As the cold and windy weather takes over, power outages can become a concern.  

If you don’t want to be left in the dark, there are some benefits that come along with whole home generators. This is not the typical Home Zone where I show you how to make or install something. 

In this case, discover why you might want to consider buying a generator, if you can make it work financially.

Why consider a whole home generator?

There are many reasons for getting a whole home generator. 

“Many people have medical devices, we have people who are on oxygen so their life depends on a medical device. They don’t want to lose power in that situation or for the people who have groceries and just want to preserve their food,” said Bo Mears, electrical manager with Peterman Brothers.

When bad weather strikes, like storms or tornadoes, the last thing you want is a power outage. A whole home generator can be a gamechanger.

Mary Hanson now lives near Greenwood, but used to live in Ohio. 

“We lost electricity a lot there, so we wanted the comfort and convenience of having it at all times, so we are putting in a whole home generator,” May said.

You can also buy a smaller, less expensive generator, which can operate a few things in your home, and that’s perfectly fine for many homeowners and their needs. But that may not work for everyone.

“We’ve been through the little generators before and it’s inconvenient. You’ve got to have the gas, and make sure that you’re up all night checking on it and watching over it,” Mary said.

“And then when they mentioned Cummins was the manufacturer, my diesel mechanic husband was sold.”

Current whole home generators are efficient, automatic and reliable. You can select a generator that runs on various fuel sources like natural gas or propane, tailored to your needs.

Sometimes, an upgraded electrical system for your home may be necessary to power your entire home effectively.

Installation and cost

Installation can be completed swiftly by professionals. You can try it yourself, but it’s likely something most homeowners won’t attempt because of having to work with electricity, gas and permits. 

Professionals will install the generator, gas, transfer switch and other essential components. The price varies based on the system’s scope; it’s generally several thousand dollars for a critical needs generator or upwards of $10,000 for a whole home system. 

That’s a lot of money for most people, but it can save you in the long run.

Low maintenance, high savings

Maintenance is minimal; the generator just needs to run periodically, similar to occasionally starting a car when it hasn’t run in a while.  Additionally, a whole home generator can save on homeowners’ insurance and prevent unforeseen expenses during prolonged outages. 

How it works

When the power goes out, the generator kicks on within seconds and automatically switches off when the grid is restored. The generators can ensure your home remains comfortable and your appliances stay powered. 

While many generators are known for being loud, the newer ones, especially whole home units, can be comparatively quiet.

“Most people think they are loud, but 9 times out of 10 people are like, ‘I didn’t even hear it at all when it kicked on,’” Mears said.

Proactive planning

If you’re building a new home, consider having a gas line run to the future generator location. This proactive step can help you save on expenses.


Whole home generators may not come without some disadvantages, such as the initial startup cost and potential noise, but the peace of mind and convenience they offer during emergencies can make them a good value under the right situation.