Generac vs. Kohler Backup Generators

Comparison #1: Engine

Generac and Kohler make both portable and permanently installed home backup generators. They both manufacture their own, custom engines, they both are built to last and engineered to work well in a variety of environments.

Generac portable generators can run on either gasoline or LP fuel. While Kohler portable generators require a conversion kit to run on other fuels aside from gasoline, with the Tri-Fuel conversion kit, they can run on gasoline, LP, or propane.

Both Kohler and Generac have permanently-installed home backup generator lines run on your home’s LP or natural gas, so no refueling is necessary.

Kohler has been making engines for almost 40 years more than Generac, but both are quality choices.

Comparison #2: Warranty

Kohler offers a 2,000 hour or 5 year warranty on it’s standalone products, and 3 year warranty on it’s portable models. Generac offers a 3 year warranty on it’s standalone generators, and a 2 year warranty on it’s portable products.

Comparison #3: Housing/Enclosures

A generator is only as good as it’s housing – it protects the unit from the elements and keeps animals – and children – out.  Kohler encloses some of their lower priced home backup generator models with powder coated aluminium or steel, their mid range and up with a more corrosion-resistant composite enclosure.

Generac offers one lower priced home backup generator with a powder coated steel enclosure, and corrosion-resistant powder coated aluminium enclosures for the rest of their line.

Comparison #4 Environmental Impact

As mentioned earlier, both Generac and Kohler have flexible fuel options, allowing you to use cleaner fuel choices like LP and natural gas. Along with this, Generac generators also feature their special “G-Flex” technology, allowing the generator to work according to your energy demands, saving energy.

While this isn’t a feature Kohler offers, even Kohler’s entry level portable generator is CARB compliant, meaning it meets even California’s strict carbon emissions standards.

Comparison #5 Noise Level

Both Generac and Kohler generators have a reputation for being quiet. The portable models tend to be a bit louder than their standalone, permanently installed relatives, around 73-75 dB – roughly as loud as a garbage disposal or kitchen blender. Home backup generators tend to be significantly quieter as a whole – Generac’s mid-range home backup generator rings in at about 66dB, about as loud as a lawnmower running a few houses down, or about as loud as your air conditioner’s condenser.

Generac’s home backup generators also feature a quiet-test mode – a routine weekly test cycle that runs at ⅔ its normal operating RPM keeping the noise level very low during the test, to the sound level of an idling car. While Kohler doesn’t provide decibel ratings on their generators, they do state that their mid-range model operates at a sound level similar to an air conditioner condenser.

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