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Kohler vs Generac Generator (2020): Which Standby Generator Is Better?

Ensuring your home has a reliable power supply ready and waiting in case of an outage is key to total preparedness. Standby generators from top brands such as Kohler and Generac are among the best choices, recognized for their durability and dependability. Here’s a comparison between the two using their top offerings: the Kohler 20 kW Generator and the Generac Guardian 22 kW Generator.

Our Pick
Generac Guardian 22kW Generator

Power your home during outages with the Generac Guardian Series 7043 22kW Generator. It's designed to supply clean and stable power for sensitive electronics and appliances with 200A coverage. 

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Kohler vs Generac Generator Comparison Chart

ModelKohler 20 kW GeneratorGenerac Guardian 22 kW Generator
 Kohler 20kW Generator 
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Model NameKohler 20RESCL-200SELSGenerac 7043
EngineKohler Command PROGenerac G-Force 1000 Series
Rated Power (LP)20,000 W22,000 W
Rated Power (NG)18,000 W19,500 W
Voltage240 V240 V
Max Current (LP/NG)83 / 75 amps91.7 / 81.3 amps
Fuel Consumption (LP)82 cfh @ 50% load92 cfh @ 50% load
Fuel Consumption (NG)161 cfh @ 50% load228 cfh @ 50% load
Total Harmonic Distortion< 5%< 5%
Response Time10 seconds30 seconds
Transfer Switch200 Amp200 Amp
Digital Voltage Regulation±1.0%±1.0%
ExerciseWeeklyBi-weekly
Noise (Exercise)64 dBA57 dBA
Noise (Full-speed)69 dBA67 dBA
EnclosureCompositeAluminum
Dimensions48″ x 26″ x 29″48″ x 25″ x 29″
Weight580 lbs466 lbs
Warranty5-Year / 2000-hour5-Year Limited

Engine and Power

The Generac Guardian 22 kW Generator can provide more power than the Kohler 20 kW Generator.

Kohler vs Generac Generator Engine and Power
Few home standby generators can match the output of the Generac 7043 Guardian Series.

Right off the bat the Generac 7043 generator comes out ahead of the Kohler 20RESCL in terms of power output. Generac’s largest model has a rated maximum continuous power capacity of 22,000 Watts when it’s running on liquid propane, while Kohler’s achieves 20,000 Watts. When using natural gas, these numbers become 19,500 Watts and 18,000 Watts, respectively. Either way, you can count on the Generac generator to provide more power, which is crucial if you have multiple large appliances at home.

The Generac Guardian 22 kW Generator also has a higher maximum continuous load current at 91.7 Amps compared to the 83 Amps of the Kohler 20 kW Generator, when running on liquid propane. These respective max currents are lower while on natural gas, at 81.3 and 75 Amps, respectively.

Both Kohler Command PRO and Generac G-Force 1000 Series engines are air-cooled and built for durability and reduced maintenance. They also come with 200 Amp load-shedding transfer switches to provide whole-house protection in the event of outages. With a digital voltage regulation of ±1.0% and a total harmonic distortion less than 5%, you can count on sensitive electronic equipment to be protected from surges.

Convenience

The Kohler 20 kW Generator responds faster and consumes less fuel than the Generac Guardian 22 kW Generator.

Kohler vs Generac Generator Convenience
Kohler’s largest generator can bring the lights back on in just ten seconds.

At roughly 500 pounds each, these Kohler and Generac generators require professional installation and setup at a suitable distance from your house. Once properly connected to your fuel lines and circuit boards, you can count on these standby generators to automatically turn on and pump electricity to your home during blackouts. The Kohler 20 kW Generator is quite faster than the Generac Guardian 22 kW Generator though, as it can start providing power 10 seconds after it detects an outage while the latter takes 30 seconds.

You can use either liquid propane (LP) or natural gas (NG) to fuel these generators. With direct connections you can count on them to always be at the ready in case of emergencies, which is one of their advantages over portable generators. The Kohler 20RESCL model requires less fuel than the Generac 7043, consuming 82 cubic feet of liquid propane per hour vs the latter’s 92 cubic feet per hour, while running on half load. For natural gas, the Kohler generator drinks 161 cubic feet per hour while the Generac model guzzles 228 cubic feet per hour.

Our Pick
Kohler 20kW Generator

The Kohler 20,000-watt air-cooled generator protects your home and lifestyle from extended power outages. Comes with a fast 10-second response time, clean current, and quiet operation.

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Choosing where to place your standby generator is also important because of the noise they produce while running. At normal load or in full operation mode, the Generac Guardian 22 kW Generator has a sound output of 67 dBA while the Kohler 20 kW Generator produces 69 dBA. However, during low-speed exercise mode, which the engines require to keep running smoothly, the Generac is much quieter, operating at only 57 dBA noise levels to the Kohler’s 64 dBA.

Features

The Generac Guardian 22 kW Generator has remote monitoring and an LCD display.

Kohler vs Generac Generator Features
A few nice additions make the Generac 7043 Guardian Series generator easier to maintain.

Generac embraced mobile technology a bit more than Kohler, as it adds remote monitoring to the Guardian Series generators. Its Mobile Link tech allows Generac generator owners to check the status of their machine from anywhere, using any mobile device. This lets them see maintenance alerts and operating status so they can always remain prepared for the next outage. Moreover, Generac’s Evolution Controller sports a multilingual LCD screen that shows battery status and maintenance schedules so you or an authorized service personnel can easily check its condition.

Both top-of-the-line Kohler and Generac generators are protected from the elements through their enclosures. Kohler uses a corrosion-proof composite material while Generac employs corrosion-resistant aluminum that’s powder-coated with RhinoCoat. You’ll be able to have either installed out in the sun without worrying about damage or safety. They’re also backed by 5-year warranties to ensure you can rely on them when the power goes out during hurricanes and other unforeseen events.

Verdict

The Generac 22 kW Generator offers a lower cost per kilowatt than the Kohler 20 kW Generator.

Our Pick
Generac Guardian 22kW Generator

Power your home during outages with the Generac Guardian Series 7043 22kW Generator. It's designed to supply clean and stable power for sensitive electronics and appliances with 200A coverage. 

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Our Pick
Kohler 20kW Generator

The Kohler 20,000-watt air-cooled generator protects your home and lifestyle from extended power outages. Comes with a fast 10-second response time, clean current, and quiet operation.

Check Price at Amazon
We are reader supported. When you buy through our links we may earn an affiliate commission.

As these Kohler and Generac standby generators are priced very closely with each other, it’s easy to see how you can get much more power on the Generac 22 kW Generator (7043) for the same cost. As such, homes that run numerous large appliances, such as central air conditioning, will benefit more from having access to a larger reservoir when unfortunate power outages happen. The Generac 7043 Guardian Series is also quieter, especially during its bi-weekly exercise runs, so it won’t bother the neighbors or the cat.

However, if you’re looking to save on fuel costs in the long run, the Kohler 20 kW Generator (20RESCL) will require much less while providing comparable power. It also runs weekly exercises only to keep costs down further, and most mid-to-large homes should find its 20-kilowatt capacity to be plenty for running essential appliances and a few home comforts as well.

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Derick Bondoc
Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.