Generators are fast becoming a must-have for homeowners, as no one wants to be caught without electricity for hours or days at a time. With their easy install, powerful engines, and lowkey maintenance, generators are an easy addition to your home life, but it’s important to first figure out how much the new appliance is going to cost.
The tricky part is that the prices for generators can vary wildly, with picks ranging from a couple hundred to upwards of a thousand dollars, which can confuse homeowners. Here’s what you need to know.
How Much Do Generators Cost?
Generators cost between $200-$5,000. To wade through the multitude of choices and find the best-priced generator for your lifestyle, you’ll need to factor in the kind of generator you need and the power output your home will require.
It’s also important to remember that if you want a special installation, a canopy covering, or a whole home generator, there will be an extra cost.
What to Expect for Each Generator Price Range
As you can expect, larger and more powerful generators will cost more, but bigger isn’t always better. If you have a smaller home or only want to provide power to a few appliances, you won’t need the more expensive generator.
|What to Expect
|Power a few electronics, appliances, or lights.
|Power for home backup, tailgating, and multiple devices.
|Great for camping and outdoor activities, worksites, workshop tools, and RVs.
|Run a small home
|Run a mid-sized home or business.
|Run a large home or business.
You can also narrow down the kind of generator you want by figuring out the kind of power you want to run your generator on. Generators can be powered by at least five different substances, and many generators also offer dual-switch options that can run on two different energy sources, such as gasoline and propane.
Portable vs. Whole Home Generators
Portable generators are renowned for being low maintenance, movable, and less expensive than whole-home generators. You may choose to go for the latter if you want a permanent option, as well as the power that can extend to your whole house. But while some portable generators have enough power for an entire home, whole-home generators will automatically turn on when the power goes out, then turn off when the power is restored.
The cost to install a whole home generator can be anywhere from $500-$5,000. Your installer will be able to get you a more definite price range, but the size and location of the generator will impact how much you’ll pay. The installation will include the cost of labor, creating a concrete pad that the generator will sit on, connecting the generator to your home’s gas line, a permit (if your HOA or town requires it), and/or installing a transfer switch.
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The size of the generator you buy will depend on your needs. If you only need to power a few appliances you can go for a smaller option, but large homes will require a larger generator.
A generator can last anywhere from 10-30 years but remember that portable generators tend to last for a shorter period than stationary generators. Also, the more you run your generator the faster it’ll need to be replaced.
A transfer switch directly connects power from the generator to the home’s circuit box, which eliminates the need for extension cords.
If you work from home, live in an area where there are frequent power outages, need to store a lot of cold food, or live in an area where being able to heat or cool your home is crucial, a whole home generator will likely be beneficial for your lifestyle.
Whole-home generators are usually located by your home’s electric meter and gas meter. And as with portable generators, you should place the generator in a location where the exhaust will blow away from the home.