Regular Generators vs Inverter Generators

Inverter generators are different from regular generators in some significant ways. When choosing a generator, you should know what these differences are, and whether you need a regular or inverter generator. In this post, we will discuss the key differences between inverter and regular generators.


The main difference between these two types of generators is in the types of electricity they produce. A conventional generator produces only AC electricity. But when it comes to an inverter generator, electricity is produced in 3 phases.

Inverter generators are unique due to their stable sine wave. Harmonic distortion is minimal, and that is why this type of generator is often referred to as a clean electricity source. A conventional generator, on the other hand, has a messy sine wave.

Here are the basic of harmonic distortion if you want to learn more:

Power and fuel efficiency

In general, inverter generators produce less power than conventional generators. It also depends on some mechanical differences, and the size of the fuel tank. If you are looking for an energy efficient generator, an inverter generator can be a good choice.

Inverter generators come with small fuel tanks, and these generators use less fuel than conventional generators. However, if your project requires a larger power output, you should choose a regular generator.


Inverter generators are designed for easy portability. On the other hand, regular generators are not so easy to move from one place to another, partly because they have larger fuel tanks. So, clearly inverter generators are smaller than regular generators.

For easy portability, an inverter generator usually has a handle. An inverter generator is usually below 100 pounds. But there are some inverter generators that weigh only 40 pounds.


Regular generators usually make a lot of noise. A conventional generator is noisy even if it has noise-minimizing efforts. On the other hand, inverter generators are significantly quieter. The reason behind this reduced noise is that an inverter generator runs at a steady rpm.

In the product description, you will find how much noise the generator will make. The amount of decibels is given in the description. In general, an inverter generator produces 50-60 decibels of noise. On the other hand, a regular generator produces more than 70 decibels of noise.

Parallel connections

An inverter generator has a lower power output, and that is why manufacturers attach a parallel connection to the generator. Using this connection, you can connect two inverter generators to increase the amount of power.

But conventional generators do not offer this feature. And that makes sense, because these generators are already powerful.


No matter which state you live in, you will have to abide by the rules regarding greenhouse gas emissions. There are differences between regular generators and inverter generators in this regard. Most portable generators are EPA compliant. If you live in California, you have to make sure that your generator is CARB compliant.

Regular generators emit more greenhouse gas than inverter generators. So, if meeting environmental requirements is important to you, you may prefer an inverter generator. But if your appliances need lots of power, you should choose a regular generator.


Inverter generators are a bit pricier than regular generators. So, if you are looking for a budget generator, you will probably have to buy a regular generator. But the prices of inverter generators vary widely. In general, inverter generators come with more fancy features. If you have a low budget, you will easily find a lower-end inverter generator.


How to Figure Out What Power Generator You Need

If you are living in an area with extreme weather, you are familiar with the agony of power outages. They can make life unbearable. In such a situation, a power generator can make things a lot easier. A generator can make your home or office more secure during power outages.

But there are many different types of power generators on the market, and choosing a good one is not as easy as it sounds. In this post, you will learn how to choose a power generator that meets your requirements. Here are a few scenarios that determine your decision to buy a power generator.

You have to deal with frequent power outages

Sometimes, power outages can be prolonged. If you are living in an area with extreme weather conditions such as ice storms, blizzards and hurricanes, chances are that you experience frequent power outages. If that is the case, you can choose a portable, large inverter or home standby generator.

Any of these 3 types of generators can power your house. A generator can be connected directly to a circuit breaker panel. Appliances that can be run by a generator include water heaters, electric ranges, sump pumps and well pumps. You can install a generator yourself or hire an electrician to get the job done.

You experience occasional outages

If power outages are not frequent, and you experience them frequently, you may not want to spend a lot of money on a power generator. A budget generator is enough to deal with occasional power outages. In such a case, you can choose either a portable or a large inverter generator.

If power outages are not too frequent, you may not want to buy a regular generator, because it will cost significantly more than an inverter generator. The process of installation is also a bit complex. That is why, for most people, an inverter generator is a better option. But the prices of inverter generators vary a lot, and you have to find a good one within your budget.

You rarely have power outages

Even if power outages are extremely rare, you may want to have a power generator. It will at least give you some peace of mind. In such a case you can buy a recreational inverter generator or a midsize inverter generator.

A midsized inverter generator is enough to keep a space heater or a fridge running. Recreational models, however, have an advantage. They are compact, and therefore more easily portable. Choose a recreational model if portability is important to you.

Understanding  wattage

If you know a thing or two about wattage, you will easily figure out what power generator you need. How many appliances would you like to use. Just add up the wattage of those appliances and you will come up with a number. It is also important to know that some appliances such as sump pumps, refrigerators and air conditioners use more power when they cycle on. You can also use wattage calculators which can commonly be found online.

So it is a good idea to account for these surge watts. Your appliances require and certain amount of wattage and an electrician can help you figure that out. The process is in fact pretty simple.

So, we see that the selection of a power generator depends on multiple factors. If you take all these factors into consideration, hopefully you will be able to choose the perfect generator. And if you find the process a bit complicated, you can get the help of an experienced electrician.