Each time someone is looking for a reliable generator, then a brand such as Honda comes to mind first. This is because Honda has the reputation of making high quality generators that can run for decades at times.
Well, we all know that Hondas are not the cheapest. It is why you also have to consider brands such as Powerhorse. Powerhorse has been around for a while now and the brand has been known to deliver quality generators at an affordable price.
Before all that, let us see the buying tips for choosing an inverter generator.
Table of Contents:
What to Consider
Look at the Device Power Consumption
This is the most important consideration you will ever have to keep in mind when choosing a generator.
You need to get yourself a generator that can handle the power needs of your house or RV electronics.
So, the first thing you have to do is total up the power ratings of each of the devices that you intend to use with the generator. From the total power, then you can know which type of generator to buy.
We often recommend that you oversize your generator by a factor of 1.25. This is to provide you with a buffer of power just in case you need to add more electronics to the generator.
Another reason is that you do not want the generator running at full capacity all the time when you decide to power everything. This can lead to the generator making a lot of noise.
Now that you know which generator power would be ideal for you, go ahead and check out its rated noise level.
The noise level will be indicated in terms of decibels in the product description.
From the rated noise level, you would know what next to do so that you do not end up with a noisy generator.
Most generators would have a range of 45 decibels to 80 decibels or more for the noisy models.
If you want something quiet for your home or campsite, get a generator with a noise level of around 65 decibels and below.
Generator Fuel Efficiency
It is always great when you get a model that does not use a lot of fuel. This is because you will not have to keep refueling the generator just to power your home.
Majority of the portable generators will come with a great fuel efficiency. This is where they would deliver great performance on a single tank of gas.
Depending on the type of generator you get, some models can run for 20 hours straight without refueling. It can be such a great generator for campsites where there are no fuel stations.
Take note that most of the rated runtime will be based on when the generator is running at 25% load capacity. So, if you add more electrical load, then the generator runtime reduces.
There is also the build quality to keep in mind.
The build quality often determines the reliability and durability of the generator.
There are some models that might not last as long as you would have wanted. No one wants to buy a new generator every year. So, take the time to learn more about its engine, power generation, and more features to see if its build quality is good or not.
Sometimes reading reviews from other users can help a lot in finding a great model with the best build quality.
Ease of Starting
The starting mechanism can quickly turn a great generator into a nightmare for the user.
You need a generator that will be easy to start and run all the time you need a source of power.
The most common methods of starting a generator are electric start and the recoil start systems.
The recoil start is the classic method of starting the generator by pulling a cord. For a good model, you only have to pull the cord once or twice for the generator to start.
The use of electric start has been on the rise recently. This is where you simply press a button on the generator and it roars to life. Electric starts can be great in most cases so that you do not have to keep pulling the cord to start the generator.
Size and Weight
When choosing the best inverter generator, you also have to consider the size and weight of the generator. They will often determine if the generator is portable or not.
When looking at the size, go for a compact unit. The manufacturers will highlight the product dimensions so that you can tell whether it is compact or not.
For the weight, you need something less than 150 lbs. Most of the portable models will be under 100 lbs., so that you can have an easier time carrying them around.
Some heavier models will have wheels for pulling the generator to your desired location. The additional handles can make it easier to move the generator around as you want.
The Powerhorse LC3500i inverter generator is all about providing the user with quiet reliable power. Its total harmonic distortion is also low so that you can power even the sensitive electronics without disturbances.
So far, it seems like a good generator. Below are more features about the generator that would make it an ideal choice for many users.
The Power and Run Time
The model comes with a 212cc OHV 4-stroke engine that runs on gasoline. This engine can generate peak wattage of 3500W and rated wattage of 3000W.
With this kind of power, the model should be able to power different electronics with ease. You can be sure to end up with a great generator for the money.
Another thing you will like about the generator power is that it is parallel capable. This is where you can link the generator to a similar or compatible unit to double the power.
Looking at the runtime, we find it being a great choice for using over long hours. This is because it can operate for 11 hours on its 2.6-gallon fuel tank.
You would also want to know more about its noise level as it is working. Well, the model generates a noise level of 57dBA. This level of noise is less than what you get with a refrigerator working.
To start the generator, you can use either the electric start or the recoil start. Since the battery is included, many people are likely to use the electric start.
The generator still boasts of clean power. This is because it generates less than 2% total harmonic distortion. You can be using it with the sensitive electronics safely without worrying that the generator might fry the electronics.
You will get three AC outlets with this model. The AC outlets make it easy for you to connect directly to the electronics.
One of the AC outlets allows for connecting an adaptor to connect to the RV. Make sure to use high quality adaptors all the time.
There is also a DC outlet on the unit. It is receptacle so that you can easily charge batteries.
Many people love its closed design. It gives it a more appealing look compared to an open frame design.
Because of its size, you will find it being easily portable. Having the contemporary design makes it easy to carry it around for portable power.
Its dry weight is 99.2 lbs. For this kind of weight, it is not the heaviest in the market. Many users will find it being the right size and weight if you need something portable.
Looking at the control panel, we find that the model comes with everything that you need to easily handle it.
Some of the things you will find on the control panel include lifetime run hours, power output, voltage, and more.
You will also get several light indicators that show you when the oil level is insufficient or when the generator is experiencing an overload.
Such warnings are crucial to the overall functioning of the generator. The last thing you want is for the generator to run low on lubrication.
In terms of security, the generator has an overload protection circuit. This is where it will automatically shut down the generator if it detects an overload to prevent any damage.
You will be happy to know that this inverter generator comes with the important emissions approvals. They include EPA and CARB compliances.
Since the generator has all these approvals, it would be easy to buy it from any state in the US.
Honda as a brand is known for its reputable products. We expect to get the same with the EU3000iS inverter generator. This generator is one of their small generators, but it is still able to generate enough power that you would want for backup or powering your RV.
Here are a few of its top features that make it a great generator for the money.
Design and Size
The design is simple and functional. For many, they will not have any complaints about how it looks.
Well, the simple design lacks wheels, so it might not be the easiest to carry around for some people. It comes with a dry weight of 131 lbs. and that goes up when topped up with gasoline.
Even if it is slightly heavy, it is still a portable generator. You can take it with you to different camping destinations in your RV or use it at home as a backup generator.
This is a top consideration for anyone who is looking to get an inverter generator.
The generator comes with a 4-stroke engine just as the Powerhorse model mentioned above. The difference is that this one generates rated power of 2800 watts and starting power of 3000 watts.
Always focus on the rated power as that is what you will mostly get when the generator is running.
If we look at the power, we also have to consider the run time too.
The manufacturer claims that it can run for 7.2 to 20 hours depending on the load capacity. Having a small load running on the generator will leave you using it for hours without refueling.
Now that you know its run time, it would be nice to also learn more about the noise that it generates.
This is a super quiet generator. Well, super quiet in terms of generator noise. This is because it generates a noise level of 58dBA. When the load is lower, the noise level drops to 48 dBA. For comparison, a normal conversation will be 50dBA.
For such low noise, we find it ideal for those who want to go camping and not disturb the peace of their neighbors.
The Control Panel
The generator comes with an easy to use control panel. It is easy to operate the generator because the controls are simple.
There are neatly printed warning signs so that you can correctly operate the generator without making too many errors.
The generator still has a comprehensive manual for you to learn more about it. From the manual, it is easy to handle the generator better.
Are Powerhorse generators worth purchasing?
Based on the many reviews of Powerhorse generators, they are known to be reliable, compact, and fuel efficient. These are all important features any person would want to get from a portable generator.
Is it easy to start the Powerhorse LC3500i generator?
This generator comes with an electric start for convenience. So, it will be easy to start the generator for most people. They will find it ideal for quickly starting it when you need a power source. It also comes with a battery so that you can start it right out of the box.
What kind of safety features do you get with the Powerhorse LC3500i generator?
The generator comes with a qualified spark arrestor as one of its safety features. This is to prevent a possible fire outbreak when using the generator out in the wild.
Also, it comes with a low oil alert. This is to protect the engine from running without enough lubrication.
Does the Honda EU3000iS come with wheels?
No. Its design does not include wheels for portability. Instead, the user will have to carry it around using the handles. If you can get two people carrying together, then it becomes relatively easy to carry the generator.
Is the Honda EU3000iS a noisy generator?
The Honda EU3000iS generates a noise level of 49 to 58 dBA, which is super quiet for a generator. It is possible to have a conversation around the generator without shouting. The noise level depends on the load attached to the generator. If you add more load then the noise increases.
What is the rated run time of the Honda EU3000iS generator?
The manufacturer claims that it can run up to 20 hours on its 3.4-gallon fuel tank. This often depends on the load that is connected to the generator. If you connect a huge load, then the runtime can be reduced to 7 hours.
Having the eco-throttle feature allows the generator to run at a speed good enough to power the load. There will be no need to run the generator at a high speed when the load connected is small.
Budget buyers have the option of going for the Powerhorse LC3500i generator. It stands out for offering more running wattage while at the same time cost a fraction of what the Honda costs. So, if you do not have much to spend, but you want more power, then Powerhorse it is.
For those who want a generator from a brand known for its reliability, then the Honda EU3000iS can be a nice choice too. The model stands out for its overall performance and build quality that would make someone go for it easily.