When the lights go out, a generator provides much more than just illumination for your home. By powering the heater, it can help keep your house warm during the winter months and cold during the summers by running the AC unit. It can prevent the food from spoiling in the refrigerator in case the power outage is extensive. Last but not least, a generator can help you to keep all your electronic devices and appliances running.
In many cases, people buy generators when there’s a major storm because that is usually the time when homeowners are without power for days or even weeks. Getting a generator to provide you with backup power is critical to helping you keep your normal life going in such difficult times.
If you are looking in the market for a portable generator for the first time, you might get overwhelmed by the number of options available. There are numerous portable generator manufacturers out there, offering several models to choose from. Finding the best portable generator for your home can become an incredibly difficult task if you don’t have the right information.
Luckily, we have created this guide to help you to find the best portable generator for your home. In order to come up with this guide, we researched and tested many portable generators and then compiled a list of the top five portable generators in the market. We have reviewed each of the products in detail so you can decide which one best suits your needs. Additionally, we have mentioned some important factors that homeowners must consider when purchasing portable generators.
What You Will Learn
- 1 Products Reviewed in This Artlicle
- 2 Our Top 3 Best Portable Generators for Homes Compared
- 3 Best Portable Generators for Homes Reviews
- 4 Our Top Pick Jackery 518Wh Portable Power Station
- 5 Generac 15,000W GP15000E Gas-Powered Portable Generator
- 6 Honda 5,500W Eu7000is Inverter Generator
- 7 Kaladola 1850W Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
- 8 Best Portable Generators for Homes Buyers Guide
- 9 Things to Consider When Looking for the Best Portable Generator for Your Home
- 10 Safety Tips for Portable Generators
- 11 Final Thoughts
Products Reviewed in This Artlicle
Last update on 2021-09-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Our Top 3 Best Portable Generators for Homes Compared
Last update on 2021-09-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Portable Generators for Homes Reviews
We are going to start off the list of the best portable generators for homes with the Jackery Explorer 500. It is a 518Wh lithium battery portable power station that presents itself as an ideal way to meet your power needs. It is one of the lightest lithium battery generators on the market.
The pure sine wave AC port can offer you 1000W surge power with a 500W running rated power. With a 400mAh battery capacity, this compact 13.32 lbs power station can meet the power needs of most of the small appliances and electronics at your home in the event of a power outage. This is not a portable generator that you can use to power up your refrigerator or air conditioning unit, but it can cater to the needs of a lot of mainstream devices. You can power up and charge your camera, laptop, tablet, and smartphone with ease using this device.
If you happen to have a mini-fridge at home, you can count on the Jackery Explorer to give you a decent run time while powering that as well. The all-in-one power station includes three USB ports, an AC outlet and a 12V car output to meet a range of electrical needs. You can charge the rechargeable generator using your home’s regular AC outlet, a DC carport, or even the optional solar panels if the power has gone out for too long.
If you want to utilize the Jackery Portable Power Station for extended periods while you are in the great outdoors, you even get the option to hook it up with compatible solar panels and make it perform like a solar generator as well.
- Solar power compatibility
- LCD screen displays all the charge and discharge data, along with battery-life status
- Highly portable and handheld power station
- Delivers pure sine wave output through AC port
- Takes a long time to fully charge after complete discharge of lithium battery
For homeowners looking to get some serious backup power from their generators, the third entry on the list of the best portable generators for home is the right product for the job. A whopping 15,000W is more than enough to meet the power needs of a lot of homes and that is what you can get with the Generac GP15000E Gas-Powered Portable Generator.
Generac has been in the business of producing reliable power generators for a long time and the manufacturer makes products that match the needs of a large number of homeowners. The GP15000E unit can power up your home in case of a power outage. It can also be the ideal power source for a construction site and you can even use it to light up your camping trip in the great outdoors.
The Generac OHVI industrial-grade engine is made specifically to provide a more fuel-efficient experience so the generator can run for long. The reduced oil consumption works with the dual element air filter to keep the engine cool and increases the run time before the need for any servicing. It is a hefty generator with its 15,000W output capacity, but it comes in a portable and compact size. With the never-flat wheels and pull handles, it is portable, despite a relatively heavy presence weighing more than 370lbs.
The generator’s sturdy frame and low maintenance performance make it one of the most durable products featured on the list. A full pressure lubrication system, along with an automotive grade spin-on oil filter, sifts dirt and unwanted debris to keep the generator running efficiently for much longer. A 16-gallon tank gives 10 hours of run time at half capacity and the electric start option makes it highly convenient to use.
- Low maintenance generator
- Has a wheel kit that makes the generator highly portable
- High power output with 15,000W running watts
- Automatic low oil shut off
- Overload protected outlets keep electronics and appliances safe
- Instruction manual is a little complicated to understand
Honda is a name we are sure you must have heard of. A renowned automotive manufacturer, Honda has had its fair share of products to cater to the backup power needs of homeowners. The Honda 5,500W Eu7000is Inverter Generator is a classic example of the brand’s ingenuity. The portable inverter generator is a versatile machine that can deliver good quality results to meet the power needs of a lot of homeowners.
One of the most fuel-efficient generators that we have used, the generator gives you a run time of up to 18 hours with a full tank having a capacity of 5.1 gallons of gas. The generator produces a clean sine wave AC output with a Total Harmonic Disruption less than 3%. This means you can plug in all of your sensitive appliances and electronics into this generator and never be worried about them getting damaged.
You get the option of choosing a simple pull-start mechanism, thanks to the recoil rope and a more convenient electric starter. The generator is remarkably quiet for the amount of output it produces. At just 52db, it comes with two 120V outlets, a 120V/240V outlet and a 120V outlet. Furthermore, the closed design of the Eu7000is makes a compact solution.
If you are thinking about picking it up and carrying it by hand, you might be disappointed. It weights a substantial 261 lbs so you cannot lug it around in your hands, but you can use the wheel kit and folding handle to move it to the floor easily. The generator has plenty of safety features like overload protection, indicator lights for low oil levers and automatic low oil shutoff.
- CARB-compliant and EPA-approved on emissions
- Features a spark arrestor that makes it safe to use in forested areas
- One of the quietest portable generators on the market
- Has a lengthy run time
- Does not perform well in exceptionally hot climates like in the desert
The last product we are featuring on the list of the best portable generators for homes and our favorite one is the Kaladola 1850 Watt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator. This is a professional-grade inverter generator and we think this is one of the best portable power solutions you can invest in for your home.
At just 40.7 pounds, this is one of the lightest products that we have reviewed and it does not rely on rechargeable batteries to provide you with the power output you need. It is a modest generator with a 1,850W peak and 1,600W running output. It is a convenient generator with a 99cc engine that delivers a decent and reliable output. You can rely on it to power most of your electronics at home in case there is a power outage.
With a 60db noise level, it is slightly louder than the Honda counterpart, but is still quieter than most of the other products you would get in this category. The Kaladola inverter generator has a recoil starting system and gives you a 4-hour run time on a full load with its 1-gallon capacity. The 4-stroke OHV engine also makes the generator highly fuel-efficient. If you need to power the electronics in your home for longer, there is also an economy mode on the generator for maximized fuel efficiency.
There are safety features on this generator like a low oil indicator, which makes sure that the generator does not get damaged operating on low oil levels. The overload indicator system automatically cuts off the connection to appliances if the generator ever overloads. You can enjoy the convenient and compact power generator’s applications without worrying about your sensitive electronics getting damaged.
- Highly portable and lightweight generator
- EPA and CARB-approved emissions certification
- Extremely fuel-efficient backup generator
- Low operating noise level
- Limited applications due to modest power output
Best Portable Generators for Homes Buyers Guide
Things to Consider When Looking for the Best Portable Generator for Your Home
Now that you have read about the best portable generators for home use, you might be wondering about how you can select a product that matches your needs. We are going to help you sort it out and narrow down your options even further by giving you all the information you need.
Let us take a look at all the factors you need to consider when you are looking for the best portable generator for your home.
A common fuel used for portable generators is gasoline and most of the products that we have mentioned above are gas-powered generators. Gasoline is a fuel that is easy to come by and you can procure it even during emergencies like when a storm is coming and you need to prepare for it.
Diesel generators can give you greater fuel efficiency for extended periods, but generators that run on diesel present their own set of challenges. The biggest challenge is that diesel generators are much larger than their gasoline counterparts delivering the same output. Diesel is also not as easy to find as gasoline in case of emergencies.
Propane is another fuel used often for backup generators. It is a little more complex, but it presents a more environmentally-friendly solution for your power needs. Of course, it relies on a consistent natural gas supply line or propane tanks to provide you with the power you need and its running watts are significantly lower as compared to gasoline.
One of the products we’ve reviewed is actually a power station that relies on a rechargeable lithium ion battery to provide you with backup power for your home. When you have power at home, you can use the main AC supply to charge the battery and put it aside for backup when the power goes out.
You should choose a portable generator based on the fuel source you find most practical to use.
Fuel Tank Capacity
The larger the fuel tank, the longer the portable generator can last between refuelling. Most generators feature fuel tanks that have a run time of around seven hours, depending on their own power output at a 50% load. You can run the generator for much longer by using a lower percentage of the power than the full load that your generator can produce. If you ever have the option to choose between a smaller or larger tank, the larger one makes for a more suitable option.
For homeowners who do not expect power outages for extended periods, a generator with a smaller fuel tank might be a more convenient option since the generator will be more compact.
A lot of smaller generators feature designs with low noise features. There are many generators that produce low noise and then there are products that can make your ears bleed. It goes without saying that the best portable generator for your home will have a low noise level while it is operating.
If you have below 4,000W range of power output needed, you can get a generator that produces low noise. The larger the generator, the more the output it will deliver and the greater the noise produced. Inverter generators are less noisy, more fuel-efficient, and a lot more convenient for most homeowners.
There are a lot of “portable” power generators in the market, but portability can be different for different people. There are generators that come in a highly compact and lightweight package that you can carry around with your hands with a little effort. Then, there are generators that cross the 300lbs mark that you cannot budge without help. Those portable generators are supposed to have wheels and pull handles that make them relatively portable, but they are not as portable as the lighter models.
If you need a generator for use at home, portability might not be that big of an issue once you set it up somewhere. For homeowners who plan on taking their generators on camping trips and for other applications, the tinier generators might be a better option to consider.
There are different types of engines available for generators nowadays. Inverter generators are becoming increasingly common nowadays. It is a more efficient engine that has overhead valves. These engines make the generator quieter, cleaner, more fuel-efficient and longer lasting. They may carry a greater price tag than a traditional engine, but the overall cost of running the generator in the long run makes up for it.
Number of Outlets
Different generator models come with a varying number of power outlets. Choose a portable generator that has a sufficient number of outlets that can meet your output needs.
Safety Tips for Portable Generators
How to Use Your Portable Generator Properly
When you are getting a portable generator for the first time and you do not know much about it, it is better to get a professional to come in and install a transfer switch on the generator for you. These switches allow the generator to connect directly to the electrical circuit for your home during a power outage. Trying to do this yourself can put you and your loved ones in danger. You can either risk electrical shock while trying to install the transfer switch or create a fire hazard if you do not do the wiring properly.
Another thing to note while using gasoline generators is that they burn fuel for producing energy. As they burn the gasoline, generators produce carbon monoxide fumes. Carbon monoxide can be fatal. Make sure you never keep the generator indoors while it is operating. Keep it in a space with proper ventilation away from indoor spaces.
Maintenance and Safety Measures for your Portable Generator
No matter how good a portable generator may be, proper maintenance is a must if you want to get the best out of it for a longer time. To keep your portable generator running in optimal condition, you should make sure to follow safety and maintenance instructions. Generators come with manufacturer-provided manuals that explain everything about the generator and how you can take care of it properly.
Here are some general tips to keep your generator running properly:
- Use fuel stabilizer where necessary
- Keep your generator away from outdoor conditions
- Wash or replace the filters when they become visibly dirty
- Make it a point to seasonally run the lines dry
- Run the generator once every month for at least 20 minutes even if you don’t need it
- Change the oil every 100 hours of use or as recommended by the manufacturer
- Keep an ample amount of fuel on hand to operate the generator and for refuelling
Make sure you learn how to operate the generator safely. Study all the requirements for its maintenance and that you operate the generator at a safe distance from your home. Do not go for a generator that is larger than what you need or a small generator because it is more affordable. Choose one that can cater to your needs in case the power goes out and as a reminder our top pick today is the Jackery 518Wh Portable Power Station Generator.
Between the list of reviews of the best portable generators for homes and the buying guide, we are confident that you have all the information you will need to make the best buying decision.
- LONG LASTING ENDURANCE: The Explorer 500 portable power station is built with the lithium-ion battery pack, in a safely designed frame structure to maximize, and long last the power for every single use of outdoor adventures and home use.
- THE PERFECT CAPACITY: With a 518 watt-hour (24Ah, 21.6V) capacity, it is ready to power many appliances - mini fridge, cooling fan, air pump, projector, lamp light, and TV.
- SUPPORT PASS-THROUGH CHARGING: This power station features 1* AC outlet (110V 500W 1000W Peak), 3*USB-A ports, 2* DC ports, and 1*car port. Its Battery Management System governs each individual cell, improving the battery life cycle while being pass-through charged.
- DESIGNED FOR PORTABILITY: Same size as a basketball, this Explorer 500 is easy to carry with its solid handle, making it a compact and reliable choice for scenarios of camping, road-trip, RV, and home backup.
- WHAT YOU GET: 1* Jackery Explorer 500 Portable Power Station (518Wh Power Station), 1*AC adapter, 1* car charger cable, 1* user manual.
Last update on 2021-09-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API