Although standby generator units are designed to give home-owners in particular complete peace of mind, kicking in automatically in the event of an emergency power outage, it is not quite true to say that demand for these items is fuelled by a need for power backup at all costs. For many people, the noise factor is what is important, particularly if the appliance is to be used in the home. Our team decided to check out the best standby generator units not just for efficiency and reliability, but also for operational noise levels, to compile this list of the best quiet standby generator units.
These are all smart and efficient units, poised at all times to automatically supply power within mere seconds of a power outage disconnecting your home from the mains.
Manufactured by some of the leading power generation brands, including Generac, Kohler and Briggs & Stratton, these quiet standby generators are a fantastic step up from the portable generator segment, delivering major power and energy-efficient performance, but at a noise level that won't cause disruption, even during an emergency.
With operational noise level of just 58 dBA, the Generac 6462 Guardian Series is the quietest standby generator on our list. It's an extremely popular generator, probably the most popular under Generac's best-selling ‘Guardian Series’ class.
This generator will not let you down, so in addition to being discreet in operation, it also gets maximum points for reliability. You can depend on this generator to automatically and swiftly provide your back up power when there is an outage in your home.
It will provide the juice to keep your home running, keeping you and your family safe until regular service is restored.
The Generac 6462 Guardian Series generator is situated outside, and connected to your home's power or gas supply. Once installed, you barely need to worry that is there at all, such is its seamless operation and reliability.
A little louder at 63 dBA, the Kohler 20RESAL-100LC16 has a huge number of factors in its favour. It kicks in automatically when there is a power outage, so you'll always be connected, regardless of whether you're at home or away.
The generator is installed outside the home, just like an AC compressor, and is wired into the electrics and fuel system in your home. Apart from its power and efficiency, which is pretty much unsurpassed in this class, the unit also has an incredibly swift 10-second response time.
It's also incredibly durable, its corrosion-proof construction protecting the electronics and motor against all weather conditions. A measure of this unit's reliability is that it is the generator of choice for hospitals, airports and weather services.
Operating at the same noise level as the Kohler 20RESAL-100LC16—63 dBA—the Generac 6438 is just as powerful, efficient and reliable. This is very important if you're living in areas that are subjected to extremes in weather, such as snowstorms, hurricanes or tornadoes.
The 11kw Generac 6438 activates automatically and within seconds of an outage, to provide power for the essential appliances such as air conditioners, water heaters, and other facilities throughout your home.
Gas-powered and air-cooled, the Generac 6438 has a 200-amp transfer siwtch that will automatically disconnect your home from the mains in the event of a service disruption, before supplying its own power to your house.
The 6438 can power anything up to a three-ton air conditioner in addition to the devices and equipment in the main rooms of your home.
With its noise levels and certified safety standards, the generator is perfectly safe for domestic use during unexpected power outages, surges and other incidents, and is well worth considering as your standby generator.
Another unit from the Generac stable, the 22kw 7043 model is a little louder still, at 67 dBA, but this is still relatively low, especially when you consider that the Generac 7043 Guardian Series is also the largest air-cooled generator on the market, boasting all the features and capabilities that you would expect from a manufacturer of Generac's renown.
It's also cheaper than many of the best liquid cooled generators (the 7043 is air-cooled), and also utilises the brand's innovated combined engine and alternator, using powertrain technology to attain it 22kw output. It also consumes less fuel than many of the other generators in its class.
Another of the best standby generators on the market is the Generac 7042, another 22kW generator from the manufacturer’s acclaimed Guardian Series. The 7042 has no transfer switch, but at 67dBA is one of the quietest of standby generator units, and one of the best air-cooled home standby 22kW/19.5kW generators.
This appliance is probably most suitable for someone who already has an automatic transfer switch installed on their property, although it would be recommended that you consult a Generac dealer on whether an existing automatic transfer switch can be used wit the 7042 or any Generac unit.
However, the the installation process is much simpler than other brands, the installation kit includes removable door panels, a base pad requiring only minimal ground preparation, and efficient wiring techniques. All Generac units are backed by 24/7/365 customer support, in addition to a 5,000+-strong nationwide dealer network.
Briggs & Stratton are always recommendable, and so it's little surprise that our roundup of the best quiet standby generators has a number of the brand's units. This model, the Briggs & Stratton 40346, has a noise level of 70 dBA. Perhaps louder than the other machines, but complete with a 100-amp transfer switch, and featuring the manufacturer’s patented Symphony II Power Management system, which can power the equivalent of two air conditioner systems alongside standard household appliances.
The unit has an automotive-style exhaust system and sound dampening technology for quieter operation, making it an ideal power backup source in a residential area. Briggs & Stratton's airflow technology enables its units in this 20kw class to run up to 50% quieter than most portable units, according to the manufacturer. As a bonus, Briggs & Stratton's limited warranty is one of the most comprehensive, offering limited five-year cover on parts, labour and travel.
Leaping up a little to 75dBA is the Briggs & Stratton 40445, an 8kw standby generator that is acclaimed for its versatility and adaptability. It is suitable for any property, and can efficiently and effectively provide backup power for your basic circuits, covering lights and appliances including refrigerators and televisions and more.
Tested against the NFPA 37 standard, this can be placed as close to your home as 18″, which makes it particularly appealing if space is limited. And there is also a 50-amp transfer switch that enables the unit to automatically supply power to limited circuits in the event of a power disruption.
All in all, this is characteristic of what one has come to expect from the Briggs and Stratton brand—quality construction, powerful operation, reliability, user-friendliness and adaptability to a range of circumstance.
Again, while this is at the upper end of our operational noise level at 75dBA, the Briggs & Stratton 40450 makes it onto our list of the best quiet standby generator systems due to its power and versatility—providing 10000W of power and coming with a 200-amp automatic transfer switch that makes the machine an automatic power backup system that provides permanent and safe protection and backup during power outages.
As soon as this generator detects a power outage or any disruption to the mains power, it will activate and automatically begin supplying power to you home within seconds, and then deactivating when the mains power is restored. This generator also has a five-year limited parts and labour warranty.