Home generators are a great backup source of power in the event of an outage. They can run a variety of appliances, including refrigerators and freezers, so you don’t have to worry about the food in them going bad.
You may be wondering, “How much does a generator cost?” The short answer is it depends, but typically between a few hundred and several thousand dollars.
That is a very wide range, so it can be difficult to know where to start. The good news is that, once you assess your power needs, you can determine what type of generator you should buy. Keep reading to find out how much a generator will cost for your home.
Table of Contents
How Much Does a Generator Cost?
There are two main categories to look at when answering, “How much does a generator cost?” There are distinct advantages and drawbacks to each.
The most affordable option for a home generator is a portable one. You can find them for a few hundred dollars, up to around several thousand dollars for the larger, more powerful ones.
These are compact units fueled by gasoline or propane. Many are small enough to carry by hand, while the larger ones may be mounted on wheels. They can double as power sources for camping, tailgating, or other recreational activities.
There are three big limitations to portable generators. One is that they can be very noisy, between 70 and 100 decibels, which is on par with a small lawnmower. You can find them as quiet as around 50 decibels, but these will be among the smallest models.
Another limitation is convenience. Unlike whole-home generators, portable ones must be started up and placed in an area that is well ventilated (you cannot run them indoors). You also must have adequate fuel on hand.
Finally, portable generators have limited capacity. Even the largest ones will cap at about 15,000 watts. That is enough to run a fair number of appliances, but not every device in your home, and certainly not your HVAC system or water heater.
Standby generators cost anywhere from $2,000 to $6,000 or more, depending on the size of your home and power needs. You also will need to calculate for generator installation. Even though they are more expensive than portable generators, there are some very good reasons for that.
A standby generator is like a heat pump or air conditioning unit–it is a semi-permanent component of your home. They have a large fuel tank and engine but are very quiet.
While portable generators can power a few devices, standby generators can run your entire home, including large appliances and HVAC components. They’re already integrated, so they kick on whenever the power goes out, without any setup.
Many of the more reputable brands, like Generac, feature WiFi connectivity and smartphone features on their generators. This allows you to control the device and monitor its performance and fuel levels. Contact a Generac dealer to learn more about these and other smart home features.
Find Residential Generators Near You
Now that you have some answers to the question, “How much does a generator cost?” you can determine which type is best for your home and budget. Portable generators are a handy option, but standby generators are also a great investment if you want reliable power for your entire home during an outage.
We hope you found this information on generator prices helpful. If so, be sure to check out some of our other home improvement posts, as well as those on health, entertainment, technology, and many other topics.