Inverter Generator vs Generator

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Written By John Gibbs

 

 

 

» Equipment » Generators » Inverter Generator vs Generator

Generators are used to provide power during a power outage. Portable generators are powered by gasoline, propane, or diesel. They provide electricity for a certain time and must be refueled.

When the power goes out, generators can keep lights on, refrigerators running, and other critical equipment operating.
There are two types of portable generators, inverter generators, and portable generators. Generator vs inverter which is best?

What Is The Difference Between A Generator And An Inverter Generator?
A generator is a device that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy, while an inverter generator is a device that converts DC electrical energy into AC electrical energy. The main difference between a generator and an inverter generator is that a generator produces electrical energy at a constant rate, while an inverter generator can produce electrical energy at a variable rate.

What Is an Inverter Generator?

An inverter generator is a type of generator that converts direct current (DC) power to alternating current (AC) power. The inverter generator is a more efficient and quieter type of generator than a traditional generator.

Honda generators

How does an inverter generator work?

The inverter generator contains a small internal combustion engine that powers an alternator. The alternator converts the DC power from the engine into AC power. The AC power is then inverted back to DC power and sent to the generator’s output.

Why use an inverter generator?

An inverter generator is different than a traditional generator because it produces “clean” electricity. This means the electricity is the same kind that comes out of your outlets at home. This is important for people who use sensitive electronic equipment like computers, TVs, and sound systems. The clean electricity from an inverter generator won’t damage these devices.

What are the advantages of an inverter generator:

  • Efficient than traditional generators because they convert DC power from the battery into AC power. This means that less fuel is needed to run the generator, and the generator will run for a longer period on a given amount of fuel.
  • The next inverter generator’s advantage is quieter than traditional generators. This is because the inverter generators do not have to run at full speed all the time, so they do not create as much noise.
  • Lighter than traditional generators. This makes them much easier to transport and set up, which is ideal for people who need to take their generators with them on the go.
  • Safer than traditional generators. This is because the inverter generator produces clean power that is not susceptible to power surges.

Disadvantages of the inverter generator:

  • Expensive than a traditional generator.
  • Less powerful than a traditional generator.

Recommended Best Inverter Generators

1. Honda EU2200i Super Quiet Portable Home Inverter Generator

Key characteristics

  • Brand:‎ Honda
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Power: 2200 watts
  • Noise Level: 57 dB(A)
  • Run Time Per Tankful: 3.2 hours = 100% load, 8.1 hours =25% load
  • Engine Type: 4 Stroke
  • Tank Volume: 0.95 Gallons
  • Weight: 46.5 Pounds

2. WEN 56235i Super Quiet 2350-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

Key characteristics

  • Brand:‎ WEN
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Power: 2350 watts
  • Run Time Per Tankful: 10.5 Hours Quarter-Load
  • Engine Type: 4 Stroke
  • Tank Volume: 1 Gallon
  • Weight: 39 Pounds

3. Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

Key characteristics

  • Brand:‎ Westinghouse
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Power: 4500 Watt
  • Noise Level: 52 dB(A)
  • Run Time Per Tankful: 18 Hours Quarter-Load
  • Engine Type: 4 Stroke
  • Tank Volume: 3.4 Gallon Gas Tank
  • Weight: 104.7 Pounds

4. Pulsar Products G450RN, 4500W Portable Inverter Generator

Key characteristics

  • Brand:‎ Pulsar
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Power: 4500 Watt
  • Noise Level: 63 dB(A)
  • Run Time Per Tankful: 12 hours
  • Engine Type: 4 Stroke
  • Tank Volume: 3.2 gallons of fuel
  • Weight: 108 Pounds

5. GENKINS 2300 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

Key characteristics

  • Brand:‎ GENKINS
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Power: 2300 watts
  • Noise Level: 53-56 dB(A)
  • Run Time Per Tankful: 8 hours
  • Engine Type: 4 Stroke
  • Tank Volume: 1.36 Gal Gas
  • Weight: 51 Pounds
Table comparing the characteristics of inverter generators
TypePower, wattsNoise LevelRun Time Per Tankful, = 100%Tank Volume
Honda EU2200iinvertor220057 dB(A)3.2 hours0.95 Gallons
WEN 56235i Super Quietinvertor235010.5 hours 1 Gallon
Westinghouse iGen4500invertor450052 dB(A)18 hours3.4 Gallon Gas Tank
Pulsar Products G450RNinvertor450063 dB(A)12 hours3.2 Gallon
GENKINS 2300invertor230053-56 dB(A)8 hours1.36 Gallon

What Is a Generator?

A portable generator is a gasoline-powered electrical generator that can provide power to a home or small business in the event of a power outage. Portable generators are typically used to provide backup power for a short period until the power can be restored by the utility company.

How does a portable generator work?

A portable generator converts mechanical energy from an engine into electrical energy. The engine is typically powered by gasoline, although some models may use propane or diesel. The engine drives a generator, which is an alternator that produces AC (alternating current) electricity.

Most portable generators have four main parts: an engine, an alternator, a voltage regulator, and circuit breakers. The engine is typically a four-stroke gasoline engine, similar to what is used in a lawn mower.

The engine drives the alternator, which produces electricity. The voltage regulator controls the voltage produced by the alternator, and the circuit breakers protect the generator and the appliances or equipment that it is powering from damage due to an overload of electricity.

DuroMax generator

How much electricity does a portable generator produce?

The amount of electricity that a portable generator can produce is measured in watts. The wattage rating of the generator will determine how many appliances or pieces of equipment can be powered by the generator at the same time.

For example, a 1,000 watt generator can support lighting and several appliances, for example, a refrigerator and a TV. The amount of equipment and lighting depends directly on the capacity of the appliances and their starting currents.

How do I choose the right portable generator?

For example, a gasoline-powered generator may be cheaper than a propane generator, but it will require gasoline on hand. Therefore, the choice of fuel should be based on the availability and price of the fuel.

You should also consider the noise level of the generator, especially if the generator will be located close to the house. It is important to consider that the average noise level of a 1.5 kW inverter generator maybe 40-50 dBA. For a traditional generator, it is about 60-70 dBA. Of course, it should be understood that the more powerful the generator, the higher the noise level.

Finally, the size and weight of the generator must be considered. Generally, when buying a generator, people install it permanently near the house, setting up a small area for it and a special enclosure or crate. But if you use the generator for home and for hiking, or tourism, you need to take into account the size and weight of the device.

The higher the power of the generator, the heavier and larger it will be.

How do I use a portable generator safely?

When using a portable generator, there are a few safety considerations that you need to keep in mind.

    1. First, always read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before operating the generator.
    2. Second, never run the generator indoors, as the exhaust fumes can be hazardous to health and life.
    3. Third, make sure that the generator is adequately ventilated to avoid overheating.
    4. Fourth, never overload the generator by plugging in too many appliances or pieces of equipment.
    5. Fifth, never try to repair the generator yourself; always contact a qualified service technician.

Portable generators can be a great way to provide backup power for your home or small business. Just be sure to choose the right generator for your needs and use it safely.

A generator is a machine that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. Generators are classified into two main types: conventional and inverter.

Wen generator

Benefits of a standard generator

  • Increased efficiency – standard generators are designed for efficient backup power. They consume relatively little fuel and are capable of keeping several appliances or power tools running at the same time, depending on the application.
  • Larger capacity – Standard generators typically have a large lineup of generators of varying capacities ranging from about 1kW and up, allowing you to choose the most suitable option based on your backup needs.
  • More durable – Standard generators are made with modern and durable components and materials, ensuring they can be placed outside your home and have a long enough lifespan. Many manufacturers offer warranties ranging from 1-3 years.
  • Safer – Standard generators usually have more safety features than older model generators, which means they are less likely to cause injury if used improperly.

Disadvantages of the standard generator

  • Can be quite noisy, which requires them to be installed in an enclosure or at a certain accessible distance from the house.

Recommended Best Generators

1. Westinghouse WGen6000 Home Backup Portable Generator

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment 7500 Peak Watt Home Backup Portable Generator, Transfer Switch Ready 30A Outlet, Gas Powered, CARB Compliant
638 Reviews
Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment 7500 Peak Watt Home Backup Portable Generator, Transfer Switch Ready 30A Outlet, Gas Powered, CARB Compliant
  • 6000 Running Watts and 7500 Peak Watts; Electric and Recoil Start; Up to 13 Hours of Run Time on a 6. 6 Gallon Fuel Tank With Fuel Gauge

Key characteristics

  • Brand:‎ Westinghouse
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Power: 6000 watts
  • Noise Level: 72 dB(A)
  • Run Time: 13 hours
  • Engine Type: 4 Stroke
  • Tank Volume: 6.6 Gal (25L)
  • Weight: 183 Pounds

2. DuroMax XP5500E Gas Powered Portable Generator

DuroMax XP5500E Gas Powered Portable Generator-5500 Watt Electric Start-Camping & RV Ready, 50 State Approved, Blue/Black
5,739 Reviews
DuroMax XP5500E Gas Powered Portable Generator-5500 Watt Electric Start-Camping & RV Ready, 50 State Approved, Blue/Black
  • Plenty of Power – With 5,500 starting watts and 4,500 running watts, this unit can handle heavy loads, from lights and a refrigerator to a home air conditioner and high amperage power tools.

Key characteristics

  • Brand:‎ DuroMax
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Power: 5500 watts
  • Noise Level: 69-72 dB(A)
  • Run Time: 9 hours=50% load
  • Engine Type: 4 Stroke
  • Tank Volume: 3.9 Gal (25L)
  • Weight: 120 Pounds

3. A-iPower SUA12000ED 12000 Watt Portable Generator

Sale
A-iPower SUA12000ED 12000 Watt Portable Generator Heavy Duty Gas & Propane Powered with Electric Start for Jobsite, RV, ED, Whole House Backup Emergency
746 Reviews
A-iPower SUA12000ED 12000 Watt Portable Generator Heavy Duty Gas & Propane Powered with Electric Start for Jobsite, RV, ED, Whole House Backup Emergency
  • The A-iPower SUA12000 Dual Fuel generator produces 12,000 starting watts with 9,000 running watts of power with gasoline and 10,800 starting watts with 8,100 running watts with propane (LPG)

Key characteristics

  • Brand:‎ A-iPower
  • Voltage: 240 Volts Volts
  • Power: 12000 watts
  • Noise Level: 69 dB(A)
  • Run Time: 7 hours=100% load; 9 hours=50% load
  • Engine Type: 4 Stroke
  • Tank Volume: 7 Gal Gas
  • Weight: 214 Pounds

4. WEN 56475 4750-Watt Portable Generator

WEN 56475 4750-Watt Portable Generator with Electric Start and Wheel Kit, Yellow and Black
2,228 Reviews
WEN 56475 4750-Watt Portable Generator with Electric Start and Wheel Kit, Yellow and Black
  • Digital readout helps manage oil changes and maintenance schedule

Key characteristics

  • Brand:‎ WEN
  • Voltage: 240 Volts
  • Power: 4750 watts
  • Noise Level: –
  • Run Time: 10 hours
  • Engine Type: 4 Stroke
  • Tank Volume: 4 Gal Gas
  • Weight: 112 Pounds

5. Ford, 11050W Dual Fuel Portable Switch & Go Technology

Key characteristics

  • Brand:‎ Ford
  • Voltage: 240 Volts
  • Power: 11050 watts
  • Run Time: 10 Hour=50% Load GAS; 8 Hour =50% Load LPG
  • Power Source: Dual Fuel
  • Engine Type: 4 Stroke
  • Tank Volume: 6.6 Gallons
  • Weight: 196 Pounds
Table comparing the characteristics of standard generators
TypePower, wattsNoise LevelRun Time Per Tankful, = 100%Tank Volume, Gallon
Westinghouse WGen6000traditional600072 dB(A)13 hours6.6
DuroMax XP5500Etraditional550069-72 dB(A)9 hours (50%)3.9
A-iPower SUA12000EDtraditional1200069 dB(A)7 hours7 (Gas)
WEN 56475 4750-Watttraditional4750-10 hours4 (Gas)
Ford 11050W Dual Fueltraditional11050-10 hours6.6
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Inverter or Generator Which is Best for Home Use

There are many types of generators on the market today. Two of the most common types are standard generators and inverter generators. So, which one is the best option for you?
There are many factors to consider when choosing a generator for your home.

Fuel type

There are several important factors to consider when choosing a generator. One key factor is the fuel source. Standard generators typically use gasoline, while inverter generators can use either gasoline or propane.
Here are some pros and cons of each fuel source:

Gasoline

Pros: Gasoline is typically less expensive than propane. It is also easy to find and easy to store.

Cons: Gasoline can go bad over time, so it needs to be used within a certain time frame or it will need to be replaced. Gasoline generators are also typically louder than propane generators.

Propane

Pros: Propane is clean burning fuel, so it is better for the environment. Propane generators are also typically quieter than gasoline generators.

Cons: Propane can be more expensive than gasoline. It can also be more difficult to find and store.

Wen inverter generator

Dual-fuel

Pros: Dual-fuel generators can run on either gasoline or propane, so you have the flexibility to use whichever fuel is less expensive or more readily available.

Cons: Dual-fuel generators can be more expensive than single-fuel generators.

Overall, there is no clear winner when it comes to fuel for standard and inverter generators. It depends on your individual needs and preferences.

Fuel Economy

One of the most important factors is fuel efficiency. Inverter generators are typically more fuel efficient than standard generators. Here is a comparison of fuel savings for standard and inverter generators.

Standard generators have a fixed speed. This means that the engine speed is always running at full power, no matter what the load. Inverter generators, on the other hand, can adjust their speed to match the load. This means that when there is a light load, the engine can slow down and use less fuel.

In addition, inverter generators are typically more efficient than standard generators. This means that they convert more of the fuel into usable energy.

Overall, inverter generators are more fuel efficient than standard generators. This means that they will save you money on fuel costs over time.

Generator VS Inverter Which Is Best: Run time

There are many factors to consider when purchasing a generator. One of the most important considerations is the generator’s running time. Standard generators typically have a shorter running time than inverter generators. Inverter generators are more expensive but offer a longer running time and are more fuel-efficient.

If you need a generator that can run for long periods, then an inverter generator is the better choice. However, if you are on a budget or only need a generator for occasional use, then a standard generator will suffice.

Champion portable generator

Standard generators are typically less expensive than inverter generators. They also tend to be more durable and require less maintenance. However, standard generators cannot be adjusted to produce different amounts of power. This can be a problem if you need to power delicate electronics, as the generator might produce too much power and damage the equipment.

Inverter generators, on the other hand, can be adjusted to produce different amounts of power. This makes them ideal for powering delicate electronics. Inverter generators are also typically more fuel-efficient than standard generators, as they only produce the amount of power needed at any given time.

Quality of Power Output

There are many factors to consider when choosing a generator. One important factor is the quality of the power output.

Standard generators tend to be more durable and require less maintenance. However, they cannot be adjusted to produce different amounts of power. This can be a problem if you need to power delicate electronics, as the generator might produce too much power and damage the equipment.

Inverter generators, on the other hand, can be adjusted to produce different amounts of power. This makes them ideal for powering delicate electronics. Inverter generators are also typically more fuel-efficient than standard generators, as they only produce the amount of power needed at any given time.

Inverter generators also typically have a higher output power quality than standard generators. This means that they can provide more power for longer periods without damaging your electronics.
If you are looking for a generator to power sensitive electronics, an inverter generator is the better choice.

Quiet running

Standard generators typically run at a higher RPM, which can create more noise. In terms of noise, inverter generators are the clear winner. They can run at a lower RPM, which creates less noise. In addition, they often have sound-dampening features that further reduce the noise level. If noise is a major concern for you, an inverter generator is a way to go.

Size and Portability

When it comes to size, standard generators typically weigh around 100 pounds and are about the size of a small car engine. Inverter generators, on the other hand, are about half the size of a standard generator and only weigh around 50 pounds. This makes them much easier to carry, especially if you have to hike to your camping spot.

In terms of portability, both types of generators can be moved by hand, but standard generators require more effort. Inverter generators have built-in handles and sometimes wheels, making them easier to transport.

If you’re looking for a generator to take with you on camping trips or long hikes, an inverter generator is the better option. However, if you’re looking for a generator to power your home in case of an emergency, a standard generator is a better choice.

Price

Finally, in terms of price, standard generators are typically less expensive than inverter generators.
A standard generator typically costs between $300 and $1,000. An inverter generator typically costs between $400 and $2,000.
If price is your primary concern, then a standard generator may be the better option.

Ford generator

Generator vs Inverter Generator Buyer’s Guide

Generators can be a useful addition to any home, providing power during outages and making it possible to use electrical tools and appliances while away from home. However, choosing the right generator can be tricky. Inverter vs generator which one to choose?

When to Choose an Inverter Generator?

Here are four situations when it makes sense to choose an inverter generator:

  1. When you need to power sensitive electronic devices: Inverter generators produce “clean” power that is free of voltage fluctuations and spikes. This makes them ideal for powering sensitive electronic devices such as laptops, phones, and TVs.
  2. When you need a more efficient generator: Inverter generators are up to 40% more efficient than traditional generators. This means that they use less fuel and produce fewer emissions.
  3. When you need a quieter generator: Inverter generators produce less noise than traditional generators. This makes them ideal for camping, tailgating, and other situations where you don’t want to disturb your neighbors.
  4. When you need a more expensive generator: As we mentioned, inverter generators are more expensive than traditional generators. So, if you need a generator but don’t want to spend a lot of money, a conventional generator may be a better option.

In conclusion, there are four situations when it makes sense to choose an inverter generator: when you need to power sensitive electronic devices when you need a more efficient generator when you need a quieter generator, and when you need a more expensive generator.

When to Choose a Standard Portable Generator?

Westinghouse inverter

Here are four reasons to choose a standard portable generator over an inverter generator.

  1. Standard portable generators are more powerful.
    If you need a lot of power for things like running tools or powering a fridge, a standard portable generator is going to be your best bet. Inverter generators are more suitable for powering things like laptops and phones.
  2. Standard portable generators are cheaper.
    Inverter generators are more expensive than standard portable generators, so if you’re on a budget, a standard generator is a way to go.
  3. Standard portable generators are more reliable.
    Inverter generators can be more finicky than standard generators, so if you need something that’s going to be reliable, a standard generator is your best bet.
  4. Standard portable generators are easier to use.
    Inverter generators can be more complicated to use than standard generators, so if you’re not looking for something too complicated, a standard generator is the way to go.

FAQ

What is the advantage of an inverter generator?

An inverter generator has several advantages over a traditional generator.

First, inverter generators are much more efficient than traditional generators, meaning they produce fewer emissions and use less fuel.

Second, inverter generators are much quieter than traditional generators, making them ideal for camping or tailgating.

Finally, inverter generators can be used to charge batteries, making them a versatile power source for a variety of applications.

Can an inverter generator power a house?

Inverter generators can power a house. However, it is important to note that they will not be able to power the entire house at once. Inverter generators are best used for powering small appliances or for providing backup power in the event of a power outage.

Do you need an inverter generator?

Inverter generators are more expensive than traditional generators, but they offer several advantages. They are more fuel efficient and produce cleaner power, so they are better for the environment. They also run more quietly, making them ideal for camping and other outdoor activities.

How long does an inverter generator last?

An inverter generator can last anywhere from 3 to 10 years, depending on how often it is used and how well it is maintained.

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Conclusion

What is an inverter generator vs a generator? As you can see, there are several key differences between standard generators and inverter generators.

So, which type of generator is the best option for you? It depends on your needs and preferences. Inverter generators are generally more expensive, but they offer many advantages that make them worth the investment. If you need a generator for your home or business, be sure to consider an inverter generator to get the most bang for your buck.

 

About John Gibbs

Hello everyone! My name is John Gibbs. I am 60 years old and have been in the family construction business all my adult life. Construction is not only my profession but also my passion. I know everything about building and repair materials, tools, advanced methods, techniques, and approaches. I will share the same knowledge with you in my articles.

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