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Is a Whole House Generator Worth It?

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When severe weather is present, a loss of electricity can be much more than just an inconvenience; it can be a true emergency. If this occurs, basic necessities like freezers and medical equipment may lose power along with the lights and heat.

Having a whole-house generator means you'll never be without electricity, no matter what Mother Nature throws at you. 

To what extent, though, do you believe the cost will be justified? 

This is the question many homeowners face while debating whether or not to install a whole-house generator.

Investing in a whole-house generator that can keep you comfortable and safe during a blackout is a smart choice. As soon as the grid fails, it will kick into gear and keep the entire house lit up.

Further, it's a great option for households with critical electrical appliances or medical devices that require constant power even when the grid goes down.

To help you decide if a whole-house generator is right for your home, let's take a closer look at the pros and cons of installing one. We'll look into the prices of generators and the money we could save and the benefits we could gain from using them. 

By the time you reach the end of this article, you will know whether or not a whole house generator is a good investment for your home, and you will have all the information you need to make a decision.

If you're looking to either boost your home's resale value or make life more convenient for yourself in the event of a power outage, a whole house generator is a worthwhile investment to consider… in my opinion.

What size generator do you need?

Generac 7043 22kW Air Cooled Guardian Series Home Standby Generator - 200-Amp Transfer Switch - Comprehensive Protection - Smart Controls - Versatile Power - Real-Time Updates

I believe that a generator with a wattage of between 5,000 and 7,500 can provide sufficient electricity for your home's vital appliances.

A refrigerator, lighting circuits, and a sump pump are just a handful of the many pieces of equipment in play. These appliances can all be used concurrently with 7500 watts of operating power.

The generator's power output is crucial when deciding what size generator is best for your needs. Watts are used to indicate the level of power needed. Make a prioritized list of all the things that need electricity in your home.

If the power goes out, you'll still need to be able to use your most crucial electronic gadgets. To turn on electrical equipment, a certain amount of power, measured in "starting watts," must be supplied. In order to kickstart a motor, a higher wattage is usually required. An example of this would be a window-mounted air conditioner.

When an appliance is turned on and the surge is over, its energy consumption during operation is measured in running watts, also known as rated watts.

Making an informed decision about a generator based on the findings of your electrical load estimates is in your best interest.

Why might a whole house generator be worth it?

14kW Standby Generator with 200amp TS

Here are some of the ways in which having a standby generator installed is crucial to your safety, convenience, and finances.

Medical apparatus 

Many people today cannot function without the assistance of some kind of medical device. Because this device is hardwired into your house's electricity, if the power went out you wouldn't be able to access emergency medical care.

In the event of a power outage, those who use life-sustaining medical equipment such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, chair lifts, electric wheelchairs, and ventilators may all be left in a critical state.

It is highly recommended that you get a generator with a standby mode if you or a family member are dependent on this type of medical equipment.

Modern living

Many modern machines continue to rely on constant access to electricity; when this supply is cut off, many of these machines cease functioning properly, and this includes many medical devices but also more general things.

When the power goes out, it can be dangerous for things like fish kept in tanks with oxygenators and water filters.

Furthermore, if your home has an electric sump pump, the loss of energy could result in expensive repairs. Without a backup generator, you could have problems with floods and water damage.

Home security

Most home security systems require an additional power source in order to function. Your health and safety are in jeopardy when the power goes off.

It's likely that you won't have enough power or the ability to keep your security systems functioning if you prioritize particular appliances and devices when using a smaller portable generator than you need.

With the extra juice supplied by a backup generator, you may continue working without breaking a beat on your most pressing tasks.

It is common knowledge that crime rates rise during times of crisis because criminals prey on the vulnerable. Keeping a generator on standby might provide peace of mind during an electrical outage at home.

Food supply

In the absence of a generator, perishables stored in the freezer and refrigerator may spoil, costing you tens or hundreds of dollars in wasted food. 

Some individuals use coolers and ice to try to avoid this effect, but it's crucial to remember that these methods aren't foolproof. Massive crowds flock to stores after natural disasters, buying supplies in bulk, including ice.

Therefore, it's possible that you'll end up with none. The food you packed will eventually spoil because coolers only last so long.

When the power goes out, a standby generator will kick in and keep your fridges and freezers running smoothly and reliably. You'll never have to worry about your food going bad, about running out of ice, or about having to fill your coolers again.


The share of households with a landline phone has plummeted from 90% to 40% in less than 20 years. People of retirement age are overrepresented among landline phone users. Your mobile devices are the only option for communication if you do not have a landline.

Nothing to worry about under normal circumstances, but if the power goes out, all your electronics will be useless. No more calls home or 911 when the batteries die.

Keep your vital electronics charged and operational by keeping a generator on hand. In the event of an emergency, you can quickly put in a call for help. Also, you can utilize your electronic devices to keep tabs on updates from local and state governments about the power loss. You can maintain your state of knowledge this way.


As a result of inadequate infrastructure or frequently harsh weather, residents of some places are experiencing a higher number of power outages than usual. A standby generator is a wise investment if you reside in an area prone to frequent power outages.

It's better to be safe than sorry, because if you don't, you'll have to go through a lot of trouble and spend a lot of money that you didn't plan on.

If you live in a certain part of the United States, you might be more likely to be affected by natural disasters than if you lived elsewhere. Insurance prices also tend to be higher and building regulations tend to be stricter in these locations.

Residents in these places should protect themselves from probable natural disasters by taking all necessary precautions, such as purchasing a generator.

For instance, areas bordering the Gulf of Mexico in late summer face a serious threat from violent storms. The Midwest is prone to tornadoes, but California is more likely to experience earthquakes.

If you live in a high-risk area, purchasing a generator will save you time, energy, and money in the event of a power outage. In this way, you may stay on schedule and avoid any potential hassles.


Having a standby generator can be handy even if you don't have frequent power outages, especially if you're away from home for long periods of time. There is always the chance of a power outage happening while you're away from home.

Don't let your food spoil or your home be broken into because you didn't take precautions like storing perishables in coolers or connecting your security systems to a new power source.

Even if you aren't there when the electricity goes out, your home will still be safe thanks to a backup generator. The last thing you want is to return from a week abroad to find that your house has flooded without your sump pump saving the day and that all of your perishables have spoiled.

Is a whole house generator worth the cost?

Champion Power Equipment 100837 14kW Home Standby Generator System, 200-Amp aXis Automatic Transfer Switch

While the cost of a whole-house generator and its installation can be high up front, most people believe that the investment is well worth it in the long run. 

A whole-house generator, can increase your home's worth by up to 5% and generate a 150% return on investment. The installation of a whole-house generator is highly recommended for this very reason.

Think about how often your electricity goes out and whether or not that's a problem for you. A whole-house generator is a significant investment, so consider whether or not it is worthwhile if you have power outages only rarely or never.

However, if you've had frequent power outages, it might be a wise investment.

Imagine you had hundreds of dollars' worth of perishable food in your fridge and freezer, but it all went bad whenever the power went off. The expense of the meals is an important factor to think about.

In addition, you'll need a reliable source of electricity and internet connection if you plan to make a living from home.

Can you get away with a portable generator?

Portable generators are significantly smaller and, as their name suggests, may be moved from one area to another. Standby generators, on the other hand, are permanently installed and cannot be moved.

Depending on the specifics of your situation, a portable generator may be preferable than a permanent installation because of the many advantages it provides.

Pros of having a portable generator instead

Portable power sources are often more cost-effective than their stationary counterparts.

It is not necessary to get a professional to help you set up your portable generator because you can do it yourself.

A portable generator can be taken wherever it is needed. You are free to relocate it to any area where you see fit.


A portable generator, which is far weaker than a standby generator, may not be the most suitable choice for powering an entire house for long periods of time. 

Because there is no soundproof enclosure around the generator, the output is usually louder than that of a standby generator.

In contrast to a backup generator, they won't automatically start up if the power goes out, so you'll need to test them thoroughly before relying on them. It will be more challenging to complete this duty in times of crisis, harsh weather, or the wee hours of the night.

It is crucial to consider your reasons for needing a generator while making a final choice.

Is there anything else to consider?

What else should you think about:

  • The length and width of your land.
  • Just how many electrical appliances, gadgets, and machines will you have going at once?
  • Have you determined whether or not there is a suitable area on your property to keep it and any necessary fuel?
  • Does it just have to be used in an emergency?
  • Finally, how much of your own cash are you prepared to part with? That includes not only the initial purchase, but also the cost of regular upkeep.


If you want peace of mind that you'll always have power in your home, even if the power goes out in your neighborhood, or if you just want to increase your home's resale value and convenience, a whole-house generator may be the perfect solution for you. 

However, you should weigh the costs and benefits to determine if installing a whole-house generator is the wisest financial move for your home. A lot of factors must be considered, including the size of your property, your electricity needs and usage, and the municipal limitations and licenses.

It's crucial to work with a professional who has both a stellar reputation in the industry and a wealth of experience installing and maintaining generators. 

I hope you've found this helpful, and that you're now better equipped to decide whether or not a whole-house generator is a good idea for your home.

About Tom Bell

Hey, I’m Tom, the owner of Generator Reviews! I built this website to help you get the very most out of your generator and select the correct one for your personal circumstances. This site contains reviews of virtually every generator, detailed buying guides, as well as maintenance advice to help you keep yours in tip-top shape!


Generator.Reviews is an independent review business. I am not affiliated with any manufacturers and do not accept paid reviews. When you buy through my links, I may earn a commission which helps me to maintain this website and keep the reviews coming your way!

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