Houston Heating, Cooling, and Electrical

What Are The Different Types Of Whole House Generators Available?

As summer approaches the temperatures are climbing, and with this year’s active hurricane forecast, it has many Houstonians considering the purchase of whole house generators. No one wants to be without power in the heat of the season, but it can be difficult to know what kind of generator to buy. Waiting until you are out of power to learn about the benefits of whole house generators can leave you a little hot under the collar, literally.

What Is A Whole House Generator?

A generator is typically a unit that converts energy into electric power so it can be used to power appliances that rely on electricity. A whole house generator is designed to power a home’s appliances in the event of a power outage.

However, the term whole house generator does not identify one specific type of generator. In other words, you cannot go into a store and simply ask to purchase a whole house generator. Why? The deciding factor of which type of generator your house needs is primarily based on the unique size of your home an what energy source it will use.

Why Whole House Generators Can Be Beneficial In Houston

Whole house generators can be beneficial in preparing for unexpected power outages in almost any climate, but many Houston residents know that having a generator during the summer and fall seasons can be particularly advantageous for two main reasons:

  1. Hurricane Season
  2. Overwhelmed Power Grids

The hurricane season begins on June 1st and typically extends until November 30th. During this time it is common for tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes to form over the water. A tropical system that packs high winds at landfall can create significant power outages across the city. These widespread outages often take time for energy crews to restore, which can leave residents without electrical power for hours, days, or in some cases, weeks.

The summer heat in Houston can be intense with temperatures regularly reaching the nineties and occasionally one hundred degrees or higher. Although many of us associate the month of September with all things fall, Houston temperatures can remain quite warm through October. This translates to residents running their air conditioning most of the day which can put a strain on energy grids during peak hours that can in turn cause temporary power outages.

How To Determine What Kind Of Generator You Need

In order for a unit to be considered a whole house generator it should be able to power all of the necessary appliances in a home in the event that power is lost.

Here are some key considerations to remember when preparing to purchase a whole house generator:


Determine if you are looking for a whole house generator or a generator that will power only a portion of the house.

Method of Start

If a home loses power, some generators are designed to be manually turned on while others feature a built in automatic transfer switch.

Source of Power

Most whole house generators can be powered by one of several different energy sources, which can differ in availability and cost.

Available Space

Some whole house generators for larger homes can be quite large. Keep in mind that it will require a space large enough to accommodate the unit.


While it can be tempting to try to save a few dollars by installing a whole house generator on your own, keep in mind that in addition to the technical work of installation, the work must also meet local codes, including permit requirements. Ideally, it can be best for a licensed and certified professional to handle whole house generator installations.


There is no one set cost for a whole house generator because they differ in size. When considering the overall cost of purchasing one, be sure to estimate installation and any necessary accommodations for code and permits. If the cost of a unit has you second guessing the purchase, take the total cost of a generator and weigh it against being out of power for several days or even weeks during a hurricane-related power outage.

Potential Energy Sources For Whole House Generators

Whole house generators come in different shapes and sizes and should be purchased based on the specific size of a home. Just as the generators themselves can vary, so can their energy sources.

The most commonly used fuel sources for whole house generators can include:


While still usually a viable option, this category is likely the least preferred by many homeowners when it comes to whole house generators. This type of fuel source is more commonly used for portable generators.


This is generally seen as a step up from gasoline but is typically not as favored as natural gas or propane.

Natural Gas

Many homes are now outfitted with appliances that run on natural gas, meaning they already have access to a natural gas line.


This option may be a good bet for houses that do not have access to a natural gas line. This fuel source is generally considered long lasting.

If you are interested in finding out more about getting a whole house generator for your home, contact the professionals at American Services today!


Service Areas

Memorial, Bunker Hill, Hedwig Village, Piney Point, Hunters Creek, Spring Branch, Tanglewood, River Oaks, Galleria, West University, Bellaire, Katy, The Woodlands, Kingwood, Humble, Spring, Cypress, Waller, Magnolia, Sugarland, Jersey Village, and the Greater Houston Area

Contact Us

25654 Kimbro Rd Hockley, TX 77447.
Phone: 281-355-9100
Fax: 936-931-5705
Cage Code 6P9X8 | DUNS # 86-950-2398 HMSDC # HS03172 | HUB #1760474114400 TACLA # 29812C | TECL # 19746