Home Safety: Standby Generator or Portable Generator?

In terms of home safety, having backup power is one part of the things you can use to keep you and your family protected during emergencies. But what’s the difference between standby generators and portable generators? Here’s a quick rundown.

Standby generator vs. portable generator

Standby generators are permanently installed outside of your home and automatically turn on when the power goes out. They typically run on propane or natural gas and can power your entire home for days or even weeks.

During a power outage, they both maintain the flow of electricity to a residence, but in different ways. When a power outage occurs, a portable generator may provide quick but short-lived relief, whereas a home standby generator provides an automated, long-term answer.

Is a home standby generator worth it?

Installing a whole-house generator is costly, but if you work from home, endure regular power outages, keep large amounts of perishable food, or live in an area where heating or cooling is critical, it may be worth it. When properly maintained and fueled, generators may operate for weeks on end.

Is a standby generator the same as a whole house generator?

A whole house generator is a backup generator with a capacity big enough to keep your complete home running in case of an emergency. They may also be powered by natural gas or propane and activate automatically when the electricity goes off

Are home standby generators safe?

Standby generators, on the whole, have a low potential for harm. Despite this, they’re still a substantial piece of gas-powered machinery that also serves as a generator.

Related Questions and Answers

Where do you plug a generator into your house?

To use your generator, just connect the gen wire to a 20- or 30-amp outlet. Starting at the other end, you may begin attaching more extension cables securely inside your home.

Are portable generators worth it?

Portable generators may be an excellent option if you just need a little amount of power every now and again, and they operate on gasoline just like many standby units. Because portable generators must be operated by hand, you’ll save money in the short term but lose convenience in the long run.

Are portable generators better than standby generators?

This video should provide you with more information:

Can you get carbon monoxide poisoning from a Generac generator?

Carbon monoxide poisoning may result from the usage of generators. However, the industry is opposed to laws that would make them safer. Consumer items such as portable generators are among the most dangerous.

How safe are Generac generators?

Generac generators meet all local building, fire, and electrical code requirements. Your circuit breaker will be correctly wired to the generator’s electrical connections throughout the installation procedure, ensuring that there will be no chance of power risks.

How do you ground a portable generator in your house?

Locate and loosen the nut on the grounding bolt of your generator. Wrap the copper wire around the grounding bolt with your pliers after slicing off a few inches of it. Afterward, tighten the nut to make sure the wire doesn’t fall out.

What is the lifespan of a portable generator?

Portable generators generally have a lifespan of between a thousand and two thousand hours of use.


The debate between standby generators and portable generators continues. Which one you should choose depends on the size of the home you have and your overall energy needs.

The “pros and cons of whole house generator” is a topic that many homeowners have been looking into. There are pros and cons to both the standby generator and portable generator, so it really depends on what you want.

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NEXT UP: Can a Standby Generator Be Installed Under a Deck?

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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