What Is An Inverter Generator? (Worth It Or Not)

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When looking for the right portable generator you will likely stumble upon inverter generators. Find out what these are.

Inverter generators are generators with an inverter built in. This makes it so the power you get has low THD levels that are safer for sensitive electronics.

Besides this, inverter generators offer other pros and cons too.

Some of the main ones include generally quieter operation, better fuel efficiency at lower % loads, and a higher price tag.

Whether or not an inverter generator is ultimately worth it will depend on details like what you want to power, your budget, and how much you value the other benefits.

What does an inverter generator do?

While it is straightforward to understand that inverter generators are basically regular generators with an inverter built in, you likely want to know what they do too.

From a high-level view, inverter generators make it so the power you get is “clean” aka has low THD levels.

In turn, inverter generators are used for things like powering sensitive electronics (TVs, phones, certain refrigerators, etc.).

At a more detailed level, inverter generators produce high THD AC power, convert this power into DC power, and then convert this power into low THD AC power.

Are inverter generators worth it?

One of the cons of inverter generators is that they tend to be pricier than regular models. In turn, you may wonder if they are really worth it.

While your budget influences things too, inverter generators are generally worth it if you plan to power any sensitive electronics.

It is not unusual for the cost of replacing these electronics to be bigger than the extra initial investment.

Especially if you choose one of the best inverter generators and if you like some of their other benefits like generally quieter noise levels.

At the same time, it is also worth noting that not everyone needs an inverter generator.

Some people only want to power devices that don’t need low THD levels like for example a sump pump.

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Mats is the founder and head editor of Generator Decision. With a combination of critical thinking, tireless research, and a healthy interest in electronics he helps people find the right generators and how to use these. At this point in the journey, Mats has done research on hundreds of portable generators.