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Getting to Know Air-Cooled Generators

Understanding Liquid-Cooled Generators

Choosing the Right Backup Generator: Air-Cooled vs Liquid-Cooled

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

3 min readUpdated Apr. 01, 2024Eric WoodGenerator
What Are the Differences Between Air-Cooled and Liquid-Cooled Back-up Generators?

When it comes to picking a backup generator, you're going to come across two main types: air-cooled and liquid-cooled. But what's the difference? Well, we're here to help you understand both types. Air-cooled generators are typically smaller, more affordable and need less maintenance. On the other hand, liquid-cooled generators use coolant to regulate temperature, making them perfect for heavy-duty applications. But let's dive in deeper and see why you'd pick an air-cooled vs liquid-cooled generator.


  • An air-cooled generator draws air from outside the unit to cool internal generator parts.
  • A liquid-cooled home generator uses dispersed coolant circulated by a radiator and pump to cool internal parts.
  • Liquid-cooled generators are bigger and designed for larger load sizes.

Getting to Know Air-Cooled Generators

With air-cooled generators, fans and vents work together to cool the engine. These generators draw in air from their surroundings, cooling down the engine parts and ensuring efficient operation. It's their simplicity and fewer moving parts that make air-cooled generators a cost-effective choice, requiring less maintenance compared to liquid-cooled generators. But remember, they're not as powerful. Ranging in output from 13 kilowatts to 20 kilowatts, air-cooled generators are less suitable choice for larger properties.

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 for medium- and small-sized homes. A 13 kilowatts generator can power the essentials such as the refrigerator, furnace, air conditioner and the garage door opener.

Understanding Liquid-Cooled Generators

Unlike air-cooled generators, liquid-cooled generators operate with a radiator and coolant system. This system ensures consistent temperature regulation, allowing them to run for longer periods without overheating. Liquid-cooled units typically generate between 25 kilowatts and 50 kilowatts of electrical power. As a result, liquid-cooled generators are ideal for larger homes or commercial applications with higher power requirements. However, they do require regular maintenance, including checking coolant levels and cleaning the radiator.

Despite the higher initial cost, a liquid-cooled generator can be a worthwhile investment for those with larger homes and higher energy needs.

Choosing the Right Backup Generator: Air-Cooled vs Liquid-Cooled

When deciding between air-cooled and liquid-cooled generators, think about your power needs. Air-cooled generators are perfect for smaller homes or essential appliances, while a liquid-cooled generator may be a better fit for larger homes with higher power demands. Also, consider fuel efficiency and maintenance requirements. Air-cooled generators generally require less maintenance and are more fuel-efficient. However, for frequent or extended use, a liquid-cooled generator might offer better long-term fuel efficiency. At Sears Home Services, we offer a wide range of both air-cooled and liquid-cooled generators, ensuring you find the right backup power solution.

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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