How Loud are Standby Generators?

Standby generators are very useful but can create noise that may be unsuited to some people. Here’s what you need to know about standby generator noise levels.

How Loud are Standby Generators?

Under normal loads home standby generators generally create noise ranging from 45 decibels to 75 decibels. This is about the level of a quiet conversation up to an HVAC or washer-dryer.

However, the level of noise created by a standby generator will depend on a variety of factors, including the size and type of generator, and the load it is operating under.

Under heavy loads, larger home and industrial generators can produce noise of 100 decibels or more. Anything above 90 dB is considered “loud” in a typical suburban or country environment.

If there is a power outage, you may need to operate your home backup generator for many days and nights to provide emergency electricity. For extended use, it’s important to keep your generator’s noise level down so you don’t exceed local environmental noise regulations. So quieter standby generators are a necessity, particularly in closely-spaced urban and suburban neighborhoods.

Good Decibel Levels for a Standby Generator

Noise levels of up to 85-90 decibels (dB) maximum are considered good for household standby generators. At this level anybody listening beyond 30 feet away is unlikely to be offended by the noise, and farther out the noise becomse a non-issue. Obviously, anything below this decibel level is better for extended use and tightly-packed neighborhoods.

Here are some good quiet standby generators to check out:

Generac 6998 Guardian Series 7.5kW Home Standby Generator

Champion aXis 14kW Standby Generator with 100amp Transfer Switch

Kohler 20RCAL-200SELS 20kW Standby Generator

Is 72 dB loud for a generator?

Decibel levels between 65-75 dB are considered quiet for a generator. This is roughly the level of a modern washer-dryer or HVAC unit and is tolerable even in very close proximity.

A standby generator’s distance from the house is important. If your house or your close neighbors are less than 30 feet away from your generator then you want a standby generator that is 72 dB or below.

Generac Standby Generator Noise Levels

Do Generac generators make a lot of noise?

Generac generators have an average sound output of 66 dB when measured at a distance of 23 feet, which is fairly low. A typical conversation may be heard over a Generac generator.

In comparison, air conditioners and washing machines run 20 feet away create noise of roughly 70 dB.

Are Generac whole house generators quiet?

Generac’s most popular whole house generators are quiet. At a distance of 23 feet, they measure noise levels of 66 decibels (dB). Neighbors won’t notice your generator if you live in a well-spaced neighborhood with at least 23 feet of distance between you and surrounding houses.

How quiet are Generac portable generators?

Generac’s portable home generators are about as loud as an average conversation (about 60-70 dB)

Kohler Generator Noise

How loud is a Kohler whole house generator?

Kohler generators have a sound level of about 65 dB, which is comparable to that of a central air conditioner or washing machine.

Honda Generator Noise Level

How many dB is a Honda generator?

Honda generators put out about 49 to 60 dB of noise, which is no louder than normal human speech. Honda achieves this through an completely enclosed body design and inverter technology. In addition to the generators, Honda provides a variety of additional solutions that may be more cost-effective for your application.

How loud is a Honda 3000 generator?

At 50 to 57 dB, the Honda EU3000iS is quieter than having a conversation. This quiet operation makes it excellent for camping and RV power, as well as any other activity that demands low-noise performance. Neighbors will appreciate you for keeping things peaceful!

Related Questions and Answers

How do I stop my standby generator from making noise?

You may lower sound levels surrounding your generator by up to 10 dB by installing an acoustic barrier or insulation. Concrete walls and generator canopies are two options for acoustical isolation. Installing acoustic wall tiles or panels is another option.

Are standby Generac generators loud?

Standby Generac generators can be loud. This video should provide more info:

Is 52db loud?

No, 52 dB is less than the sound of a normal conversation.


While some larger standby generators can be quite loud, they nevertheless provide your home with the power it needs during a grid failure or shutdown.

NEXT UP: What Foundation Does a Standby Generator Need?

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James Sylvester
About James Sylvester

James S. Sylvester is an experienced OSHA Safety Supervisor with years of experience in the construction and oil & gas industries. He focuses on workplace safety, occupational health and safety systems. Learn more about James' here or connect with him on Twitter