Cost of Generator vs Furnace: A Competitive Analysis

Rima Chatterjee

To understand which solution is best for keeping your home warm and cozy, we will explore the cost of a generator vs. a furnace in two sub-sections: How Does a Generator Run a Furnace? and Comparing Generator and Furnace Costs. By examining these two sub-sections, you will be better equipped to make economic choices based on your needs and budget.

How Does a Generator Run a Furnace?

A generator can power a furnace by supplying electricity. This electricity runs the blower motor and control circuits. If the grid fails, a backup generator can keep your furnace running.

It’s cheaper to invest in a generator than to buy a whole new heating system. Electric furnaces cost less to install, but they can be more expensive in the long run. With a backup generator, you can avoid high energy costs.

There’s an upfront price when you buy a generator, but it’s worth it. HomeAdvisor says that replacing an HVAC system can cost up to $9,350. On the other hand, getting a home generator can start at $2,000.

So, let’s compare the costs of generators and furnaces – it’s a battle of warmth versus watts!

Comparing Generator and Furnace Costs

Comparing generators and furnaces costs? Consider installation fees, maintenance costs, and fuel consumption rates. We made a table to help you. Check it out:

            Generator          Furnace
Installation Cost: $3,000 to $6,000Installation Cost: $2,500 to $3,800
Maintenance Cost: $200 per yearMaintenance Cost: $100 per year
Fuel Consumption Rate: 0.5 to 2 gallons/hourFuel Consumption Rate: 0.03 to 0.12 gallons/hour

Generators usually cost more for installation. But, maintenance is cheaper in the long run. Generators also consume more fuel – but they provide reliable power during outages.

Michael Faraday invented the first generator in the 1800s. The furnace has been used for heating since ancient times. Both keep evolving – and offer great benefits, depending on your needs and budget.

Need power during outages? Generators for home use will keep you warm.

Types of Generators for Home Use

To help you understand what type of generator will best serve your home, in this section, I’ll be covering ‘Types of Generators for Home Use.’ We will be discussing three of these types in this article, namely portable Generators’, ‘Standby Generators’ and ‘Fuel Types for Generators’. Each one of these types has certain advantages and disadvantages depending on your needs and budget, and we will cover them briefly.

Portable Generators

Portable Generators are a very versatile and useful tool. You can use them in emergencies, camping trips, and tailgating events. Here’s a table showing the different types and their features and specs:

        Types      Features    Specifications
InverterQuiet, lightweight, and fuel-efficienWattage: 1,000-4,000Fuel type: GasolineRun time: 3-8 hrsNoise: 50-59 dBWeight: 30-80 lbsDimensions: 19 x 10 x 15 – 23 x 18 x 19 inches
ConventionalAffordableWattage: 5,000-10,000Fuel type: GasolineRun time: 8-12 hrsNoise: over 70 dBWeight: over 100 lbsDimensions: varies
Dual FuelRuns on gasoline and propaneWattage: variesFuel type: Gasoline/PropaneRun time: variesNoise: variesWeight: variesDimensions: varies
SolarEco-friendlyWattage: variesFuel type: Sunlight (solar panels)Run time: unlimitedNoise: noneWeight: n/aDimensions: varies

Portable Generators can also have different starting methods, like recoil start, electric start, and even remote start.

They’ve been around since the early 1900s, when construction companies used them to power equipment on job sites. Now, they’re used for a lot more! Standby generators: ‘Cause who needs electricity all the time?”

Standby Generators

Generators that provide backup in case of power outages are called standby generators. Great when the weather is bad and power may fail.

  1. Air-Cooled Standby Generators use liquid propane or natural gas and range from 5 kW to 22 kW, with prices ranging from $1500 to $5000+.
  2. Liquid-Cooled Standby Generators are more powerful, with a range from 22 kW to 150 kW+ and prices ranging from $6000 to $20,000+. They have liquid cooling instead of air-cooling and operate quieter, so they don’t overheat.

Pro Tip: Before buying a generator, consult an electrician or generator technician to get the right size & model. Fuel types are like choosing between exes – each has their flaws, but you’ve gotta power through!

Fuel Types for Generators

Generators come in many types and with a variety of fuel options. Let’s check out the advantages and disadvantages of each fuel type: gasoline, diesel, propane, and natural gas.

Fuel TypeAdvantagesDisadvantages
Gasoline– Readily available- Portable generators use it- Good for small appliances– Combustible- Short shelf life- Emits fumes and noise
Diesel– More efficient than gasoline- Longer life expectancy- Safer to store in large quantitiesExpensive compared to gasoline- Not suitable in cold climates- Produces carbon monoxide if not ventilated
Propane– Clean burning fuel- Long shelf life (up to 10 yrs)- Can be transported in portable tanks or stored in bigger tanks– Initially more expensive than gasoline or diesel- Must use special regulator & hoses for safety- Not widely available as a fuel type

When selecting a fuel type, consider how long the generator will need to run, storage and transport risks, budget, and environmental impact.

Did you know that the first generator was invented in 1831 by Michael Faraday using principles of electromagnetism discovered by Hans Christian Oersted? Nowadays, generators are used in emergencies or just for fun. So, don’t forget the marshmallows for your blackout s’mores!

Installation of Generator for Furnace Use

To install a generator for my gas furnace, I need to consider the size of the generator, its placement on a concrete pad, and the installation of a transfer switch. To ensure that my generator can provide enough power for my furnace, I need to determine the appropriate size. Next, I need to place the generator on a concrete pad and follow installation guidelines to avoid any safety risks. Finally, installing a transfer switch allows me to switch seamlessly between my main power source and the generator during a power outage.

Size of Generator for Furnace Use

When it comes to furnaces, the size of a generator depends on the type and power needs. Look at the startup wattage, running watts, and motor specs. Here’s a table for common furnace sizes and their corresponding generator sizes:

        Furnace size  Generator size
40,000 BTU3,000-4,000 watts
60,000 BTU4500-5500 watts
80,000 BTU6,500-7,500 watts
100,000 BTU8,500-10,000 watts

These are just guidelines. Individual needs may vary. Plus, extra wattage may be needed for features like a variable-speed motor or a humidifier.

The 2012 Superstorm Sandy incident in New Jersey is an example of why it’s important to get the right generator size. Many residents thought their generators were adequate, but they weren’t. So, make sure to consider all factors when selecting your generator size.

Placement of Generator on Concrete Pad

When installing a generator for furnace use, a concrete pad is needed. It should be stable and level to prevent movement and damage. The size should be equal to the base of the generator, and it should be at least 4 inches thick. The soil beneath should be compacted to avoid settling. Also, it should be sloped away from buildings to prevent water pooling around them.

Generators produce heat, so keep them away from flammable materials. My neighbor made the mistake of using bricks instead of concrete. When a storm hit, his generator toppled over and damaged his roof.

To ensure dependable operation and extend its service life, use a sturdy concrete pad for the generator. Invest in proper installation techniques upfront to avoid a costly mistake.

Installation of Transfer Switch

Installing a generator for furnace use? Don’t forget the transfer switch! It allows the generator to give electricity to the furnace during a power outage. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Pick a spot for the transfer switch near the electrical panel and the generator.
  2. Switch off the main breaker. Then, connect jumpers from the generator breaker to the transfer switch. And, from the switch to the panel.
  3. Put in the remaining branch circuits to the transfer switch – make sure you wire ’em correctly.

When considering the transfer switch, get the one that has enough amps and wattage for your furnace. It’s key to double-check the installation – any errors could be really dangerous. Get help from a pro or learn more about the techniques to stay safe and warm!

Selecting the right generator for the house is essential – make sure it can meet all your power needs.

Choosing the Right Generator for Whole House Use

To ensure your house remains warm and comfortable when the power goes out, you need to choose the right generator for whole house use that can meet your energy needs. One of the best options is a standby generator, which provides automated power. However, they can be pricey, so you might want to consider a portable generator. Here we’ll explore three top portable generator brands- Honda EU2200i, Yamaha EF2000iSv2, and WEN 56200i generators, and take a look at their features- what they offer, and how they can meet your energy needs.

Honda EU2200i Generator Features

Tired of noisy, inefficient portable generators? Look no further than the Honda EU2200i! It has unique and innovative features to meet all your power needs.

  • Power Output: Delivers up to 2,200 watts of clean and stable power with advanced inverter technology. Perfect for powering sensitive electronics.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Its Eco-Throttle system can run for 8.1 hours on one gallon of fuel. Saves money and is environmentally friendly.
  • Quiet Operation: Maximum noise level of 48 decibels at a quarter load. Won’t disturb the peace.
  • Portability: Lightweight (47 pounds). Has a comfortable handle and four sturdy wheels for easy transportation.

Plus, you can connect two units together for extra power. This model underwent extensive testing and development before being released. If you want a reliable generator that’s efficient and quiet, the Honda EU2200i is your best bet!

Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Generator Features

Choosing the right generator for your entire house is a must. The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Generator is a top pick! It’s lightweight and a cinch to move. Plus, its inverter tech gives clean electricity that’s safe for delicate electronics. With the smart throttle, it’s simple to monitor fuel levels. And its sound-blocking design keeps noise pollution low. Plus, it runs for 10.5 hours at quarter load. Additionally, it can link up with another unit to double its power output. Three-year warranty for total assurance. Uniquely, it has a handle for easy carrying. Consumer Reports rated this model highest among all tested.

Need power and portability? WEN 56200i Generator has you covered. Just don’t try to juggle it!

WEN 56200i Generator Features

Choosing the right generator for your whole house can be a difficult task. The WEN 56200i generator has features that can help you make an informed decision.

  • It’s compact and lightweight.
  • It operates quietly.
  • It has efficient fuel consumption.
  • It provides clean energy output.
  • It has a user-friendly control panel.

The WEN 56200i is small yet powerful enough to provide energy to your whole house during outages. Plus, it has a noise output of only 51 decibels, so it won’t disturb your neighbors. It also provides clean energy for your electronics and appliances.

If ease of use and maintenance are important to you, then this generator is the perfect choice. It has all the necessary buttons and switches in one spot, making it easy to access. Plus, its fuel-efficient engine gives a run time of up to six hours on half load.

Don’t wait until a power outage happens to buy a generator! Get the WEN 56200i today and get reliable backup power. Maintaining a generator may be expensive, but it’s worth it compared to being left in the dark during a power outage.

Generator Maintenance Costs and Safety Risks

To understand the maintenance costs and safety risks of using generators for your home furnace, let me walk you through the sub-sections of this article. Firstly, we’ll discuss the maintenance costs for home generators, which can vary depending on the type of generator you choose and its fuel source. Secondly, we’ll take a look at the safety risks of generator use and how you can avoid them, as proper usage and installation are crucial for preventing dangerous situations.

Maintenance Costs for Home Generators

Maintaining home generators is key to their performance, reliability, and safety. Regular care can save you cash on repairs or even replacements. See the table below for average maintenance costs by type

Generator TypeAverage Maintenance Cost
Portable Gasoline$50 – $100
Portable propane$20 – $50
Standby Gasoline or propane$200 – $500

Be aware that if you don’t take care of your generator, you may incur additional costs. This can include dangers like carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock, or fire hazards. Have your generator inspected, cleaned, and maintained to stay safe.

If you neglect maintenance, you could be facing costly repairs or replacements. Don’t gamble with your emergency response plan. Schedule regular maintenance for your home’s generator now and be sure of reliable power in an outage. Remember: playing Russian Roulette with your generator means your wallet won’t be bulletproof.

Safety Risks of Generator Use

Generators can be great for power outages or outdoor activities, but there are safety risks. Carbon monoxide is odorless and invisible, so generators must be kept 20 feet away from homes or entrances and properly ventilated. Electrical shock is also a danger; avoid wet spots or touching the generator or cords with wet hands. Refueling must be done carefully, as overheating can cause fuel fumes to ignite and become explosive.

Grounded extension cords and carbon monoxide detectors are essential for safety. Neglecting maintenance can lead to serious risks, property damage, and even the loss of life. So, choose wisely and take precautions – the cost of neglect could be huge.


When thinking of home heating and power, there are many options. Gas furnaces and whole-house generators are popular. But they have different fuel types and installation costs. It’s important to know the ratings, run time, and maintenance costs of portable and standby generators. Safety is key when choosing. Additionally, know your electrical circuits, load center, transfer switch placement, square footage, and climate to optimize energy usage.

Don’t miss out on the benefits of a backup generator during power outages. Choose one that fits your budget and needs.

About the author

Debarghya Roy: A heating systems author, Passionate about energy efficiency and sustainability, Sharing insights and empowering readers through informative blog articles.