In 2020 alone, the average American experienced 8 hours of power outages. During the course of an eight-hour power outage, you can easily lose all the food in your refrigerator as food in a refrigerator spoils after four hours. 

This is why the different types of generators on the market are a must-have for any homeowner. Should you lose power, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you can regain access to your refrigerator and heating and cooling sources. 

But which generator types are best? This guide walks you through what you need to know when buying a generator. 

Whole House

Whole house generators, commonly called standby generators, are the gold standard of generators. Although pricy, they give you unlimited power during an outage. 

Most come on automatically the moment your power shuts off. Depending on how extensive of a system you install, you can even have them connect to your central air conditioning. 

Whole house generators give you peace of mind should you experience a power outage when away from home. Instead of coming home to a refrigerator and freezer full of spoiled food, you can rest easy knowing your standby generator kicked on. This is also true if you’re at work during a power outage and have pets at home that need heat or air conditioning. 


If you’re looking for a more affordable type of generator, then consider a portable generator. Unlike standby generators, portable generators will only power a portion of your house, but you can determine which outlets and rooms are the most important when working with an electrician such as New London Electric.

Let’s take a look. 


Gasoline generators require very little maintenance. When compared to diesel generators, they’re more affordable. 

However, gasoline is flammable and doesn’t last as long as other types of fuel. Gasoline generators are the easiest to find and are quieter than diesel generators. 


If you live in an area without access to natural gas, portable propane generators are a great alternative. You can have a large propane tank installed on your property specifically for you to use with your generator. 

Other fuels thicken up when temperatures drop, but propane doesn’t. This means your generator will start easier than when using other types of fuel, regardless of the weather. 

Natural Gas

Natural gas generators burn the cleanest of all fossil fuels. This means they release fewer toxins into the air. 

They’re less expensive to run than other generators reliant on non-renewable fuels and are very efficient. These generators are also dependable and easy to use. 


Tri-fuel generators are less common but are an excellent type of portable generator. You can choose your fuel source depending o your needs. 

If you have natural gas, a plumber can install an exterior gas line similar to what you’d use for an outdoor natural gas grill. With a quick-connect hose, you can connect your tri-fuel generator for unlimited use during a power outage. 


If you’re in a tough weather environment, such as freezing conditions, diesel generators are a viable option. They’re more durable since they have low burning temperatures. This puts less strain on the generator’s engine. 

However, diesel generators weigh more ad aren’t as easily transported. They also produce harmful emissions that are toxic if inhaled. 


Solar generators are the cleanest type of generator. They run on renewable, clean energy from the sun.

They’re the only generator you can safely run indoors since there are no emissions. All other generators must be run outside a safe distance from your home.

Solar generators have low maintenance but cost more to purchase. 

Unfortunately, solar generators have a lower power output. They rely on the sun for power, which means during a nighttime emergency, this type of generator may not be reliable. However, if you need more power, you can install more solar panels to increase this type of generator’s solar output. 

Types of Generators

The types of generators homeowners install depends on their specific needs and price point. If you’re looking for a generator, review the points in this generator buying guide to help you choose the best one for you. Remember to consider climate and fuel access.

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