Top 8 Best Generators For Home Power Outage – 2019 Update

A generator is useful for home power outages. Whatever you and your family are doing, having dinner together or watching a movie together,  you won’t be disrupted.

Here are my top picks for the best generators for home power outage:

Traditional Generators

  • Westinghouse WGen5500 – Best dual fuel
  • Champion 3500-Watt – Budget friendly
  • Duromax XP4850EH – Most fuel efficient

Inverter Generators

  • Champion 3400-Watt – Best dual fuel
  • WEN 56380i – Quietest
  • Honda Eu7000iat – Premium choice

Hybrid Generators

  • Champion 4000-Watt – Best overall
  • Westinghouse iGen4200 – Most fuel efficient
ImageProductDetails
sample-table__image Best dual fuel open frame generator Westinghouse WGen5500
  • Starting/Running Watts: 6850/5500 Watts
  • Noise Level: around 70 decibels
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sample-table__image Budget friendly Champion 46596 RV Ready
  • Starting/Running Watts: 4000/3500 Watts
  • Noise Level: 68 decibels
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sample-table__image Most fuel efficient Duromax XP4850EH
  • Starting/Running Watts: 4850/3850 Watts
  • Noise Level: 69 decibels
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sample-table__image Best dual fuel inverter generator Champion 100263
  • Starting/Running Watts: 3400/3100 Watts
  • Noise Level: 59 decibels
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sample-table__image Quietest WEN 56380i
  • Starting/Running Watts: 3800/3400 Watts
  • Noise Level: 57 decibels
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sample-table__image Premium choice Honda Eu7000iat
  • Starting/Running Watts: 7000/5500 Watts
  • Noise Level: 52 - 60 decibels
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sample-table__image Best overall hybrid generator Champion 100302
  • Starting/Running Watts: 4000/3500 Watts
  • Noise Level: 64 decibels
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sample-table__image Most fuel efficient Westinghouse iGen4200
  • Starting/Running Watts: 4200/3500 Watts
  • Noise Level: 62 decibels
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Traditional Generators

Traditional generators are the old models. They use a mechanical alternator to generate AC power from fuel. Without any built-in inverter, the output electric flow fluctuates highly. They are also very loud. But after all, traditional generators are the cheapest and the most powerful for the price.

If you just intend to use the generator for occasionally home power outages, a traditional generator is okay. But, remember not to charge your smartphone with it.

Westinghouse WGen5500 – Most powerful & longest runtime

Westinghouse WGen5500
Pros
  • Super powerful
  • Extended long runtime
  • Safety features: GFCI outlets, Rubber Covers, Low-Oil Shutoff, Overload prevention
  • 3-Year Residential Warranty and Lifetime Technical Support

Cons
  • Noisy
  • Consume a lot of fuel at higher load

Westinghouse WGen5500 with a 420cc OHV Engine and 6.6 Gallon Fuel Tank lets you power up your home for 20 hours consecutively – you can just fill up the gasoline onetime and set it aside.

Westinghouse WGen5500 provides you with a super powerful output – 6,850 starting watts and 5,500 running watts, which will fit all your home power appliances from air conditioners to refrigerators.

The over-powerful capacity comes with higher risks of electrical shock and fire hazards. To protect you, Westinghouse features four GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) standard household outlets with rubber covers and Overload prevention. Low-Oil Shutoff feature is to protect the engine as well.

Westinghouse WGen5500 is compliant with EPA, CARB, and CSA standards. Moreover, all Westinghouse generators are backed by a 3-Year Limited Warranty and Lifetime support, you can buy it with confidence.

However, there are some drawbacks. First, it’s a bit loud while operating – around 70 dB. And second, to produce powerful electric it consumes a lot of fuel at higher load, which will make your bills climb up a bit.

Specifications

Peak Watts/Running Watts6,850/5,500
Noise LevelNot published, around 70 dB
Max Runtime20 hours
Highlight FeaturesLow-Oil Shutoff, up to 20 hours of runtime, Overload prevention, EPA, CARB, and CSA Compliant

Westinghouse WGen5500 ensures you always have enough power for any power outage.

Champion 3500-Watt – Budget friendly

Champion 3500-Watt
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Safety features: low-oil shut-off, Volt Guard, Air Cooled
  • Cold Start
  • Long run time
  • 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support

Cons
  • Not parallel capable

Champion 3500-Watt’s 196cc engine produces 4,000 starting watts and 3,500 running watts, which is powerful enough to start and run a 15,000 BTU air conditioner. And it can run consecutively for 12 hours on a 3.8 gal gasoline tank.

Champion 3500-Watt is equipped with safety features for you and the engine. A low-oil shut-off sensor does not allow the engine to start if the oil drops below a minimum level, this helps protect the engine and increase the generator lifetime.

A Volt guard prevents overloads that may harm your appliances. And Cold Start feature let you start the generator easily when the weather is cold.

Having many good features, but Champion 3500-Watt is very affordable. You can rely on Champion generators with their 3-year limited warranty with free lifetime technical support from dedicated experts.

Specifications

Peak Watts/Running Watts4,000/3,500
Noise Level68 dB
Max Runtime12 hours
Highlight FeaturesLow-oil shut-off, Volt Guard, Air Cooled

Champion 3500-Watt is an affordable but powerful and reliable generator for home power outages.

Duromax XP4850EH – Most fuel-efficient

Duromax XP4850EH
Pros
  • Powerful
  • Runs on a dual fuel engine
  • High fuel efficiency
  • Electric start for easy firing
  • Rather compact and lightweight compared to other generators of its size

Cons
  • A bit noisy under heavy load

Duromax XP4850EH with DuroMax 7HP, 212cc OHV Engine produce high -capacity output, 4,850 starting watts and 3,850 running watts – enough to start and run a medium home air conditioner.

It has two fuel options – gasoline or propane. Propane is much more expensive than gasoline, but much cleaner and better for the environment, your health and the engine.

On a 3.96 gal gasoline tank, the runtime at 1/2 load is nearly 11 hours. On a 20 gal propane tank, the runtime at 1/2 load is about 9 hours. Fuel-consuming efficiency is very high.

Besides, like Champion 3500-Watt and Westinghouse WGen5500, Duromax XP4850EH is featured with low-oil shutoff sensor, air-cooled, the circuit breaker for your protection.

Specifications

Peak Watts/Running Watts4,850/3,850
Noise Level69 dB
Max Runtime10,5 hours (on 3.96 gal gasoline)/9 hours (on 20 gal propane)
Highlight FeaturesLow-oil shutoff sensor, Air cooled, Circuit breaker, EPA and CARB approved

Duromax XP4850EH is a powerful and fuel-efficient generator that uses both gasoline and propane.

Inverter Generators

After producing AC power from fuel, inverter generators convert it to DC power, then invert it back to a cleaner high-frequent AC power. The output electric is reliable and safe for sensitive electronics like laptops and smartphones.

Champion 3400-Watt – Best dual fuel generator

Champion 3400-Watt
Pros
  • Clean and stable power
  • Dual fuel
  • Quiet
  • Efficient consumption

Cons
  • Low capacity

When it comes to inverter generators, you are assured for a clean and stable electric flow that is completely safe for sensitive electronics. Champion 3400-Watt produce output electricity with less than 3% THD.

You can use both gasoline and propane with the generator. While gasoline is more economical, propane is better for your health and engine lifetime. There is also Economy Mode for quieter operation, more fuel savings, longer engine life.

Champion 3400-Watt is pretty lightweight and portable. It is also easy to use with Touch Start and Quick Touch Pane. If you need more power, you can connect it with another Champion inverter generator.

However, one big drawback of Champion 3400-Watt is that the capacity is quite low, 3,400 starting watts and 3,100 running watts. You should check your air conditioner’s required watts before purchasing Champion 3400-Watt.

Specifications

Peak Watts/Running Watts3,400/3,100
Noise Level59 dB
Max Runtime7.5 hours (gasoline)/14.5 hours (propane)
Highlight FeaturesClean and stable power, Economy Mode, Touch Start, Quick Touch Panel, Parallel capable

Champion 3400-Watt is a small dual-fuel inverter generator for home power outages.

WEN 56380i – Quietest

WEN 56380i
Pros
  • Clean and stable power
  • Quietest in the list
  • Fuel shutoff, electric start, digital wattage meter
  • EPA III and CARB Compliant
  • Electric start

Cons
  • Only 2 years of warranty

3% THD is the standard for power used for sensitive electronics like laptops and smartphones. WEN 56380i can do even better – it produces output power less than 1.2% THD, the cleanest electric flow that a generator can produce.

It has medium output power, about 3,800 starting watts, and 3,400 running watts. In eco-mode it can run for continuously 8.5 hours on just a 2.2 gal fuel tank, and is very quiet, only 57 dB.

For more convenient and to protect the engine, WEN 56380i is equipped with many functions like Fuel shutoff, Electric start, and Digital wattage meter. It is also compliant with EPA III and CARB about fuel efficiency and emissions.

However, WEN 56380i only comes with a two-year warranty program, while almost other generators come with a three-year warranty program.

Specifications

Peak Watts/Running Watts3,800/3,400
Noise Level57 dB
Max Runtime8.5 hours
Highlight FeaturesClean and stable power, Eco-Mode, Fuel shutoff, Electric start, Digital wattage meter, Parallel capable

WEN 56380i is a perfect generator for sensitive electronics and operates quietly.

Honda Eu7000iat – Premium choice

Honda Eu7000iat
Pros
  • Super powerful
  • Ultra-quiet
  • Extended runtime
  • Clean and stable power

Cons
  • Expensive

WEN 56380i has a high price, and Honda Eu7000iat is six-time more expensive than it. Whats make Honda Eu7000iat so expensive?

First, it can produce output power that as clean and stable as WEN 56380i, but a lot more powerful, 7,000 starting watts and 5,500 running watts – surely enough for any kinds of home appliances.

Second, WEN 56380i is very quiet, Honda Eu7000iat is ultra-quiet. 52 – 60 dB means that almost all the time, the generator operates more quietly than we are talking in an office place.

Third, the runtime of Honda Eu7000iat is up to 18 hours, which means you can turn it on and leave it there for all the night without any concerns.

And the last, Honda’s engines are always well-known for their durable. A typical Honda engine can last for decades, and you can expect it for Honda Eu7000iat.

Surely, Honda Eu7000iat is a very desired inverter generator. But because of its price, you should consider carefully if you really need it.

Specifications

Peak Watts/Running Watts7,000/5,500
Noise Level52 – 60 dB
Max Runtime18 hours
Highlight Features

Honda Eu7000iat is the highest-quality generator for home power outages you can find.

Hybrid Generators

They are called hybrid generators, so you might expect that they are in the middle of the traditional and the inverter, not so good and not so bad.

But for me, this type is the best one. Its output is not as clean as the inverter and not as powerful as the traditional, but it combines both perfectly – clean enough for sensitive electronics and powerful enough for all kinds of appliances.

Champion 4000-Watt – Best overall

Champion 4000-Watt
Pros
  • Affordable
  • High power
  • Long runtime
  • Clean and stable electric flow

Cons
  • Big and heavy

Being a hybrid generator, Champion 4000-Watt has both high-capacity and stable output power. The electric flow has 4,000 starting watts and 3,500 running watts, and less than 3% THD.

Champion 4000-Watt is fuel-efficient that can run consecutively for 17 hours on a 2.9 gal fuel tank.

It is much cheaper than other 4000-watt inverter generator but produces output power just as quality as them. Champion also back you up by a 3-year limited warranty and free lifetime technical support.

However, it is quite big and heavy – 81.6 lbs, and a bit louder than inverter generators- 64 dB. But this is acceptable and you won’t notice the noise if you put the generator outside.

Specifications

Peak Watts/Running Watts4,000/3,500
Noise Level64 dB
Max Runtime17 hours
Highlight FeaturesAdvanced Open Frame Inverter Design, Economy Mode, Extended Run Time, Clean Power, Parallel Capable

Champion 4000-Watt is an affordable generator but produces a powerful and stable electric flow.

Westinghouse iGen4200 – Most fuel-efficient

Westinghouse iGen4200
Pros
  • Perfect for both power demanding and sensitive devices
  • Affordable
  • Extended long runtime
  • Efficient use of fuel
  • Quite low noise level

Cons
  • Big and heavy
  • Not Parallel Capable

Westinghouse iGen4200 is much alike a small upgraded version of Champion 4000-Watt: a little more power (4,200 vs. 4,000 starting watts), a little more runtime and fuel-efficiency (18 hours on 2.6 gal fuel vs. 17 hours on 2.9 gal fuel), but a little cheaper. Other specifications are quite the same.

However, Westinghouse iGen4200 cannot be paired with another generator for more power. So if you don’t intend to use the parallel ability, I recommend the Westinghouse iGen4200.

Specifications

Peak Watts/Running Watts4,200/3,500
Noise Level62 dB
Max Runtime18 hours
Highlight FeaturesEPA and CARB Compliant, Efficiency Mode, Clean Power, Unique Open Frame Inverter Generator Hybrid Technology

Westinghouse iGen4200 is the best choice when you need an affordable and fuel-efficient generator.

How to choose the best generator for home power outage (buying guide)

You need to pay attention to two specs:

  • Output capacity: You’ll need to do some calculation to know the total watts your appliances use. And choose a generator has running watts above that a bit, to ensure that it can power all your appliances properly when power outages.
  • Max runtime: A short power-outage may last for 30 minutes. A medium power-outage may last for hours. And the worst, it may last for days when floods or storms happen.

So, the more runtime of the generator, the more convenient for you – choose one with more than 9 hours of consecutive runtime and you could sleep well all night.

Other things you might want to take into account are:

  • Cleanness and stableness of output power: To power and charge sensitive electronics.
  • Noise level: If your place is small and you have to put the generator near your relaxing place, the noise level is really important. But if you can put it far away, outdoors, being a little loud is not a matter.

Who makes the best generator for home power outage?

Many needed to be taken into account when choosing the best generator brands for home power outages. I’ll pick three of them, balancing quality factors and price factors.

Westinghouse Electric Corporation

Westinghouse is a 150-year company in the engine and power industry. Up to now, they have factories across all the U.S and have become one of the best-trusted brands that make generators.

Westinghouse generators always come with a great warranty and support program. They are also one of the quickest brands that integrated new technologies into their products, in fact, they are the owner of nearly 30,000 patents.

Champion Power Equipment

When it comes to customer service, I rate Champion equal Westinghouse – both are the best. Champion manufacture all kinds of generators for all kinds of purpose, from for RVs to for home power outages and industrial purposes.

They now have sold more than 2.5 million units in North America and received a lot of good reviews.

DuroMax Power Equipment

DuroMax is a young player in the industry. They were founded in 2003, headquartered in Ontario, California, and specialized in making dual-fuel portable generators. They quickly became one of the leaders in the niche due to their ability to get customers’ insights.

If you want a dual-fuel generator for home power outages, you got to have a look at DuroMax models.

FAQs

What will a 5500 watt generator power?

A typical TV or laptop uses only about 60 watts. A typical microwave oven uses about 900 watts. A 16-cubic-foot refrigerator consumes about 750 watts.

And in most American households, air conditioners consume averagely about 1,000 watts. So, with a 5500-watt generator, you can power 2 TVs, 2 laptops, 2 ovens, 2 refrigerators, and 2 conditioners at the same time!

Why are inverter generators so expensive?

An inverter generator has a built-in inverter to convert the initial electric flow to a higher-frequent, cleaner and more stable output. They have higher fuel efficiency and lower noise while operating than a traditional generator.

So, it is reasonable that an inverter generator will be more expensive than a traditional generator.

Are inverter generators better?

Inverter generators produce the cleanest and most stable output power. They are also the quietest while operating. But they are the most expensive. For me, they are the best, but not always fit anybody.

Can I plug a generator into my house?

It is illegal to connect a generator directly into your house, because the act may harm technicians who are working on the power network. You must install a Dual Power Automatic transfer switch first and then connect the generator into your house outlet.

Can you run a generator overnight?

It depends on your generator max runtime. If you want to run a generator overnight, you have to choose one that has the max runtime more than 9 hours (from 10 PM to 7 AM).

Is it cheaper to run a generator for electricity?

Commercial electricity is always a lot cheaper. So, only use a generator for electricity when needed, such as power outages or camping trips.

Conclusion

I personally like hybrid generators for my home when power outages, especially Champion 4000-Watt. However, it is just my choice, there is no best one, just the one that fits your needs best.

Top 8 Best Generators For Home Power Outage – 2019 Update
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