Due to the high demand for generators in several parts of the world, many brands and models of generators keep emerging everyday with different features. On the one hand, it is a welcome development as it gives buyers more options.
And on the other hand, this makes it difficult to make a choice. That’s why we came up with this article. It helps you compare the features of whole-house generators and that makes it easier for you to make a choice.
We have discussed the yardsticks on which you’ll compare generators before you pick one. After reading this write-up through to the end, it will be easier for you to select the most suitable brand and model of a generator for yourself. Are you ready? Let’s go.
The most important yardstick for you to compare generators is their power outputs. Generators come with varying power outputs from 1.5KW up to 30KW or more than that. However, you don’t just select any power output at random.
If you do, it’s possible for you to purchase a generator that may not be able to power all your electrical appliances. Also, you may end up buying a generator with a power output that is way higher than your required output.
Here’s why that’s a problem. Power output is the main factor that determines the cost of a generator. The higher the power output, the higher the cost.
On that note, a 22KW generator will cost higher than a 20KW. So, the question is, if a 20KW generator can easily meet your electricity needs, why pay an extra cost for a 22KW generator? It will be a total waste of money.
So, once you know the suitable power output for your home, your search should be confined to only the generators that give out that output. You may be wondering how to determine the suitable power output for you. It’s easy.
List out all the appliances you want to power with the generator. Take the wattage of each of them, and add them together. That will give you an idea of your power needs.
After narrowing down your search on power output, the next step is to compare the brands of all the generators that offer your required power output.
For instance, if you determine your required power output to be 20KW, you can now compare the brands of the generator models that offer an output of 20KW.
Although newer brands of generators cost less than known brands, it is better to choose from a known brand so that you’ll be sure you’re paying for quality. Don’t get this wrong. We’re not saying the quality of obscure brands is low.
We’re just saying that it’s safer to choose a brand that has a proven track record. Some of the best generator brands are Generac, Briggs and Stratton, Honeywell, Champion, Cummins, and Kohler. Restrict your comparisons to these brands. If you pick any of them, you’ll be glad you did.
You may not be able to pay at once for a generator. So, you’re likely to take a loan for it. There are many financing options, but some are better than others.
Watch out for the interest rate. Many people only focus on how long the payment is spread. That’s also a good idea but consider the interest rate too.
You need to find out how much it costs to buy it off completely. Then you can compare it with different financing options.
Be careful with zero down payment options. Zero down payment means you don’t need to make any down payment to have the generator delivered to your home.
Zero down payment options often come with super-high interest rates. Be careful. Choose an option with the lowest interest rate.
Another yardstick for comparison is the noise level of the generator. Remember, you want to use the generator to power your home appliances. Residential areas are meant to be very quiet.
You need to consider yourself and your neighbors. You may want to choose the generator with the lowest noise level. The noise levels of the generators are usually stated on the body of the generator and in their user manual.
Generally, generators use gasoline, diesel, natural gas, and propane as fuel. Smaller generators use fuel gasoline, while big ones use diesel, propane or natural gas. We will advise you to choose anyone that uses either propane, or natural gas.
First, gasoline and diesel give off some harmful fumes. Second, gasoline burns faster than the rest, and finally, if you store gasoline in a tank, it will reduce with time because it is highly volatile and it evaporates fast.
Your best choice is natural gas. Since you already cook with gas, you’ll only need to link your generator to your gas supply. That makes it convenient for you.
Ease of Maintenance
You don’t want to buy a generator that is difficult to maintain. Imagine how annoying it can be if you’re told that the part of the generator that you want to replace isn’t available. So, you may have to wait for some weeks or even months before it is shipped into the country.
This is why you should compare generators based on how their parts are readily available. That is another reason to purchase a widely known brand.
Many of them have distributors all over the country, making it very easy to get the parts of their generators. When it comes to the availability of parts and the ease of maintenance, your best choice is Generac.
Rate of Fuel Consumption
By virtue of their design, some generators consume more fuel than others even though modern generators are fuel-efficient. Of course, the difference isn’t much.
However, the little difference can quickly add up to a tangible quantity over time. Some of the most fuel-conservative generator brands are Generac, Kohler, and Champion.
You also need to compare generators on how durable they are. There’s no way to determine the durability of a generator just by looking at it. There’s a way to walk around it. Check the reviews of the users of your preferred generator.
If the product isn’t a good one, you’ll see the complaints among the reviews. Many of the users will talk about it. All the brands mentioned above have durable generators. So, if you pick any of them, you won’t need to worry about durability.
It is important that you also compare generators on their level of warranties. Buying a generator is a huge investment, and so you need a warranty.
Unfortunately, not every brand offers a warranty. Champion and Kohler offers about 2 to 5 years of warranty, while you could get up to a 10-year warranty with Generac.
More importantly, you need to find out if the brand has been providing the warranty it offers. Many advertisers include a warranty as a promotional gimmick. If a company isn’t offering the warranty it claims to offer, you’ll find out among the user reviews.
The third issue about warranties is what they cover. Some warranties cover only the parts required but do not cover labor. Also, some brands offer the reverse. Their warranties cover labor and not parts. And you may be lucky to come across a warranty that covers both labor and change of parts.
How often do you intend to use your generator? You know that generators have one big challenge. If they’re not used regularly, they may develop a fault. And it does not make much sense for you to start your generator when there’s no power outage.
So, how do you solve the problem? It is simple. Choose a generator that carries out a weekly self-diagnostic test. To carry out this test, the generator will start up on its own, and it will run for 20 minutes.
The generator will do this once every seven days. So, even if you don’t start the generator in six months, it won’t have issues. Therefore, you need to go for a generator that carries out a self-diagnostic test.
Another feature that you may like is remote monitoring. Even if you’re not at home, you may like the idea of checking on your generator wherever you are. Some generator brands have made this possible.
They have an app that you can install on your phone. With the app, you should be able to monitor your generator even if you’re far away from home. One of the brands that offer this feature is Generac. You can monitor Generac generators remotely.
Finally, you can also compare the generators based on their prices. If you want to get the best deals, it is important that you check the price of your preferred generator on various platforms before picking the best price.
After checking all the factors discussed above, you can start with a long list of generator brands/models and screen them out one by one until you get to the last few. You can then make your choice among the last few.