If you’re shopping for a generator, you’ll find several different types to choose from. Conventional generators are used more than any other type, and they’ve been around for the longest period of time.
Most conventional generators are powered by propane, gasoline or diesel. A standard generator consists of a motor, and it uses various fuels to run an alternator and generate electricity.
To produce a specific amount of electricity, the motor runs at a steady speed. Inverter generators are popular products, and they’re some of the newest products in the industry.
With state-of-the-art magnets and advanced electronic circuitry, inverter generators convert AC current to DC voltage, and once the conversion has been made, they convert the DC voltage back to AC.
The major benefit that this type of generator has to offer is adjustable electrical current. If you want a reliable, quiet inverter generator, then you must know what to look for.
What to Look For When Buying An Inverter Generator
Out of several different types of generators, the inverter category represents some of the quietest products available. Many of the companies that make inverter generators use a decibel meter to measure how much sound is produced by the products.
If a product doesn’t have a decibel rating, you can use the wattage rating to approximate the noise level. Products with a larger power output tend to be louder. Since you need a larger engine to get more power, the noise level must also increase.
Many of the quietest inverter generators produce between 50 and 60 dB, and when compared with conventional alternatives, they’re significantly quieter. It’s not uncommon for manufacturers to list a dB range for their products, which represents the lowest and highest potential noise levels.
The lowest number represents the noise level when the generator is isn’t under load, and the highest number tells you how much noise to expect when the generator is under heavy load.
Most inverter generators are naturally quiet and produce the same amount of noise as a conversation. However, some products produce significantly more noise and should be avoided.
Portability and Size
Some of the best inverter generators have a small, lightweight design, and they’re easy to transport or keep inside of a garage.
Since these products are frequently used away from home, it’s a good idea to look for a portable, lightweight design. You should have no trouble transporting the product in your RV, boat or car.
Most conventional generators are very bulky and don’t offer the same level of convenience that you’d get from an inverter style.
Run Time and Fuel Efficiency
You can think of inverter generators as small engines, and like your car, they derive electrical power from a fuel source. When shopping for a quiet inverter generator, you need to consider the run time, which is determined by the size of the fuel tank.
In most cases, you can attach an external fuel tank to the generator and increase the total available run time. When compared with conventional alternatives, inverter generators tend to deliver better fuel efficiency and use engines that can adjust speed.
One of the fastest ways to separate the different types of generators is to examine the noise ratings. Inverter models are designed to be much quieter than their conventional counterparts.
Inverter models are known to have special mufflers, quieter engines and special technology, which dramatically reduce noise output.
Conventional models are designed to run at a steady speed, and inverter models use microprocessors to adjust the speed of the motor. The major advantage of an inverter generator is its ability to adjust the engine speed based on electrical loads.
Most conventional generators run at a constant speed and can sound as loud as a chainsaw. Even if the load is reduced, the conventional model will continue producing an unbearable amount of noise.
Max Power Output
Before you decide on a particular product, you should consider its total power output. The total power output that you can get from a conventional generator might be between 500 to 50,000 watts.
Inverter generators are different because they’re smaller and designed for convenience. Most inverter models can produce between 1,000 to 4,000 watts.
Here’s what we consider to be the Best Quiet Inverter Generators On The Market
The Generac 6719 IX Series 2000 has two 5-20R outlets and protects your electrical circuits from overload. For smaller devices, it has a 12-volt battery charging outlet.
Since it produces 2,000 running watts, it serves as a convenient power source, and you can use it for a variety of outdoor applications. It’s equipped with special technology for sound reduction, which makes it quiet enough to use at a campground.
The Generac 6719 has a lightweight, compact design, and it’s easy to carry between locations. With flex power, it conserves fuel and optimizes engine speed for greater noise reduction.
This product grabs raw power from its motor and sends it through an advanced microprocessor. As a result of this process, you get clean, stable power, which is safe for sensitive electronic devices.
The Generac 6866 iQ2000 is designed to be quiet, long-lasting and light. It has a total weight of only 50 pounds and can be transported anywhere.
When operated with a load of 25 percent, this generator can run for 7.7 hours. It has been tested by several third-part vendors and proven to be much quieter than several competing models.
Once it has been started, it gives you three operation modes to choose from. The control panel has an easy-to-use Power Dial and simplifies the stop, run and start functions. If you want to reduce noise production and save fuel, it’s as easy as flipping a simple switch.
The Generac 6866 iQ2000 has several status indicators and lets you know if it’s overheating, overloading or needs fuel. You can even use a parallel kit to connect two iQ2000 generators.
Here is a popular product from Westinghouse. It features a quiet, compact design and can deliver power anywhere. When used at 50 percent load, the noise rating for this product is 59dBa, which is much quieter than conventional alternatives.
The Westinghouse WH2000iXLT can be used to safely power your electronic devices, and it produces 1,800 watts. It uses a 1.3-gallon gas tank and offers better fuel efficiency than many competing models.
With a full tank of gas, this generator can supply electricity for 13 hours. If you ever need to double your power, you can use a parallel kit to connect two of these generators together.
The Westinghouse WH2000iXLT is CARB and EPA compliant, and it has two 120VAC power outlets. To protect sensitive electronics, it features low THD and has a built-in 12V DC power outlet.
The Champion Power Equipment 75531i weighs only 80 pounds and has built-in wheels. With a full tank of gas, it can run at 25 percent load for eight hours. Since it uses inverter technology, the engine speed is adjusted for reduced load, which reduces engine wear and saves fuel.
The Champion Power Equipment 75531i has a noise rating of 58 dB, so it’s much quieter than many alternative generators. The low noise rating makes it ideal for cabins, rave events and campsites.
It comes with a two-year limited warranty and has several different outlets. It has a longer engine life than many competing products and uses less fuel.
While it’s running, the Champion 75531i is capable of producing 2,800 watts, which is enough power for several appliances. For greater convenience, it features a portable, lightweight and quiet design.
Here we have another top product from Champion, and it’s much more expensive than other products on this list. Since it can run on propane or gasoline, you can use whatever fuel source is most convenient for you. It has a noise rating of 59 dB, which is very quiet.
You should have no problem using this product for cabins, campsites and RVs. It starts with 3,400 watts and drops down to 3,100 running watts. With a full tank of gas, this generator will run for 7.5 hours.
By connecting a propane tank, you can increase the total run time to 14.5 hours. The 192cc Champion engine is parallel ready and produces enough power for several devices. It’s made with automotive, household and RV outlets and can be used almost anywhere.
The Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 is from the PowerSmart Series, and it offers some of the best fuel efficiency available from a portable generator.
The 111cc OHV engine starts with 2,200 watts and drops down to 1,700 running watts. With a production of less than three percent harmonic distortion, it’s safe to use with your laptop computer and sensitive electronics.
It has a tank that can hold a single gallon of fuel, which is enough for eight hours of continuous run time. To charge portable devices, the Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 is equipped with a standard USB port, and it has a parallel port for more power.
When operating under normal conditions, this generator produces a noise level of only 59 dB, so it’s quieter than a typical conversation. However, depending on the location, the noise level might be slightly higher.
The next product on the list is the Honda EU2000I. Capable of producing 2,000 running watts, this generator delivers plenty of power for several devices.
It uses a recoil starting system and generates a noise level of 53 dB. At loads higher than 25 percent, the noise level will be higher. The Honda EU2000I can provide 2,000 watts of AC electrical current, and on a full tank of gas, it can run for 3.4 hours at the rated load.
When used with a load of 25 percent, a full tank of gas will give you 8.1 hours of run time. If you’re looking for a quiet inverter generator, this is one of the quietest products available because it has a dB rating of 53.
The WEN 56200i is an affordable option, and it’s quiet enough to use in campsites and cabins. With such a low noise rating, this generator produces about the same amount of sound as a conversation between two people. It’s also CARB and EPA III compliant.
With a smaller 79.7cc engine, it generates about 1,600 running watts. The four-stroke OHV engine is designed for efficiency and reliability, and it’s great for power outages, tailgates, construction sites and campgrounds.
The WEN 56200i delivers enough clean, safe power for your sensitive electronics, so it’s a top choice for computers, televisions, tablets and smartphones. It has two three-prong, 120V receptacles and one 12V DC receptacle. For smaller devices, you can use this generator’s built-in 5V USB port.
The Yamaha EF2000iS uses gasoline as its fuel source, and it delivers a power output of 1,600 watts. It has a maximum AC output of 2,000 watts.
Since it has a super-quiet muffler and spark arrestor, it barely produces any noise. The noise rating for this inverter generator is only 51.5 dB. Depending on the electrical load, the Yamaha EF2000iS will use a Smart Throttle to select the optimal engine speed for the load.
This feature is effective at reducing noise and improving fuel economy. If you’re looking for a quiet product, the Yamaha EF2000iS is worth considering.
The final product on the list is the Dirty Hand Tools 104609. It’s much more affordable than the other products on the list but doesn’t generate nearly as much power.
It uses a 40cc four-cycle engine to generate electricity for your devices, and when used with a 50 percent load, it will run for eight hours on a full tank of gas.
For optimal flexibility, it offers several different receptacles. The Dirty Hand Tools 104609 even has digital inverter technology, which is important for sensitive electronics.