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Best Generators and Power Stations for Home Emergencies

generator connected up to house during power outage

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The modern lifestyle is heavily reliant on electricity, so much so that a minute without it feels like a borderline apocalypse. There is no doubt that electrical power and grid installations have been tremendously streamlined in the last couple of decades. It has certainly cut down the instances of power blackouts, which were not rare, say, 40 years ago.

Nonetheless, that entire electrical infrastructure is a man made thing and hence it is, was and always will be, vulnerable to the wrath of nature. This is the reason why any natural calamity like floods, hurricanes, forest fires, and ice storms leave many consumers without the basic utility of electricity. When the main grid is dead and you know that it will take some time for its restoration, you certainly need an alternative, temporary power source for your home.

Solar panels can assume the role of a standby power source. However, they may not deliver the needed power especially if the grid power has gone due to any natural disaster. In such a tricky situation, the tried and tested gasoline generators and newer power stations come in handy. No matter how bad it is out there, a good quality generator allows you to harness required emergency electricity to take care of the most basic household necessities.

So, it is wise to have a generator or a power station for any such home emergency where you are not being supplied from the main grid. The market is teeming with lots of generator and power station options where it gets difficult to choose which ones are suitable for home emergencies.

We have made your search easy and shortlisted five of the best generators and power stations for home emergencies. Besides reviewing them, we will also share a buying guide for each so you can buy a generator or power station for home emergencies from outside of this list as well.

Without any further delay, let’s have a look at those generator and power station models that are considered best for home emergency applications.

Products Being Reviewed in This Article

Last update on 2021-09-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our Top 3 Best Generators and Power Stations for Home Emergencies Compared

Model
Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready DH Series Open Frame Inverter with Quiet Technology (Pack of 1)
Honda 662220 EU2200i 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator
Running Wattage
Running Wattage: 3500W
Running Wattage: 1800W
Peak Wattage
Peak Wattage: 4000W
Peak Wattage: 2200W
Run Time
Running Time: 17 hrs @ 25% Load
Running Time: 8.1 hrs @ 25% Load
Tank Capacity
Tank Capacity: 2.9 gal.
Tank Capacity: 0.95 gal.
Weight
Weight: 81.6 lbs
Weight: 46.5 lbs
Noise Rating
Noise Rating: 64 dBA
Noise Rating: 57 dBA
Model
Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready DH Series Open Frame Inverter with Quiet Technology (Pack of 1)
Running Wattage
Running Wattage: 3500W
Peak Wattage
Peak Wattage: 4000W
Run Time
Running Time: 17 hrs @ 25% Load
Tank Capacity
Tank Capacity: 2.9 gal.
Weight
Weight: 81.6 lbs
Noise Rating
Noise Rating: 64 dBA
Learn More Here
Model
Honda 662220 EU2200i 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator
Running Wattage
Running Wattage: 1800W
Peak Wattage
Peak Wattage: 2200W
Run Time
Running Time: 8.1 hrs @ 25% Load
Tank Capacity
Tank Capacity: 0.95 gal.
Weight
Weight: 46.5 lbs
Noise Rating
Noise Rating: 57 dBA
Learn More Here

Last update on 2021-09-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Generators and Power Stations for Home Emergencies Reviewed

Our Top Pick ENKEEO Portable Power Station​

The first entry on our list is not your typical gasoline generator. It doesn’t harness power (electricity) via electromagnetic induction. It is actually a power backup that is designed for emergencies and we think it offers function and utility that is better than many lightweight gasoline generators. As the name suggests, this ENKEEO product is a portable device that offers the power output of 222 W.

In this day and age, handheld devices running out of battery is the topmost home emergency and this is where this ENKEEO device comes in really useful. It can charge 11 devices at once. Its charging ports include regular US standard AC outlets, DC jacks, c ports, and regular USB ports. This means you are not bound to charge only one type of device. You can charge all tablets, cell phones and other battery-driven devices of an entire household in the wake of any temporary power blackout.

We like the charging setup of ENKEEO Power Station that doesn’t just rely on a single source. You can have it fully recharged beforehand with any AC wall outlet of the house. You can also power it through a car battery. You can even use solar energy to recharge it. So, it is really easy to have your power station ready for any expected or sudden power blackout.

The other impressive bit about this power backup for home emergencies is its convenient and safe use. It has a plug-n-play configuration. Moreover, it is designed with built-in protection against overcharging, overheating and short circuit. So, it always works in the most failsafe manner.

PROS

  • No fuel, no fumes, no noise
  • Featherweight construction
  • A bright and wide LCD display shows remaining power and output method
  • Easy on the eyes, retro tape recorder design

CONS

  • Can’t run heavy appliances
  • Not suitable for days-long blackouts

CHAFON 330W Portable Power Station

This is another portable power station that we think is an ideal choice for a power generator for home emergencies. CHAFON power station is more powerful than the ENKEEO model, which means you can charge and run more devices on this one. You can charge your phones and laptops through the device. But more importantly, you can run other light electronics on it too.

CHAFON 330W Portable Power Station,296Wh CPAP Backup Lithium Battery Pack,110V AC Outlet/12V Car Port,USB-C Power Delivery,Wireless Charger,QC 3.0 Fast Charging for Road Trips,Camping(Grey)

For instance, you can run a mini heater on this CHAFON Portable Power Generator. Then, it can also power a fan and TV. In short, this compact power station is ideal if you are looking for something that can do more than charging cell phones. This portable charging station can also be charged in many ways. You can have it fully charged via an AC wall outlet.

It can also act as a rechargeable solar generator. If CHAFON Portable Power Generator is not fully charged, then its solar mode will come in really useful. This power station is truly portable, all thanks to its compact footprint and lightweight construction.

CHAFON Power Station also stands out among its competitors with its fast recharging feature. When the majority of portable power stations take more than six hours to get fully charged, this one gets its battery sated within three hours. This feature definitely makes it a suitable power option for home emergencies.

The manufacturer has used lithium batteries that come with a patented brand battery management system. Moreover, the additional protection features make sure no voltage surge, overheating or short circuit happens within the device or by the device.

PROS

  • Mini-cooler, mini-heater, fan, TV which can run many light appliances
  • Ensures worry-free use, comes with 24 month full warranty
  • Perfect for indoor and outdoor use

CONS

  • A bit heavy on the pocket

CHECK PRICE HERE

Pulsar G465GN Portable Gas-Powered Generator

Power stations are portable, compact and offer immediate electrical power for handheld devices and small appliances. However, they can’t emulate the function of a conventional gas-powered generator. First and foremost, you can get a lot of wattage from a regular gasoline generator in comparison to a power station. Let’s take the example of this Pulsar portable gas-powered generator. 

Pulsar Portable Generator in Space Gray with Electric Start, G12KBN

Pulsar G465GN Portable Generator is perfect for home emergencies where you need to power a range of home appliances at once. It can harness 4,650 watts of power that can take care of many household amenities during a power blackout. In order to make it a perfect fit for emergency use, Pulsar has fitted this portable generator with a large fuel tank.

Pulsar G465GN holds four gallons of gasoline to generate electricity for around 12 hours on half its load. This means you can provide your home circuitry with 2,200 watts of power for one complete half of a day when the main grid has gone out. This portable generator will also be a great purchase for people who also RVing. The manufacturer has added power outlets to the generator that are compatible with different RV power inlets. So, when there is no home emergency, you can use it to power your camper.

Pulsar has also made sure that you can use its portable generator without worrying about safety. It is fitted with auto low-oil shutoff.  Moreover, automatic voltage regulation makes sure the generator keeps on supplying power without any surges. A 3-in-1 digital meter is also given so you can keep an eye on the voltage and current output of the generator.

PROS

  • A versatile portable generator fit for both home emergencies and camping
  • Lightweight and compact design for hassle-free storage
  • Easy to start electric ignition
  • Single cylinder, four-stroke, less noise and pollution

CONS

  • Difficult to move, no wheels at the bottom

CHECK PRICE HERE

Champion RV Ready DH Series Open Frame Inverter

Inverter technology has turned around the performance of electrical appliances. It has also streamlined the working of a typical gasoline generator. An inverter generator yields quality output with lesser noise and better fuel efficiency. Champion Power Equipment has been making gasoline generators for many years. Now it has also incorporated inverter technology in its manufacturing process. Case in point: Champion DH Series Open Frame Inverter.

Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready DH Series Open Frame Inverter with Quiet Technology (Pack of 1)

This inverter generator has a power rating of 4,000 watts but it is 50% quieter and 20% lighter than the Champion’s own 3,500-watt conventional gasoline generator. Like any good inverter power source, this one also delivers cleaner electricity with less harmonic distortion. It is a really valuable feature because appliances running on cleaner electricity last for long.

This generator is also suitable for home emergencies where you know that grid power is not coming back within a couple of hours. It can run 17 hours nonstop on a single refill. The manufacturer has also made sure that you can use this inverter generator with other power sources in parallel. You will need a parallel kit to add more power to the setup of a Champion DH Series Open Frame Inverter.

We also love another feature of this Champion inverter generator i.e. economy mode. When the generator is already running in an efficient manner, Champion has provided you an option to double down the economy of the machine. If you have to use the generator more often, run it on economy mode. It will save you fuel expenses and will also extend the operating life of the generator’s engine.

PROS

  • All controls are given on one quick touch panel
  • Low-noise operation produces only 64 dBA of sound
  • Voltage output 120 VAC and 12 VDC RV-ready
  • OHV engine compact size

CONS

  • No electric start
  • No wheels

CHECK PRICE HERE

Honda EU2200i Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

Honda is a well-known name among generator manufacturers. It has also introduced a range of inverter generators that are efficient, quiet and compact. From all those products we think EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator is the best power source for home emergencies. This inverter device can generate 2,200 watts of clean power that you can use in both AC and DC form. In short, it will cover you whenever there is a main power grid breakdown.

Honda 662220 EU2200i 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

The best thing about Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator is its footprint. At first look, you can’t tell if it is a power station or a full-fledged gasoline generator. The other striking bit about this inverter machine is its quietest operation.

As mentioned earlier, inverter generators intrinsically produce low noise. However, this Honda machine goes one step further. At full swing, it produces the sound between 48 to 57 dBA. To give this incredible low-noise operation a context, keep in mind that a normal conversation produces 60 dBA of sound. This quieter performance of Honda Inverter Generator turns out to be a blessing when you are trying to sleep amid a power blackout and there is a generator running in the backyard.

We also love this generator because its efficient running allows you to get 200 watts from the same fuel consumption that a regular generator uses to generate 2,000 watts. At half the load, you can run EU2200i for around 10 hours without a refill. So, it is perfect for overnight use.

PROS

  • Can be used in a parallel configuration
  • Features fuel shutoff valve which prevents stale fuel problems
  • Design ensures better ventilation and greater airflow
  • Rubber feet cancels out vibration and provides a firmer grip

CONS

  • A bit heavy on the pocket given its power output

CHECK PRICE HERE

Best Generators for Home Emergencies Buyers Guide

Picking the Best Portable Power Station

Whether you are at home or on a camping excursion, a portable power station is a suitable device to use during emergencies. However, there are so many options available in the market that one often gets confused and can’t decide what the best portable power station out there is.

If you want to explore more options besides the power stations we have reviewed here then read on.

Features to Consider to Buy The Best Portable Power Station for Home Emergencies.

Power Output

Keep in mind that a good power station is not your typical power bank. It always offers more watts and that’s one of the reasons why we consider it a suitable option for home use. When you are buying a power station for home emergencies or for any off-grid use, make sure it can offer more than 200 watts of power. Otherwise, it won’t be able to offer you the required utility.

For instance, a regular power bank can recharge a couple of mobiles for a couple of times. In contrast, you can use a portable power station to recharge 11-12 devices for up to eight times. Then there are some power stations (like #2 on our list) that can also run small and light appliances like mini-cooler or ultra mini-heater.

Ports

This is another thing that distinguishes a power station from a regular recharging bank. Instead of having one or two USB ports, it features a range of different outlets. From conventional AC outlets to DC jacks and c-type ports, a functional power station makes sure you can use it to supply power to a range of different devices. So, always make sure the portable power station you are going to buy has a diversified port panel.

Rechargeable from Multiple Sources

This is a really important feature and turns out to be really crucial during emergencies. A good power station is one that can be recharged from more than one power source. For instance, it can be recharged by a regular AC wall outlet. Then you can also recharge it via your vehicle’s auxiliary power outlet. Top-of-the-line solar power stations (like the ones we have included in our list) are also portable solar generators. This means you can use them through solar panels too.

Getting these many options make a power station useful in all different contingency situations.

Picking the Best Gasoline Generator Buyer’s Guide 

A good gasoline generator proves to be a great alternative power source when you are experiencing a power blackout and no definite timeline is given for the restoration. You can bring any gasoline generator home for devising a power backup to tackle such a situation. However, it would be better if you take care of the following aspects when buying a generator for home emergencies.

Compare Generators Power Output and Your Emergency Wattage Needs 

This is the first and foremost thing you need to do for buying the right fit of a generator. Calculate your home’s wattage needs in an emergency situation and compare/match it with the power output of a generator. Let’s try to understand this with the help of an example.

Let’s suppose your grid power has been shut down due to a cyclone hitting the nearby coastline. Your area has not been affected by the direct impact of the cyclone. However, it has certainly experienced torrential rains. In this situation, let’s see how many watts are required to run the most basic household errands.

  • You may have to run a mini heater/mini split air conditioner (depending on the season) = 1500-2000 watts
  • You may also need to run sump pump time and again to get the rainwater out= 800-1200 watts
  • A refrigerator is also needed to be powered on during long breakdowns = 600-1000 watts
  • A microwave oven will also be required from time to time = 600-800 watts
  • You may also need to run a water pump = 200-500 watts

From this rough estimation, it looks like a generator with 1,500-2,000 watts power output can fulfill your home emergency needs. But here is the thing, appliances like sump pumps, refrigerators, and water pumps require a lot of starting watts in comparison to their running wattage. So, it is better to pick up a generator for home emergencies that can provide at least 2,200 watts of power because that’s the max starting watts a regular refrigerator needs to kickstart. All other aforementioned appliances need fewer starting watts.

Fuel

Gasoline is still considered the best fuel option for generators. However, you can also opt for dual-fuel generators if you are sure that an emergency is not going to disrupt your natural gas supply.

Size

Generators are available in a range of sizes. From the size of a small room to a briefcase, you can find generators in all sorts of footprints. For home emergencies, we recommend our readers to stick with compact generator models. A generator with a compact footprint is easy to move. Moreover, you can easily store it for the rest of the year without overstuffing your storage room.

Noise

Many people overlook this feature while buying a generator for home emergencies. A noisy generator can fulfill your power needs in an emergency situation. However, it does that at the cost of your aural comfort. You can’t sleep. You can’t work. You can’t even talk to each other if a generator is running while growling at full force.

Inverter technology has addressed this pressing constraint of generators. Now, you can buy generators that produce sound in the same noise range as that of a regular conversation. By using a noise-free generator, you can make the period of emergency less excruciating.

Start

Gasoline generators come with manual and electric starts. Electric starts add a bit of amount to the price tag of a generator. However, they are convenient to use and this is what you strive for when an emergency has been unfolded.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Are Power Stations a Viable Choice for Home Emergencies?

Many people are skeptical about the use of portable power stations when it comes to home emergencies. Their skepticism is not entirely unwarranted. When we compare the output of a power station even with a lightweight gasoline generator, we see a huge wattage gap. However, power stations come in really handy if you are experiencing a short power blackout.

A good quality power station can easily recharge all handheld devices in the house. So, it is perfectly viable to be used during home emergencies. There is a reason why portable power stations have become some of the best sellers in the generator category on major retail websites.

Gasoline or Dual-Fuel— A Better Generator Choice for Home Emergencies?

At first, it seems like a dual-fuel generator will be a better choice for home emergencies. However, that’s not the case.  A gasoline generator is a better option for home emergencies for multiple reasons. To begin with, the main grid is most likely to go silent when there is a natural catastrophe. In such a situation, you are not going to get your regular natural gas supply either. So, the feature of dual-fuel automatically renders useless.

Then, a generator running on gasoline ensures more reliable performance. A gasoline generator lasts longer than a dual-fuel machine. Lastly, you always have the option to modify your gasoline generator to run it on natural gas. In short, it is always better to buy a gasoline generator for your emergency use instead of spending more money on dual-fuel models.

Power Station or Generator— A Better Option for Home Emergencies?

It is important to understand that power stations and generators are not substitutes for each other. We would suggest you use both at the same time during home emergencies. A regular gasoline generator will help you in running bigger appliances. Meanwhile, a power station will take care of the small electronics. Isn’t it a perfect solution to tackle power blackouts?

Conclusion

We truly hope that this detailed discussion including reviews, buying guides and FAQs will help you in picking the right products as an alternative power setup during emergencies.

We have selected the ENKEEO Portable Power Station as our top pick today.

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