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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Whole House Generator?

Written by Jamie Masterson

What can be more inconvenient than a power outage? Nothing. Right? It can also be dangerous depending on the time period of a power outage and your weather as the food can be spoiled and be thrown into the waste bin. Also, your home temperature can become dangerously hot or cold in the summer and winter days. What will happen if the power of your home goes out for days? You might like to move out till it comes back.

Well, a generator can help power your whole home until the electrical grid restores. Run all your household essentials like the heating system, lights, and refrigerator at a minimum power as the power grid never went off.

One common question is how much does it cost to install a whole-house generator when it comes to installing one. This guide covers all the installation costs of a whole-house generator. So, keep reading till the end if you’re about to install one for your home.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Whole-House Generator – Factors to Consider

Size of the Generator

Of course, the generator size depends on your daily power consumption. The process starts with the visit of the installation team to your house before purchasing. The team will determine the system type of your house and check if your house has a good pump, the power source of the hot water heater, the number of lights, and the home appliances you have.

If you live in an average size home and want to run one large appliance at a time, you can go for a smaller size generator. Take a survey of what appliances, lights, and HVAC systems you will need when the power goes off. Add up all the watts to determine the size you need during a power outage.

Fuel Type Of the Generator

When you own a standby generator, you would like to use natural gas, propane, or other readily available fuel to power it. You can store this fuel in bulky tanks. On the other hand, diesel or gasoline is required for portable generators and you’ll have to purchase a smaller amount of fuel when you need to use the generator.

If you want a portable option but don’t like to store liquid fuel, you can go for a solar-powered generator. It works in a different way and keeps the batteries charged for further use.

Different generators have different pros and cons. But, keep in your mind that the fuel cost and availability should be the core driving force behind your purchase.

Location of the Generator

In general, the generator installation location is determined according to where the home circuit panel is located. You’ll be wiring from the circuit panel to the generator and the transfer switch situated below. Usually, generators are located a few feet away from the circuit breaker outside the home. For facilitating the source of fuel, you are allowed to move it a few feet away in one direction.

Electrical Modifications or Upgrades

1. Battery

Using a battery generator, you can power a few appliances and lights. But, pairing it with a portable generator can help you run other small appliances and charge your phones, leaving the portable generator to power your HVAC system as well as other large appliances.

2. Monitor

Want to get all the status updates of your standby generator when you’re away? Purchasing a wireless monitor can be the best option for you. This will let you know if the generator is running in the power outage when you’re not at home.

3. Smart Load Manager

If your generator is unable to handle the full load, opt for using a smart load manager. It will prioritize the areas powered by your generator and will allow you to switch when needed.

The Contractor You Choose For the Installation

Also, the installation cost of a whole-house generator depends on the contractor you choose to install it. Not all contractors charge the same amount for their service.

The Overall Cost to Install a Whole-House Generator

Generator Unit Installation Cost

The average cost for installing a whole-house generator starts from $5000 that can vary up to $11000 for a complex installation process. In general, people pay between $5000-$6000.

install a whole house generator

Whole-House Generator Cost

Installing a whole-house generator costs between $5000 including the transfer switch ($1000) and the other materials. This cost also includes setting the generator, delivery, and hooking it to the electric panel and fuel supply. The transfer switch remains installed inside where the other processes are done outside.

Transfer Switch Installation Cost

The transfer switch installation is done indoor and costs roughly $1800- $2800. Installing a transfer switch requires opening the wall that might be opened again for further maintenance.

FAQs

1. Where should a whole house generator be installed?

Ans. The standard regulation is to install generators outside and at least 5-6 feet away from flammable materials, doors, vents, and windows.

2. How long can a generator run continuously?

Ans. The continuous runtime of generators varies. Standby generators run continuously until the power restores which means the time might be days or weeks at a time. On the other hand, portable generators run until the fuel finishes.

3. How much is a generator for a 2,000 sq. ft. house?

Ans. On average, a whole-house generator for a 2000 sq. ft. house costs $6000 to $10000, including all the labor and installation costs.

About the author

Jamie Masterson

With decade-long experience as a generator technician, Jamie has worked with USA’s top generator manufacturers and suppliers as an independent contractor.

The long years of service to the industry has taught Jamie the ins and outs of troubleshooting, repairing, and maintaining all kinds of generators in home, industrial and outdoor settings.

Jamie thinks this platform is a great opportunity to share his tips and tricks with you so you can make the most of such power equipment for better living.

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