The 5 Best Portable Generators For Home Use Expert’s Choice of 2023

Best portable generators for home use expert’s choice. How can you choose the finest portable generators for home usage among the numerous brands and kinds of products?

Overview

Due to the increasing frequency of severe weather, portable generators are now widely used. The sound of hundreds of generators buzzing can be heard across a suburban community after a storm knocks out the electricity. However, they may be put to more productive uses than only providing electricity in an emergency. Construction sites, tailgating and camping, barbeques, and events like 5K races, parades, and fairs are just some of the places that may benefit from having a portable generator on hand. With the price of portable generators dropping, they are becoming more accessible to everyone who would want to have one on hand.

Check out the table below for a fast overview of the top portable generators we tested, then keep reading for our recommendations and in-depth analyses of these and other units.

Out Top Picks:


Review

1. Westinghouse Portable Generator

If you need a backup power source for your home, go no further than the Westinghouse WGen9500c Portable Generator, which has a peak power output of 12,500 watts and a running power output of 9,500 watts. A 6.6 gallon (25 L) gasoline tank powers the 457cc 4-Stroke OHV Westinghouse Engine for up to 12 hours, and the engine’s built-in fuel gauge, automatic low oil cutoff, and GFCI outlets ensure that you have power throughout the day. This generator’s remote start key fob and push-button electric start make remote ignition a breeze.

The Transfer Switch Ready L14-30R and bigger 14-50R outlets are easily accessible from the unit’s user-friendly control panel, allowing you to plug in many large appliances at once, such as an air conditioner, refrigerator, sump pump, lights, and entertainment centers. The VFT Data Center updates you with real-time data and scheduled maintenance by displaying metrics like volt output, frequency, and lifespan hours. Easily move it from one location to another with the heavy-duty, never-flat wheels, foam grip handle, and lift bracket that come included. Our worldwide network of customer care and support agents is here to help you with any issues you have with your WGen9500c during its three-year limited warranty period and beyond.

Feature

  • Dimensions of the product are 27.3 x 26.3 x 22.6 inches
  • Weight of Item: 215 pounds
  • Manufacturer of Westinghouse Outdoor Power Products
  • ASIN B099KRJ513

Pros

  • This generator is robust, dependable, and capable of operating for up to 12 hours on a single canister.

Cons

  • It is somewhat raucous, so it might not be the ideal location for an RV.

View on Amazon

2. Champion Portable Inverter Generator

This Champion Power option is a cheap and compact choice if you’re looking for a generator. It’s portable, quick to start, and lightweight like other compact inverter generators, making it ideal for use with essential electronics like refrigerators and televisions.

This generator runs only on gasoline and can only power a typical 20A circuit with two 120V plugs, so keep that in mind. Reviewers have noted that it is quiet and can operate for up to eight hours on a single tank of gas. A bigger generator may be necessary, though, if you want to use it to power everything in your home.

If you’re set on having such a little and lightweight generator, but you need more power, you may get a “parallel kit” to connect two of them side by side. Obviously, you’ll have to consume twice as much fuel, but then you’ll be able to provide more electricity to your home or RV all at once.

Feature

  • Dimensions: 17.3 by 12 by 17.7 inches
  • China, Country of Origin
  • Weight of Item: 39 pounds
  • ASIN B08L47G374

Pros

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Limited capacity
  • Manual start
  • Small petroleum reservoir

View on Amazon

3. Briggs & Stratton S3500 3500W Portable Generator

When you and your family go camping, you can simply take along this inverter generator, which is efficient, lightweight, and quiet, so that you can continue to enjoy the comforts of home no matter where you are. When potentially dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide are detected in the vicinity of the generator’s working area, the generator is automatically turned off by the CO Guard technology. This provides an additional layer of security.

Feature

  • Dimensions of the product are 25.53 x 21.12 x 21.43 inches
  • Weight of Item: 1 pound
  • Producing Briggs & Stratton engines
  • ASIN B07TKF3HSN

Pros

  • Fuel gauge

Cons

  • Only two conventional outlets

View on Amazon

4. Generac Gas-Powered Portable Generator

You can take your electricity with you everywhere with the iQ3500 portable inverter generator, from a tailgate party to a camping vacation to the work site and beyond. The sturdy but light construction was designed with mobility in mind. Start, run, and stop are all controlled with a single turn of the Power Dial, and the appliance may be kicked into gear quickly with the help of Electric Start (battery supplied). Choose between two engine speeds to either minimize noise and fuel economy or enhance power responsiveness, respectively.

To produce AC power, inverter generators have a unique alternator design. The final product is an ultra-clean, lightweight, compact generator that can reliably power delicate devices and equipment.

Feature

  • The dimensions of the product are 23.7 x 18 x 21.7 inches.
  • Weight of Item is 109.1 pounds
  • Manufacturer Generac
  • ASIN B07H8S6L5G

Pros

  • The inverter generator runs quietly and provides clean electricity to safeguard your electronics.

Cons

  • It’s not the heaviest generator around, but without wheels, its 109 pounds of power might be a burden for some.

View on Amazon

5. Champion Power Portable Generator

This massive gas generator from Champion Power will get you there if you want to power your whole home with a portable generator. It has an incredible power output of 15,000 peak watts and 12,000 continuous watts. That’s enough to power your refrigerator, the lights in your home, and maybe even your central air conditioner.

This type can run on either propane or gasoline, but with that much power it will go through fuel quickly. According to reviews, it can operate for about eight hours at full load on a single tank, so if you anticipate being without electricity for an extended period, you should plan to refuel.

The primary negative we discovered was how cumbersome and noisy it was, so it’s important to store it in a secure yet accessible location. You wouldn’t want to drag it around in the midst of a blizzard.

Feature

  • Dimensions of the product are 33.9 x 31.1 x 33.1 inches
  • Weight of Item: 330 pounds
  • One Product-Specific batteries are required.
  • ASIN B01A0TLAZO

Pros

  • 15,000W maximum capacity
  • Dual fuel operation
  • Electric onset

Cons

  • Very noisy
  • Heavy

View on Amazon


Compare Products

What to look for

Wattage

When deciding on the finest portable generator for you, it is crucial to know what electrical equipment and appliances you absolutely must have running in the case of a power loss. “What you want to power with the unit narrows you down to a minimum size,” explains Williams.

The greatest portable generators have starting wattages of at least 2,000 and sometimes more than 14,000. Williams recommends planning ahead for what essentials you’d want to have operational in the case of a blackout, and then purchasing a portable generator with enough watts to power them.

Make a list of the most crucial devices you need to operate off the portable generator and the amount of operating watts they need. Your refrigerator may use 600 watts, your air conditioner three thousand, and your whole computer setup perhaps just three hundred. A portable generator with a least of 4,000 operating watts will be required to power all of these devices, along with the lights (about 100 watts).

Fuel

The most reliable portable generators run on gasoline or diesel. Although generators that run on batteries are available, they aren’t as convenient as those that run on gas since batteries need to be charged whenever they run low, whereas gas generators just need refilling the fuel tank. There are solar-powered choices that can be recharged in the sun, and some battery-powered generators may also be charged using a car’s socket.

For safety reasons (you don’t want to be fumbling with gasoline in a catastrophic rain storm), fuel generators should only be used outside and kept fully fueled, maintained, and ready to go at all times. Turn off the generator and let it cool for at least 15 minutes before refueling. If a generator becomes too hot, adding more gas to it might start a fire or even explode.

Weight

The typical weight range for portable generators is between 20 and 200 pounds. Because they don’t have as much insulation or cushioning, “lightweight portable generators tend to be a bit noisier,” Williams explains.

Williams suggests ensuring that the generator you choose has wheels to make transporting it simpler since many portable generators may be very big devices. On the other hand, “you may need a bit of help getting it in and out of a car trunk,” he says.

Runtime

A single tank of gas will power a portable generator for somewhere between six and twelve hours. Williams explains, “The runtime depends on each machine and how big the fuel tank is.” To paraphrase, “It varies from model to model.”

Noise

The typical range of decibel levels produced by portable generators is between 50 and 80. “The noise of a portable generator could be an issue,” Williams warns. Most generators have a noticeable noise level, and even ones that advertise silence aren’t completely soundproof.

A quieter variant may be preferable for full-time RV life or for usage in the great outdoors. If you have a noisy generator for emergencies or storms, you probably won’t be the only home on the block, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about disturbing the neighbors.


FAQs

Q. How many kilowatts (kW) does a home’s generator require to keep the lights on?

According to Williams, the size of the home and the number of appliances being used at once are only two of the numerous variables that affect the total number of watts required to power a home. Williams believes that a portable generator with 6,000 to 8,000 watts of electricity “could keep you going in a standard house,” but it “might not be able to power everything.” “A large home or one with lots of built-in smart technology will require a much higher wattage.”

For high-tech residences, Williams recommends a whole-house generator (non-portable) of 20,000 to 25,000 watts; but, if you need a portable device, you should go for the highest possible wattage, which is often about 14,000 watts or more.

Q. What makes an inverter generator distinct from a portable generator?

Despite their similarities, inverter generators are a more recent innovation that utilizes cutting-edge technology to reduce noise pollution and fuel consumption. Additionally, the better quality electrical output they give makes them safer for use with modern devices.

“Inverter generators have the ability to vary the engine speed depending on the load,” Williams explains. When under little load, their lower decibel levels make them more agreeable to have about the house.

Williams claims that their primary drawbacks are that they are more costly than traditional generators and aren’t as durable. “Those working on construction sites prefer using the older generators because inverters are more electronic and can be damaged if dropped, for instance,” but “inverters are the best portable generators for home use.”

Q. Do generators harm electrical devices?

Williams claims that “Modern generators shouldn’t damage electronics,” but conventional generators have been known to damage electrical devices in the past. Electricity produced by inverter generators is very pristine and safe for electronics.

Leave a Comment