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Home Columnists 6- Factors to Consider When Shopping For A Suitable Inverter Generator

6- Factors to Consider When Shopping For A Suitable Inverter Generator

by Milcah Lukhanyu
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Generators have been serving their purpose of delivering power at the most remote locations, and at times of power setbacks due to natural calamities. These machines have evolved a thousandfold in terms of design and performance.

And with state of the art technology, inverter generators are another addition this new modern era versions of generators. These generators are exceptional in operation and functioning and have been a better trade-off compared to its conventional counterparts.

While a hands-on traditional vs inverter generator face-off would result in a win-win for the inverter technology, but when it comes to shopping for one, this fact is just not enough. With a staggering $4Bn estimated global market size, the inverter generator market has a lot to offer considering the performance, design, features, and price besides several variants from a plethora of manufacturers out there.

Such a scenario can be quite daunting for anyone who is on a search for the best inverter generators for their need. But then, it’s not as complicated as it might seem. All this can be made simple with the right set of information. There are specific facts that can influence your overall buying process, and you need to take care of these to achieve that post-purchase satisfaction.

Understanding these factors not only would make the whole shopping thing easy but also help you get the idea of a thing or two about the machine as to what makes it a better choice. So here are 6 such factors that you should consider when it comes to shopping for a suitable inverter generator.

1.     Understanding Your Power Requirements

Before you plan on buying yourself a reliable generator, you need to analyze your own power consumption pattern and overall wattage requirements. It refers to the factors like whether you need a general-purpose inverter to handle your power outage or a portable and easy to carry one for your road trip and camping power needs. Besides, those being heavy-duty or light-duty depends on what type of, and how many appliances you need power for simultaneously.

If your total power need cumulatively sums up to well under 1500W, then a compact-sized 2000W inverter generator would be the right choice. But if you plan to use multiple bulky devices along with the regular appliances, try switching to more extensive power options. For instance, if you need to power your television, refrigerator, fans, lights, along with occasional use of a blender and electric griller, then its better to go for a 3500W or 3500W+ option.

2.     Overall Design and Built-up Quality of the Generator

Since most of the inverter generators (except for the solar versions) emit harmful gases, they are unfit to be operated indoors. For that, one needs to set them up outside the house, exposing it to the harsh weather conditions. The same goes out if you use it for your outdoor recreational purposes. Besides, durability again becomes a primary concern if you subject it to frequent transportations for your RV’ing, and camping needs as the generator should be tough enough to handle a few knees and bumps on the way.

For this reason, when shopping for inverter generators, make sure the overall built is sturdy enough to outlast the extreme outdoor nature and weather conditions and is designed to be easily manageable at the same time.

3.     Are You A Frequent Outgoer?

Availability of a compact design with a lightweight size is a must if you are an outdoor enthusiast and are looking for power-backup options. While inverter generators do come in quite small and compact forms compared to the standard ones, there are several other options out to look for to get the best ease-of-portability benefits. Low power (1000-2000W) versions can be as light as 20lbs to 30lbs in weight and come with a sturdy handle design for carrying it in one hand. However, for more considerable power, you might want a sturdy pair of wheels and ergonomic handle to transport the generator around as they can be cumbersome as 100lbs or more (for 4000W or more depending on the brand & manufacturer). Also, make sure the weight is well balanced on the frame at the same time so that you (or the machine) don’t trip off while rolling up or down the slopes.

4.     Complexity While Cascading These Generators for More Power

One of the biggest pros of inverter generators is their capability to get connected in parallel combination for delivering more power. While you might be thinking that why not go for a more massive power standard generator instead as it will cost cheaper, but then it is the fuel efficiency, low noise, extra run time and many such advantages that make inverter technology surpass that of the standard ones.

But then, not all inverter generators get along in parallel with one another. A lot depends on the output power generation, connection type and manufacturer specifications to comply with to get two inverter generators cascade successfully. So make sure you go through the product specifications and detail section and check the compatibility of the machine that you are going to buy with any other ones that you already own previously.

5.     Understanding The Performance Indicators – RunTime, Fuel Tank Size, and Fuel for your Inverter Generator

The runtime efficiency of an inverter generator way surpasses that of a conventional one as these machines are built with the technology to match the output demands and only generate the amount as per the connected appliance wattage and only consumes fuel as much is wanted to run the limited appliances. But then, this factor includes the size of the tank as well as fuel efficiency offered by various manufacturers in similar model types, so keep a check on these two things while choosing an inverter generator.

While there are different models available as per the fuel type (gasoline-powered, propane-powered, or solar) the pros and cons of each one varies a lot and can influence the selection of your best inverter generator from the available ones. While you have to handle the fuel and storage if you plan to go for gas or propane-powered versions, that won’t be the case with the solar versions.

Similarly, the device maintenance also varies with the preferred fuel type. Gas-powered inverter generators are quite prone to oil spilling. They often tend to mess up the area where they operate and are stored. However, this is not the case with propane versions.

6.     Keep A Look Out For The Additional Features

While the functioning of the machine might be the same, a lot of models of inverter generators will differ in terms of features and other add-ons that they offer. This can also affect the price and brand of the generators. Not only will it make the overall handling easy, but will also make the generator more convenient to use. Look out for features such as multiple outlets, detachable console, fuel gauge, ground-fault circuitry, remote access, etc.

Go Green with the Solar Option

Inverter generators are already designed to deliver cleaner energy with minimum impact of pollution. Still, you can also take it a step further by opting for solar inverter generators for fulfilling your energy and power requirements in the cleanest way available. These appliances count zero in carbon emission and can be readily used indoors. All you need to assure is access to proper and consistent sunlight on the panels, and you are good to go.

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