You need a whole home generator to keep the power on during an outage, whether due to a storm or other emergency. Portable generators deliver only a limited amount of power. They also require a fair amount of upkeep. In this article, we’ll look at reasons to consider installing a whole home generator instead of a portable unit or simply hoping the power stays on during extreme weather. 

While a portable unit is smaller and costs less, whole home systems are a better alternative because they:

Are More Convenient

A whole home generator is connected directly to your home electrical system. Some portable units can be connected to a circuit breaker from outside, but they must be hooked up manually whenever you decide to use them. A whole home system kicks in as soon as there’s an interruption of power and maintains a steady flow of electricity in your home.

Provide More Capacity

Whole home generators come in a range of capacities. But they are capable of powering everything in your home, including refrigerators, ovens, HVAC systems, televisions, lights, and medical equipment. Portable systems only provide partial power and not enough output to keep your home fully functional or safe.

Run More Safely

When installing a whole home generator, an electrician will provide an electrical panel transfer switch to prevent safety hazards. The generator does not require running cords through doors or windows, which can create trip or shock hazards. Whole home systems also don’t present a risk to linemen as they restore power to the local electrical grid.

Other safety aspects include keeping your AC or furnace going. You’ll be protected from extreme heat, freezing cold, and humidity and moisture issues that can lead to mold. If you rely on a sump pump, the generator will keep it running so your basement doesn’t flood.

Can Run for a Long Time

Power outages may last only a brief time or, in the case of a natural disaster, days or weeks. Standby generators use a large fuel tank to keep running for as long as needed. You’ll be prepared for any situation that interrupts electrical service. The generator will continue to run 24/7 so life at home can continue as usual.

Are Extremely Reliable

A whole-house generator will protect your home even if your area is prone to power outages. The system is automatic, so it will work even if you’re not home. A power outage can occur while you’re away, and the generator will ensure food stays cold in the fridge, your security system keeps running, and the lights turn on when you get home. The unit will also turn off automatically when the power returns and go back to standby mode.

Should I Buy a Whole Home Generator?

A whole-house generator is a convenient and potentially life-saving investment. But whether you need one depends on several factors. It can be worthwhile if:

  • Power outages are common in your area (otherwise, the system will be used only sporadically).
  • You have space in your yard (the unit can be 50 inches long, and must be at least five feet from your home).
  • Maintenance doesn’t bother you (the system will require annual or biannual maintenance, depending on use and the manufacturer’s guidelines).
  • There’s room to store fuel (if installing a whole house generator, have an area for safe fuel storage (if not using a gas line), preferably a safe distance from your house).
  • You can tolerate the noise (whole home generators aren’t as noisy as portable ones, but make sure a unit’s noise rating doesn’t exceed any local laws).
  • You can afford it (the average cost is $4,841 (as of 2023), but can range between $1,458 and $8,239 plus installation, fuel, and maintenance costs).1

Call Over the Moon

Customers in Brookfield, Waukesha, Oconomowoc, and surrounding communities can depend on Over the Moon for high-quality whole-home generator installation. Our experienced electricians can evaluate your home’s requirements to determine the best-sized generator to install. We install all generator sizes, brands, and models and also provide repair and maintenance services. To schedule a consultation or installation appointment, call 262-510-0956 today.


  1. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/whole-house-generator-cost/