How Good is the Air Cooled Gas Powered Generac 20kW Generator?

Generac 20kw Generator – We Update You On The Facts


Have you ever been caught by a major power outage and left shivering in the dark without even your favourite TV dinner or movie to take away the pain? If you are reading this, then like me you probably have, so I don’t need to tell you how *^**% annoying it is!

And it’s not only being without lights and heating – after a while your food starts to go off in the fridge and you are driven to having 10 second cold showers just so your work colleagues don’t start complaining about sitting next to you.

I ended up buying a small portable generator which has got me out of trouble (only just) on a few occasions, but now I am getting a bit tired of the inconvenience and looking to upgrade to something more gutsy and reliable. After digging around a bit online, the solution I’ve come up with is a Generac 20kW Generator. Read on to find out all about this powerful backup power generator.


What size Generac generator do I need?

Generac whole house generators range in size from 7kW to 22kW. The 7kW model produces enough power for a small one bedroom home. If you have a larger home with, say 4 bedrooms, a couple of bathrooms, a garage, a water heater and air conditioning, then the 11kW model will be fine for all your appliances.

The 20kW model can power a large house as well as a home office and garage. If you only have a small property, then this model is definitely not for you and would be an overkill.

Gas powered generator for business

If you run a small business, you might want to think about upgrading to a Generac 22kW model, but the chances are that the 20kW model will still be fine, unless you own a small factory or workshop that needs to use a truckload of power tools.

The Generac 20kw generator – what are its main features?

As mentioned before, this generator can produce enough power for most large homes. The unit weighs just over 500 pounds, so you will need to install it on a level, compacted gravel surface or concrete pad.

The whole unit has the following dimensions: Length 48”, Width 25” and Height 29”. This is pretty compact for such a large output, and would easily fit in most gardens, close to the home.

generac 20kw generator
The really great thing about whole house backup generators such as the 20kW Generac is that once they are installed, they are almost ‘set and forget’, apart from scheduled maintenance to replace spark plugs etc.

You don’t have to manual start them – they will sense any power outages and automatically kick in without you having to run out to the shed and try and start a portable model (which in any case can only run a few basic appliances and lights).

Forget about trying to find extension cords during a rainstorm in the middle of the night. With a large Generac you won’t need them. The unit will just keep on running until your utility company fixes the power fault. Just make sure you keep the gas tank full, though :). More seriously, if you get one installed, check that the fuel tank is large enough to keep the generator running until any conceivable power outage period is over.

Another really important and useful feature is that they will periodically ‘self-test’ (i.e. automatically start up and run for a few minutes), so that in the unlikely event of any problems being detected, they can be resolved well before the next power outage.

I also like the fact that they look great, and are small enough not to intrude on the overall ‘look’ of your home.

How does a gas powered generator like this work?

The generator unit converts the engine’s mechanical energy into electrical energy, which is delivered according to household demand. You can set the unit up to deliver 110V or 240V – whatever you need.

A gas powered generator such as the Generac can be run on propane, natural gas or diesel. You will need to decide on the best option for your circumstances before getting the generator installed.

Propane and natural gas offer the advantage of being clean-burning, with lower emissions than diesel. Propane should be stored in an on-site tank, close to the generator. You may want to consider putting the tank underground to improve security and safety.

Diesel is easy to get and has the advantage of not needing a pressurized tank. However, it is not particularly clean-burning, which can be an issue in a neighbourhood setting. You will also need to stabilize the fuel so that it remains ‘fresh’ and ready to use during any power outage.

Do Generac generators come with a warranty?

Yes, they do. The Guardian Series has a 5 year manufactures warranty, and you can extend that up to 10 years if you want to. The parent company also offers 24/7 backup service, which is really useful for the homeowner.

What engine is in a Generac generator?

Generac have their own engine brands. The Guardian Series have air-cooled 2 cylinder V-twin engines, with overhead valves and an electronic governor system. These are quality motors that are designed to run reliably for long periods without any problems. As long as you keep to the maintenance schedule (which you can easily get a technician to do), you shouldn’t have any engine problems.

How loud is a Generac generator?

This large whole house generator sits within a smart-looking noise-attenuating steel enclosure to reduce the sound to levels acceptable for a suburban situation. However, as with any large air conditioning or heat pump unit, it is best not to position a generator right outside your bedroom …or your neighbour’s.

There shouldn’t be any problems with these generators in terms of noise, but if noise is a major concern for you, check out the various models from the Generac  ‘QuietSource’ Series, which have quieter, liquid-cooled engines.

What does a Generac generator cost?

A 20kW Generac from the Guardian Series will set you back nearly $4,500 which is a serious sum. Mind you, if you want a serious generator that will solve all your large home backup power needs and never leave you shivering again, then 4.5 grand is a pretty good deal. If you look after it, it will look after you – for up to 20 years according to the parent company.

My conclusions

My conclusion is that this is the type of generator I want to own. In most cases the 20kW model offers heaps of capacity and energy security for homeowners. I reckon it is perfect if you have a large home with quite a few appliances, and you want to cover all your power supply needs, whether it is for just an hour or for a whole month.

It’s definitely time to get rid of those extension cords and upgrade to something more reliable and far less hassle than the old portable generator! Just visit the store below if you are interested in buying one:

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