Every time a power outage happens or you want to go on a camping trip; you may wish that you had a generator or you may need to replace your current one. Either way, with the vast amounts of different generators available, it can be challenging to choose the best one for your needs.
The process of purchasing a new generator can be a daunting one, but you can take control and figure it out without any serious damage. Reading this blog will be the excellent place to start.
It will provide some general information needed for purchasing a generator and some of the main features of ten popular generators to guide you in your purchase. When you are finished here, another idea is to check out the reviews and other articles associated with generators that are included on this site.
Before you get started, one of the most important steps is to figure out how big of a generator you will need. Many experts have a variety of opinions on how to calculate the proper size of generator that is required.
Some experts think you need to calculate the precise number of watts used by all of the appliances in your home. While this is ideal, it not feasible to know the exact amount needed for older devices.
Some suggest forgetting about adding and just deciding on a small, medium, or large unit depending on the size of your house. This technique can save time, but it also can lead to extra money being spent on a large generator when you only need a small one. It can also result in you purchasing a small unit when you need a medium.
Fortunately, this site provides a place where you can calculate the exact wattage you need. With this number, you can then get in the ballpark of a suitable generator for your desires.
Type of Generators
Generators come in a variety of shape and sizes. The two most common types are standby and portable.
Standby generators can run from 7,000 to 20,000 watts to protect your home 24 hours a day seven days a week from a blackout. When an outage happens, a standby generator automatically turns on and stays one until the power is restored.
The standby generator is professionally installed and is stationary. It is fueled by natural gas or propane similar to your furnace or water heater. These generators are fully enclosed and come in a variety of styles and sizes.
Portable generators can be moved where they are needed. For example, they can be used for a camping trip, a job site, a limited supply of emergency storm power for your home, and a multitude of other places.
Portable units can offer from 1,000 to 10,000 watts of power. They typically provide clean power and are quieter than standby units. Portable models can be fueled by a variety of sources which include gas, propane, diesel, etc. One common type of portable generators is the inverter design which will be the focus of this blog.
Inverter Generators Explained
The new inverter generator was recently introduced to the generator world. It works by:
1. Producing high-voltage AC power
2. Converting this AC power into DC voltage
3. Converting this DC voltage back to clean AC voltage
These steps can be complete by using a unique circuitry that allows for this multistep process to happen. The AC power created by the generator in the first step cannot be directly used.
So, this raw electricity must be changed to direct current. The DC is then changed back into alternating current in sine instead of block waves. This power can then be used for sensitive devices such as medical devices and microwaves without the fear of damage to the apparatus.
Benefits Associated with an Inverter Generator
All generators provide electricity when it is needed. This technology has been known to be bulky and loud, but the inverter technology has changed the face of the generator.
The inverter technology offers six benefits that standard or conventional generators do not. Most inverter units have the capability to change the speed of the engine. This ability allows the engine to produce the exact amount of power needed which conserves energy.
On the other hand, most conventional models constantly run at 3600 RPMs which may provide power that is not necessary which wastes fuel.
Conventional generators cannot produce the same level of clean power that an inverter generator can. The power generated by an inverter model is almost exactly the same as the power output of your home lines. This similarity means your devices are as safe with this type of unit as home based power.
When you own a conventional unit, you must conduct maintenance every single month. With an inverter model, you typically only have to service it once a year.
Two identical inverter generators can be paired together to produce higher levels of power. Most conventional units do not have this parallel capability.
Inverter models have integrated parts to make them light and easy to move. Some conventional models are still bulky or overweight.
Finally, with special noise dampening features, the inverter generator is significantly quieter than conventional generators. These benefits make the inverter generator the best choice when purchasing a generator.
Considerations Before Purchasing
When purchasing an inverter generator, you should take six things into consideration.
1. Your power requirement is directly influenced by the fuel capacity of the unit. You should determine the total load requirement before identifying a generator to purchase.
2. Each brand has a different noise level. The amount of noise a generator creates can be a deal breaker. However, when comparing models make sure they are producing the same wattages and are operating at the same load.
3. Consider the control panel of a unit before purchasing it. The best control panels will save you time, energy, and money in the long run.
4. The price of an inverter generator can vary widely among the different models and brands. Price should always be considered when making a major purchase.
5. Depending on your needs weight and portability should also be considered. Typically weight and size will depend on the wattage of the unit.
6. Choosing a model with an economy mode can maximize your savings in fuel.
Pros and Cons of Inverter Generators
As with any type of generator, the inverter generator has some advantages and disadvantages which are:
• An inverter generator has excellent fuel efficiency because of its ability to lower the RPMs when the load is lighter.
• The inverter generator is quieter than most conventional generators.
• The waveform produced by an inverter generator is cleaner which makes it more suitable for sensitive devices such as televisions and computers.
• The smaller and lighter inverter generator is easier to move and carry to different areas.
• The wattage of an inverter generator is limited to typically under 4,000 watts.
• The small gas tanks located on the inverter generator requires you to fill up more frequently than conventional generators.
• Inverter generators can cost more than conventional ones.
Depending on your needs and wants, the advantages may outweigh the disadvantages or vice versa.
Inverter Generators Comparison Table
|Name||Maximum AC Output||Rated AC Current||Weight||Operation Time|
|Yamaha EF2000iSv2||2000 Watts||13.3 amps at 120||44.1 pounds||10.5 hours at ¼ load|
|Honda EU2000i||2000 Watts||13.3 amps at 120v||46 pounds||8.1 hours with one gallon of gas|
|Honda EU3000iS||3000 Watts||23.4 amps at 120v||130.1 pounds||20 hours with 3.4 gallons of gas|
|Generac IQ2000||2000 Watts||13.3 amps at 120v||46.2 pounds||7 hours at ¼ load|
|WEN 56200i||2000 Watts||13.3 amps at 120v||54.4 pounds||6 hours at ½ load|
|DuroMax XP2000iS||2000 Watts||13.3 amps at 120v||47 pounds||6.5 hours at ½ load|
|Yamaha EF6300iSDE||6300 Watts||52.5 amps at 120v
26.3 amps at 240v
|200 pounds||13.3 hours at ¼ load|
|Generac iX800||850 Watts||7.1 amps at 120v||29 pounds||3.5 hours at ½ load|
|WEN 56310i||3100 Watts||23.3 amps at 120v||81.4 pounds||7.5 hours at ½ load|
|Briggs and Stratton P3000||3000 Watts||21.6 amps at 120v||90.4 pounds||10 hours at ¼ load|
Features of Popular Inverter Generators
When deciding which inverter generator to purchase, it is also important to understand the different features of various generators. This list provides the features and uses of ten inverter generators. This list only includes the features and is no way a review of the performance of the generators. However, this site does provide extensive reviews if you are interested.
This inverter generator is used for a variety of applications. It features Smart Throttle technology to help reduce the amount of noise and to provide greater fuel efficiency. The noise level is between 51.5 and 61 dBA.
This Smart Throttle also allows the engine to vary engine speed according to the load. Another feature of this generator is the fuel petcock which stops the carburetor from clogging and gas from becoming stale. This generator also has a fuel gauge to allow for a quick fuel check.
The overload breaker on this generator will prevent damage if the generator becomes overloaded. The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 also comes with an oil watch warning feature that should inform you when the oil is low.
The last feature available on this model is the TwinTech technology which allows you to put two EF2000iSv2 generators together to provide 30 amps of power.
This inverter generator is considered perfect for satellite, refrigerators, coffee pots, and much more. The inverter also provides stable power for use with computers and laptops.
It weighs only 46 pounds, so it is easy to carry from home to campsite to job site. Another feature of this generator is it operates at between 53 and 59 dBA, so it is pretty quiet.
The Honda EU2000i has a parallel capability feature similar to the Yamaha EF2000iSv2. You can connect two identical generators with a cable to get over 4000 watts of power.
Another feature of this generator is the circuits are also protected from overload. Finally, when you charge a 12-volt battery, you will get 8.0 amps of unregulated DC output.
One of the unique features of this generator is its ability to operate a 13,500 BTU RV AC unit. It can also run a furnace, fridge, microwave, and a variety of other devices.
The Honda EU3000iS has an electric starter to allow for smooth operation. Another feature of this generator is its ability to run for around 20 hours on 3.4 gallons of fuel and will run from 7.2 to 20 hours on one tank of gas continuously depending on the load.
This generator also has a parallel capability feature and protection against circuit overload. Finally, when charging automotive type batteries that are 12 volts, you get 12.0 amps of DC output.
The Generac IQ2000 has an OHV engine that has three different settings which include regular, economical, and turbo. These settings allow you to manually adjust the motor speed based on the power you need.
It also has a unique alternator that utilizes an attached digital inverter that will change DC power to AC power. The Generac IQ2000 also features the parallel capability. You can at least double your wattage using this feature.
Another feature of this inverter generator is a dashboard that lights up. It shows battery life, the level of fuel, and the amount of wattage being used. The panel also tells you the overall status of the generator.
Finally, this generator has a dial that can be changed to any setting (start, run, stop) that makes it easy to use.
This generator is EPA III and CARB compliant which allows it to be sold anywhere in the United States. It operates at 51 dBA which makes it quieter than some of the other generators.
Another feature of the WEN 56200i is the engine which is a 79.7 cc four-stroke OHV. With this level of noise and this engine, the WEN 56200i was produced for a variety of activities which include power outages, campsites, parking lots, and much more.
Sensitive electronics such as smartphones and tablets are protected from damage with this generator because of the clean power it produces. When running at ½ load, this inverter generator will run on one tank of gas consistently for four hours.
The last feature associated with the WEN 56200i is it comes with one 12 volt DC outlet, two 3-prong 120-volt receptacles, and a USB port that is 5 volts.
Many of the above inverter generators have similar features, and the DuroMax XP2000iS is not any different. It also has the technology to provide clean, stable power for devices that are sensitive. It also features a 40% lighter weight than similar generator models.
Like many of the above generators, the DuroMax XP2000iS has a parallel capability feature to connect more than one to boost the power.
The Smart Throttle on this unit controls the speed of the idle which then controls fuel usage. This inverter generator also comes with:
• Two 120 volt outlets
• One 5 volt USB outlet
• One 12 volt DC outlet which is eight amps
The last feature to be showcased here is the noise level of the DuroMax XP2000iS is so low that you can use it for tailgating or in a meeting area.
The Yamaha EF6300iSDE has a noise blocking system feature that ensures a quiet operation. It also utilizes the Smart Throttle system feature.
One of the unique characters of this inverter generator is the wireless remote control that works from a distance up to 66 feet away. Unlike some of the other generators in this blog, the Yamaha EF63000iSDE has an ability to operate both 120 volt and 240-volt appliances.
The power meter feature allows you to view the amount of energy that is being generated and the amount that is available for use.
The last important feature of this generator is an hour meter that keeps track of the number of hours the generator has been used and when you should service the generator next based on these figures.
One of the best features of the Generac iX800 is the fact that it is 45% lighter than other generators of similar wattage making it easier to handle when moving.
To reduce the amount of fuel used, decrease noise levels, and protect sensitive devices, the Generac iX800 uses a FlexPower feature. Another feature to protect the engine is a low oil shutdown system. If the oil becomes too low for operation, the generator will automatically shut off to prevent damage to the engine.
The control panel has LED indicator lights that identify the status of the system. Finally, the Generac iX800 also employs electronic circuit breakers similar to other generators to protect the engine from overloads.
One of the main features of the WEN 56310i is its engine which is a 212cc 4-stroke OHV that produces over 3000 surge watts. This generator is typically used in the country, at campgrounds, during tailgating, or while stuck in a power outage.
Tablets, computers, smartphones and other sensitive devices are safe from damage while using this inverter generator. This generator also features the following:
• Two USB ports
• One DC receptacle which is 12 volts
• Two three-prong receptacles which are 120 volts
• One AC 30 amp NEMA twist lock outlet which is 120 volts
Lastly, the Eco-Mode feature available on this model of inverter generator allows the engine to automatically adjust the fuel intake to guarantee fuel efficiency.
Briggs and Stratton P3000
The Briggs and Stratton P3000 is the most affordable generator in its class. It produces clean and consistent power to protect your valuable devices during power outages.
Even though this generator has enough power to start an RV’s air conditioner, it is still quieter than other traditional camping generators at 58 decibels. It also features a 1.5-gallon gas tank which may seem small, but this inverter generator can continuously operate on one tank of gas for ten hours at ¼ load.
Briggs and Stratton have included four household outlets, one 30 amp outlet that locks and has an RV adaptor, and a USB port on its P3000 model. Last but not least, this inverter generator offers a StatStation LCD display.
This display helps track when oil, spark plug, air filter, and various other items need maintenance.
As you read the above list, you probably noticed that all of the generators have similar features. These similar features are available in most inverter generators, so when deciding which one is the right one, you must use more information than just the features available.
Even though many of the generators have similar features, their performances are different and should be considered when choosing a generator. Now, that you have an idea of what an inverter generator has to offer, you can quickly decide the features most critical to your needs. You are now ready to control the search for your perfect inverter generator. Good Luck.