APPL is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Best Inverter Generators For Home Backup : Review And Buying Guide

Gretchen Rubin
  Jan 27, 2023 11:32 PM

Inverter generators address a difficulty with traditional generators by allowing them to operate at a lower, more efficient speed while still producing the same amount of electricity. By means of a throttle, the engine can be sped up or slowed down in response to current electrical demands. The fuel economy, pollutants, and noise levels are all drastically improved by this change. In addition to providing reliable and constant power, inverter generators are an exceedingly clean source of electricity that won't damage sensitive electronics. The best inverter generators provide the reliability you need when the power goes out, whether you're thinking about hurricane preparedness or just using your regular household equipment.


Compare Products

1
  • SCORE
    9.6
    AI Score

    AI Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Jackery
2
  • SCORE
    9.4
    AI Score

    AI Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment
3
  • SCORE
    9.2
    AI Score

    AI Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    DuroMax
4
  • SCORE
    9.2
    AI Score

    AI Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment
5
  • SCORE
    9.0
    AI Score

    AI Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    ALLWEI
6
  • SCORE
    9.0
    AI Score

    AI Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment
7
  • SCORE
    8.8
    AI Score

    AI Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    A-iPower
8
  • SCORE
    8.6
    AI Score

    AI Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    GENMAX
9
  • SCORE
    8.6
    AI Score

    AI Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    BALDR
10
  • SCORE
    8.4
    AI Score

    AI Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    GENMAX
11
  • SCORE
    7.8
    AI Score

    AI Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    GENMAX

Last update on 2023-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API


Buying Guide

Power output

What good is a generator if it can't supply enough energy to meet your needs? A generator's rating is based on its continuous output, which is measured in watts, and its peak performance rating, which is measured in kilowatts, which is the most power it can produce in a particular period of time. Calculate the total operating wattage of all the electronics and appliances you intend to run on the generator's output. A typical home may run on a 5000-7500W generator, which can power essentials like the refrigerator, television, lighting, well pump, and a few small electronics.

Runtime

You don't want to have to keep recharging your inverter generator if you plan on using it for extended periods of time, such as when there are frequent or lengthy power outages in your area or when you need continuous off-grid electricity. The length of time a generator can keep running depends on two factors: the size of its fuel tank and how efficiently it runs. The typical runtime for an inverter generator is 5 to 6 hours, while some of the more efficient types can last for almost a whole day.

Fuel type

The vast majority of inverter generators are powered by gasoline, but many can also operate on propane, natural gas, or even solar energy. Gas has the most potential power output, but it is also the noisiest and most polluting option. Reduced production is a trade-off for propane and natural gas's quieter, cleaner operation. No exhaust or noise is produced by solar generators, but they can only be recharged when the sun is shining (or when there is access to a wall or vehicle plug).

Recoil vs. Electric Start

Depending on the model, inverter generators may use either a recoil starting mechanism or an electric starter switch and cord.

Electric Start

Electric-start generators have a battery that stores energy and allows the machine to power on by itself. The switch can be toggled on or off, or buttons can be pressed on a keypad or FOB. A recoil cord is more cumbersome to use than this method, but the generator must have power stored in order to spark the engine. You can't use the electric starter motor unless the internal battery is fully charged.

Recoil Cord

The recoil cord is a time-tested mechanism that continues to serve its purpose in many gas-powered instruments. To use this type of engine starting, you must pull the recoil cord in a swift and steady motion. There is no need for electricity, but it will take some muscle and possibly more than a few pulls. The generator can be started at any moment, even after being stored for a long time in a shed or garage.

Load Sharing

Parallel wiring, often known as load sharing, is possible when multiple generators of the same brand are purchased. This allows you to connect two generators of different makes and models with the help of a brand-specific adapter kit. By doing so, their wattages can be safely combined to provide more power.

 

Having a backup generator in the event that your first unit fails is another benefit of having two. You'll be able to generate electricity, albeit at a lower rate. Using load sharing to generate enough power to supply an entire home or an RV can be a cost-effective solution.

Size and Weight

Some consumers may be discouraged from making purchases due to their size or weight. Suitcase inverter generators are top-handled machines that weigh around 40 to 50 pounds, making them easy to pick up and carry with one hand. However, these devices often have a power output of 2,200 watts or less, which can be problematic.

 

Mobile generators on wheels are powerful (3,000 watts and up), but cumbersome due to their size and weight. These versions of portable inverter generators are more awkward to stow away in a pickup truck bed or a camper's cupboard. Therefore, one of these devices could be a convenient home generator.

Tank Capacity

Since inverter generators are a convenient portable choice. The inverter generators' availability is contingent on the size of their fuel tanks. Manufacturers typically reduce the size of the tank to make the generator more transportable. Because of this, when shopping for a new inverter generator, you should give this some serious thought. More gasoline can be stored in a tank with a greater capacity, giving you more time to run the generator.

Outlets

Since inverter generators are so easy to transport, many campers choose using them in the great outdoors. However, you should be aware that most inverter generators feature outlets into which you can plug any appliance or into which you may plug a charger for your mobile device or laptop computer. In this instance, having numerous outlets on the inverter generator is ideal, as it allows you to power multiple electronics at once.

Parallel Capacity

Many different models of inverter generators offer parallel capacity. Because of this inverter generator capability, you may utilize a string of them to produce significantly more energy than any single generator could. As a result, if you and a friend each have an inverter generator, you can link them together to boost the total amount of energy produced.

Warranty

You should pay close attention to the warranty information of the inverter generator you buy in addition to the general features and specs. Almost always, you'll be able to discover a guarantee of a year or more, and usually it's for a popular brand. We suggest looking elsewhere if the manufacturer doesn't stand behind its inverter generator with a warranty.

FAQS

What is best, an inverter or a generator?

Inverter generators use an inverter, which "inverts" dirty direct current (DC) back into pure alternating current (AC). While this may sound complicated, it really results in "safer" power for sensitive electronics like laptops and smartphones and adjusts the generator's engine speed to meet your actual power needs, maximizing its efficiency.

Is an inverter generator good for home use?

Absolutely. An inverter generator provides "clean" electricity that is safe for use with sensitive equipment. If you get a model with enough power for your needs, it will do fine.

How big of an inverter generator do I need?

The answer is conditional on its intended function. At least 4,000W is required to run the majority of your home's electrical equipment, such as a refrigerator, lights, television, and a few other electronic gadgets. Your goal should be at least 1,800 watts if you plan to use an RV's air conditioner while camping, as most of these units demand roughly 1,500W, plus some extra juice for other electronics and lighting.

How does an inverter work?

A gas-powered generator produces direct current (DC), which can be converted by an inverter into alternating current (AC) for use in homes.

Why are inverter generators so quiet?

Unlike conventional open-framed types, inverter generators do not employ alternators, which cause the engine to work harder and generate more heat. This is why inverter generators have quieter engines. Manufacturers can encase them in plastic for further noise reduction and protection from overheating.

Are inverter generators worth it?

Inverter generators are the best option for powering sensitive devices because of their convenience, efficiency, and safety. For that reason alone, they may be worthwhile to some customers.

Conclusion

Having an inverter generator on hand can be a lifesaver if you regularly have power outages. To the dismay of your neighbors, this will guarantee that you always have access to a steady stream of electricity. Plus, an inverter generator can provide the electricity needed to run an RV, so you can stay cozy even when you're miles from civilization. Although the best inverter generators might be rather pricey initially, the benefits of having one in your home much outweigh the initial outlay.


4.5
2 ratings