Best Generators For Home Use

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Did you just search for the best generators for home use or something similar to that? If yes, then trust us, you have arrived at the right place. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best chosen affordable generators for home use that you can buy online. Our team has spent a considerable amount of time in researching and physically reviewing the products. So, if you would like to know the detailed insights then make sure that you read the article carefully till the end.

We always take that extra step while reviewing products, so that our user base only gets exposed to the best and reliable generators for home use. After hours and hours of analysis and deduction, we come to the decision that Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen3600 Portable Generator 3600 Rated 4650 Peak Watts, RV Ready, Gas Powered, CARB Compliant could be the best generators for home use for your needs.

But, if you are still looking for something more cheaper and reliable, then you are free to go for DuroMax XP5500HX Dual Fuel Portable Generator-5500 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start w/CO Alert, 50 State Approved, Blue. The table below provides a quick overview of the Top generators for home use.

You can take a look on the design before reading a complete review. Plus, the features that make each product stand out from the crowd are highlighted, with a view to save your precious time. Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen9500 Heavy Duty Portable Generator 9500 Rated 12500 Peak Watts, Gas Powered, Electric Start, Transfer Switch & RV Ready, CARB CompliantBuy Now.

Best Value: Champion 3,500-Watt RV-Ready Portable Generator With Wireless Remote Start

Generac Guardian 24kW Home Standby Generator with PWRview Transfer Switch Wi-Fi Enabled

Features

WEN 56475 4750-Watt Portable Generator with Electric Start and Wheel KitBuy Now. WEN DF1100T 11,000-Watt 120V/240V Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Wheel Kit and Electric Start – CARB Compliant, BlackBuy Now. DuroMax XP5500HX Dual Fuel Portable Generator-5500 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start w/CO Alert, 50 State Approved, BlueBuy Now.

DuroMax XP12000EH Generator-12000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Home Back Up & RV Ready, 50 State Approved Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator, Black and BlueBuy Now. Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen3600 Portable Generator 3600 Rated 4650 Peak Watts, RV Ready, Gas Powered, CARB CompliantBuy Now.

A-iPower AP5000V 5000-Watt Gas Powered Portalable Generator | AP5000, 5000 Watt, OranageBuy Now. Westinghouse iGen2200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator 1800 Rated & 2200 Peak Watts, Gas Powered, CARB CompliantBuy Now. Generac 70432 Home Standby Generator Guardian Series 22kW/19.5kW Air Cooled with Wi-Fi and Transfer Switch, AluminumBuy Now.


Pros
  • DuroMax XP4400EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator-4400 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start-Camping & RV Ready, 50 State Approved, Blue and BlackBuy Now.
  • Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen9500 Heavy Duty Portable Generator 9500 Rated 12500 Peak Watts, Gas Powered, Electric Start, Transfer Switch & RV Ready, CARB CompliantBuy Now.
  • WEN 56475 4750-Watt Portable Generator with Electric Start and Wheel KitBuy Now.
  • WEN DF1100T 11,000-Watt 120V/240V Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Wheel Kit and Electric Start – CARB Compliant, BlackBuy Now.
  • DuroMax XP5500HX Dual Fuel Portable Generator-5500 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start w/CO Alert, 50 State Approved, BlueBuy Now.
Cons
  • DuroMax XP12000EH Generator-12000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Home Back Up & RV Ready, 50 State Approved Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator, Black and BlueBuy Now.
Key Specs
Running Wattage7500 watts
Noise Rating74 dB(A)
Fuel Tank Capacity6.1 Gal

DuroMax XP5500E Gas Powered Portable Generator-5500 Watt Electric Start-Camping & RV Ready, 50 State Approved, Blue/Black

The best home-standby generator

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen3600 Portable Generator 3600 Rated 4650 Peak Watts, RV Ready, Gas Powered, CARB CompliantBuy Now. A-iPower AP5000V 5000-Watt Gas Powered Portalable Generator | AP5000, 5000 Watt, OranageBuy Now. Westinghouse iGen2200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator 1800 Rated & 2200 Peak Watts, Gas Powered, CARB CompliantBuy Now.

Generac 70432 Home Standby Generator Guardian Series 22kW/19.5kW Air Cooled with Wi-Fi and Transfer Switch, AluminumBuy Now. DuroMax XP4400EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator-4400 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start-Camping & RV Ready, 50 State Approved, Blue and BlackBuy Now. Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen9500 Heavy Duty Portable Generator 9500 Rated 12500 Peak Watts, Gas Powered, Electric Start, Transfer Switch & RV Ready, CARB Compliant .

More Info and Images. 4 new from $903.41 Free shipping. Switch between gasoline (11,000 surge watts, 8,300 running watt) and propane (9,500 surge, 7,500 running) with the simple turn of the selection dial.

What We Like
  • Voltage easily goes from 120V to 240V, perfect for transfer switches and emergency backup.
  • Electric start powers the 457cc 4-stroke OHV engine with the turn of a key.
  • 6.6-gallon tank provides up to 8.5 hours of half load run time.
  • Includes four 120V GFCI outlets (5-20R), a 120V 30A twist lock outlet (L5-30R), a 120V/240V 50A outlet (NEMA 14-50R), a 12V DC cigarette-lighter-style plug, a bottle of oil, a 47-inch LPG connection hose, and a two-year warranty.
  • WEN 56475 4750-Watt Portable Generator with Electric Start and Wheel Kit .
Key Specs
Running Wattage22,000 watts
Noise Rating67 dB(A)
Fuel Tank Capacityn/a

Westinghouse WGen3600v Portable Generator 3600 Rated and 4650 Peak Watts, RV Ready, Gas Powered, CARB Compliant

The quietest gasoline-powered inverter generator

More Info and Images. 3 new from $349.00 Free shipping. 3600 Running Watts and 4650 Peak Watts; Recoil Start; 4 Gallon Fuel Tank With Fuel Gauge; Up to 14 Hours of Run Time Per Tank. Features One 5–20R 120V Household Duplex Receptacle, One RV-Ready TT-30R 30 Amp Receptacle, and One L5-30R 30 Amp Receptacle; All Outlets Have Rubber Covers for Added Safety.

Plug-and-Play: Comes With Oil, an Oil Funnel, a Tool Kit, and a User’s Manual to Get You Started Right Out of the Box (Minimal Assembly Required). Powered by a 212cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine Featuring a Long-Lasting Cast Iron Sleeve With Automatic Low Oil Shutdown. All Westinghouse Portable Generators are Functionally Tested in the Factory and May Contain Minimum Residual Oil and/or Fuel Odor; EPA and CARB Compliant; Backed By 3-Year Limited Service, Labor, and Parts Coverage and Nationwide Customer Service Network.

WEN DF1100T 11,000-Watt 120V/240V Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Wheel Kit and Electric Start – CARB Compliant, Black . More Info and Images. 8 new from $1,399.00 1 used from $1,125.00 .


Pros
  • Powerful DuroMax Engine: the XP12000EH is powered by a DuroMax, 457cc OHV engine.
  • Dual fuel technology: the ability to run on propane or gasoline allows the freedom and flexibility of fuel choice.
  • Protects your investment by automatically shutting the generator off when it senses that the oil is low.
  • Plenty of power: with 12,000 starting watts and 9, 500 running watts, This unit can handle heavy loads from lights and a refrigerator to a home air conditioner and high amperage power tools.
  • Maximum power: with DuroMax MX2 technology, get the maximum power from each of the 120 volt receptacle.
Cons
  • Choose between operating the generator at both 120 V and 240 V Simultaneously, or at 120 only with full power.
Key Specs
Running Wattage1600 watts
Noise Rating53 dB(A)
Fuel Tank Capacity1 Gal

Best Whole-House Generator: Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator

The best RV-ready generator

Powering everyone anywhere: like all DuroMax generators, the XP12000EH is EPA and CARB approved For use in all 50 States. DuroMax XP5500HX Dual Fuel Portable Generator-5500 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start w/CO Alert, 50 State Approved, Blue . More Info and Images.

6 new from $870.90 Free shipping. The A-iPower SUA12000 produces 12,000 starting watts with 9,000 running watts to power your tools at the construction site, camping ground, or home appliances. Powerful 459 cc OHV 4 stroke engine with a low oil alert light and low oil automatic shutdown, helping keep your generator performing year after year.

Large 7 gallon gasoline fuel tank provides average run time of 7 hours at 100% load and 9 hours at 50% load. Complete with Electric Start capability allowing you to quickly, easily, and conveniently start up your generator whenever you need it.


Pros
  • Outlets include: 2x5-20R Duplex GFCI (20A, 120V), 1xL14-30R (30A, 120/240V), 1x14-50R (50A, 120/240V), 1xMultifunction Port USB Ready Automotive Style Outlet (8.3A, 12V).
  • All outlets include rubber covers for an additional layer of safety.
  • DuroMax XP12000EH Generator-12000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Home Back Up & RV Ready, 50 State Approved Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator, Black and Blue .
  • More Info and Images.
  • 3 new from $599.00 Free shipping.
Cons
  • 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 Specs
Running Wattage3100 watts
Noise Rating59 dB(A)
Fuel Tank Capacity1.6 Gal

Portable Power Station 300W, VTONCE 296Wh Solar Generator Quick Charge / 110V AC Outlets / DC Ports and LED Flashlight, Emergency Backup Lithium Battery for Home Outdoor Travel Camping Hunting Blackout

The best environmentally-friendly portable generator

Powerful Engine – The DuroMax 224cc OHV engine is a workhorse that provides plenty of power to handle multiple jobs, from powering high voltage appliances to heavy duty power tools. MX2 Technology - Get the maximum power from each of the 120-volt receptacles. Choose between operating the generator at both 120V and 240V simultaneously, or at 120V only with full power.

Ideal for usage with RVs. Low Oil Shutoff – Protects your investment by automatically shutting the generator off when it senses that the oil is low. Fully Featured Power Panel – The power panel includes a wide selection of outlets for maximum compatibility in your applications including: (2) 120V household GFCI outlets, and (1) 120/240V 30A twist lock outlet.

The panel also includes a voltmeter and 12V DC charging posts for charging external batteries. Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen3600 Portable Generator 3600 Rated 4650 Peak Watts, RV Ready, Gas Powered, CARB Compliant .


Pros
  • More Info and Images. 1 new from $209.99 Free shipping.
  • 【80000mAh Back-up Power Supply】VTONCE P302 is equipped with a 296 watt-hour(14.8V 20Ah) lithium-ion battery pack, which features 4* AC outlets(110V Rated 300W - Peak 600W) , 1* PD 100W port, 1* QC 3.0 port, 2* USB-A Ports, 4* DC ports and 1* DC car socket.
  • It provides 13 power output ports to charge multiple devices at the same time, such as laptop, phone, drone, car fridge and cameras, etc.
  • 【AC Fast Charge& Easy to Carry】You can recharge your power station with an AC adapator when at home, driving the car outlet during a road trip or simply use a VTONCE power station.
  • Portable handle makes it easy to carry around for outdoor activities,particularly convenient to carry.
Cons
  • 【Excellent Safety BMS】VTONCE power station is equipped with the Excellent Battery Management System (BMS), protect devices through temperature control, overvoltage protection, overcurrent protection, and short circuit protection functions.
Key Specs
Running Wattage1440 watts
Noise Ratingn/a dB(A)
Fuel Tank Capacityn/a

DuroMax XP12000EH Generator-12000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Home Back Up & RV Ready, 50 State Approved Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator, Black and Blue

The easiest-starting portable generator

And detects short circuits and overloads when performing incorrect operations. 【Outdoor Backup Power】Designed lightweight-just 6.6 lbs and has a solid handle for easy to carry. Equipped with an 18W bright emergency flashlight on the back, which can project a powerful beam of up to 500 meters and is suitable for large-area lighting.

It is perfect for outdoor camping and disaster prevention. There are 4 lighting modes you can easily switch (weak→medium→strong→SOS). 【What You Get】You will receive 1* VTONCE Portable Power Station, 1*AC Adapter & Cable, 1*USB-C to USB-C Cable, 1*Cigarette Lighter Plug Cord, 1*Car Cigarette Lighter Socket, 1* User Manual and 12 months of customer service.

Any questions, please feel free to contact us. A-iPower AP5000V 5000-Watt Gas Powered Portalable Generator | AP5000, 5000 Watt, Oranage . More Info and Images. 1 new from $539.99 Free shipping. Switch between gasoline (4750 surge watts, 3800 running watt) and propane (4350 surge, 3500 running) with the simple turn of the selection dial.


Pros
  • Voltage easily goes from 120V to 240V, perfect for transfer switches and emergency backup.
  • Electric start powers the 224cc 4-stroke OHV engine with the turn of a key.
  • 4-gallon tank provides up to 11 hours of half load run time.
  • Includes two 120V GFCI outlets (5-20R), a 120V/240V NEMA 30A twist lock (L14-30R), a 12V DC cigarette-lighter-style plug, a bottle of oil, a wheel and handle kit, a 47-inch LPG connection hose, and a 2-year warranty.
  • Westinghouse iGen2200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator 1800 Rated & 2200 Peak Watts, Gas Powered, CARB Compliant .
Cons
  • More Info and Images. 7 new from $1,190.00 3 used from $714.63 Free shipping.
Key Specs
Running Wattage7500 watts
Noise Rating72 dB(A)
Fuel Tank Capacity6.6 Gal

WEN DF475T Dual Fuel 120V/240V Portable Generator with Electric Start Transfer Switch Ready, 4750-Watt, CARB Compliant

The best home backup portable generator

9500 Running Watts and 12500 Peak Watts (Gasoline); 8500 Running Watts, 11200 Peak Watts (Propane); Remote Start With Included Key Fob, Electric and Recoil Start; Up to 12 Hours of Run Time on a 6. 6 Gallon Fuel Tank With Fuel Gauge. Features Two GFCI 120V 5–20R Standard Household Receptacle, One Transfer Switch Ready 120V L14-30R, and One RV Ready 120/240V 14–50R; All Outlets Have Rubber Covers for Added Safety.

Powered by a Heavy Duty 457cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine Featuring a Long-Lasting Cast Iron Sleeve With Automatic Low Oil Shutdown and Digital Hour Meter. VFT display gives you real time updates with the voltage output, frequency, and lifetime hours. Plug-and-Play: Comes With a Remote Start Key Fob, 12V Battery Charger, Oil, an Oil Funnel, a Tool Kit, and a User’s Manual to Get You Started Right Out of the Box (Minimal Assembly Required).

Westinghouse WGen9500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator-9500 Rated 12500 Peak Watts Gas or Propane Powered-Electric Start-Transfer Switch & RV Ready, CARB Compliant. Generac 70432 Home Standby Generator Guardian Series 22kW/19.5kW Air Cooled with Wi-Fi and Transfer Switch, Aluminum .


Pros
  • More Info and Images.
  • 2 new from $6,900.00 .
  • Save up to 8,000 dollars in product and installation costs (when compared to competitive output products).
  • Takes up 70% less space (when compared to competitive output products).
  • PWRview, Generac's home energy management system, allows generator owners to monitor and manage home energy usage, leading to a reduction in electric utility bills of up to 20%.
Cons
  • Using PWRview you could save enough to pay for your generator.
Key Specs
Running Wattage9500 watts
Noise Rating72 dB(A)
Fuel Tank Capacity8.3 Gal

Best Quiet Operation: WEN 56203i Inverter Generator

The best bargain 11Kw portable generator

DuroMax XP4400EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator-4400 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start-Camping & RV Ready, 50 State Approved, Blue and Black . More Info and Images. 3 new from $405.85 Free shipping. Digital readout helps manage oil changes and maintenance schedule.

Features electric start, low-oil shutdown, an automatic voltage regulator and overload protection to maximize safety. CARB and EPA III meet requirements for sale in all 50 states. Includes wheel kit and foldable handles for easy transport. 223cc engine provides 4,750 surge watt and 3,750 rated watt.

We hope that through this article you would have been able to grab the best generators for home use for yourself. For some reason, if you aren’t convinced with the top picks, then you can also consider checking out A-iPower AP5000V 5000-Watt Gas Powered Portalable Generator | AP5000, 5000 Watt, Oranage.


Pros
  • Lastly, if still all of this fails to catch your attention then contact us with your requirements and someone from the team would reach back to you with an appropriate option that you may like to consider.
  • A reliable home generator helps ensure you have stable power and comfort during blackouts that can last for hours or days.
  • That’s why it’s important to choose the right unit for your needs in case of an emergency.
  • While you’re preparing for storms or unexpected outages, you’ll find that there are different types of generators, including standby, portable and inverter models, each of which has its own particular functions and benefits.
  • A home standby generator is a large investment, as it provides high wattage levels and automatically switches into operation when the main power goes off.
Cons
  • A portable generator costs less than a standby due to its lower output and requires more maintenance because these smaller generators need their oil changed more frequently.
Key Specs
Running Wattage8300 watts
Noise Rating72 dB(A)
Fuel Tank Capacity6.6 Gal

Best Lightweight: Briggs & Stratton P2200 PowerSmart Series

The best economically-priced generator

Inverter generators are quiet, efficient and offer power comparable to most portable generators, creating enough power to meet your home’s load instead of running at the same output rate constantly. Generators provide different levels of power, which determines what appliances you can run. For instance, a unit with 5,000 watts can power the average home to run basic electrical devices like lamps and TVs.

If you need more power, you need a generator with a higher wattage output. With all of that in mind, we’ve rounded up the top-rated generators for your home to keep things running even under the worst conditions.

With a budget-friendly price tag and 3,500 running watts of power, Champion’s RV-ready portable generator is a top contender for use during power outages and other emergencies.


Pros
  • It’s a fraction of the cost of many larger models, and it starts up conveniently with a push-button remote that works from up to 80 feet away — no cranks or pullcords here.
  • Although it’s designed for use with RVs — it can power up a 15,000 BTU air conditioning unit in your camper — it’s equally convenient for home use when you need to run essential appliances and lighting in your home during a power outage.
  • This generator runs on gasoline, and a full tank can provide up to 12 hours of power.
  • If you’re looking for a standby generator that’s capable of powering your whole home, the Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator can handle that job thanks to its 22,000 watts of output.
  • It offers immense power to let you run various electronics and household appliances for an extended amount of time.
Cons
  • Thanks to its tough, durable case, this generator will effectively work in all weather conditions.
Key Specs
Running Wattage3500 watts
Noise Rating69 dB(A)
Fuel Tank Capacity3.6 Gal

Best Overall: DuroMax XP1200 EH

The quietest, most compact portable generator

The five-year warranty and 24/7 tech support mean you won’t be on your own if something goes wrong. You can even remotely monitor the generator’s status and maintenance schedule using your mobile phone, tablet or computer.

While other portable gasoline generators weigh up to 100 pounds or more, the Honda 663520 Portable Inverter Generator weighs in at less than 50 pounds, making it an ideal option for anyone who wants to tote the generator between home and an RV, vacation home or campsite. The inverter technology delivers enough power to run a furnace, microwave, fridge and more — all at low noise levels.

You’ll get between seven and 20 hours of run time on a single gas tank. Wheels, a folding handle and an offset handle for lifting make this powerful generator super portable.


Pros
  • If you need to check the unit’s performance or operate it from a distance, you can use Honda’s My Generator smartphone app to do so.
  • Just make sure your phone has Bluetooth capabilities.
  • The WEN 56203i Inverter Generator operates no louder than a normal conversation — without compromising performance.
  • Not only is it one of the least -noisy generators for home use, but it also provides minimal harmonic distortion, so you can use it safely to power your phones, tablets, televisions, computers and other sensitive electronics.
  • It provides 1,600 running watts and lasts up to six hours at 50% capacity.
Cons
  • If you need more juice, you can connect multiple units using an optional parallel connection kit.
Key Specs
Running Wattage1800 watts
Noise Rating48 - 57 dB(A)
Fuel Tank Capacity0.95 Gal

A-iPower SUA12000E 12000 Watt Portable Generator Heavy Duty Gas Powered With Electric Start For Jobsite, RV, and Whole House Backup Emergency

If you need less power, you can use its Eco mode, which conserves fuel as you plug or unplug devices and appliances. Designed to be easily carried by one or two people, the Briggs & Stratton P2200 PowerSmart Series features a unique H-handle design and weighs about 55 pounds. That means you can easily transport the generator from your home to an RV or a campsite.

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen9500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator 9500 Rated and 12500 Peak Watts Gas or Propane Powered, Electric Start, Transfer Switch & RV Ready CARB Compliant

It provides up to eight hours of run time and 1,700 running watts. This generator also lets you flip a switch to activate its Quiet Power Technology, which reduces noise and saves fuel by adjusting the engine speed. Plus, you can safely power laptop computers, TVs and game systems thanks to the harmonic distortion-minimization function. The DuroMax XP1200EH portable generator is a top pick for people who want uninterrupted power in case of unexpected outages.

This heavy-duty portable generator gives you up to 20 hours of power. It runs on gas or propane for extra flexibility and delivers 9,500 running watts of power to your home’s key lights, appliances and power tools. Like all portable generators, you’ll need to use it outside because of the exhaust it emits, but otherwise, it should do the job in most situations — and do it well.

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Best generators for home use

MORE FROM CONSUMERSEARCH.COM.

  • 3000 to 4000-watt portable generators will power your RV, including the fridge, furnace, TV, and lighting circuits.
  • 5000 to 7500-watt generators will power lights and keep things like a fridge, freezer, or well pump operating, but not at the same time.
  • 7500-watt generators will keep the lights on and power most household appliances simultaneously, minus the furnace or air conditioner.
  • 10,000-watt generators generally run all critical household items, including the furnace or air conditioner, at the same time. They also power most heavy-duty tools used on a construction site.
  • 12,500-watt generators will power your entire house without missing a beat.

When looking at a generator’s wattage, there are two numbers to keep in mind. One is the starting watts, and the other is the running watts or rated watts. Household appliances, furnaces, air conditioners, and construction tools need more watts starting up. Once they’re running, the power usage drops or settles out slightly. In turn, generators will have higher starting watts than running power. Make sure the starting power is high enough for your equipment.

WEN DF1100T 11,000-Watt 120V/240V Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Wheel Kit and Electric Start - CARB Compliant, Black

Home standby generators are meant to automatically provide power to your entire house within seconds of a power outage. They are permanently installed and typically tap into an existing fuel source such as natural gas or propane. While very convenient and powerful, standby generators are costly.

Portable generators don’t have as much power and don’t turn on automatically like standby generators. They may not power the entire home and cannot run for an extended period, but they are much less expensive and can be moved to different locations. When looking at portable generators to power your entire home, make sure they are transfer switch-ready.

Best Portable: Honda 2,200-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

The main technical difference between the two different types of generators is the type and amount of power each produces.

Conventional generators only produce AC, or alternating current, power. Inverter generators produce power in three phases. High-frequency AC is first produced. It is then converted to DC (direct current) and then transformed to a stable AC power. The stable sine wave produced is unique to inverter generators and considered a “clean” energy source, safe for electronics such as laptops, cell phones, and tablets.

In regards to output, conventional generators can produce upwards of 10,000 watts. Inverter generators have a much smaller output, producing 1000 to 4000 watts.

Inverter generators can also automatically adjust the engine speed to the load, making them more fuel-efficient. The engine of a conventional generator runs at a constant speed.

WEN 56475 4750-Watt Portable Generator with Electric Start and Wheel Kit

When shopping for a generator to provide backup or alternative power, consider what you will power with it and how long you need these items to run. Smaller generators with shorter run times are sufficient to recharge electronic devices or charge the batteries in your RV.

If you need something to power your important appliances, such as your fridge or furnace, during emergency power outages, or you’re using equipment on a construction site for eight to ten hours a day, then you should consider one with a long run-time. This will allow you to run the generator all day without a break.

Fuel type

As mentioned above, generators run on a variety of different sources. Some generators are dual-fuel, meaning they can operate on more than one source. They typically use gasoline or diesel and natural gas or propane, giving you more options in the event of a natural disaster or emergency when fuel may be hard to get. Each type has advantages and disadvantages that should be weighed when looking to purchase one.

Gasoline-powered generators are the most common for personal use. They are affordable, easy to use, and gasoline is the most readily available fuel source. Their output is lower than some other power sources; the engines are also loud and emit fumes. Gasoline can also be hard to work with when temperatures are low.

Diesel-powered generators are the least expensive to maintain and some of the most durable options available. They work much better in frigid conditions but don’t do well when it’s wet. Like gasoline generators, they are loud and give off exhaust fumes.

Related: If you’re looking for generators that store electricity, see our best portable power station guide.

Natural-gas generators are a great option if your home is already configured for it, and you can hook the generator directly to your gas line. They are highly fuel-efficient and have a much lower emission level. Using a natural-gas model does come with higher installation costs, and the unit may malfunction during cold weather.

Propane generators are extremely quiet and clean-burning. They emit almost no exhaust fumes. The fuel also stores much longer than other types. On the downside, the maintenance costs of propane generators are high, and this type has the shortest life expectancy.

Solar-powered generators are the newest, most environmentally conscious type. They use solar panels to collect energy from the sun, storing it for use in electrical power. There are no gasoline costs associated with them, and they have no emissions whatsoever. They are expensive, though, they aren’t as durable, and obviously, they don’t work under cloudy conditions.

Usable location

Some generators have been manufactured to be used outside, whereas others are more suitable for indoors. Choosing where your generator will be located can really help narrow down your options. Portable generators, like those mentioned throughout this review, can be used outdoors for a camping trip or in the home. This will keep you powered during an emergency.

Remember, though, to carefully monitor your home for carbon monoxide when using a generator inside, regardless if it’s designed for indoor use or not. A safer option than having it inside is keeping it outdoors and running extension cords to your items.

Physical Size

The size of your generator will depend upon the engine size and how much fuel it holes. A larger generator will obviously power more things and run for a longer time, but it will physically take up more space. This could be a concern if you live in a house with limited storage space or are purchasing one that needs to fit into a storage compartment in your RV.

Portability

Unless you’re in the market for a home standby generator, the chances are extremely high that you’ll need to move your generator from one location to another. Therefore, when looking at portable generators, it’s important to consider how easy they are to move.

Some portable generators come with a wheel kit already on the unit. Others require you to purchase the kit separately. Make sure you look into this before buying, so you’re not hit with an unexpected expense at the checkout. Wheel kits are straightforward to install and only take a few minutes using basic tools.

If you’re purchasing a portable generator for the worksite, it may be worth looking for a model that has a lift hook bar. This allows you to lift the generator with a front-end loader or a crane, allowing you to quickly and easily transport it or take it to a higher floor.

Noise level

The engine on a generator will make noise; there’s no way around it. Some are designed to be quieter than others, but these typically have a lower output and simply don’t produce the same amount of electrical current. Depending on where you’re using your generator, the noise level may be a feature you should consider before purchasing.

Components

While these features aren’t as important as some of the others, they are beneficial. And if your budget allows for them, they’re highly recommended.

  • A fuel gauge on the tank helps you monitor fuel levels without shutting down the generator and opening the fuel reservoir.
  • An hour meter on the engine helps you keep track of how long the generator has been operating and when to perform scheduled maintenance.
  • A low oil shutdown automatically shuts the generator off when the oil levels drop below a threshold to prevent damage to the engine from lack of lubrication.

Budget

As with any kind of appliance, shopping within your price range is essential. Generators are typically an investment piece due to how beneficial, powerful and versatile they are. But you want them to last as long as possible.

Making the right choice will ensure that your money has been spent wisely. You want a generator that not only fits your needs but can be used long-term, so it will be on hand for any emergency that arises.

FAQs

How does a generator work?

A generator works using electromagnetic induction. The given fuel source powers the engine and creates a mechanical force. This mechanical force then encounters changing magnetic fields where the force is converted into an electrical current. See our full guide on how a generator works.

How much do generators cost?

The cost of a generator depends on the type and size of the unit. Portable generators start at around $200, while standby units can cost up to several thousand dollars.

How long do generators last?

The average lifespan of a generator is around 10-12 years. Of course, this varies depending on the type of generator and how often it is used.

How do I know what size generator I need?

The first step is to calculate your power needs by figuring out the wattage of all the appliances and devices you want to run simultaneously. Once you have that number, you can choose a generator that matches or exceeds your needs.

Can I use a generator to power my whole house?

It depends on the size of your generator and the wiring of your home. Most generators are only meant to provide power to selected appliances or devices, not an entire house. See our article on the best whole house generators.

Can I use a generator in an emergency?

Yes, generators can be a great backup source of power during emergencies. Make sure you have enough fuel stored to last through the outage.

Are generators safe?

Yes, as long as you take some basic precautions. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and follow all safety guidelines.

Conclusion

Buying a generator – whether it be for emergency backup, the construction site, or camping with the family – can seem incredibly intimidating if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Distinguishing between conventional and inverter generators, deciding on fuel types, power output, and run times will easily have your head spinning.

When facing such a complicated decision and buying an expensive piece of equipment like this, it’s essential to understand what features are important and determine what model best suits your individual needs. Having the best generator for your specific situation – whether that be the best portable generator, the best standby generator, or the best inverter generator – will help you get the most for your money.

After reading through this guide, and the reviews of the top 10 best generators, you should feel well-equipped to purchase the best-suited model for your needs.