What Are the Differences Between Air-Cooled and Liquid-Cooled Back-up Generators?

By Lyle Weischwill | Feb. 22, 2022 10:50 am PST

When considering the purchase of a Cummins QuiteConnect™ whole-home generator, understanding the differences between air-cooled and liquid-cooled designs can help make it easier to decide which one is right for your needs.

All whole-home standby generators produce a large amount of heat during operation. Keeping the unit from overheating is essential to the life of the generator, and every generator is built with a system to keep it cooled; air or liquid.

Air-cooled Generators

An air-cooled generator draws air from outside the unit. The air is circulated across internal generator parts, cooling the unit. Air-cooled generators are typically smaller, ranging in output from 13 kilowatts to 20 kilowatts.

Air-cooled generators are simple to use and easy to maintain. Due to the smaller size, they are very efficient in both design and costs. But even though they’re smaller, it doesn’t mean they’re not effective. A 13 kilowatts generator can power the essentials such as the refrigerator, furnace, air conditioner and garage door opener in most homes.

The Cummins QuietConnect air-cooled models all offer the following advantages:

  • Neighborhood-friendly, quiet design–with sound levels of 65 decibels from 23 feet
  • Built-in remote monitoring
  • Intelligent load management
  • Compact, sleek design
  • Natural gas or propane fuel source
  • Proprietary no-start exercising
  • 5-year limited warranty

Liquid-Cooled Generators

A liquid-cooled home generator uses dispersed coolant circulated by a radiator and pump to cool internal parts. Liquid-cooled generators are larger, between 25 kilowatts and 50 kilowatts.

Liquid-cooled generators tend to be more expensive, but they are extremely reliable, especially in periods of extended power-outages or larger load sizes. And the robust design handles the harshest weather conditions, including winds up to 180 MPH.

As with the air-cooled units, Cummins QuietConnect liquid-cooled generators have a sleek design, can run on natural gas or propane, and have the proprietary no-start exercising. In addition, they also include these features:

  • Industry-leading, self-diagnostics
  • Hardy, robust design
  • Quiet operation-60 to 64 decibels from 23 feet with the optional sound-reducing enclosure
  • 2-year limited warranty

Knowing the differences between air-cooled and liquid-cooled generators will help you decide which type is best for your home. Now that you know more about the different types of back-up generators, schedule a free in-home consultation with a house generator expert to begin the process of installing your new back-up power source.

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