Is a Whole House Backup Generator Worth It?

is a whole house backup generator worth it

Whether or not a whole house backup generator is worth it depends on many things. Your risk factors, your lifestyle and your budget are all important considerations.

If you live in an area prone to frequent power outages, a home backup generator might be a good investment. Or, if you have electrically powered medical equipment that you depend on, such as an oxygen machine or dialysis pump, then it might be something you want to consider.

1. Reliable

Losing power is a major inconvenience that can cause you stress and worry. Whether you’re at work, cooking dinner or relaxing on the couch with a cup of coffee, the loss of power can take a toll on your day.

A standby generator, on the other hand, automatically turns on and provides electricity to your home when it loses power. These are called “whole house” backup generators and they’re designed to keep everything running for as long as possible until the power comes back on.

While they’re more expensive than portable generators, whole house backup generators are worth the investment if you live in a high-risk area that often experiences storms or other severe weather events. They’re also incredibly convenient, saving you time and money during outages.

2. Convenient

A whole house backup generator is a permanently installed, gas-powered solution to power your home in case of a power outage. It runs on natural gas, liquid propane or diesel and is situated outside your home.


These generators automatically step in and supply electricity within milliseconds when the utility power goes out. They also switch off when the power is back and go into standby mode, ready for the next outage.

You’ll get enough energy to power most appliances in your home, including your air conditioning system and refrigerator. To determine what size generator you need, add up the wattage of each device in your electrical panel.

A good rule of thumb is to choose a unit with the wattage needed for your home’s essential circuits, or a larger capacity if you have a lot of household appliances. Our whole-house generator sizing calculator will help you estimate the size that’s right for your needs.

3. Energy-efficient

When you have a whole house backup generator, you can stay in the comfort of your home during power outages. These units are much more energy-efficient than portable generators, and they can power all of the major appliances in your home.

A whole house generator also offers better safety and security. Since these systems are hardwired and use automatic transfer switches, they’re less likely to cause electrical fires or shocks.

They also run quietly and require less maintenance than portable generators do. They can be powered by natural gas, liquid propane, or diesel and are usually connected to the main fuel line in your home.

4. Affordable

If you’ve ever experienced a power outage, you know how quickly your home can be put out of commission. A whole house backup generator is an excellent way to keep your family comfortable and safe during an outage.

While some homeowners opt for portable generators to help them get through storm season, whole house backup systems are generally more effective at preserving your power. These appliances are permanently installed on the outside of your home and hardwired into your electrical system.

The cost of a whole house generator depends on the size of your home and your energy needs. For example, a smaller unit can only power critical systems in your home and is likely to be less expensive than a larger one with a more comprehensive range of features.

5. Easy to maintain

A whole house backup generator is a worthwhile investment for many homeowners, especially those who live in a hurricane-prone area. With routine maintenance and care, a whole house generator can last for years, making it a smart purchase.

These devices can be powered by natural gas or propane, which can save you money over time. Unlike portable generators, whole house backup generators are more fuel-efficient and have a larger output capacity.

They also tend to be very easy to maintain, thanks in part to the self-test cycles that they run from time to time. They’re also designed with a liquid coolant, like a car’s engine, which keeps them running smoothly without overheating and causing damage to the appliances they power. Plus, they’re quiet, so you won’t hear them running in the background of your everyday life.