Are you tired of being left in the dark during power outages? In a world where power outages are increasingly common, having a reliable source of backup power for your entire home is a wise investment. Whole house generators offer a seamless solution to keep your lights on, appliances running, and your life uninterrupted during unexpected power disruptions.
In this post, I will share in-depth information regarding this whole home generator cost, including different factors such as brand type, size, fuel, installation cost, or concentration: DIY vs. professional.
So, How Much Does A Whole House Generator Cost?
The cost of whole house generators can vary significantly, with prices ranging from $4,200 to $25,000 or even higher. On average, homeowners typically spend around $9,200, which includes the installation. The price you pay depends on factors such as the generator’s size, brand, and fuel type, leading to variations in the overall cost.
What Size Whole House Generator Do I Need?
Selecting the right generator size is a critical decision that involves several key considerations. Begin by creating a list of essential appliances, systems, and devices you want to power during an outage. This may include lighting, refrigeration, medical equipment, and electronic devices.
To estimate the generator’s capacity, calculate the total wattage needed to run these devices simultaneously. Additionally, differentiate between starting and running watts, particularly for appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners.
Generators are available in various sizes, usually measured in kilowatts (kW). Smaller generators in the 7-10 kW range are suitable for powering essential circuits, while larger units of 20 kW or more can provide whole house backup.
Generator Sizing and Its Impact on Cost
|1 to 6 kW||$500 to $1,800|
|7.5 to 10 kW||$2,000 to $3,500|
|14 to 18 kW||$4,000 to $5,500|
|20 to 24 kW||$5,000 to $6,500|
|26 to 32 kW||$6,500 to $15,000|
|36 to 38 kW||$14,000 to $16,000|
Generator sizing refers to selecting a generator that can meet your specific power requirements. An undersized generator may not provide enough power during outages, while an oversized generator can lead to unnecessary expenses.
Opting for a generator that is too small for your needs can increase your costs over time. Firstly, you may experience frequent power overloads and outages, which can result in damage to your electrical equipment. Replacing or repairing damaged equipment can be costly.
On the other hand, selecting a generator that is larger than necessary comes with its own set of expenses. Oversized generators consume more fuel or energy than needed, increasing your operational costs. Moreover, the initial purchase cost of an oversized generator is higher than a smaller, appropriately sized one.
Whole House Generator Cost by Fuel Type
Fuel type affects generator pricing and operational expenses. Consider fuel cost, availability, and environmental impact. Some price ranges for different fuel types include:
|Gasoline||$500 to $3,000|
|Natural Gas||$2,000 to $21,000|
|Liquid Propane||$2,000 to $21,000|
|Diesel||$3,200 to $24,000|
|Solar||$2,000 to $25,000|
Gasoline-powered generators are often the most budget-friendly option, with prices ranging from $500 to $3,200. However, they are typically portable generators, not suitable for powering an entire house. It’s essential to consider that the operating cost of a gasoline generator will fluctuate based on local gas prices.
Liquid Propane Generators
Liquid propane generators offer both portable and whole house solutions. Whole house propane generators typically range from $2,200 to $21,000, while portable options cost between $600 and $2,800.
One significant advantage of liquid propane is its eco-friendly nature compared to diesel and gasoline. Additionally, it’s an ideal choice for individuals living off the grid or in rural areas, as it doesn’t require a gas line connection.
Natural Gas Generators
Natural gas generators necessitate a connection to a city or town’s gas line, making them unsuitable for portability. Their prices can vary widely, ranging from $2,200 to $25,000, depending on their capacity. These generators are highly favored in cold climates and can often be converted to propane if required.
Diesel generators usually range from $3,200 to $24,000. They offer improved efficiency compared to gas and natural gas generators. However, diesel fuel tends to be more expensive, which can increase maintenance costs. They are not recommended for use in very cold climates, as low temperatures can cause the diesel fuel to gel, rendering the generator inoperable.
Solar-powered generators harness energy from the sun, making them an environmentally friendly choice. Prices can vary between $2,000 and $25,000, depending on their size. It’s essential to note that solar generators are dependent on adequate sunshine, making them less suitable for cloudy regions. However, if you reside in a sunny area, they can lead to significant long-term savings on your energy bills.
Installation Costs and Considerations
Labor Cost for Installation
When it comes to generator installation, labor expenses represent a significant budget consideration. The price of labor can range from $1,500 to $5,000, depending on various factors. Notably, the size of the generator plays a crucial role, as larger units require more time and effort during the installation process. Moreover, if your installation site poses accessibility challenges, these can contribute to higher installation prices.
According to HomeAdvisor, the average price range for a complete home generator installation falls between $1,458 and $8,239, with the typical homeowner spending an average of $4,841.
The choice of the best generator brand can also influence overall expenses. There is a wide array of brands producing generators, and their price points can vary. Brands such as Champion and Honda are often associated with more budget-friendly generator options.
Conversely, Generac generators tend to fall on the pricier end of the spectrum. For those seeking middle-of-the-road choices, it’s worth exploring generators from Briggs & Stratton or Cummins.
Generac generators typically range from $2,000 to $5,000, depending on the size, with options available from 7 to 24 kW for whole house units. In addition to the generator unit cost, the budget for installation falls between $3,000 and $5,000 on average.
In certain areas, obtaining permits may be required before installing a generator. Permit price generally range from $50 to $200. However, it’s essential to consult your local authorities for precise permit pricing and any specific requirements related to your installation.
Concrete Pad Foundation
The generator requires a stable concrete pad to ensure proper installation, reduce vibrations, and prevent water damage. Installation price per square foot ranges from $50 to $75, encompassing site preparation and concrete pouring.
Transfer Switch Cost
Whole house generators, an electrician installs a transfer switch connecting the generator to the home’s circuit board. This switch allows the generator to supply power through existing circuits. It can be manual, requiring homeowner activation, or automatic, smoothly restoring power in case of an outage.
With the exception of generators, running expenses are a crucial consideration and depend on your choice of fuel, as they fluctuate by location and year.
Typically, operating a 20kW natural gas generator costs approximately $90 per day, while diesel and propane generators of the same size incur expenses of around $200 per day.
Ideally, there should be at least two annual inspections of your generator to keep it running at full potential. Basic maintenance services usually fall within the price range of $80 to $300.
Enhancements and Additions
Enhancements are available to enhance the convenience and efficiency of your generator. For instance, wireless monitoring systems enable remote status tracking and typically have an average price of $200 to $400. Additionally, a smart load manager, which safeguards against overloading, typically falls within the $150 to $300 price range.
Ideal Generator Size
The ideal generator size hinges on the house’s dimensions and power needs. A 16 kW generator can suffice for a 1,000 to 3,000-square-foot home, while larger homes may require a 20 kW or 48 kW generator. A professional assessment or a DIY calculation based on wattage requirements for appliances can determine the right size.
Whole House Generator Installation (DIY vs. Professional)
Installing a small generator may be manageable for DIY enthusiasts, but larger standby generators require professional installation. Regulated by safety codes, permits, and specific electrical connections, professional installation guarantees safety and compliance.
This approach involves homeowners or individuals with sufficient knowledge, skills, and experience to install a house generator by themselves. In a DIY installation, you take on the responsibility for all aspects of the installation process, from selecting the generator to wiring it into your home’s electrical system.
DIY installations are typically more price-effective but require a good understanding of electrical systems and local building codes.
Professional installation means hiring licensed and experienced contractors or electricians to handle the entire installation process of a whole house backup generator. This approach ensures that the installation complies with local building codes, safety regulations, and manufacturer specifications.
Professionals have the expertise to correctly size the generator, integrate it into your home’s electrical system, and handle any necessary permits or inspections. While professional installation is more expensive, it provides peace of mind and guarantees a safe and reliable setup.
On average, you would spend around $9,000 on whole house generators. However, this amount can fluctuate with variations in various factors such as type, size, installation, ongoing expenses, etc. Careful consideration of these elements is essential to budget effectively and ensure a reliable backup power solution for your whole home.
FAQs: About Whole House Generator Cost
How much is a generator for a 2000 sq ft house?
The cost of a generator for a 2000-square-foot house can vary depending on the generator’s size and brand. On average, you can expect to pay between $5,000 and $15,000 or more.
Are whole house generators worth it?
Whole house generators can be worth it, especially in areas with frequent power outages. They provide uninterrupted power to your entire house, ensuring comfort and safety. However, the cost and need should be carefully considered.
What size generator is needed to run a whole house?
The size of the generator needed to run a whole house depends on your home’s specific power requirements. Typically, a 20-22 kW generator is sufficient for an average-sized home, but it’s best to consult with a professional for an accurate assessment.
How big of a generator do I need for a 2000 sq ft house?
To power a 2000 sq ft house, a generator in the range of 20-22 kW is generally suitable, but the exact size should be determined based on your specific electrical needs.
Do I need a professional installation and how much does it cost?
Professional installation is recommended for whole house generators to ensure safety and compliance with local codes. Installation costs can vary but generally range from $2,000 to $5,000 or more, depending on factors like location and complexity.