When you hear the word “generator”, the first thing that might pop into your mind would be a loud, bulky and heavy machine. And while that is true for a lot of industrial generator types, there are also those that are quite the opposite.
Thanks to today’s technology, there are now different types of generators you can use for different purposes. There are two main types of generators: the conventional generator and the portable generator type.
Although both work pretty similarly, there’s actually a great disparity in size, bulk and even features. Without a doubt, the conventional type would be more powerful in output and capacity. It can even be used for larger homes or job sites and industrial purposes.
On the other hand, portable generators are smaller. Sometimes, they are also more advanced in controls/features. Thus, they deliver quieter operation and cleaner power. However, in order to find the best quiet generator, there will be factors to consider.
Which is why today, we will be talking about the quietest generators this 2018! To help you start, we’ve also included best quiet generators reviews and a buying guide.
What Are The Factors To Consider When Buying A Quiet Generator?
Like any other devices, factors to consider are very important as they set your parameters. Since you can’t try every single product out there, it is best to know what you want in certain equipment.
In this case, we’ve rounded up some of the most important factors to consider when buying a quiet, portable generator.
Does Size Matter?
First, you have to know what size or type you actually need. As we mentioned earlier, you have the conventional type or the portable type. If you want more power output and larger fuel tank capacity, the conventional type is the ultimate one for you.
However, it will not be as portable. Although, there are a lot of brands out there that come with a wheel kit and a built-in handle. On the other hand, the portable type is significantly smaller and lighter in size.
For this type, you have the inverter portable generator. This size and type are highly ideal for camping, outdoors or emergency backup in small homes or apartments.
How To Measure Power Output
The power output of a generator is sometimes measured in different methods. However, a quick way to measure the power output of a generator is through is running wattage and starting wattage.
The starting wattage is the surge of power or energy the generator it delivers once it’s activated. The running wattage is the amount of power that the generator can sustain while in operation.
Portable inverter generators usually range from 1000 to 3000 watts. But for gas-powered portable generators, they can deliver up to 7000 watts or even more. Fuel tank capacity is also another good method to round up a generator’s power capacity.
Finally, generators with long running time at half load or 25% load should be ideal, especially for non-industrial purposes.
What features should I look for?
Since there are a lot of choices out there already, this aspect is where most if not all generators compete. However, there aren’t really many features a generator has to have. Likewise, the generator that is the most advanced or has the most features is not necessarily advanced.
For starters, safety features and functional controls are among the most important. Safety features usually include the automatic low oil shutdown. This automatically shuts down the engine after detecting low oil.
Eco-throttle or operation based speed variation and internal cooling system are also among the most important safety features. These prevent the generator from overloading, overheating or overworking.
As for other features, you also should look out for the Quick Response feature, especially, if you’re looking to buy a generator as emergency backup. This means that the generator will automatically power up your house after detecting a power outage.
Finally, if you will be using your generator for sensitive devices, it is best to get one that has a low rate of total harmonic distortion.
How Much Noise Should A Quiet Generator Make?
This is a very important factor if you plan to use the generator at home with a lot of neighbors. Outdoors enthusiasts or campers will also definitely be in need of a quiet generator, especially if you plan to camp in National Parks or similar areas.
As we are talking about the best quiet generator, it is a given that looking for generators with the lowest noise production is your priority. Generators with good inverter technology and low total harmonic distortion are usually the quietest.
EPA and CARB compliant generators can also be a good basis for a quiet generator. But most importantly, those that produce noise at 50 decibels or lower can be deemed quiet.
- One of the most obvious pros for a quiet generator would be low noise production. This means that you and your neighbors can go on with life peacefully without the disturbance of a generator.
- This is also a very important aspect to look at for outdoor enthusiasts and campers. Quiet generators are a camper’s friend. They are quiet, lightweight and fuel efficient. A quiet generator is easily the best for RV, ATV, tailgating, boating, hunting and the like.
- Cleaner electricity is also attributed to quiet generators so you’re sure not to damage your sensitive devices.
- For starters, it is not very powerful and has limited fuel tank capacity.
- Power output is also a bit compromised due to the size of a quiet generator since it’s meant to deliver power with the lowest possible total harmonic distortion.
- It also cannot be used for job sites and industrial purposes. High energy consuming type of equipment such as welding machines and the like might also be included in those limitations.
The Top 5 Quietest Portable Generators: Our Picks
Wen offers this model in two other wattages: one in 1250 watts and 3100 watts. Despite having a 79.7cc, 4-stroke OHV engine, it is so quiet that it’s comparable to the noise of a normal conversation. This is according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
It delivers 2000 surge watts and 1600 rated watts. It supports parallel connection and has an Eco Mode. As for safety, it features a Low Oil Shutdown, Overload Protection, and Low-Fuel Automatic Shutdown.
But the best part about this EPA III and CARB compliant generator is that it comes with a two-year warranty. So, should you have any concerns or issues with the product, as long as it’s within the two-year warranty, you don’t have to worry.
Next, we have the most powerful quiet generator with Yamaha’s EF2000iSv2. It is a gas powered, portable inverter generator. With its very small size and lightweight, you wouldn’t expect this model to be that powerful and feature-packed.
However, it doesn’t disappoint. At a maximum of 2000 watt power output and long runtime, you are guaranteed satisfaction. It has 10.5 hours of runtime at ¼ loads on a single tank of gas. But that’s not all.
It features the Smart Throttle which varies engine speed based on load, thus, improving fuel economy and reducing noise. Its super-quiet muffler with USFS-approved spark arrestor also makes it one of the best quiet generator.
But most importantly, this CARB compliant generator delivers an ultra-clean, high-quality power due to its Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). Rest assured that you’re getting a really good bargain and low carbon footprint with this model.
On the other hand, for our most fuel-efficient, Westinghouse’s WH2200iXLT Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator earned the title. This is mostly due to its Efficiency Mode that increases fuel efficiency.
With only 52 decibels of noise output, you get 13 hours of run time at 25% Load or only 1.3 Gallon Gas Tank. Similar to the first product, it also comes with an Automatic Low Oil Shutdown feature.
The parallel capability is another feature of Westinghouse that can definitely help you save up the money all while doubling power production. And last but not the least, with Westinghouse; you also get a three-year warranty.
Simply get in touch with the technical support team or service locations of Westinghouse for your concerns. You literally just “plug and play” with Westinghouse’s WH2200iXLT.
As for the most trusted generator, Generac’s 7117 GP2200i made it to the list. It is a 2200 watt, portable inverter generator. This model is equipped with the TruePower Technology to deliver clean and stable power ideal for sensitive appliances.
Its 1.2-gallon fuel tank capacity will give you 10.75 hours run time on 25% load. It also features an integrated Off/Run/Choke knob to simplify startup procedures. Similar to another generator in this list, Generac also comes with an Economy Mode to maximize fuel efficiency.
When it comes to safety and monitoring, worry not because it has LED status lights. These will help you monitor low oil, overload, and power. Finally, it is also a parallel ready generator that comes with a parallel kit.
However, the kit is optional and is sold separately (model 7118). With Generac, you are sure to get a compact, reliable and versatile inverter generator that won’t fail. Its two-year limited warranty can also serve as your safety net should you not be satisfied.
Last but not the least; we have the Honda 7000W Super Quiet Lightweight Inverter for the highest power rating on this list. With Honda, you get an inverter generator that’s not only quiet and lightweight but also powerful.
Its engine is a fuel injected Honda GX390 EFI. So, using Honda Oil reduces maintenance costs associated with carburetors as well as fuel storage. This said you’re rest assured as well that you’re using a very fuel efficient unit.
No need to burn money or spend bucks buying new gas every now and then. Moreover, unlike the conventional manual pull start, this model is push-button electric starting for added convenience.
It also features an iMonitor LCD and has a run time of 18 hours at ¼ load. Finally, it delivers 5500 running watts and 7000 peak watts. All in all, Honda proves to be an ultimate powerhouse that is unexpectedly light and quite.
You definitely won’t regret getting your home or office a Honda 7000W with such a bargain!
Since this is all about quiet generators, it all boils down to quality, features and noise production. We’ve based our picks on these categories aside from their noise production.
However, it is also important to remember that the most accurate way to find the best generator for you is to try them in person. Do not be afraid to raise concerns or ask questions to the distributor or seller.
After all, generators are a good investment for future emergencies. This said we wish you luck in your hunt for the best quiet generator.
Thank you for reading!