Back in the day, it was pretty common for families to ‘tough it out’ through a power outage, especially in the winter. Snowstorms, hail, rain – it would all trigger a blackout and leave everyone crowded around a few candles.
Not exactly the safest thing to do.
For both safety and comfort reasons, you want electricity. It powers your electronics, appliances, and more. In poor weather conditions, you want to have control over your home’s safety.
It’s rare that power companies can respond quickly to widespread blackouts in New England and the Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey). You usually have to wait several hours, sometimes even days, for an outage update from your state or energy service provider. However, home standby generators help with all that.
If you’re considering getting a standby generator for your home, you’ll find that there are many options available to you. To make your life a little easier, here’s a breakdown of the three best home standby generator brands.
Overview of Home Standby Generator Brands
Generac, Kohler, and Cummins are the leading brands of standby generators you’ll find in the market.
Other brands include Honeywell, Briggs & Stratton, and more. These are often rebranded generators by one of the other leading brands, and simply not as good an option for whole-house generators.
In general, Generac is the most popular model on the market. In fact, the brand holds 95% of the industry and is known to be the best bang for your buck. In other words, Generac generators are cost-effective and make the most sense for the average homeowner.
On the other hand, Kohler and Cummins are a step above the rest. Think of them as the Cadillacs of the generator industry. While these brands cost more, they tend to last longer. They’re a good option if you’re looking to buy a higher-end home generator.
Let’s get into the specifics of each brand.
Generac has been manufacturing home generators for over 60 years. Founded in 1959, their history as a top-selling brand includes a range of uses – portable, residential, commercial, and industrial.
They happen to be more affordable than other brands and carry a larger selection of home generator models. At Cannondale Generators, we find the most popular Generac model is the Guardian Series 24kW Home Backup Generator.
For many homeowners, Generac generators tend to be much quieter than other options on the market. For instance, many models have a Quiet-Test™ Self-Test Mode, which runs the generator more slowly for a short time period to monitor the health of the unit. This makes the generators quieter and more efficient.
Bill Bonomo from Cannondale shares, “Most people buy a Generac. I have one!” Generac is actually one of the first brands to have started remote monitoring accessories. The other brands followed suit.
In general, the brand is at the forefront of the industry. Generac also developed battery backup technology, known as PWRcell, which is a solar and battery system moving the brand toward clean energy solutions.
Generac is committed to refining all their generator models to improve the environmental footprint of homeowners. The brand is also moving toward clean energy technology and advancements, making it a great option for the eco-conscious.
Their Clean Energy for Homeowners page says they’re dedicated to helping you save money, keep your home safe, and reduce your carbon footprint.
Kohler built its first generator in 1920 and has since been one of the best-known names in the game. With over 100 years of experience, the brand’s generators have been used in big projects ranging from trips to the South Pole to hospitals, nuclear power plants, and even the National Weather Service.
Kohler residential generators are built to outlast outages and work over many years. In fact, they use a commercial-grade engine that is built to withstand extreme temperatures, harsh weather conditions, and heavy workloads (think: heavy-duty construction equipment).
For this reason, Kohler generators are known for their reliability and durability. Each unit goes through meticulous quality testing across several stages of the development process, meaning it reaches you in top-tier shape. At Cannondale Generators, we find the most popular Kohler generator model is the 20RES Home Standby Generator
Kohler home generator units can also handle large starting loads, or the extra starting capacity needed to reach full speed. In other words, appliances like central HVAC systems can immediately kick back into power in the event of an outage.
Cummins was founded in 1919 as a manufacturer of engines and has a long history of innovation. For more than a century, the brand has powered everything from heavy-duty military vehicles to trains and tractors.
Cummins has robust environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards, including goals to:
- Reach zero emission technologies for all markets
- Combat climate change
- Build a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment
In fact, the brand has been on the World’s Most Ethical Companies List for 14 consecutive years
While Cummins home generators are typically more expensive than others, they’re known for their excellent quality, efficiency, and compact design.
All their residential units are created with patented technology, making them quiet and neighborhood friendly. Most models run at 65dB or lower noise levels. For reference, a standard vacuum cleaner typically runs at about 70dB.
Combined with a compact design, Cummins generators can be installed closer to your home (as close as 18 inches) and blend into almost any landscape.
Lastly, with an Intelligent Load Management feature, these generators are extremely efficient. The technology continuously monitors how much power is required for your appliances and only powers those that the unit is able to run. In other words, your home generator can intuitively prevent itself from overloading and shutting down in the middle of a power outage.
Generac vs. Kohler vs. Cummins: Which generator is right for you?
All three home standby generator brands are great options. Here’s a summary of each brand’s notable features:
Overall, Generac is a versatile brand and a great investment for almost any homeowner and family, whether you have people that rely on energy-powered medical devices or simply want to ensure comfort during power outages.
Kohler is great if your home is located in a harsh weather area, or if your family is comfortable making a more sizable investment in a generator.
Cummins is great for noise-sensitive families that don’t necessarily require whole-house power in the event of a blackout. If you can afford to be more selective of which appliances are powered, these generators are ideal
Thinking about installing a home standby generator?
In the last 30 years, Cannondale Generators has installed over 8,200 home generators. Those families don’t even know the power went out unless they look out their window!
To protect your home and family during power outages, consider investing in a home generator today. Generator installation can take anywhere from weeks to months depending on backorders, town zoning, and permit approvals.
Getting started sooner rather than later is essential to make your investment worth it! Contact our licensed technicians to get a complimentary quote and service visit to learn more about installing a generator in your home.