Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by kiezelamquiz
When winter’s chill creeps into your home, a reliable furnace is a lifesaver. But what happens during power outages? Here’s where the best furnace generator enters the scene.
The best furnace generator is specifically designed to accommodate the energy surge furnaces demand, guaranteeing you warmth even when the grid goes down. Among the top contenders are the Honda EU7000iAT1, Generac GP8000E, and Westinghouse WGen7500.
Curious about which generator to trust during those icy nights? Dive into our comprehensive guide where we’ll unveil our top 5 picks, detail vital factors to consider before purchasing, and sprinkle in some pro tips for good measure.
Top 5 Best Furnace Generators (Starting With The Top 3)
|272 pounds||214 pounds||200 Gallon Tank|
|Fuel-efficient||Electric start||11-hour runtime|
|Quiet operation||CARB-compliant||Transfer switch ready|
|Advanced inverter technology||COSense technology||Built-in fuel gauge|
|Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
|Read more here…||Read more here…||Read more here…|
The best furnace generators balance power, reliability, and features. Here’s a quick look at our top recommendations:
The Honda EU7000iAT1 is recognized for its advanced inverter technology. This technology offers clean, stable power making it safe for sensitive electronics. This is particularly beneficial if your furnace system integrates with a smart home setup.
This Honda model is known for its impressive fuel efficiency. The eco-throttle system optimizes engine speed, reducing fuel consumption without compromising performance. This means more runtime for your furnace and less constant refueling, easing the stress during extended power outages.
One of the most significant advantages of the Honda EU7000iAT1 is its quiet operation. Running at just 52 to 58 decibels, it’s quieter than a normal conversation. This makes it ideal for residential areas where noise can be a concern.
Pros & Cons of The Honda EU7000iAT1
- Quiet operation
- Advanced inverter technology for clean power
- Electric push button start
- On the heavier side
- Lower wattage capacity than some competitors
Generac GP8000E is a solid choice if power and reliability are your primary concerns. This unit provides 8000 running watts, making it capable of handling the energy needs of most common furnace models. With its 420cc OHV engine, you can count on it to deliver consistent power for hours on end.
One of the standout features of this unit is its long runtime. Thanks to its large 7.9-gallon fuel tank, it provides an impressive runtime of up to 11 hours at 50% load. This means less time worrying about refueling and more time staying warm.
The Generac GP8000E also comes with TruePower technology. This feature offers clean, stable power, which is especially critical for furnaces that require a consistent energy supply. As a bonus, it also makes this generator safe for charging sensitive electronics, such as laptops or mobile devices.
The Generac GP8000E is considered one of the best electric start gas-powered portable generator.
Pros & Cons of The Generac GP8000E
- 8,000 starting watts
- Electric start
- COSense technology
- Heavy at over 200 lbs
- Noisy at 74 dBA
- Shorter runtime than some competitors
The Westinghouse WGen7500 is a robust and reliable power solution. It offers 7500 running watts and 9500 peak watts, more than enough to start and run most furnaces. It also features a 6.6-gallon fuel tank, providing up to 16 hours of power, minimizing the worry about constant refueling.
This generator boasts a remote start feature, a distinct advantage during cold winter nights. You can safely and conveniently start the generator from the comfort of your home. No more braving the cold to get your generator running.
The WGen7500 is one of the best Westinghouse portable generators and also comes with lifetime technical support. Westinghouse provides a team of dedicated experts to help you with any issues you might have. It’s this commitment to customer satisfaction that makes Westinghouse a trusted brand in generators.
Pros & Cons of The Westinghouse WGen7500
- Electric start with remote
- 11-hour runtime
- Transfer switch ready
- Built-in fuel gauge
- Heavier than some competitors at 196 lbs
- Lower wattage capacity than some
- No propane fuel capability
The Champion 7500-Watt generator stands out because of its dual fuel capability. It can run on either gasoline or propane, giving you versatility in an emergency. Having two fuel options means you can use whatever is most readily available during a power outage.
Are Champion generators good? In short, yes. Efficiency is a strong point for Champion generators. When running on a full tank of gasoline, it can provide power for 8 hours. But switch to a 20-pound propane tank, and you’ve got power for 5.5 hours. The Champion 7500-Watt also comes equipped with an intelligauge to monitor voltage, hertz, and runtime.
Champion has a reputation for excellent customer service and offers a 3-year limited warranty with free lifetime technical support. This reassurance can be invaluable when investing in a generator to power your home’s furnace.
Pros & Cons of The Champion 7500-Watt Generator
- 7500 starting watts
- Electric start
- Dual fuel – gas and propane
- VoltGuard built-in surge protector
- Noisy at 74 dBA
- Short 8 hour runtime
- Heavy at 197 lbs
The DuroMax XP12000EH, also known as the “Beast”, tops our list for raw power. It delivers 12,000 starting watts and 9,500 running watts. This is overkill for most furnaces, but perfect if you want to power other appliances alongside your heating system.
Like the Champion, the “Beast” also runs on dual fuel. This means you’ll have the flexibility to switch between gasoline and propane. The unit also features a fuel switch that allows you to quickly change your fuel source.
The DuroMax XP12000EH isn’t just about power, it’s built to last. It comes with a heavy-duty metal frame and solid-filled tires. This makes it durable enough to handle harsh weather conditions, something you’ll appreciate when it’s providing the power to keep your home warm.
Pros & Cons of The DuroMax XP12000EH
- 12,000 starting watts
- Dual fuel – gas and propane
- Electric start
- 50 amp outlet
- Very heavy at 224 lbs
- Low quality included accessories
- Outdated manual
Why a Dedicated Furnace Generator Matters
Running a furnace requires a considerable amount of steady power. Here’s why a dedicated generator for your furnace makes sense.
Energy Needs of Furnaces: The Basics
Furnaces have high starting wattages, often 3000W or more, to initially kickstart the motor and blowers. Once running, the furnace requires 1500-2000W to operate consistently. Most standard home generators can’t handle the start-up load.
Additionally, fluctuations in electrical supply can cause the furnace to short cycle or shut down entirely. This could leave you without heat when you need it most. A furnace-ready generator provides ample starting and running power.
Importance of Consistent Power Supply for Heating
Inconsistent electrical flow damages furnace components like the blower motor, circuit board, and heat exchanger over time. A dedicated furnace generator provides steady, uninterrupted power to prevent long-term equipment damage.
Reliable heating is also a health and safety priority, especially for infants, the elderly, or people with medical needs. Investing in a quality furnace generator brings peace of mind that your home will stay warm when you need it.
Key Factors to Consider When Buying a Furnace Generator
Choosing the right generator for your furnace involves more than just looking at power output. Here are some critical factors to consider.
Peak Wattage vs. Running Wattage
Generators have two wattage ratings: peak (or surge) wattage and running (or rated) wattage. Peak wattage is the maximum power the generator can supply briefly, while running wattage is the power it can produce continuously. Your furnace requires high peak wattage to start, but much lower running wattage to continue operating.
Understanding the power requirements of your furnace is critical to choosing the right generator. Be sure to check your furnace’s specifications or consult a professional if you’re unsure. Buying a generator with the right wattage ensures your furnace will run smoothly during power outages.
Carbon Monoxide Concerns
Generator safety should never be overlooked, especially when it comes to carbon monoxide (CO). CO is a colorless, odorless gas produced when fuels like gasoline, propane, or natural gas burn incompletely. When inhaled, it can cause CO poisoning, leading to severe health problems or even death.
To ensure safety, always operate your generator outdoors in a well-ventilated area. Some generators also come with a built-in carbon monoxide detector that shuts off the unit if CO levels become dangerously high. This is a feature worth considering for added peace of mind.
Maintenance and Longevity
Like any machine, a generator requires regular maintenance to perform optimally and last longer. This includes checking and changing the oil, cleaning or replacing air filters, and testing the unit regularly to ensure it’s ready when you need it.
The longevity of your generator depends largely on its build quality. Choosing a generator from a reputable manufacturer means you’re likely to get a well-built unit that will stand the test of time. Also, consider a model with a good warranty period. This shows the manufacturer’s confidence in their product and gives you some protection if something goes wrong.
Portable vs. Standby: Which Suits Your Needs?
When choosing a generator for your furnace, it’s also important to decide between a portable or standby model. Both have their advantages, and your choice will depend on your specific needs and circumstances.
The Flexibility of Portable Generators
Can a portable generator run a furnace? Portable generators offer flexibility and convenience for your furnace needs. They are relatively lightweight, easy to move, and can be used wherever they’re needed. This is especially useful if you need a generator not only for your furnace but also for outdoor activities like camping or tailgating.
Additionally, portable generators are typically less expensive than standby models. They can also be manually started during a power outage, meaning your furnace won’t skip a beat in keeping your home warm. On the downside, they have a lower power output and shorter run times, meaning you may need to refuel them more often.
The Comfort of Standby Generators
Standby generators, on the other hand, offer more power and longer run times. They’re permanently installed outside your home and automatically kick on when the power goes out, ensuring continuous operation of your furnace.
While they’re more costly upfront, their convenience, reliability, and power make them a worthwhile investment. However, they require professional installation and may need local permits, adding to the overall cost. That said, if you live in an area frequently hit by severe weather, a standby generator could be invaluable.
Extra Features to Consider
Your generator should do more than just start your furnace. Here are some extra features that can enhance your generator experience.
Generators, by nature, produce noise when they’re running. This is something you need to consider, especially if you live in a neighborhood where disturbing the peace could be an issue.
Inverter generators are designed to counter this problem. They operate more quietly compared to their conventional counterparts. The sound they make is often compared to a normal conversation or, at most, the hum of an air conditioner. Investing in a quiet generator can help maintain the tranquility of your surroundings.
There are also other measures you can take to soundproof your generator. Look for models with noise-reducing features like noise-muffling covers or low vibration engines.
Fuel Efficiency and Types
Operating a generator can be expensive considering the cost of fuel. Therefore, fuel efficiency is a crucial factor to take into account. Some generators are designed to adjust fuel consumption based on the load, effectively minimizing wastage. These models, often equipped with an eco-mode, can save you a significant amount of money in fuel costs in the long run.
Dual-fuel models offer another way you can achieve flexibility and potentially save on fuel costs. These generators can alternate between gasoline and propane, allowing you to choose whichever fuel is more readily available or cost-effective at any given time. Propane, for example, can be stored for longer periods without degrading, making it a good option for emergency preparedness.
Integration with Home Energy Systems
Technology advancements have opened up new possibilities in generator features, including the ability to integrate with home energy systems. This means you can remotely monitor and control your generator, keeping tabs on its performance, fuel levels, and maintenance needs. These real-time updates can make it easier for you to manage the generator and ensure it’s always ready to go when needed.
While this feature might seem excessive to some, it can be incredibly useful for those who value convenience and like to stay ahead of potential issues. Knowing exactly how your generator is performing at any given time can give you peace of mind. Plus, getting alerts for maintenance needs can help you keep the generator in top operating condition, extending its lifespan.
If you’re tech-savvy and prefer a hands-off approach, this feature could be an important factor in your decision-making process.
Making a Warm Choice for Cold Nights
Choosing the right furnace generator is a crucial decision that can greatly impact your comfort during cold weather. With the information provided in this guide, you’re now equipped to make an informed choice based on power needs, safety considerations, maintenance needs, type of generator, and extra features.
Remember, a good generator is an investment in your comfort and safety. Whether you opt for a portable generator for its flexibility or a standby generator for its power and convenience, make sure it meets your specific needs. That way, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you can keep your home warm and cozy, no matter what Mother Nature sends your way.
Scott Krager purchased generatorgrid.com in the summer of 2020 and quickly began to buy every generator under the sun! He currently has over a dozen generators and the number is growing quickly. He lives in Portland, OR near his family and friends.
GeneratorGrid.com is an independent review business. I am not affiliated with any manufacturers and do not accept paid reviews. When you buy through my links, I may earn a commission which helps me purchase more generators for testing. - Scott Krager