Top Portable Inverter Generators for Emergency Home Power
Following a natural disaster like a hurricane, flood, ice storm, or any other disaster, electric utilities may leave millions of customers without power. Restoration sometimes takes days or even weeks. Meanwhile, your home and family are at risk. No power means no furnace or air conditioning. The sump pump doesn't work. Pipes freeze in cold weather. Mold grows when water floods the basement. Refrigerators are warm in four hours. Food in freezers begins to thaw in 12 to 48 hours.Frozen and refrigerated food worth hundreds or perhaps thousands of dollars spoils.
As part of every family's emergency disaster plan, FEMA recommends a backup generator or other emergency power source to keep the most basic household necessities working.
Inverter Generators run quiet and offer excellent fuel economy. Many models can run in parallel with a second inverter generator which combines the power of both units—a 2500-Watt in parallel with 2000 watt generator = 4500 watts. Between ultra-quiet operation and exceptional fuel economy, an inverter generator is a good choice for home backup during an outage.
Versatility is another factor that makes inverter generators a good choice. Take them camping, to tailgate parties, or connect the RV and power your air conditioner and appliances.
Best Inverter Generators
For emergency power during a disaster, inverter generators with a parallel option provide a good power outage solution. Fuel efficient—a gallon of fuel can last up to seven or eight hours. If you need more power than one or two inverter generators can supply, consider spending your money on a standby generator.
Need to Know: Smaller inverter generators rated at less than 5000 watts only supply 120-Volt Loads. Inverter Generators over 5000 watts may have a 120/240-Volt Outlet. Norwall has 120/240-Volt Generators with the appropriate outlets and we've included them where possible as another choice.
Cummins Onan P4500i
The most popular portable generator on the market today is the Cummins P4500i Whisper Quiet Generator. Noise at 52 dBA is less than the average conversation when measured at 23 feet. It features remote start, holds 3.4 gallons of gasoline, and run for up to 15 hours at 25% load. The panel includes two 20-Amp 120-Volt 5-20R (standard household) outlets, one 30-Amp 120-Volt TT-30R RV outlet, and two USB charging ports. An LED digital data center displays fuel remaining, percent output power, power output, voltage, current fuel level, and lifetime run hours for one-time maintenance. The P4500i is parallel capable with a parallel cord. Pair two generators for 7400 total running watts.
Package contents include the remote start fob, battery, battery charger, and one bottle of SAE 10W30 Oil. The generator has a telescoping handle for easy portability and comes with the wheel kit assembled. This generator meets USFS noise guidelines for use in National Parks, RV Parks, and Campgrounds, so it won't keep your neighbors awake when used for as an emergency generator.
Also Popular the Cummins Onan P2500i 2500 Watt Inverter Generator
Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart 3000 Watt
With 2600 watts of continuous power and a 3000 watt surge capacity, the PowerSmart can handle several of your important household loads during an disaster emergency. It features a luggage style telescoping handle with both front and rear lift-assist handles and 6-inch never flat wheels. The Briggs and Stratton P3000 operates for 9 hours at 25 percent load or 5 hours at 50 percent load on 1.5 gallons of gasoline.
Included features include the convenient control panel with USB charging outlet and an LCD display for power outage and hours. A maximum of three percent total harmonic distortion ensures your most sensitive electronics get the power they need. The computer controlled generator runs quieter and more efficiently than other portables.
Weighing in at 90 pounds, the PowerSmart packs a lot of power into a small package. If 2600 watts are not enough, add a second PowerSmart with a parallel cable for 4800 watts total. The panel includes four 20-amp 120 volt outlets and one 30-amp 240 volt outlet. A 12-volt outlet is also included. Two-year limited warranty.
Need More Power, Check out the Briggs and Stratton Q6500 with 120/240 Volt Capability
Champion 3400 Watt Dual Fuel
Powered by gasoline, the Champion Dual Fuel had a 3100 watt continuous capacity. Connect a 20-pound propane tank and still have 2790 watts of continuous power. Features push button electric start alongside it's easy-pull recoil start. 1.6 gallons of gasoline lasts up 7.5 hours at 25 percent load. A single tank of propane lasts 14.5 hours.
Outlets include a single 30-amp, 120 volt, two 20-amp 120-volt outlets, a 12 volt charger, and a 12 volt automotive-style outlet. At 95 pounds, the built-in handles and wheels make rolling it out easy and fast. The Champion 4650 Inverter Generator includes as LPG Quick Connect hose with regulator.
Parallel ready, it requires a parallel kit sold separately to use with a second Champion generator. The Dual fuel is one of the quietest inverter portables on the market at just 53db measured at 23 feet. Low-oil shutoff and spark arrestor. Comes with an oil funnel, smart charger for the electric start battery, and a 12-volt DC USB charger. Two-year Limited Consumer Warranty. EPA and CARB certified.
Need More Power? Check Out the 120/240-Volt Champion 5000 Watt Inverter Generator
The WH2200iXLT offers a 13 hour run time on just 1.3 gallons of fuel, while keeping noise to a minimum at 59db under a 50 percent load. It weighs just 43 pounds, has a recoil start, power indicator, overload reset, high efficiency mode and low-oil shutdown. The Westinghouse WH2200iXLT (XLT=Extra Low Tone) is rated at 1800 watts of continuous power and 2200 watts of surge power. Clean power with less than three percent harmonic distortion for all your electroncis.
The case and controls feature bright yellow touch points. Outlets include two 15-amp 120-volt receptacles and one 8.3-amp 12-volt receptacle. The light weight and carrying handle makes it easily portable for just about anyone to carry.
The 2200iXTL is parallel ready using the available WHPC parallel cable for up to 3600 watts of continuous power. Includes 13.5 ounce bottle of engine oil, a tool kit, and an EZ-fill oil bottle. EPA and CARB certified. Two-year limited warranty.
Get More Power from the Westinghouse iGen4500.
Lightweight. Fits the definition of portable perfectly at just 60 pounds and packed with features you won't find on many other portables. It supplies 3000 Starting Watts for starting motors, and 2300 continuous watts. The Generac GP3000i 3000 Watt Inverter Generator operates for 4 to 5 hour on 1.1 gallons of gasoline at about 50 percent load.
Features include an OFF–Run—Choke Dial Switch, LED indicators for Low Oil, Overload, and AC Power. Efficiency mode for saving fuel. The GP3000i is parallel capable with the optional Model 6877 parallel kit. Run two generators together in parallel for up to 4600 running watts of power and 6000 starting watts. Provides two, 120-Volt 20-Amp Outlets and one, 120-Volt 30 Amp Oulet.
Includes Generac's 3-year limited consumer warranty.
You may also be interested in the Generac GP2200i Portable Inverter Generator
Need To Know
An emergency source of power during a long term outage is important. A generator or other power source for backup is a good idea, according to FEMA.
Gasoline has a limited shelf life. Unless kept fresh with a stabilizer, it may clog the carburetor. One solution is a propane powered generator.
Dual Fuel Generators run on propane and gasoline, adding versatility and extending run times beyond a single tank of gas or propane.
Updated September, 2021