Best Inverter Generator Buying Guide 2017
Have you ever wanted to buy a generator that can produce electricity in case a storm, which may cut off your power, is on the horizon? There are other situations which may require the use of a generator to create a power supply, such as power outages which cut off the electrical supply or a breakdown of the electrical equipment.
The biggest factors in choosing the best Inverter Generator are size, power output and the fuel that the generator needs to run itself. In selecting the best inverter generator, I recommend that you assess your situation in terms of how much power you will need to replace. For example, do you need to generate power for a small business or a domestic situation? Or do you need to generate enough power to keep a small cottage industry running?
If you need to supply power for a small business or a domestic situation I suggest that you take a look at today’s large range of inverter generators, which can produce up to 4000 watts of electric power.
Introduction to Inverter Generators
While an Inverter Generator may be smaller in size that a conventional generator, the smaller capacity of the Inverter Generator’s output is made up for by its quieter running and its production of cleaner energy.
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Did you know that Inverter Generators function in a different way to conventional generators? A typical old-style or conventional generator can be quite large, so that a fuel tank filled with propane or petrol can be fitted inside. This fuel powers a motor which is coupled to an alternator. It is the alternator which produces electricity.
Invertor Generators are designed to use more modern techniques of creating electricity. This state of the art, 3-phase generators first produce an AC or alternating current. The alternating current is then converted into a DC or direct current, which is then converted back into an AC. This 3-phase process produces very clean electricity.
How to Choose the Best Inverter Generator
As you may know, there are several factors to consider when you are thinking of buying an Inverter Generator. Here are the five considerations that I think are the most important:
- Power Output:
Even with the number of watts that can be produced by today’s compact Inverter Generators, you may not be able to power your whole household with an Inverter. I advise you to choose a Generator that can run the most important items in the household, such as:
- The stove, if it is an electric stove,
- The lights in the kitchen and bedrooms and
- Perhaps the hot water heater.
A portable Inverter Generator can also be used to power recreational activities, such as:
- Tools that are used for carpentry, repairs and the like.
I strongly advise you to check the labeling or product information that is packed with your Inverter generator, because many electrical devices will surge when they are when they are switched on for the first time. The product information sheet for an Inverter generator will usually state the wattage that they can produce during normal activity as well as the wattage they are able to produce during an electrical surge.
Most Inverter Generators will also contain information about the maximum wattage and the wattage during continuous running. These wattage's may vary from:
- 4000 – 9000 watts for maximum wattage readings and
- 3300 – 7500 for the output of watts during continuous running of the generator.
One of the best features of an Inverter Generator is its compact size. I recommend that you find out about the weight of the Inverter you are thinking of buying before you purchase it. An inverter may also have
- A handle
These are the issues to consider when you are thinking about portability and maneuverability. The overall weight of the generator also affects its portability. The weights of Inverter Generators can vary from just 44 lb to approximately 240 lb. You don’t want to break your back hauling a generator around the house, so put the three issues that affect portability together before you decide to buy.
Seeing as generators are used in emergency situations it’s important to have some idea of how reliable the generator is going to be. An Inverter generator must be a machine that you can count on.
You don’t want to buy an Inverter generator that is going to break down before the emergency is over. I suggest that you choose an inverter from amongst the most well-known brand names, as these are the ones which usually have a proven track record. In regard to reliability, I suggest you also check the Inverter’s:
- Fuel consumption
- The availability of repairs.
I urge you to read the statistics regarding run-time very carefully, as manufacturers may express the run time figures as either half-load or full load. An inverter may run for 8 hrs at half capacity, but it will not necessarily run for 4 hrs at full capacity because the machine uses more full fuel when it is running at peak levels.
- Price and Value for Money.
Price and value for money are two different things. While the prices of the top generators may vary from $250 to $1,000, these prices are not always a good guide to a generators quality or its practicality. By reading product reviews such as this one, may help you to add up all the factors that make just one Inverter Generator the right one for your own use. For instance, is/does the Inverter Generator you want to buy:
- Fall into a price bracket that you can afford?
- Have a wattage that is high enough to run several devices over a period of 8 – 20 hours?
- Have good portability and maneuverability?
- Have a reputation for reliability?
- Have a good quality engine; are all the working parts good quality?
- Is it a good brand?
By investigating all of these factors, you will be able to find and Inverter that offers good value for money.
While Inverter Generators are quieter than conventional generators, the conditions that generators are used in will change the decibel level. The actual sound that generators make can influence the opinion of some people. As an example, some generators may hum and some may chug. Overall the best way to measure the noisiness of a generator is to use a decibel meter; these will measure the actual loudness of a machine, whether it is running at full power or half-power. Here are some interesting statistics about Inverter generators and their decibel levels:
- Two Inverter Generators of well-known brands are compared. Model 1 and Model 2. Both run at 1600 watts. Model 1 has a decibel rating of 52 – 60 dB; Model 2 has a dB rating of 65 dB.
- A well-known brand name Invertor has an engine that runs at 900 Watts. Its dB rating is 47 – 57, which is very quiet because the engine is smaller than the Models above which run at 1600 Watts.
- Inverter Generators are much quieter than conventional generators. Model 1 an inverter generator runs at 6000 Watts and its decibel level is 58 – 64dB. Model 2 a conventional generator runs at the same wattage level, but its Decibel rating is 65 – 75 dB.
Overall, Inverter Generators re much quieter than conventional generators, but the decibel rating can become higher in any type of generator once it is running at peak levels.
Further Considerations When Choosing the Best Inverter Generator
Here are some more factors which are important when choosing the top Inverter Generator:
- CARB stands for the California Air Resources Board. A generator that is CARB compliant may be used in other locations than California, USA. CARB compliant generators will still produce some pollutants, but they will produce less air pollutants than a non CARB compliant generator. Generators that are used for emergency situations only need not be EPA compliant in the US.
- Sine Wave Inverters run off a current which is very similar to the AC current that most household appliances run off. Inverter Generators that run off Pure Sine Wave current may be more expensive, but these Inverters may also be manufactured with a 40% – 100% surge capacity?
- Wireless Remote Start is a very convenient feature which allows the Inverter to be started or stopped from distances of up to 80 ft. When the Inverter generator is running at a distance they sound even quieter. Inverter Generators may also have an electric start or a pull/recoil start.
- Inverter Generators are usually fairly light in weight. This makes them more portable and some can even be lifted and carried by the handles. Today’s Inverter Generators may weigh between 30 lb and 50 lb. They can be stowed in the boot of a car or RV or easily stored in a cupboard or in the garage.
- Parallel operation is a possibility with the Inverter Generator. Two smaller sized inverters can be paired to generate the same wattage as a one of the larger sized conventional inverters. Due to the fact that both generators are Inverter Generators, the noise is kept at a low level. Carrying two portable Inverter Generators may be easier than trying to shift one conventional generator.
I hope that reading this overview of the features of the best Inverter Generators has been very informative. I am now going to review some of the best Inverter Generators.