What Generator Should I Choose for My Home?

Purchasing a new generator can be a daunting task for anyone new to generators. How can you choose the right generator fuel type, size, and features for your home use needs? We’re here to help simplify this process and get you into the right generator for your needs. Through this article we’ll be breaking down the generator types, how to size your generator for your needs, and what features you should be looking for on a home backup unit. 

What Generator Fuel Type Should I Purchase?

When purchasing a new generator, there are a few fuel types available you can purchase. The current generator types available will be gasoline, propane, and natural gas. Each fuel type can have potential benefits and drawbacks depending on the situation. To better understand the best fuel type that will work for your needs we’ll cover the pros and cons of each type:

  • Gasoline- The benefits to gasoline are mainly the ease of access to obtain the fuel and the lowered expense to set up compared to other fuels on the list. The main drawbacks to gasoline are increased generator maintenance, a shorter fuel life expectancy, and a larger risk of local sources running out of the fuel during an emergency.
  • Propane- The benefits of propane are mainly the long-life expectancy of the fuel, the lower generator maintenance required for propane, the lower risk of the fuel running out during an emergency and being a cleaner burning fuel when compared to the other fuels on the list. The drawbacks are mainly higher fuel costs and lack of accessibility in all areas.
  • Natural Gas- The benefits of natural gas are mainly being the more cost-effective fuel to operate (Please note prices can commonly fluctuate depending on outside factors), and the ability to have an unlimited fuel supply for natural gas equipped homes. The drawbacks are a higher fuel consumption rate when compared to other fuels on the list, increased installation costs for the generator setup, and lack of accessibility in all areas.

The generator fuel type should be chosen based on which fuel offers the most positives for your situation, and location. For example, if you live in an area that doesn’t get outages as frequently you should choose a fuel that has a longer storage life like propane, or a fuel that doesn’t require storage like natural gas. Another option is to purchase a multi-fuel generator, so you don’t have to choose a single fuel and you have the flexibility to change fuels based on the situation. We currently offer both dual fuel generators capable of running on gasoline or propane here: https://www.duromaxpower.com/collections/dual-fuel-generators and tri fuel generators capable of running on gasoline, propane, and natural gas here: https://www.duromaxpower.com/products/duromax-xp13000hxt-13000-watt-500cc-tri-fuel-gas-propane-natural-gas-portable-generator-with-co-alert.

What Size Generator Do I Need for My Home?

Now that you’ve chosen a generator fuel type, the next step is to determine the size generator needed for your home. To do this we need to determine the running watts and starting watts of the items your looking to run during an outage. The running watts will be the wattage the item will draw consistently, and the starting watts will be the peak demand of item to get the item started. Both of these power requirements should be listed on the power specifications shown on the device and/or in the device manual. Here’s some average examples of running and start up requirements for reference:

Tool or Appliance

Rated (Running) Watts

Additional Starting Watts

Ceiling fan



Electric water heater (40 gal)



Hot plate






Well water pump (1/2 HP)












Sump pump



Window air conditioner



*Please note the above wattage figures are estimates only.

To determine the running wattage needs you’ll need to add up all the rated wattage numbers of your devices and the highest starting wattage to get the estimated size of the generator needed. For example, using the numbers above if you were running a refrigerator, television, and microwave you’d add up the rated wattage of the items 700 + 500 + 1000 = 2,200 Watts, and then add the highest surge wattage from among the items, which would be the refrigerator at 2,200 starting Watts; so, the size generator you’d need in this example would be a 4,400-Watt generator.

Additional Features

Generators can come with multiple added features for both safety and convenience; and these features are important to consider with your purchase of any new generator. Here’s a list of some of the various features that can be offered on generators:

  • Electric Starting- This feature starts the generator electrically for easy start-ups. If you think you’ll have trouble starting the generator with only a recoil start, then this is one you’ll want to consider.
  • Digital Multimeter- This feature will give you access to important data from running the generator such as current runtime, total runtime, voltage output, wattage output, and hertz. This feature is good to help keep track of maintenance and the generators performance.
  • CO sensor- This is a safety feature on many of the newest generators that will cause the generator to shut itself off if dangerous levels of carbon monoxide are detected in the air. This feature is recommended for anyone purchasing a generator.
  • Remote Starting- This feature will give you the ability to start the generator with a remote for convenience. This feature is good for making startups as easy as possible.
  • Battery Trickle Charger- This feature keeps the battery maintained while the generator isn’t in use, and is built into many model types. This feature is recommended for easier battery maintenance.
  • Oil sensor- This feature helps protect the engine from damage if too much or too little oil is detected. This feature is recommended for anyone purchasing a generator.
  • Idle control- This feature helps conserve fuel for the generator during periods of no load, or minimal load. This feature is a good option for customers looking to save on fuel costs.
  • Multi-Fuel Options- As mentioned earlier in this article, some generators can run on multiple fuels. This feature is useful to customers that want flexibility and options for fuels during an outage.


In conclusion, there are many generator options available for different needs and situations, and hopefully this article will help guide you on your journey to find the perfect generator for your needs. We here at DuroMax offer industry leading innovation with the latest features and options with our generators. We strive for our mission to power everyone anywhere. If you have any further questions or would like to hear about our latest generators we’re here to help! Please feel free to contact us here: https://www.duromaxpower.com/pages/contact-us