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How Much Does a Whole House Generator Cost?

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Key Takeaways:

Key PointSummary
Installation CostsInstallation alone costs between $3,000 and $5,000.
Total CostsIncluding unit and labor, the total cost ranges from $6,000 to $11,000.
Cost by SizeLarger homes or higher power demands increase costs significantly.
Fuel Type DifferencesCosts vary significantly between natural gas, liquid propane, and diesel units.

Average Installation Costs:

  • $3,000 – $5,000: Average cost to install (labor only)
  • $6,000 – $11,000: Average total cost installed (unit & labor)

Whole House Generator Cost

Understanding the expenses involved in purchasing and installing a whole house generator is crucial for homeowners considering this investment. Installation includes both labor and the unit itself.

Whole House Generator Cost Breakdown:

ItemAverage CostFor Long Distances or > 20 kW
Whole House Generator$3,000 – $6,000$4,500 – $12,000+
Installation$3,000 – $5,000$5,000 – $12,000+
Total Cost Installed$6,000 – $11,000$9,500 – $24,000

Home Generator Costs by Size

The cost of home generators varies based on size and power output.

Generator Cost by Size:

SizeUnit Price RangeTypical Coverage
2 – 5 kW$250 – $1,400Portable: One appliance and a few lights.
7 – 10 kW$2,000 – $3,000Portable: 10 lights, refrigerator, sump pump, well pump, microwave, TV, laptop, coffee maker, and furnace fan.
13 – 16 kW$3,000 – $4,500Full home under 1,500 square feet.
17 – 20 kW$4,000 – $6,000Full 1,500 to 3,000 square foot home.
22 – 25 kW$4,500 – $12,000Full 3,000 to 5,000 square foot home.
30 – 48 kW$10,000 – $16,000Large luxury home or commercial applications.

Whole House Generator Costs Installed by Type

The type of fuel used by the generator greatly affects its initial cost.

Whole House Generator Costs by Fuel Type:

Fuel TypeUnit Price RangeDetails
Natural Gas$2,000 – $6,000Installs to a home’s existing gas line and requires no fuel storage.
Liquid Propane$2,000 – $6,000Lasts longer and burns cleaner but is more expensive and requires a storage tank.
Diesel$5,000 – $18,000More efficient and reliable but costs more and requires manual refueling.

Cost Factors of Whole House Standby Generator

Several factors impact the cost of installing a whole house standby generator.

Standby Generator Installation Cost Factors:

FactorAverage Cost
Home Energy AssessmentFree With Installation
Labor Charges For Electrician$40 – $100 per hour
Automatic Transfer Switch Installation$600 – $2,500
Electrical Wiring$6 – $8 per foot
Gas Line Installation$12 – $25 per foot
Concrete Pad$150 – $400
Propane Tank Installation$400 – $1,800
Permits$80 – $450

Generator Transfer Switch or Interlock Installation

Installing a transfer switch or interlock is essential for ensuring your generator can effectively power your home during outages.

Home Generator Accessories & Prices

For optimal performance and safety, several accessories may be necessary.

Home Generator Accessories & Prices:

Generator Battery$70 – $300Starts the generator when the electricity goes out.
Cold-Weather Kit$130 – $500Ensures the generator starts in regions where temperatures drop below freezing.
Wireless Monitor$200 – $210Provides access to generator status from inside the home.
Smart Load Manager$130 – $250Allows smaller generators to power more appliances by balancing the load.
Fascia Kit$65 – $130Protects the generator’s base from rodents and insects.

Generac Generator Costs vs. Other Brands

Generac is a popular brand among homeowners, but how does it compare to other brands?

Generac Generator Prices:

Power CapacityAverage Price
7 kW$2,000
10 kW$3,000
16 kW$3,800
17 kW$4,000
20 kW$4,500
22 kW$5,000
30+ kW$12,000

Kohler Generator Cost

Kohler generators are another reliable option. Typically known for their quality, they are often priced similarly to Generac generators.

Briggs & Stratton Generator Cost

Briggs & Stratton offers a range of home generators that often come at a competitive price point, appealing to budget-conscious consumers.

Cummins Generator Cost

Cummins generators are generally higher-end, offering strong performance and durability but often at a higher price.

Home Backup Generator FAQs

Does A Whole House Generator Add Value To Your Home?

A whole house generator can significantly increase your home’s resale value by offering peace of mind during power outages.

What Size Generator is Needed for a Whole House?

Selecting the right generator size is critical for ensuring it meets your home’s power demands.

Generator Size Calculator for House:

Type of LoadWattage7 kW20 kW48 kW
Two Lighting Circuits200 W
Four Lighting Circuits400 W
10 Lighting Circuits1000 W
Refrigerator / Freezer1200 W
Sump Pump1000 W
Well Pump1000 W
Furnace Fan500 W
Garage Door Opener850 W
Microwave Oven1000 W
Electric Oven2000 W
Radio150 W
Television300 W
Laptop50 W
Desktop Computer200 W
4-Ton Central Air Conditioner8500 W
Washing Machine1200 W
Electric Clothes Dryer3000 W
Coffee Maker900 W
Gaming Console100 W
Jacuzzi Bathtub1500 W
Hot Tub6000 W
EV Charging Station7200 W

How Much Does a Whole House Generator Cost to Run?

Running costs vary based on the fuel type and the generator’s size.

Cost to Run a Generator Per Day:

Fuel Source7 kW15 kW20 kW
Natural Gas$10 – $20$22 – $32$30 – $40
Liquid Propane$60 – $70$145 – $165$150 – $170
Diesel$32 – $40$90 – $110$100 – $120
Gasoline$55 – $70

How Long Can a Whole House Generator Run Continuously?

The continuous runtime of a whole house generator depends on the fuel supply and the unit’s maintenance requirements.

How Long Does a Whole House Generator Last?

A well-maintained whole house generator can last between 10 to 30 years.

Who Installs Whole House Generators?

Generally, licensed electricians or certified installers should perform the installation to ensure safety and compliance with local codes.

Where Should a Whole House Generator Be Installed?

Generators should be placed in well-ventilated areas, away from doors, windows, and air intakes to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.

Getting Estimates from Whole House Generator Installers

Securing quotes from multiple installers can help ensure competitive pricing and quality service.

Questions to Ask Installers

  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • Do you offer a free home energy assessment?
  • What is the warranty on the installation and the generator?
  • How long will the installation take?

By understanding the full scope of costs and considerations, homeowners can make informed decisions about investing in a whole house generator to ensure uninterrupted power supply during outages.

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