Best Portable Generator for Whole House

Disclaimer: All claims are strictly my personal opinion. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases.

You are probably fed up with the unexpected and long power outages that keep happening from time to time. Or, you just need to go out on a camping trip in your camp house but require something that can give you enough electricity during the stay.

In both cases, here you will find the answers to all your questions. Below is a list of the ten best generators that are selected for their performance and durability.

Also, there’s a very helpful buying guide at the end that will tell you what you need to look for when purchasing a portable generator.


QUICK PICKS

Here are my recommended products picked out through amazon. You would be interested in depending on your budget…

BEST PICK
Generac 7676 GP8000E Portable Generator, Orange, Black
Generac 7676 GP8000E Portable Generator, Orange, Black
Dimensions: 27.2" W x 27" D x 26.5 H | Weight: 198 lb; 10000 Starting Watts. 8000 Running Watts
Best Value
Firman P05702 7100/5700 Watt 120/240V Remote Start Gas...
Firman P05702 7100/5700 Watt 120/240V Remote Start Gas...
FIRMAN Performance Generator; Start Type: Recoil, Electric, Remote; Fuel Type: Gasoline; Running (Rated) Watts: 5700

10 Best Portable Generator for Whole House Reviews

Here is my list of the Best Portable Generator for Whole House in 2021;

1. Firman Gas Portable Generator for Whole House

Firman Gas Portable Generator for Whole House
  • Weight: 188.5 Pounds
  • Starting Watts: 7125
  • Running Watts: 5700
  • Fuel: Gas

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Easy to start with a remote key fob
  • Features 10-inch tires
  • Comes with an automatic low-oil shutdown system
Things to Consider!
  • A bit large in size

Overview

With a starting watt value of 7,125 and running watt value of 5700, the Firman PO5702 is a highly portable and lightweight generator that will be available to supply ample power to your house.

It comes with a high-capacity fuel tank that can hold up to 8 gallons of fuel, while giving a run time of as much as 12.5 hours. The generator uses gas as its fuel and gives an electric output with frequency of 60 Hz.

You also get premium high-quality heavy-duty 10-inch tires attached to the generator. This makes it quite convenient to move around from place to place. And if that’s not enough, the generator also features a portable handhold for ease of handling.

It is equipped with a state-of-the-art OHV engine which is protected using cast iron sleeves that give the engine high durability. Plus, the generator will shut down when oil goes below a certain level an automatic low-oil shutdown mechanism.

Starting the generator is incredibly simple. All you need to do is press a button on the remote key fob and the generator will be up and running. Also, the outlets feature a protective covering designed specifically by Firman. This keeps all the outlets safe from wear and tear.

Lastly, the generator is pretty quiet when running and features a roll cage tubular design for its frame. This makes the entire setup very reliable.


2. Ford Dual Fuel Portable Generator | Go Technology

Ford Dual Fuel Portable Generator Go Technology
  • Weight: 108 Pounds
  • Starting Watts: 5,250 on Gasoline, 4,750 on LPG
  • Running Watts: 4,250 on Gasoline, 3,800 on LPG
  • Fuel: Gasoline or LPG

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • 11 hours of run-time on gasoline
  • Easy to switch between gasoline and LPG
  • Strong 4-stroke OHV engine
Things to Consider!
  • The pull-cord is a bit flimsy

Overview

Featuring a powerful 224cc 4-stroke OHV engine, the Ford 5 is an outstanding power generator that delivers excellent performance that is at par with Ford’s well-known brand.

The engine comes with a steel frame coating as well, that gives the engine an incredible amount of durability and strength.

There’s a capacious fuel tank that can hold up to 4 gallons of fuel and provide a run-time of as much as 11 hours on gasoline!

Speaking of gasoline, you don’t need to use gasoline all the time. The generator features dual-fuel facility that allows you to run it on LPG as well. Switching between the fuel sources is easy and can be done even while the generator is running.

On gasoline, you can get 5,250 peak watts and 4,250 running watts. Whereas on LPG, peak wattage is 4,750 and running is 3,800.

You can start off the generator conveniently either remotely or with an electric push button. And if both options fail to perform, you can use the recoil mechanism for a direct start-up.

Plus, there are three different receptacles one is of 120V at 30 amps for an RV outlet, one with 120V at 20 amps, and the other one is of 120V/240V at 30 amps.

Additionally, the generator comes equipped with non-flat tires that are 8-inches in size, with chrome F-150 rims, giving the wheels a real sleek look.

Moreover, there’s a digital meter that shows the number of hours the generator is on along with an automatic shut-down mechanism whenever oil levels are low.

And to top it all off, there’s an automatic voltage regulator that controls the voltage levels on its own. This means you can rest assured that your appliances won’t be subject to any sort of damage due to voltage fluctuations.


3. DuroStar DS13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator

DuroStar DS13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator
  • Weight: 236 pounds
  • Starting Watts: 13,000 watts
  • Running Watts: 10,500 watts
  • Fuel: Gasoline or Propane

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Powerful 500cc engine
  • Easy to start with a simple push button
  • Good for powering high-voltage appliances
Things to Consider!
  • The generator is a bit bulky

Overview

Powerful, efficient, and durable an all-in-one portable generator the DuroStar DS13000EH is a reasonable option for anyone who’s looking for a good-quality power generator tool.

Featuring dual-fuel capability, the generator can work on both gasoline and propane as its fuel source. In addition, the generator’s fuel tank can hold up to 8.3 gallons at a time, which gives you a run-time of up to 8-hours

Plus, you can start up the generator with a simple push of a button.

You will also benefit from its highly effective 4-stroke OHV, air-cooled engine which comes with an engine displacement of 500cc, that is sure to fulfill all your power needs.

And when it comes to power, the generator can give 13,000 watts of starting power and 10,500 watts of running power. This means you can easily power up multiple appliances at your home including your air conditioner and refrigerator.

In fact, the generator comes equipped with up to 6 different power outlets. That is, there are two 120V household outlets, one 120V 30-amp twist-lock outlet, another 240v 30-amp outlet, a heavy-duty 240V 50-amp outlet, and finally a 12V automotive outlet.


4. BILT HARD Portable Inverter Generator

BILT HARD Portable Inverter Generator
  • Weight: 40lbs
  • Starting Watts: 2000 watts
  • Running Watts: 1600 watts
  • Fuel: Gasoline

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Lightweight
  • Low operating noise
  • Provides stable voltage
  • Inverter technology saves fuel
Things to Consider!
  • Not compatible with fuels other than gasoline

Overview

Generators that are quiet and lightweight are indeed difficult to find. You will mostly see heavy-duty, large and bulky items that are hard to carry and do not provide the portability you need.

Sometimes, you just need a nice and quiet generator that can give you the power to run essential appliances at home without the need to power up all the heavy equipment.

BILT HARD portable invertor generator is the perfect product for this job. It runs with very low noise 65 dB to be precise and is able to provide a starting wattage of 2000 and a running wattage of 1600.

It uses gasoline as its primary fuel source and can hold up to 0.9 gallons of it at a time, while giving a run-time of 6 hours at 50% of the total load. This is highly efficient and perfect for emergency backups.

And with a weight of only 40 lbs, the generator is truly lightweight in every sense of the word. Furthermore, the generator has inverter technology which means it adjusts the engine according to the current power load. This saves a lot on fuel and ensures that the engine lasts longer.

The engine itself is a 4-storke OHV and comes with an engine displacement value of 79.7cc. Also, the generator uses a recoil start-up system.

As far as the outlets are concerned, there are two 120V 20-amp outlets and a 12V 8-amp D.C outlet, along with two additional USB outlets. There’s also an oil alert mechanism that lets you monitor the oil levels at all times.

Lastly, the BILT HARD generator is perfect for small electronic appliances such as computers, since it has a THD of 3%  this means it supplies stable power in terms of voltage without much fluctuations.


5. Westinghouse Outdoor Portable Generator Dual Fuel

Westinghouse Outdoor Portable Generator Dual Fuel
  • Weight: 220 pounds
  • Starting Watts: 12500 watts on gasoline, 11200 watts on propane
  • Running Watts: 9500 watts on gasoline, 8500 watts on propane
  • Fuel: Gasoline and Propane

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What we Like!
  • 12 hours of run-time
  • Comes with a 12 V battery charger and oil funnel
  • Transfer Switch Ready
Things to Consider!
  • The wheels are a bit wobbly

Overview

The Westinghouse WGen9500 DF is yet another powerful and heavy-duty machinery that will let you easily generate ample electricity for all sorts of appliances.

The generator features dual-fuel capabilities as well, giving a running wattage of 9500 and a starting wattage of 12500 on gasoline, and a running wattage of 8500 along with a start-up wattage of 11200 on propane.

So that’s a lot of power at your disposal for all your household needs.

In addition, the remote key fob makes it incredibly easy to start up the engine. And if for some reason, you don’t want the key fob, you can always use the electric push button or the recoil start options.

With a fuel capacity of 6.6 gallons, the generator can power up your entire home for up to 12 hours straight.

The engine as well is of premium quality. It is a 4-strok OHV engine that comes with cast iron sleeves to give it more durability.

Plus, if the oil levels go down, the generator will automatically shut down to avoid causing any damage to the mechanical parts of the generator.

More importantly, the generator features two GFCI 120 V 5-20 R outlets, a single transfer switch ready 120 V L14-30R outlet, along with an RV ready 120/240V 14-50R outlet. And to make sure everything is protected, all the outlets have rubber covering.

Lastly, due the presence of transfer switch, it’s really easy to connect up your entire house to the generator in a matter of minutes.


6. Mech Marvels Whole House Portable Generator

Mech Marvels Whole House Portable Generator
  • Weight: 57.2 pounds
  • Starting Watts: 1500
  • Running Watts: 1200
  • Fuel: Gasoline

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • EPA III compliant
  • Decibel rating is pretty low at 68db
  • Lightweight
Things to Consider!
  • Doesn’t run on propane

Overview

Mech Marvels MM2350 is indeed a marvel in and of itself. Featuring a 94cc 4-stroke OHV engine, the generator is certified from EPA and comes with a compact and portable design that lets you carry it to wherever you want with ease.

It is a lightweight and low-noise option with a decibel rating of just 68db. And it features two AC 120V outlets and a 12V DC outlet.

But perhaps you might be thinking that since it’s small and lightweight, it may not give much power or hold much fuel in it.

Well, you would be surprised to know that it can hold up to 1.5 gallons of unleaded gasoline in its tank. This can give you a run-time of up to 9 hours, powering all kinds of devices and appliances.

Finally, and more importantly, the generator offers 1500 starting watts and 1200 running watts. This makes it suitable to power up small appliances and electronic items.


7. Pulsar Portable Dual Fuel Generator for Emergency

Pulsar Portable Dual Fuel Generator for Emergency
  • Weight: 209 pounds
  • Starting Watts: 10,000 on gasoline, 9000 on LPG
  • Running Watts: 8000 on gasoline, 7000 on LPG
  • Fuel: Gasoline and LPG

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Dual-fuel capability
  • 12-hours of run-time
  • Easy to switch between gasoline and LPG
Things to Consider!
  • The solenoid of electric start button is a bit weak.

Overview

The generator may not be a cosmological machine, but the Pulsar PG10000B16 is indeed a thing that seems to have come directly from the skies high above. With a magnificent design, the generator is a marvelous machine in terms of performance and looks.

Featuring a spacious fuel tank that can hold up to 6.6 gallons of fuel at a time, the Pulsar generator can give you 12 hours of constant run-time without any sort of interruptions.

In addition, you will be happy to know that the generator can operate on both gasoline and LPG. With gasoline, you will get 10,000 peak watts and 8000 running watts. On LPG, you can secure 9000 starting watts and 7000 running watts.

Switching between the two is extremely easy, thanks to the Switch and Go technology of the generator.

It comes with a powerful 4-stroke OHV engine that has an engine displacement of 420cc. Plus, the engine is powder coated with steel frame that ensures the engine doesn’t fall victim to wear and tear. Makes it sturdier.

You can easily power up the generator with an electric push button. And as a back-up, there’s a recoil startup option available as well.

And to top it all off, there are four 120V outlets and one 120V/240V twist-lock outlet, along with an RV port that supports voltage of 120/240 at a current of 50-amps!


8. Champion Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator

Champion Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator
  • Weight: 95.7 pounds
  • Starting Watts: 3400
  • Running Watts: 3100
  • Fuel: Gasoline and Propane

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Features a safe 3-posiiton ignition switch
  • Cold-start technology makes it efficient for cold weathers
  • Less than 3% THD
Things to Consider!
  • May not work at full efficiency when on gas

Overview

Champion’s inverter generator is by all means a true champion when it comes to the market for inverter generators. A market leader, this generator will not only give ample power, but will do so in a clean fashion without eating up too much fuel.

Featuring a 4-stroke, 192cc OHV engine, the generator delivers 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts. In addition, it comes with a decibel rating of just 59db at 60 Hz. This makes it ultra-quiet and gives you the peace of mind you deserve.

It weighs 95.7 pounds, making it pretty lightweight. Moreover, the fuel tank can hold up to 1.6 gallons of fuel. More importantly, it can operate on both Propane and gasoline. And the generator gives a run-time of 7.5 hours.

There’s an electric start mechanism which features a 3-posiition ignition switch, allowing you to conveniently start up the machine.

In addition, the generator comes with a sensor that causes it to shut down if the oil is low. Plus, the electricity produced has less than 3% THD. This means there are no voltage fluctuations, making it safe to be used on small electronic appliances.

But the best part about this generator is its cold-start technology. That is, even though the generator is not meant for heavy-duty jobs, it can still power up pretty quickly in cold environments.

Finally, the control panel has two 120V AC 20-amp outlets, a 120V AC 30-amp RV outlet, and a 12V DC 8-amp outlet.


9. Generac Portable Generator for Whole House

Generac Portable Generator for Whole House
  • Weight: 214 pounds
  • Starting Watts: 10,000
  • Running Watts: 8000
  • Fuel: Gasoline

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Power Rush Advanced Technology gives 30% more power
  • Durable steel fuel tank
  • Lubricated OHV engine
Things to Consider!
  • Getting parts for Generac can be difficult

Overview

The Generac 7676 GP8000E is not like your everyday generator. With a state-of-the-art design and a durable steel tank, the generator is one of its kind that is sure to deliver excellent performance.

It features Power Rush Advanced Technology which means you get 30% more power at start-up. This allows you to get the maximum output from the machine in a low amount of time.

Also, the generator comes with a large fuel tank that is made out of hard steel. The tank contains a fuel gauge as well. All of this ensures that the tank lasts for long.

Plus, it offers 11 hours of run-time at 50% load. In addition, it delivers 10,000 watts at start-up and 8000 watts when running.

Lastly, it comes with a sturdy OHV engine that is lubricated for better performance and durability.


10. Honda Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

Honda Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
  • Weight: 54 pounds
  • Starting Watts: 2200
  • Running Watts: 1800

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Can be operated through smartphone app
  • Features Honda’s proprietary GXR120 engine
  • Gives 8.1 hours of runtime
Things to Consider!
  • Bluetooth may not connect to iPhone.

Overview

We all know and love the Honda brand. And with the EU2200ITAG inverter generator, Honda has surely lived up to its name.

Weighing only 54 pounds, the generator is incredibly lightweight but still powerful. That is, it produces a running wattage of 1800 and a start-up wattage of 2200.

In addition, it comes with Honda’s latest Co-minder technology. This allows the generator to monitor carbon monoxide levels in the surroundings. Once they go above a certain threshold, the generator shuts down automatically, thus providing an extra level of safety.

Furthermore, the generator comes equipped with Honda’s proprietary GXR120 engine that is incredibly quiet at a decibel rating of 57dB and has a displacement of 121cc.

And starting up the generator involves truly the most innovative method one could think of. Basically, you can use Honda’s My Generator App on your smartphone to control the entire thing and even monitor performance.

The App connects to the generator through Bluetooth, which allows you to start or stop the generator wirelessly.

Lastly, the generator can hold up to 0.95 gallons of fuel and give a run-time of 8.1 hours, providing 120 volts of AC power.


Buying Guide

Reading the above list would make you realize how complex a generator is. There are just too many moving parts that you need to worry about before buying one.

First, there’s the engine, and within that, there are quite a few types. Then there’s the output power both running and starting. Further, there’s the start-up system. Of course, the list goes on and on.

But this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get a generator. This guide will take you through some of the important factors that you need to look for when getting a generator. This will be especially useful for those who are buying for the first time.

Technical jargon is kept minimal and some technical concepts are explained in the most user-friendly manner. So, get ready to learn some new things!

Running vs Starting Watts

The very first thing that you usually see in an advertisement for a generator is the value of starting watts. Starting watts, as the name suggests, is the power needed to start up appliances. Starting watts are also sometimes known as peak watts.

Starting watts are always higher than running watts. Running watts, again, simply show the power needed to keep an appliance running.

We all know that it’s easier to keep a thing moving when it has already started. But it is more difficult to start up a thing when it is laying idle. Just imagine the amount of power you need to get up in the morning.

So, do not fall into the trap of sellers who only advertise the value of starting watts. Although important, it is not the whole picture. You also need to make sure that the generator gives you ample running wattage to ensure that your appliances keep running.

To know how much of running and starting watts you require, you will need to check the number of appliances that you wish to power up in your entire house. A rule of thumb is to add up the running watts of all the appliances and then add the highest starting watts of an appliance.

So, for instance, if you have around 10 things in your house that need power, you will need to add up the running watts of all these 10 devices. Let’s say this comes out to be 2000 watts.

You would then select an appliance that has the highest starting watts. Let’s say this comes out to be 3500 watts. You will then add up the total running watts with the highest starting watts. This would come out to be 5500 watts.

Now, your generator should have starting watts of 5500 and running watts of at least 2000. And this is how you would make your purchase.

Engine Type

Then comes engine type. Most generators have the 4-stroke OHV engine. So, what does this mean anyway?

Without going into much detail, most generators will have the OHV engine installed. These engines do not cost much and have a small size.

OHC and DOHC engines are usually found in cars. DOHC, however is the most powerful engine today. Most modern cars would have it.

Further, the engine can either be 4-stroke or 2-stroke. The strokes refer to the number of times a piston moves to complete a cycle in an internal combustion engine. A 2-stroke engine is lighter and faster. However, a 4-stroke engine produces much more power.

Due to this, heavy-duty generators usually have 4-stroke OHV engines installed.

Engine Displacement

When it comes to engines, you might have heard of the letters, CC. What does this mean? Well, CC stands for cubic centimeters and this is the unit for measuring engine displacement.

Engine displacement basically relates to the volume that a piston moves within a cylinder, to take in the fuel and air mixture, to start the ignition process.

Quite simply, in an internal combustion engine, there’s a piston that moves up and down in a cylinder. There are other components that turn this up-and-down motion into a rotating motion.

When the piston moves, there are certain mechanisms which suck in fuel and air. The piston is then moved up and this compresses the fuel and air. This builds pressure and also causes ignition. Once that happens, the piston moves down once again.

This process goes on and on and this is what keeps an engine moving. Now, the larger the distance that a piston moves down, the larger the engine’s displacement. This means with every move, more fuel and air are taken in. And so, with each movement, more fuel is burnt and more power produced.

As such, the higher the displacement of an engine, the more power it would produce. But the downside is that engines with higher displacements lead to higher fuel consumption. So, more fuel will need to be bought for this.

Harmonic Distortion

We all know that every power supply has some voltage fluctuations. Harmonic distortion is just a fancy name for voltage and current fluctuations.

To be more precise, every current or voltage has a pure form. But it can get distorted due to various factors. The more it gets distorted, the more harmonic distortion there is.

Measurement of harmonic distortion is done by dividing the voltage of the distorted form by the voltage of the pure form. This gives a percentage. This is called the Total Harmonic Distortion or THD for short.

A THD of more than 5% is considered to be harmful. Especially for lightweight electronic items such as computers. Not all generators may advertise this value. But it would be good to enquire about it if you want to power up such electronic items at home.

Conclusion

With this, you know enough about generators. So much so that you can go on your own to get your very first generator.

Of course, there can be other things as well such as weight, color, and the fuel type that the generator uses. It is good to get a generator that can work on multiple fuel types. This is a safer option. If one form of fuel is not available, you can always use the other one.

And weight is obviously a factor for those who want to carry generators from one place to another quite often. This is especially true for those who want to take their generators to a camping site.

In any case, the guide above will help you find the generator that you need. Just make sure that you are clear about the power requirements of your own household.

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You may also love to read these my reviews and the buying guides…


People Also Asked

Here are a few questions that will further help you in choosing the best generator;

What is the Best Portable Generator for a Whole House?

Here is my list of the Best Portable Generator for Whole House in 2021;

  1. Firman Gas Portable Generator for Whole House
  2. Ford Dual Fuel Portable Generator Go Technology
  3. DuroStar DS13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator
  4. BILT HARD Portable Inverter Generator
  5. Westinghouse Outdoor Portable Generator Dual Fuel
  6. Mech Marvels Whole House Portable Generator
  7. Pulsar Portable Dual Fuel Generator for Emergency
  8. Champion Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator
  9. Generac Portable Generator for Whole House
  10. Honda Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

What is an inverter generator?

Unlike regular generators, an inverter generator actually regulates the amount of power that it produces based upon current needs.

That is, regular generators keep the engine moving at a constant speed all the time. This consumes more fuel.

Inverter generators, however, reduce the power output if the required power is already delivered. This makes inverter generators more efficient. However, most inverter generators are not suitable for heavy-duty purposes yet.

What is Transfer Switch Ready?

Transfer Switch Ready generators allow you to connect them easily and directly to the entire household’s electric system.

Basically, you can either connect individual appliances to the generator through various cords or you can directly connect the generator to your house’s wiring.

The former is indeed inconvenient. With the latter, you can easily power up your whole house without any hassle.

What is Recoil start?

In many generators, you will get the option to start them by pulling a cord. This mechanism is called recoil start.

David Houghton

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