These machines come at a premium price, but they run longer, quieter, and more efficiently. When you shop through retailer links on our site, we may earn affiliate commissions. 100% of the fees we collect are used to support our nonprofit mission. The portable gas generator has had some technological makeovers in recent years. One is critical to safety, and one significantly boosts the level of performance for a certain breed known as inverter generators.
If you’re looking into getting a portable generator, you may want to consider an inverter. To reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, some new portable generators feature a built-in sensor that triggers an automatic shutoff if CO builds up to dangerous levels in an enclosed space. And some also have engines that emit less CO in the first place. The best generators come with both features. Many inverters now offer a CO safety shutoff as well as improved performance in the way of fuel efficiency and reduced noise.
As a group, inverter generators are more expensive than conventional portable models, but they have distinct advantages. An inverter generator electronically throttles the engine up and down to meet demand instead of running full tilt all the time. The resulting improvement in efficiency means that you won’t have to fill up the gas tank as often. Inverter generators also produce lower emissions and are generally very quiet.