Generators are very useful in almost any situation. Going out for a camping trip without any electricity source? Simply take a portable generator with you. Experiencing a power outage after a storm? The best portable generator for home backup power is the answer.
You can already consider a generator to be an important investment for future emergencies. This said you must only get the best to ensure safety and reliability. Which is why today, we will be talking about the best portable generator for home use.
Since there are a lot of factors to consider and products to check out, we’ve gathered some of the most important things to know. The best rated portable generators for home use shouldn’t be hard to find. Please stay tuned for more details!
- What You Need To Know
- What You Should Expect From “Conventional Generators”
- What You Should Expect From “Portable Generators”
- General Buying Tips
- Features to Look for when Buying the Best Portable Generator for Home Use
- Best Portable Generators for Home: Our Picks
- To Sum Things Up
What You Need To Know
Before you go splurging on a portable generator, there are still some things you need to know. For starters, you have to orient yourself with the terms usually associated with portable generators.
The worst thing that can happen is you simply nodding off to a salesperson. You don’t want to end up buying something just because the seller told you so. The most basic terms you need to know are the inverter, conventional and gas-powered.
What You Should Expect From “Conventional Generators”
There are two main types of generators: the conventional type and the portable type. A conventional generator is what you would imagine as loud, bulky and heavy. It is used for large homes, offices or industrial purposes due to its power and size.
It is also meant to be stationary due to its weight. On the other hand, a portable generator is a smaller, lighter and quieter version. This type is usually used for camping, emergency backup power for small homes and the like.
What You Should Expect From “Portable Generators”
However, when searching for “portable” generators online shopping websites, you’re also likely to see gas-powered and inverter generators. An inverter generator is popular for its super quiet operation and ultra-clean power production.
Due to the inverter technology, this type of generator produces a very clean power with low total harmonic distortion. This makes the power usable, even for extremely sensitive appliances and devices.
As for “portable”, gas-powered generators, usually you would see a bulky generator that’s equipped with a built-in handle and a built-in or optional wheel kit. Total run time, surge/starting wattage and running wattage are among the most important parameters.
Looking at these three would give you a general overview of the power and capacity a generator has. Fuel tank capacity is also another parameter, especially for gas-powered generators.
General Buying Tips
As we mentioned earlier, there are certain parameters you can use to the size of a generator’s capacity. The total run time refers to the total number of hours a generator can deliver at a certain load.
For example, a generator can deliver 10 hours at 50% load, which is quite a long time considering the load. As for wattages, for portable inverter generators, if a certain model can deliver up to 3000 starting watts and 2200 running watts, it’s pretty good.
With gas-powered models, it is a given that a bigger fuel tank capacity also delivers more power and output. However, beware of the fuel requirements. Does it run on diesel? Unleaded gasoline? Take note because fuel can affect engine performance.
Features to Look for when Buying the Best Portable Generator for Home Use
There aren’t many features you need from a portable generator for home use. However, there are some features that would definitely make your life easier.
First, an automatic low oil shutdown is a feature to look out for. It helps eliminate any chances of damaging the engine due to low oil. Second, a quick response feature is also another plus. This feature will automatically activate the generator after detecting a power outage.
Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) and good inverter technology are also among the most important features as well for power output quality. Finally, to avoid overworking your generator, a smart throttle feature and an internal cooling system would be ideal.
These aren’t all the features you might find in a portable generator. However, these are some of the most common and most important especially, if you’re looking to buy a generator for home use.
As you probably already know by now, generators for home use usually serve as backup power for emergencies such as power outages. However, that is not the only use a portable generator has.
Portable generators can also be used for camping, tailgating, RV, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities. Powering up equipment in work locations is also another use for a portable generator.
However, be sure to take note first of a generator’s capacity before using it for a specific purpose. This is to avoid overloading and overheating.
What to Look For
If a good portable generator for home use is what you’re looking for, it is a given that you need to find a quiet one. Quiet generators that can operate without producing much noise help reduce disturbances.
No need to bombard your family’s and neighbors’ ears with too much noise. The low rating of total harmonic distortion is also another thing you should be looking out for especially if you will be using the portable generator for sensitive home appliances or even mobile phones.
Next, try looking for a portable generator that also comes with a warranty. Since generators are naturally pricey, a warranty is a good safety net. Finally, if you can find portable generators that are EPA and CARB compliant, that would be ideal.
This way, you would know that aside from the safety features of the generator itself, it is also accredited.
With equipment such as the generator, it is very important that you get to try the product in person for defects. Since not all companies offer a warranty or have good return policies, it would be highly ideal to buy the generator in the actual store.
Also, be sure to know what’s included in the warranty, should the company offer one. Does it include repairs? Parts replacement? Is it a limited warranty? But most importantly, take note of the nearest customer service centers for your generator brand.
Pros vs. Cons
Like any other products, a portable generator for home use has its own pros and cons. It is important you know both so you can weigh your options carefully. Here are some of them:
- Portable generators can be highly versatile. You can use them for different purposes aside from just home backup power.
- With their lightweight and compact design, you can easily transport portable generators for outdoors.
- Portable generators are very quiet and produce a low rate of total harmonic distortion. This makes them suitable even for sensitive appliances.
- If you need a generator for industrial purposes or bigger homes and offices, power output from a portable generator may be pretty limited.
- If you’re using a portable generator as home backup power, it can be pretty high maintenance.
Best Portable Generators for Home: Our Picks
With all these said, we’ve gathered some of the best portable generators for home use. However, take note that they’ve also been categorized into different sections. So, please stay tuned for more details.
Top Three Small (Less Than 4 kW) Around the Home Portable Generator
With Yamaha’s EF2000iSv2 Gas Powered Portable Inverter, you get a very lightweight and compactly designed generator. It comes in two different colors: blue and camouflage. This CARB compliant portable generator is packed with features such as the Smart Throttle.
This feature changes engine speed based on load, making the generator more fuel efficient and significantly quieter. It is also equipped with the Oil Watch Warning System, a fuel gauge, and a gasoline petcock. These will help you monitor oil levels and fuel.
Lastly, you also have the auto-decompression system and auto-warm up feature for easier starting despite extreme weather conditions. All in all, Yamaha is a pretty powerful portable generator with its 2000 watt maximum AC output.
Next, in this category, we have Generac 5982 Gas Powered Portable Generator. This model is equipped with a 208cc OHV engine. It is very powerful at a 3.5-gallon fuel tank capacity and 9.7 hours run time at 50% load.
However, aside from power, Generac also proves to be a very reliable and sturdy generator. It features heavy-duty wheels, hardened steel tube cradle and a steel fuel tank with fuel gauge. This makes Generac 5982 good even for wear and tear.
As for safety features, Generac won’t disappoint. It has an ergonomically designed On/Off switch, low-oil level shutdown feature and circuit breaker protected outlets. Durability, safety, and functionality all get check with this brand and/or model.
Last for this category is Aeiusny’s Inverter Battery Portable Generator. Its power capacity is measured at 42000 mAh despite its small size and compact design. It is equipped with built-in USB and DC ports.
But that’s not all. A unique feature in this model is its lithium batteries that can be charged via a solar panel. You can easily recharge it using your car with car 12V adapter and/or a solar panel with solar charger cable.
However, these are sold separately. Safety features are also a bonus once you buy this model. It’s packed with battery utilization, short-circuit protection, over-current protection, over-temperature protection and more.
Though aside from the innovative features and compact design, what really seals the deal for Aeuisny is its Multi Safety guaranteed, one year warranty.
Top Three Large Size (More Than 4 kW) Around the Home Portable Generator
It is powered by a 22HP Subaru V Twin OHV gas engine. With an 8-gallon fuel tank capacity, you are ensured on this model’s power and reliability. As for features, it comes with a low oil shutdown, circuit breaker protection, and a twist lock outlet.
With an included oil, pneumatic wheels and dual folding handles, you get yourself a good bargain with Powermate’s. But most importantly, you get a gas powered generator of superior performance.
This makes PM0601258 highly ideal, even for everyday use in job sites.
Next for the top large size category is the DuroMax XP10000E Gas Powered Portable Generator. This EPA and CARB approved generator is rated at 8000 running watts and 10000 surge watts power output. It has a 8.3-gallon fuel tank capacity and 16 HP OHV engine.
This makes for a powerful portable generator which you can rely on for home use. It is quite heavy as it weighs a total of 249 lbs/pounds. However, to make up for its weight, it comes with a handle and a wheel kit for added portability.
Most importantly, similar to the previous generators we’ve listed, DuroMax also features an automatic low-oil shut off to avoid accidents.
Last for this category, we have Generac 5976 GP6500. With this CSA compliant generator, you get a model that’s equipped with a large capacity steel fuel tank. The OHV engine comes with splash lubrication for long engine life.
To safeguard your engine from any damages, this model also features an automatic low oil shutdown and covered, circuit breaker protected outlets. Finally, the hardened steel-tube cradle adds durability and strength overall to the generator.
This leaves you with a very sturdy unit that is fit for home use as well as everyday wear and tear. Power and sturdiness are never compromised with Generac’s gas powered, portable generator.
Top Three Portable Generators For an Emergency at Your Home
You’ll never know when emergencies may arise. Which is why for this category, we have Generac’s 5735 GP17500E Electric Start Gas-powered Portable generator. With its 16-gallon fuel tank capacity and 992cc OHVI engine, you get an ultra-powerful generator.
The electric start and plug-in battery charger jack make it also quite the advanced model. Features are never compromised as well. This model comes with an hour meter, idle control, and low oil level shutdown.
These features will help you monitor your generator’s operation and condition. But the best of all, you get all of these in a very durable and reliable design. Its hardened 1 1/4″ steel tube cradle with integrated lifting makes it sturdy and also a little more portable.
The 13HP, 4-stroke OHV engine of Hyundai’s HHD7250 Gas-powered Portable Generator proves to be very competitive for this category. It delivers sufficient yet clean power for your home appliances, even for sensitive ones.
This also means that the engine is going to be fuel efficient. For the features, you won’t be missing out as well with its auto voltage regulator, electric start, and highly functional control panel.
Just one click in the color-coded start and the generator is good to go. But most importantly, Hyundai’s durability and sturdiness won’t disappoint. All this technology is protected by a durable 32mm frame.
Like other Generac products we’ve listed in this article, this model also has the low oil shut down, hour meter, covered circuit breaker outlets and engine oil. As for durability, it is equipped with a fold-down locking handle and never-flat wheels.
These are designed to increase portability in the product all while keeping the fundamental features. All of these are enclosed in a sturdy, hardened 1 1/4″ steel tube cradle. So, no worries as it won’t be easily damaged.
To Sum Things Up
There are a lot of different factors to consider as well as categories to choose from for portable generators. However, when it comes to portable generators for home use, output, features, and reliability are what it all boils down to.
If you still aren’t too sure which unit to buy after checking this article, don’t hesitate to consult with sellers. As long as you ask the right questions and take note of the fundamental aspects, you’re good to go.
We wish you luck in your hunt for the best rated portable generator for home use.
Thank you for reading!