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Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog

Whole-House Generator vs. Portable Generator


Maintaining power to homes is a priority for everyone right now. It’s made more people consider the importance of having a generator on-hand to supply back-up power to a house in case of a loss of power. You can call on our experts for generator installation in Los Angeles, CA and the San Fernando Valley—we’re professional electricians as well as HVAC technicians, and keeping your house running and comfortable is what we do best.

If you haven’t given much thought to a back-up generator before now, you may first think the best route is to purchase a portable generator. It’s less expensive than a permanent whole-house generator installation, and it sounds like it can get the job done.

But this isn’t accurate. There are big reasons to prefer a whole-house generator to a portable one.

What a Portable Generator Is Good For

Portable generators come in a wide range of models rated for different wattages. The smallest type of generator, one that can be carried, is a useful item to keep in a car in case of emergencies and also to bring along on camping trips to power a few items like stoves, etc. These generators are far too small to successfully power even a fraction of the lights or vital appliances in a home, like a refrigerator or air conditioner.

The larger portable generators are wheeled, open-frame models. These offer much more power than the smaller models, but they still have problems. For one, they require a large amount of labor. When the power goes out, you have to be home and be ready to lug the generator out and get it working. A bigger concern is that portable generators can create carbon monoxide and other exhaust hazards, and cannot be kept inside closed spaces for long. Portable generators are best for exterior uses and short-term troubles—not an extended loss of power to an entire house.

The Usefulness of the Whole-House Standby Generator

Yes, installing a whole-house generator is more expensive than purchasing a portable one. But it’s the best option to protect a home, and the convenience alone makes it worth it. Most standby generators are “automatic” models, which means they activate on their own when a power outage occurs. Nobody needs to be at home to turn it on, and nobody has to go hunting for it and figure out how to activate it.

Even better is that whole-house generators can be rated for high wattage that can take over all the electrical power needs of a home. You may not need that much power, and our technicians can help guide you toward the size of generator that meets your specific needs.

Finally, whole-house generators can use a range of fuel sources. If you have a natural gas line for your house, it’s a great option to power a generator since you’ll have an uninterrupted fuel supply for it. That’s not something you’ll get with a portable generator.

Consult with our professionals to find the whole-house generator that works for your home and family.

Call our certified service technicians 24/7 for exceptional customer service! Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical has served Los Angeles, Van Nuys and the San Fernando Valley since 1990.

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