Weather events can come anytime without knocking. When this happens, it is common to witness power outages. Unfortunately, no one knows when these power outages will likely come and when there will be a restoration. Sometimes the blackout can last for days and, in worse situations, for months. While you may have an alternative light source, heating your home, running refrigerators, washing, cooking, and pumping water need an alternative power source and you can choose any of the best portable generators for home.
During such seasons, you should arm yourself with the best portable generator for home to keep your home running during extreme weather events. You can also use a portable generator to run your power tools during DIY projects and powering other outdoor power demanding activities. So, which is the best portable generator for home use?
Any portable generator with a minimum of 4,000 watts can be your emergency power plan whenever there’s an outage. However, with the many portable generators with such power outputs, settling for the right one can be challenging. Here is a review to help you make the right purchase decision when shopping for the best portable generator for your home. Additionally, you will also learn tips for safe generator use.
1. Westinghouse WGEN 7500 Portable Generator Review
If you’re shopping for the best portable generator for your home, WGEN 7500 model is one of the best in the market. This generator comes with convenience features, including an electric starter option which saves you from pulling a string to start it. You will also benefit from starting and stopping this generator from the comfort of your home while it’s 109 yards away. The remote key operations are made possible by the remote start key fob feature.
This powerful power equipment churns out 9,500 peak wattage and 7,500 rated watts from its great 420cc 4-stroke engine. It has a 6.6-gallon fuel tank capacity that allows it to operate non-stop for 18 hours at a quarter load. The power output capacity can run most essential home appliances without any strain.
The long runtime allows you to enjoy a continuous power supply overnight and for the better part of the day. Besides powering your home appliances, you can also use it to run your power tools during DIY or construction projects. It can also power your RV and other outdoor activities. It operates at a noise level of 64 decibels which is relatively low when you factor in its power output. Other features on this model include;
- A built-in fuel gauge that gives you an easy time to monitor fuel levels.
- GFCI protected outlets that protect users from electric shocks when operating the generator in wet conditions.
- VFT display that shows the voltage, frequency, and remaining lifetime hours before next maintenance.
- Multiple power outlets, including a transfer switch ready for easy connection to your house in case of a power outage
- Safety features include an automatic low oil shut-down, overload protection, and automatic voltage regulation. The safety features protect your generator and the plugged-in appliances from potential risks.
Even though this generator weighs about 200 pounds, it’s still easy to move around. It’s an open-frame model for easy lifting with the help of a colleague. You can effortlessly move this generator once it is on the ground, thanks to its wheel kit.
Video with Westinghouse WGEN 7500 Portable Generator
2. Champion 5500 Dual Fuel Portable Generator Review
This is the best dual fuel portable generator. It gives you the versatility to choose which fuel you can run it on or which one is available during an emergency. If you’re buying this generator as a power backup plan, its dual-fuel capability source comes with several benefits. Gasoline will give you more power output than propane, and it’s also readily available under normal weather scenarios.
However, gasoline can be difficult to access when there is a disaster. Secondly, gasoline can gum up carburetors when stored for a long period. Unlike gasoline, propane is easy to store and won’t gum up your generator’s engine. Champion 5500 can generate a starting wattage of 6,900W and 5,500 running watts when running it on gasoline. Propane gives it a lower kick by delivering 6,250 starting watts and 5,000 running watts.
Regardless of your fuel choice, this generator is easy to start. While the power output may not be enough to power your entire house, it can keep your family safe during a power outage. The generator has a 389cc engine capacity, and you can only start it through the conventional recoil start mechanism. This generator can provide power continuously for 10 hours at half load when the 6.1 gasoline fuel tank is full.
A 20-pound propane tank can power it for 6.5 hours while running it at 50% load. If you want to run the generator for long hours, gasoline may be the best fuel option. This model has a rated noise of 74 decibels. You can power your home through a transfer switch-ready outlet or power an RV trailer through the 30A RV Ready outlet. The control panel has an intelligent gauge meter that helps you keep track of power output and tracking maintenance intervals. The safety features on this model include;
- A low oil shut-down sensor
- A Volt Guard that keeps the generator and plugged in appliances from voltage spike risks. This model has an average weight of 162 pounds. It’s heavy to lift, but moving it becomes easy thanks to the foldaway handle and never-flat wheelset once it is on the ground.
3. Generac GP6500 COSense Portable Generator Review
The COSense technology quickly detects high levels of carbon monoxide fumes than a household CO monitoring system. The technology will automatically shut down the engine and alert you when the ambient levels of carbon monoxide are becoming hazardous., It is a reliable portable generator that can deliver a peak wattage of 8,125W and a running wattage of 6,500W. This is adequate power to run your useful electric appliances when a hurricane or storm causing power disruptions.
You can also use this generator to power high voltage power tools or run your outdoor activities. With this generator, you can enjoy 40% more starting power, allowing you to run power-demanding appliances with fewer thanks to PowerRush Advanced Technology. You only have a recoil start method to start this 389cc engine.
The electric start option is available on the GP6500 model with no COSense Technology. It operates with 81 decibels when running at 50% throttle from 20 feet. The 6.9-gallon gas tank can keep this generator operating for 10.5 hours when running at half load. This runtime is sufficient for powering your AC or heating unit overnight and other small appliances. This generator has 4 (20A) household–style GFCI protected power outlets for easy connections to your home through your home’s electric panel. There is also a single 120/240V 30A Twist Lock outlet connecting the generator to your RV or power-intensive appliances. Additional features on this model include;
- Fuel shut-off valve
- An hour meter that helps in tracking maintenance intervals.
- Low oil shut-down sensor
- Circuit breakers for overload protection
This generator weighs 172 pounds. The heaviness is due to the steel tube frame on this generator, the large capacity fuel tank, and the engine. Even so, you can move this generator on most surfaces thanks to the heavy-duty never-flat wheels and the sturdy fold-down handle. Pros Cons
4. Dewalt DXGNR7000 Portable Generator Review
DXGNR7000 is an open-frame portable generator with a starting wattage of 8750W and a rated wattage of 7000W. It’s a generator made for tough environments perfect for emergency backup power, for powering a construction site, and other outdoor activities. You can power a wide range of home appliances with its output power capacity without straining the generator. This generator supports the conventional recoil start mechanism and an electric starter option.
With its 7.5-gallon gasoline tank capacity, this generator can run for about 11 hours at half load on a single tank. Considering its power output, you can do a lot with a 50% load, including running your refrigerator and powering an AC or heating unit. DXGNR7000 is equipped with 5 AC outlets, among them being a transfer switch-ready receptacle. You can conveniently connect this generator to your home through the breaker box when weather events disrupt the mains.
You can also choose to directly power other appliances through an extension cord that you’ll plug in the household-style outlets. This model has a digital data center that displays the generator’s power output and remaining lifetime to the next maintenance. You can easily monitor the fuel levels in this generator, thanks to the in-built fuel gauge. DXGNR7000 is further equipped with an overload protection feature and a low oil shut-down sensor.
These two features protect your generator by ensuring it’s not overloaded and the engine doesn’t run without oil. With a weight of 192 pounds, lifting and transporting this generator can be challenging. However, moving it becomes effortless once this unit is on the floor, thanks to the folding handle and its wheel kit.
5. DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Review
If you’re looking for the best portable generator for your home to run your several appliances simultaneously, this generator won’t disappoint you. If you have a good storage of fuel, you’ll not worry how long the utility line will take before it’s restored. This powerhouse gives you the versatility to run it on gasoline or propane, depending on which one is readily available.
This generator can churn a starting power of 12,000 watts and 9,500 running watts when running it on gasoline. In comparison, propane delivers 10,200 starting watts and 8,075 running watts. If you want to achieve a higher power output, consider running this model on gasoline. Otherwise, propane burns clean but offers lower power output. Despite its huge power output, this generator has a rated noise of 72 decibels when running on a quarter load. You have two options for starting this generator; the conventional recoil system or a stylish electric starter option.
This generator has a runtime of 9 hours when running at half load when the 8.3-gallons gasoline tank is full. The runtime is enough for running multiple small appliances overnight. If you have power-demanding appliances, running individual appliances will give you more runtime than running them concurrently.
A 20-pound propane tank can power this generator for about 4 hours when it’s on a 50% load. DuroMax XP12000EH has multiple power outlets that allow you to power multiple appliances; there are 5 AC outlets and 1 DC outlet. With the transfer switch ready feature, you can effortlessly power your entire home through the breaker box when there’s an outage. You can also power your RV through an RV adaptor. Additional features;
- A voltmeter for easy monitoring of the generator’s working status
- A built-in fuel gauge for easy monitoring of gasoline levels
- Circuit breakers for preventing an overload scenario
- Low oil light indicator and an automatic shut-down sensor when oil level is extremely low
6. Honda EU7000IS Portable Inverter Generator Review
Honda produces the best portable inverter generators globally. Their products are reliable and operate quietly. If you don’t mind spending big, this is the best portable generator you can invest in for your home’s emergency power backup. You can also use it for recreational activities, including RVing, tailgating, and other outdoor activities.
Honda EU7000IS runs on a 389cc Honda 4-stroke engine that delivers a peak wattage of 7000W and 5500 running watts. You can double the power output by connecting two of these models parallel if you have intermittent demands of more power. Otherwise, one unit is enough to generate power for running the useful household appliances when there is an outage.
This inverter generator operates quietly at 52 decibels when running on a quarter load. You can start it through; conventional recoil option, an elegant electric starter, or remote start operations through the My Generator App. This generator produces clean and stable power with less than 3% THD. You can run your sensitive household and office appliances with this generator. Unlike other models in this review, Honda EU7000IS has an Electronic Fuel injection system that;
- Increases the engine’s reliability
- Improves fuel efficiency
- Improves the start-up process
- Reduces the need for servicing
Honda EU7000IS has a 5.1-gallon fuel tank capacity. A single tank can power this generator for 16hours when running at a quarter load. You can power selected appliances overnight and remain with fuel to run your refrigerator for the better part of the day. This model has 6 AC outlets that allow you to connect multiple appliances. When there’s a power outage, connect it to power your household via the breaker box thanks to its transfer switch ready feature. Other features on this model include;
- A digital data center that displays the power output, voltage, and the remaining runtime before the next service
- Three light indicators show when the unit is ready, when it’s overloaded and when the oil level is low.
- A built-in fuel gauge.
- An automatic low oil shut-down sensor and overload protection circuits
- CO MINDER technology guarantees you safety by shutting down the engine when carbon monoxide levels are becoming dangerous.
- With the Honda My Generator App, you can monitor the generator’s status and operate it from 75 feet.
This generator weighs 263.2 pounds. It’s one of the heaviest in this review. It can be challenging to move it, especially when you are one person. Even so, it comes with a folding handle and wheel kit that aids in moving it once it’s on the ground.
7. Ryobi RY906500S Gasoline Powered Portable Generator Review
If you are shopping for a budget-friendly generator, Ryobi RY906500S is a good buy. This model will cost you less than what other 6000-7000 watts range generators would cost you. Its power output can power a wide range of household appliances, recreational equipment, and power tools.
An easy start mechanism is also equipped to make the recoil starting method effortless. The Ryobi RY906500S has a 420cc 4-stroke engine that delivers a peak wattage of 8,125W and 6,500 running watts. Adequate power for meeting various power needs during an emergency. This model has a noise rating of 72 decibels, which is average considering it’s an open frame generator. The generator boasts a 6-gallons fuel tank capacity that can run continuously for about 10 hours at half load.
The 50% load means you have to select a few appliances that you need to run to achieve such a runtime. You can run your heating system or AC unit, refrigerator, and lighting and retain extra power for small appliances. You can choose to power your appliances directly by connecting an extension cord to this generator through household-style outlets. Or safely connect the entire house through the breaker box because the generator has a transfer switch ready receptacle. Extra features on Ryobi RY906500S include;
- A carbon monoxide sensor with an LED light indicates when the ambient level of carbon monoxide is becoming unsafe before it automatically shuts down.
- A convenient meter on the control panel that displays running voltage, frequency, and remaining lifetime hours
- It has a circuit breaker and a low oil shut-down sensor. The two features protect the generator from overloading risks and prevent the engine from running without oil.
- An automatic voltage regulator that guarantees the power output is reliable and consistent.
As an open frame generator, it’s easier to share the 195 pounds weight of this generator with an adult. Otherwise, manually lifting and transporting it by yourself can be challenging. The manufacturer includes a 10-inch wheel kit and a folding handle that makes it easy to move it on the ground to enhance its portability.
8. Lifan ESI 7000iER-EFI Portable Inverter Generator Review
This powerful, quiet inverter generator is ideal for homeowners looking for an emergency power backup during blackouts. It’s also perfect power equipment for RV lovers, campers, and tailgating. Lifan ESI 7000iER-EFI has a starting power of 7000 watts and 6500 running wattage of clean and stable power.
With this generator, you can run delicate electronics, including laptops, smartphones, tablets, and others, thanks to its less than 2% THD. You can start this generator through the conventional recoil start method, its simple electric starter, or remotely. You don’t have to step outside your house to run it during a storm; conveniently operate it via the key fob from your house.
The engine operates at a noise rating of 59 decibels which is acceptable in all noise-sensitive areas. It’s among the few models that have Electronic Fuel Injection system that increases the engine’s reliability and fuel efficiency. With a 4.5-gallon fuel tank, this generator can operate non-stop for 12 hours at 50% load on a single tank.
The high runtime on this powerful engine is made possible by the EFI system and inverter technology that lower fuel consumption. This model has 4 AC outlets and a single DC outlet. You can power your home or selected appliances through these outlets. The DC outlet is ideal for charging batteries. This model is RV-ready; you can therefore connect it to your RV with ease. Other important features of this model are;
- A digital data center that displays power output, voltage, and remaining lifetime hours
- A built-in fuel gauge.
- A low oil shut-off feature and a light indicator that displays when the oil level is low
- Circuit breakers
This generator has a compact design, making it easy to store when not in use and packing it on your RV or camping vehicle. It has a high weight of around 180 pounds which can be difficult to lift and move. However, the manufacturer compensates for this by including a folding handle and wheel kit.
9. Powerhorse 7500i Portable Inverter Generator Review
This is the second quietest generator in the 6000 to 7000 watts range in our review. It has a noise rating of 55 decibels when running at quarter load. You can use this generator in any noise-sensitive environment ranging from estates to National Reserves. Powerhorse 7500i has a 420cc 4-stroke engine that generates 7,500 starting watts and 6,500 running watts.
This amount of power is suitable for running heavy-duty household electronics, including a heating system and water pump. You can also use this generator to meet your construction or DIY project’s power demands. You also have the option to link this generator to a similar model to achieve double its power output. This model features a traditional pull start mechanism and an elegant electric starter option. The engine produces a clean sine wave with less than 1.5% THD.
Therefore, it is safe to power delicate electronics, including PCs, LCD TVs, and smartphones, among others. You can expect an interrupted power supply for about 16 hours when running at a quarter load, thanks to its 6.6-gallon fuel tank capacity. It is sufficient runtime, especially when you only have a few appliances to power throughout the night or day.
The generator has 7 AC outlets and 2 DC outlets, which comprise 2 USB ports. The wide selection of AC outlets allows you to connect a wide variety of appliances at ago. Thanks to the transfer switch-ready receptacle, you can easily connect this generator to your house through the breaker box. While it’s not an RV-ready model, it has twist-lock receptacles that allow convenient RV connection.
The USB ports allow quick charging of your camera, tablets, or smartphones when you’re camping, tailgating, or at a construction site. This model has features that make it user-friendly and safe for your operation.
A data center displays fuel level, the generator’s power output, voltage, and reaming lifetime in hours. With this information, you can plan for refueling and even schedule your next servicing, depending on the remaining lifetime. Additionally, light indicators display when; the unit is ready for loading, overloaded, and when the oil level is low. For a worry-free operation, this generator has overload protection and a low oil shut-down sensor. The engine will; automatically shut down when the circuit breaker trips because of an overload. Similarly, it will shut down when it detects the oil level is extremely low. This model has a foldable handle and wheel kit for easy movement once it’s on the ground.
Video with a Review of Powerhorse 7500i Portable Inverter Generator
10. Sportsman GEN85KIDF Portable Inverter Generator Review
It’s an open-frame inverter generator with dual-fuel technology suitable for homeowners looking for a portable generator for their homes. This versatile power equipment can run on either gasoline or propane gas. It has a large power output of 8,750 starting wattage and 7,000 running watts when powering it with gasoline.
It may not be the largest power output in this review. Still, it assures you of reliable and stable power output. Running it on propane delivers 7,900 peak watts and 6,300 rated watts. This power output can save you from the frustrations resulted from weather events that lead to power blackouts and the unavailability of gasoline. Either fuel source allows you to run the essential household appliances, including cooking tools, fridges, heating, and lighting, during power outages.
The generator features an electric and conventional starting mechanism. It has a rated noise of 70 decibels, which is reasonable considering its power output. Sportsman GEN85KIDF boasts of a 7-gallons fuel tank size which can run for 10 hours at half load on a single tank. So, if you’re looking for a generator to power selected appliances throughout the day or overnight, Sportsman GEN85KIDF won’t disappoint you.
Running it on a 20-pound propane tank will give you 6 hours of continuous power supply when the unit has a 50% load. This unit has 5 AC and 2 DC power outlets for meeting your power demands. If you need to connect your entire house with this model, you must install a transfer switch on your breaker box. The 120/240V 50A outlet is ideal when you have heavy-duty power demands. The 2 DC outlets allow you to quickly charge your battery and have a 5V USB port to power your handheld devices. Other features include;
- Three light indicators are displaying the status of the generator. You can tell when it’s ready for loading, when it’s overloaded, and when the oil level is low.
- It has circuit breakers and an automatic low oil shut-down sensor.
This generator has a compact design for easy storage when not in use and when on transit. The generator weighs 133 pounds which makes it difficult to lift manually.
Important Features to Consider When shopping for any Best Portable Generators for Home
Every portable generator in this review is worth the money you will incur in buying it. However, here are the key features that you must look into when shopping for the best portable generator for your home.
1. Check Whether It’s an Inverter or Conventional Model
There are key differences between inverter and conventional generators. The decision to buy an inverter or a conventional model will depend on your need to run. Inverter generators are suitable for powering delicate electrical appliances because the power from inverter models is stable with no fluctuations. On the other hand, conventional generators are ideal for powering equipment that is not affected by power fluctuations. So what is the difference between a conventional generator and an inverter generator?
A conventional generator produces AC power which is not stable. This current has fluctuations and power surges which can destroy sensitive devices such as LCD TVs, laptops, and cellphones. Conventional generators are noisy than inverter generators. This is because of their big engine size and open frame design with no mufflers to dampen the engine sound. Inverter generators produce clean and stable power suitable for running even the most delicate electronics.
The power output from the engine is taken through two conversion phases, from AC to DC and from DC to AC again. It ensures the final power output is free from fluctuations and power surges. Inverter generators have a small engine. Their compact design ensures the engine is covered with sound dampening materials to lower noise output. They also have better fuel efficiency than conventional models because inverter generators regulate engine speed depending on the existing load. This feature lowers fuel consumption and engine sound as well, thereby lowering noise output.
2. Mode of Starting the Generator
Starting mechanisms in generators can be;
- Conventional recoil start
- Electric starter
- Remote start
Some generators like Westinghouse WGEN 7500 have the three starting options, while Generac GP6500 COSense only has the recoil start mechanism. Other options like Powerhorse 7500i have the conventional recoil option and the electric start option. Portable generators with the three starting options are the best.
However, the electric start and remote start operations rely on the generator battery. When this battery dies, you cannot start it through the electric push-button or remotely. Both electric start and remote operations feature increases the convenience of operating generators. The conventional recoil mechanism should be the backup starting option, and it shouldn’t miss in any fuel-driven generator.
3. Fuel Gauge
There is nothing as frustrating as a sputtering generator shutting down because of an insufficient fuel level. This could damage your appliances or even lower your moods if you rely on it to power your tailgating party. A built-in fuel gauge will save you from these frustrations because you can easily monitor the fuel levels and plan for a refill. Most generators in our review come with an in-built fuel gauge. If your favorite generator in our review doesn’t have an in-built fuel gauge, you can buy a gas cap that has an in-built fuel gauge.
Dual Fuel Technology
Dual fuel technology gives you the flexibility to choose your preferred fuel source between propane and gasoline. Besides choosing a fuel option, you can stock both fuel sources to guarantee your continuous power supply even in the absence of either of them. In few cases, you will find trio-fuel technology in selected portable generator models that allows users to choose propane, gasoline, or diesel. In our review, DuroMax XP12000EH, Champion 5500 is a portable generator with dual-fuel technology. With dual-fuel technology, you’ll never lack power.
An automatic Low Oil Shut-Down and Overload Protection
These are useful safety features that must be present in any portable generator for the home. The automatic low oil shut-down feature ensures your engine does not run without oil when you forget to check the oil status of your generator. It will automatically shut down the engine when it detects the oil level is extremely low. This protects the generator’s engine. An overload protection feature protects your generator and plugged-in devices from overloading risks. It’s another important safety feature to look at in a generator.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Should I use a transfer switch when powering my house with a portable generator?
If you are plugging your appliances into the wall sockets, you must use a transfer switch. Some models above, like Westinghouse WGEN 7500 and Honda EU7000IS, come with transfer switch-ready receptacles. Do not power your entire house through the wall sockets; this can be dangerous. Get an electrician to install a transfer switch for you in your home’s electric panel. However, you don’t need a transfer switch if you plan to plug the devices directly into the generator. You need a quality extension cord, plug it into the generator outlets, and you’re ready to power your appliances.
2. How do I hook a portable generator to my house?
You should never hook a portable generator directly to your home’s circuit box during emergencies. Remember, a power outage is not permanent. If power is restored while your generator is hooked, the results can be disastrous. Your generator can fry, blow up your electric panel, or, worse, start a fire. If you want to link your portable generator to your house during emergencies, uses a transfer switch.
3. Can I run my portable generator in the rain?
Even though portable generator models are weatherproof, running them in the rain is not a good idea. A combination of water and electricity can lead to severe electrocution. You’d rather be safe than sorry. Standby generators are the only models built to run in any weather.
4. Are portable generators worth the money?
Yes, portable generators come in handy when you need a temporary power solution. With unpredictable power outages, you need to have a power backup solution. You will need to run your heating system during the winter and AC unit during summer but with the power grid off. Investing in a reliable portable generator will keep you going even amid a power outage caused by a hurricane. Furthermore, you don’t know when the mainline will be back, so you are safe with a portable generator as a backup solution.
5. What is the risk of overloading a portable generator?
Overloading a portable generator can damage all the plugged-in appliances and the generator itself. In a worse scenario, the generator can go up in flames, which can jeopardize the lives of everyone around you and your properties. Do not overload your generator.
Weather events can sometimes be unpredictable. To safeguard yourself from the effects of a power outage during the storm and hurricanes, invest in the best portable generator for home. The generator should be big enough to produce adequate power to run your selected appliances or your entire home. There are inverter and conventional generators that have this capacity. This review includes both of them. Some models will serve you perfectly during power outages and for recreational purposes as well. Choose either of the models in this review, and the power blackouts will never be a bother to you.