what is an inverter generator

What is an Inverter Generator

What Is an Inverter Generator?

An inverter generator is one of the newer kinds of portable generators. They are more electronically advanced because they are able to automatically adjust the speed of their engines to whatever the current electrical demand is.

This is unique because most other, older generators would run at a constant speed regardless of the load size. Due to this, an inverter generator is able to reduce its noise level and fuel consumption significantly.

Also Read – Best Generator for under $1000

Types of Inverter Generator

Of course, not all inverter generators are the same! This type of generator does come in different sizes and with different output capabilities. Read on to learn about some of the different types and sizes of inverter generators– there is truly a model for any list of requirements.


A recreational inverter generator could also be referred to as a small generator. They generally weigh between 50 to 60 pounds and have a maximum output of about 2000 watts. Inverter generators of this size are designed to be carried around by one hand and are perfect for activities such as tailgating or camping– hence the “recreational” title.

Mid Sized

Mid-sized inverter generators are typically too large or heavy to be carried like a recreational inverter but usually, come on wheels instead. These models clock in at around 80 pounds or more. For output, mid-sized generators usually produce between 2500 and 4500 watts.

They are great choices for users of recreational vehicles, or RVs because they can produce the necessary power for appliances but are still light enough to unload or move around.


To be considered a large inverter generator, a model would have to weigh significantly more than mid-sized options. These types of generators generally weigh around 250 pounds.

They are able to generate about 5000 watts of power and are too large for easy transport– whether for tailgating, like a recreational model or for an RV, like a mid-sized model! Since these are too heavy to lift, they are usually outfitted with wheels so that you can still move them around your space. 

Advantages of Inverter Generators

Cleaner Power

Inverter generators provide cleaner power than their conventional counterparts. The quality of the power is actually on par with the electricity provided by your electric company itself. The technology of the inverter generator emits a sine wave, which emits less in the way of fuel emissions, and also helps to output cleaner energy. Due to this, the energy produced is much safer for electronics. 

Fuel Efficiency

This type of generator is fuel efficient because it works smarter, not harder. Inverter generators have a technology that allows them to adjust the speed of the fans intuitively and automatically, rather than you having to do it manually– or having to run at a constant speed, regardless of what is needed. When less power is needed, the generator can run at lower speeds, which saves energy and uses less fuel at the same time.


Luckily for homeowners, inverter generators also require low levels of maintenance! On the other hand, conventional generators typically do require more maintenance. For inverter generators, however, maintenance is limited to battery inspection or replacement, which is advised to be done monthly for the smoothest possible operation.

Low Noise Levels

Inverter generators are quieter than conventional generators are. Most models produce sound at lower than 60 decibels, which, if you did not know, equates to the sound of a quiet conversation.

The noise level of the inverter generator can be likened to a gentle hum. Since the engine is small and it works at a steady pace, it produces less noise than its conventional counterparts. In addition, inverter generators are specifically constructed with a noise-reducing design that implements closed casing and installed mufflers that are meant to be sound-insulating. 

Disadvantages of Inverter Generators

Lower Power Output 

Inverter generators are not as powerful as conventional generators, so depending upon your needs, this type of generator may not be the best option for you.

Their outputs range in the mid to low thousands for wattage, so they are best for running small household appliances, outdoor equipment, and RVs. Inverter generators can also be run parallel with a duplicate generator to increase power output. 


Inverter generators are also more expensive, partially because they are a newer type of generator. Many believe, however, that while the upfront investment for an inverter generator can be a lot, the unit provides plenty of advantages to make it worthwhile in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an inverter generator and a regular generator?

A regular generator uses a mechanical alternator to produce alternating current or AC, the power that is already ready to use. Inverter generators also create AC power with the help of an alternator. However, inverter generators then convert the AC power to direct current, or DC, power, and then finally convert it back to cleaner AC power with the assistance of a microprocessor. 

What are the cons of an inverter generator?

Inverter generators have a few disadvantages, which include a higher cost than conventional portable generators, as well as their power output. Inverter generators are not quite as powerful as regular generators, so their power output is lower on average. 

Which is better, an inverter or generator?

Either of these types of generators could be better, depending on what you are looking for. Inverters are not as powerful and do not have as much power output, but they produce cleaner energy than conventional generators do. In fact, it is comparable in quality to the power that is provided by your electric company!

What are the advantages of an inverter generator?

Inverter generators do have some perks, too. These include greater fuel efficiency, which is due to their lower fuel requirements, and less distortion because of cleaner voltage. They are quieter and easier to maintain than conventional options. Inverter generators also have lower carbon emissions and are considered to be more environmentally friendly.

Can you Run a Generator in a Garage? 

Running a generator in your garage requires A LOT of consideration and planning. If the garage door is open and the generator is placed near the outside you are probably fine, this is because the airflow is adequate for the generator and the exhaust fumes. However, if it is cold outside and the doors are closed you need to think about ventilation and airflow. We have a full guide on what to do HERE.