Best Generators for Keeping Your Home Powered In An Emergency - Backyard Boss
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Best Generators for Keeping Your Home Powered In An Emergency

I grew up in hurricane alley in the middle of the Florida Panhandle. If anyone’s familiar with regular power outages, it’s my family and our neighbors. Being prepared with backup power, solar devices, and anything else for emergencies has always been crucial. When I married an Eagle Scout, my “preparedness lifestyle” was completed.

Even now, living in Chicago, I find power outages happen semi-frequently, because of the storms, poor wiring in old buildings, and random power downs around the area. Having a great generator that you know how to use makes the difference in getting those assignments in on time and keep our food chilled. With that in mind, I’ve curated a collection of the best generators for home, whether you’re in an apartment like me, a house, or an RV, to help you deal with an emergency power outage.

Solar Generator

    Bluetti Portable Power Station

Black portable generator with blue accents and multiple outlets
    Bluetti 2000 watt solar portable power station with multiple outlets

In many cases, a solar generator or portable power station is the best possible option for keeping your situation powered. You don’t have to keep dangerous fuel on hand, or a hookup for natural gas. You also help save the environment by using the power of the sun instead of grid energy to charge your equipment. 

The Bluetti Portable Power Station is as good as it gets for solar energy generators on the go. You just need a few panels to charge things up and you’re good to go. If positioned properly, you can keep that generator powered all the time and partially power your devices during “normal” life, or just have it charged for backup.

  • Wattage: 2000 watts: Enough to power the key appliances in your home
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • Weight: 60.6 pounds
  • Warranty: 2-year, with extended warranty available through retailers
  • Fuel source: Solar energy

Gasoline Generator

    DuroMax Gas Powered Portable Generator

Black and blue portable generator on wheels, white background
    12,500 Watt portable gasoline generator from trusted brand, DuroMax, for home

One of the best options for a backup generator that’s ready to go is a gasoline generator. There’s no charging like with solar or battery-powered generators. You do, however, have to store the gasoline very carefully to avoid potential hazards.

The best gasoline generator on the market is the DuroMax 12000-Watt Backup Generator. It can power your whole house without issue and has proven itself over and over for real-life users.

  • Wattage: 9500 watts running, 12500 watts starting
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • Weight: 217 pounds
  • Warranty: 3-year parts warranty, extended warranty available from retailers
  • Fuel Source: Gasoline

Small And Portable Generator

    EF ECOFLOW Poartable Generator

Small, black portable power station with handle, on white background
    Small, portable 600-watt power station from ECOFlow for use at home or on the go

Sometimes, a small, portable generator is a better fit for your needs, especially if you’re primarily concerned about keeping medical devices or small appliances running. In that case, an easy-to-carry, lightweight generator is your best bet.

For this type, the ECOFlow River Portable Power Station is a charm. It’s lightweight at only 11 pounds, powerful enough to run several small appliances and devices (up to 10) at once, or a few larger ones together.

  • Wattage: 600 watts
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • Warranty: 2-year guarantee
  • Fuel Source: Battery or solar-powered

Dual-Fuel Generator

    DuroMax Dual-Fuel Portable Generator

Large black and green generator on wheels, on white background
    11,500-watt large capacity home dual-fuel portable home generator

In some cases, a dual-fuel generator is a better idea for the home. Your specific needs will determine which kind of dual-fuel appliance to purchase, though. In some cases, the generator will use either gasoline or propane. In other cases, it may be gasoline or natural gas, or natural gas or propane. Your home setup will help you determine which option is best.

The best dual-fuel choice we’ve found is this gasoline/propane option from DuroMax, one of the most well-trusted brands in the business. The large capacity generator produces 11,500 watts, allows for either 120 or 240 volts, and comes with a reasonable warranty for three years, covering parts. Additionally, the generator has plenty of safety precautions, including a low-oil shutoff function.

  • Wattage: 11500 watts
  • Voltage: 120/240 volts
  • Weight: 224 pounds
  • Warranty: 3-year parts warranty, extended warranty available from retailers
  • Fuel Source: Propane or gasoline

Dual-Fuel Permanent Standby Generator

    Generac Dual-Fuel Standby Generator for Home

Large, off-white generator on white background
    22,000 watt dual-fuel standby generator for home from Generac brand

Having a permanent solution to the problem is ideal and requires a standby generator. In many cases, these are will be installed in homes in regions with frequent storms or remote locations. The standby generator is powerful enough to run the whole home and smoothly kicks in when standard power goes out.

The Generac Dual-Fuel Standby Generator is a permanent addition to the home, connected to the whole house, and runs on either natural gas or propane. Its automatic transfer switch clicks off seamlessly when the power goes out and turns off again when energy is restored for a nearly-imperceptible loss of power, saving sensitive electronics. Mike Hanson of Hanson Electric explained that the automatic transfer switch has control wires that sense loss of normal utility power and safely transfers from utility power to generator. 

  • Wattage: 22000 watts
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • Weight: 515 pounds
  • Warranty: 5-year limited warranty
  • Fuel Source: Propane or natural gas

DIY Generator

large metal parts of machinery on wooden tabletop
Image credits: eryan76 via Pixabay

For those who want to customize a generator for home, there are various DIY tutorials. The best ones I’ve seen are on WikiHow, and Survival Sullivan. Each tutorial gives you options on how to piece together the best custom-built generator for your needs, using pre-made components to get you to the right voltage, wattage, power outlets, fuel sources, etc.

Make sure to thoroughly read each tutorial before choosing your ideal one, and follow the instructions carefully during the whole process.

  • Wattage: Varies as needed
  • Voltage: Varies as needed
  • Weight: Varies by project
  • Warranty: May be available on specific parts
  • Fuel Source: Your choice

Choosing the Best Generator for Your Home

While it’s not the best in every case, my personal preference is the solar generator. It runs smoothly and creates plenty of power, depending on the number of panels you use. You can hook it up into the house, as needed, and best of all, it saves energy and doesn’t drain your wallet after installation. It also requires little maintenance, which is a big bonus, and there’s no unstable fuel storage involved.

If solar isn’t practical for your setup, any of the others can be a good fit for your home. The key is making sure the fuel type, installation, and wattage meet your needs.