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Consumer Reports rates home generators for power failures

Latest test of portable and whole house models
Posted at 7:38 PM, Mar 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-15 01:36:09-04

The storms that rolled through the Cincinnati area on March 14 knocked out power for thousands of homes.

Even if yours wasn't among them, you might be thinking this spring is the time to finally buy a generator.

With that in mind, we decided to revisit the latest ratings from out partners at Consumer Reports Magazine, who tested generators a year ago.

Generator options

If you just want to power your refrigerator, some lights and a phone charger or laptop, consider the lightest type of generator that delivers up to 2,000 watts.

A midsize model will give you up to 3500 watts, so you can also power a window air conditioner or 1000-watt space heater (depending on the season) and run either your coffee maker, washing machine or hair dryer.

If your needs include running a large sump pump, a larger portable generator providing up to 7,500 watts can handle all this plus a gas furnace. Electricians can add a furnace plug, so your house stays warm in a winter outage.

And if you want whole-house power, a permanently-installed standby generator that provides up to 20,000 watts can make you forget there’s a storm outside.

Consumer Reports' top rated portable generators:

  • YAMAHA EF2000isV2 - 1600 watts - $900
  • PREDATOR 3500 - 3,000 watts - $770
  • HONDA EU2000iS - $1,000

Top rated whole-house generators:

  • GENERAC RS7000E - 7,000 watts - $1,000
  • CHAMPION - 100179 - $2,800

As always, don't waste your money.


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