the wattage that the generator produces suits your needs. A generator that delivers 3500 watts for example is enough to power some devices, to run an RV or your working tools. But if you intend to buy a generator that sustains your whole house during a hurricane, for example, you may want a more heavy-duty generator that can deliver up to 7000 watts and with a fuel tank that is capable of running for 8 + hours at 50% load.
Battery type: The mechanism of a power generator is quite similar to car engines; although you need fuel to power the device, you also need a battery that runs its electronic components. Fuel-powered generators use standard lead-acid batteries of 12 volts just like most cars do.
Voltage: The majority of power generators use voltages that vary from 120 to 220 volts. The higher the voltage a generator might use, the more efficient it can be when powering up appliances.
Tank capacity: The tank capacity of a generator is directly proportional to its running time. The size of fuel tanks in house generators can vary from 1 to 5 gallons, and even if fuel has to be periodically purchased for your generator, in the long run, house generators are affordable power units that will stay with you for many years.
Where Do You Buy Home Power Generators?
Nowadays buying a mechanical or electronic appliance is one click away, as many online stores offer sophisticated products like home generators to be purchased online; either you can search for your generator in stock online stores like Amazon, direct online purchases with sellers or you can buy directly from the brand distributors or retail seller websites if available.
If you are ‘old school’ and you prefer to tour around stores to get new assets for your home, there are department stores near you in which you can find a variety of house generators, from brands such as Honda, Wen, Briggs & Stratton, DuroMax, Generac, Durostar among others.
But, what about the price? Finding the best efficient, affordable generator for your home shouldn’t be a difficult task. The prices of portable home generators might vary from $700 up to $3000, against whole house generators that can cost from $12,000 to $20,000 plus installation and yearly maintenance fees.
The price of portable home generators nonetheless will be closely related to the wattage capacity of the device, as generators capable of producing 7000 watts can cost from $600 + dollars whereas smaller ones that produce 2200 watts, for example, can be found for prices as cheap as 400 dollars.
Safety and Instructions
Whilst getting a generator seems like the ideal device to power up devices or to carry on for that camping adventure, there are some safety measures we should take into consideration before purchasing one:
Carbon monoxide: You must be well aware that fuel-powered generators produce carbon monoxide gas when running. Such gas is expelled through an exhaust in most models and although it is an odorless, colorless gas, it’s highly poisonous. Breathing carbon monoxide can cause severe health damage and in worst cases, death. As appealing and friendly as a power generator might seem on its market catalog, let’s keep in mind these devices are not toys. Keep away from the reach of children, pets, and never operate your generator indoors.
Cleanliness: Your generator might need cleansing service from time to time and oil change, never lose the tools that came with the product; keep a clean funnel at hand for fuel refill and make sure you read properly the user manual before powering your device.
It is highly recommendable to find a wattage guide that can help you measure the watts your home appliances need to run, to be able to efficiently power them with your portable regulator, avoiding overload issues.
For this guide, we have refined our search by selecting five of the most outstanding portable house generators on the market that are fuel-powered to get reviewed. Each of these devices is described and discussed in more detail below.
5 Best House Generators at an Affordable Price: Review
Engine and power output: This small generator is equipped with a GXR120T gasoline-powered engine that can deliver 2200 operating watts. The power is enough to keep appliances working during an outage, it’s efficient enough to power an RV during a camping excursion.
Tank Capacity and Runtime: This unit’s runtime can go for about 4 hours at full load capacity with its 0.95-gallon tank (3.59 Lt.). If you run it at 50% load capacity, it’ll keep running for eight or more hours. This house generator offers good runtime using an energy-efficient quiet engine considering its small size.
Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: This super practical device measures 21 x 13 x 20 inches and weighs barely 46.5 pounds, making the generator incredibly lightweight and portable, and thanks to Honda’s inverter technology, it’s easy to get it to where power is needed. It comes with an ergonomic handle, making it easy for a single person to carry it.
Outlets: The Honda EU2200IC is a built-in 30 Amp outlet, the device offers one 30 Amp receptacle for recreational vehicle applications (it will require an optional adapter) and one 20 Amp receptacle. The 30 Amp receptacle allows 2 EU2200i models to be run simultaneously by using a simple parallel cord.
Safety and Noise Level: The EU2200IC is considered one of the quieter gasoline-powered house generators on the market. It efficiently runs for hours without making the usual noise a portable generator produces, barely 62 DB at rated load. As for safety, the generator includes a shutoff valve for the fuel tank that makes the engine capable to keep on operating until most of the gasoline in the carburetor gets consumed, this safety measure prevents future stale fuel issues.
Other Features: This small compact generator is capable of operating with the Eco-Throttle system, which means that when the Eco switch is in the ON position the engine speed automatically lowers down when loads are reduced or disconnected. When appliances are turned on or reconnected, the engine returns to the proper speed to power the electrical load needed to feed them.
|Runtime (at 50% load)||8 hrs and more|
|Dimensions||21 x 13 x 20 inch|
|Ignition System Type||Full transistor|
|Output Wattage||2200 Watts|
|Noise Level||62 dBA|
Engine and power output: This portable inverter generator is equipped with a B&S OHV gasoline-powered engine that can deliver 3500 operating watts and 4800 starting watts. The power is enough to keep most of your house appliances running for several hours, (Refrigerator, TV, computers) by using only 120 volts of energy.
Tank Capacity and Runtime: This metallic elegant compact device comes with a 4-gallon (15 Lt.) gasoline tank, its runtime can go for about 8/10 hours with 50% fuel load that is cost-effective as its price on the market can start from $500. However, keep in mind the ignition start type is recoil and not electric.
Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: The Briggs & Stratton S3500 device measures 25.53 x 21.12 x 21.43 inches and weighs 113.8 pounds; although it’d be heavy to carry for a single person, the generator comes with a fold-up handle and two opposed 7 inches Never Go Flats wheels that make its transportation easy.
Outlets: The generator comes with a 120V/30A RV outlet, making it easy to sustain your camping vehicle devices; powering a 12,000 BTU AC for your recreational truck for long periods of time, for example.
Safety and Noise Level: Unfortunately, the Briggs & Stratton company doesn’t conduct decibel/sound rate testing on their generators, nonetheless, the S3500 is somewhat quiet compared to other portable generators of the same size. As for safety measures, the CO Guard Carbon Monoxide Shutdown Technology included in this model is capable of shutting down the portable generator when it detects that dangerous levels of carbon monoxide are in the air.
Other Features: The Power Surge Alternator of the S3500 Briggs & Stratton inverted portable house generator is able to produce a short sudden surge of power when needed to be able to start large motor-driven devices and other electrical tools parallelly.
|Runtime (at 50% load)||10 hrs and more|
|Dimensions||25.53 x 21.12 x 21.43 inch|
|Ignition System Type||Recoil|
|Engine Type||B&S OHV|
|Output Wattage||3500 Watts|
Engine and power output: This dual fuel DuroMax generator is equipped with a 4-Stroke OHV Forced-Air engine that can work with either gasoline or propane. It is capable of delivering 5000 starting watts and 4500 running watts. This luxury generator is quite capable of performing heavy-duty jobs such as powering home AC systems, high amperage power tools, and other big electrically powered home appliances.
Tank Capacity and Runtime: This unit is capable of running for about 10 hours at 50% load if gasoline is used. It is capable of running for 12 hours or more if propane is used. The fuel tank capacity is of 4-gallons (15Lts.) and you can connect a propane tank of 5-gallons (18Lts.) by using the propane hose that is located on the left side of the generator’s regulator.
Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: This efficient device measures 22 x 25 x 22 inches and weighs 140 pounds making it slightly heavier than most portable home generators, however it comes with hinged-retractable handles and a set of solid rubber wheels for better transportation. The runtime its fuel tank offers makes it up for its heavyweight.
Outlets: The MX2 technology included in this model allows this generator to get the maximum power from each of the two 120-volt receptacles it includes. You can choose between operating the generator at both 120V and 240V simultaneously or you can switch to 120V only at its full load. The power panel also includes a voltmeter and 12V DC charging terminal posts in case external batteries are charged.
Safety and Noise Level: Considering its heavy-duty performance, the DuroMax is considerably quiet, 69 dB at rated load. As for safety, this durable, resistant unit makes it the perfect asset to endure natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, or any other contingency that might cause outages for many hours, as it is capable of maintaining lights and home appliances safely running for hours, by powering the basic essentials when in need.
Other Features: The propane in the unit can be stored indefinitely and would not harm the internal mechanism of the generator. In the long run, using propane can help you save money, as it is usually cheaper than gasoline.
|Runtime (at 50% load)||10-12 hrs|
|Fuel Type||Dual, Gasoline, Propane|
|Dimensions||22 x 25 x 22 inch|
|Ignition System Type||Electric|
|Engine Type||The DuroMax 224cc|
|Output Wattage||5500 Watts|
|Noise Level||69 dB|
Engine and power output: This big-sized portable generator by Generac is equipped with an OHV engine with splash lubrication that assures a long engine life. It also features the POWER RUSH advanced technology that is capable of delivering over 40% more starting wattage capacity. It delivers 8125 starting watts and 6500 running watts.
Tank Capacity and Runtime: The Generac 7680 is capable of running for an impressive amount of 11.5 hours at 50% load. Its large fuel tank has a capacity of 7.9-gallons (29.9 Lts.) it has been known to have been tested during long periods during blackouts, (approximately 22 hours) having consumed just between 7-8 gallons of fuel.
Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: This robust device measures 28.3 x 27 x 28 inches and weighs 178.5 pounds, heavier than the average portable house generator on the market. However, its size and weight are directly proportional to the incredible runtime service it offers.
The Generac 7680 comes equipped with heavy-duty wheels, making it easy to roll it on rough terrain, the unit is of recoil start and includes a fold-down handle.
Outlets: This generator comes with a 120 VAC, 20 amp, GFCI Duplex receptacle, and two 120/240 Volt AC, 30 Amp locking receptacles integrated, ideal for heavy-duty appliances. (Refrigerators, TVs, freezers).
Safety and Noise Level: Unfortunately, Generac doesn’t specify decibel levels for their generators; however, the engine in this unit can be comparable to a lawnmower’s, therefore we can consider it louder than some smaller generators that are less power efficient than this one.
Other Features: This unit features co-sense technology that protects against
carbon monoxide poisoning. If the generator is accidentally powered indoors or in an enclosed space, the co-sense sensor will automatically shut off the unit.
|Runtime (at 50% load)||11-12 hrs|
|Dimensions||28.3 x 27 x 28 inch|
|Ignition System Type||Recoil|
|Engine Type||OHV engine|
|Output Wattage||6500 Watts|
|Noise Level||Loud (not specified)|
Engine and power output: This practical generator by Durostar is equipped with a strong 4-Stroke OHV Forced-Air gasoline-powered engine that can deliver 3300 operating watts. This unit is excellent for handling multiple jobs, from sustaining appliances, lights, or home AC systems for hours to powering heavy-duty power tools
Tank Capacity and Runtime: This unit’s outstanding runtime can go for about 12 hours at 50% load capacity, its fuel tank capacity is of 4-gallons (15 Lts.) Whereas the fuel tank is of average size in portable generators of different brands, the runtime of the Durostar DS4000S exceeds the average powering of small home generators.
Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: This device measures 24 x 17 x 17 inches and weighs 94 pounds, making the generator lightweight and portable, its practical size and not-so-heavy weight make it a perfect choice for tailgating, RVs, and camping. It is a wheeled device with ergonomic handles that can be rolled easily by a single person.
Outlets: The Durostar DS4000S includes 2 120V practical household outlets and 1 120V 30Amp twist-lock outlet. Additionally, its power panel comes with a very useful voltmeter for measuring the voltage output when the unit is on duty.
Safety and Noise Level: Considering its workhorse engine and the great runtime this unit offers, the noise level of it is quite low (69Db at rated load). As for safety, the generator includes the technology of Low Oil Shutoff, which means that the generator automatically shuts off if it senses the oil level is low.
Other Features: The Durostar DS4000S generator has been tested with conversion kits to make it work with propane/natural gas, proving its engine efficiency beyond gasoline consumption.
|Runtime (at 50% load)||12 hrs|
|Dimensions||24 x 17 x 17 inch|
|Ignition System Type||Non-Contact Transistor|
|Engine Type||4-Stroke OHV Forced-Air|
|Output Wattage||4000 Watts|
|Noise Level||69 dB|
Portable generators if well taken care of, can last for over 20 years of intermittent use, (Powering RVs on camp excursions, being used during natural disasters, blackouts, etc.)
It is important to note that home generators need cleansing /frequent maintenance and might need some parts replaced over the years (battery, fuel gauge, etc.) Always make sure you contact the brand distributors if your generator needs parts to be replaced.
As stated in the buying guide, before purchasing a home generator you must take into consideration that a house generator is a complex mini machine that turns mechanical work into electricity; usually, gasoline-powered, a generator will likely produce carbon monoxide that is expelled through exhaust and that can be highly poisonous. Also, generators need acid standard batteries (12 volts.) to operate their electronic components. However, if you are a careful owner that will follow the user manual’s instructions when purchasing a home generator, you can safely operate your device for many years without incidents.
Throughout this guide we have discovered that home portable generators have a variety of uses: You can plug your home appliances or personal devices into it in case of a blackout, power outage, or you can roll it to a tailgate reunion, a camping excursion or you can design it to power your recreational vehicle whilst in use. Also, a wheeled generator comes in handy when powering heavy-duty power tools that will be used away from the power grid/house outlets, sockets.
To sum it up, a house generator is an emergency device that can be purchased to anticipate electricity contingencies in your area or it can be a very helpful item to carry on for outdoor adventures. Whatever the use you give to your generator, buying one of these devices is always a good investment for your home and your family.