Last updated on January 28th, 2021 at 04:58 pm
Generators play an important part in keeping your life running during power outages. But they also play their part in increasing air pollution. They run on different combustible fuels like diesel or propane that produce harmful pollutants like carbon monoxide and sulfuric oxide. These emissions of gases make the air polluted. So, it becomes necessary to use CARB (California Air Resources Board) compliant generators to protect our environment and the whole world.
CARB is a regulatory organization responsible for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to reduce air pollution. It also finds ways to deal with climate change challenges.
So, here, we are going to talk about the best CARB compliant generators.
CARB Compliant Generators (Comparison)
Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator
WEN 56200i Portable Inverter Generator
Champion 100263 3400-watt RV-ready Portable Generator
WEN 56475 Gasoline Powered Portable Generator
Rainier R4400 Portable Generator
Generac 5946 GP6500 Portable Generator
Goplus Gas-Powered Portable Inverter Generator
CARB Compliant Generator Reviews
1. Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator – Best CARB Compliant Portable Conventional Generator
Certifications: Westinghouse WGen7500 portable generator is both the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and CARB (California Air Resources Board).
Having a CARB compliant unit means your generator is not going to affect the environment, and you can ship and use it in the state of California.
Generator Type: It is a gas-powered portable conventional generator.
Starting Mechanism: WGen7500 features all three starting mechanisms: recoil start, remote start with a key fob, and push-button electric start.
Through remote, you can easily turn your generator on and off from up to 109 yards away.
Engine and Output Power: It is featured with a 420cc Westinghouse 4-stroke OHV engine that produces 9500 watts of peak power and 7500 watts of rated power.
Fuel Tank Capacity with Runtime: A 6.6-gallon gas fuel tank with a fuel gauge gives up to 16 hours at 25% load and up to 11 hours at 50% load.
Power Outlets: Five power outlets include four 120V AC 20A GFCI protected outlets and one 120/240V AC 30A twist-lock outlet.
GFCI (Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter) protected outlets are for the safety of the users.
Transfer Switch Ready: WGen7500 is also a transfer switch ready unit. You can use the twist-lock outlet to tie the unit into your home through a transfer switch.
Sound Level: It operates at 73 dB (A).
Safety: For the generator’s safety, there is a low-oil shutdown sensor that automatically turns off the engine due to lower levels of oil. A VFT (Volt, Frequency, and Time) Data Center shares real-time updates on maintenance information.
Weight and Warranty: Westinghouse WGen7500 is backed by a 1-year limited commercial warranty and a 3-year limited residential warranty. Also, it is a heavy unit with 201 pounds of weight.
2. WEN 56200i Portable Inverter Generator – Inverter Generator
Certifications: WEN 56200i is not only a CARB compliant unit but also EPA III certified.
Generator Type: It is a gas-powered portable inverter generator.
Starting Mechanism: There is no other starting option other than the recoil start mechanism.
Engine and Output Power: WEN 56200i can generate 2000 starting watts and 1600 running watts with a 79.7cc 4-stroke OHV engine.
Pure Sine Wave: It is an inverter generator, so it produces a pure sine wave (clean power). You can freely power your sensitive electronics during a power outage. Its THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) rating is less than 1.2%. THD rating is the percentage of distortion present in a signal.
Fuel Tank Capacity with Runtime: Your generator can easily run up to 6 hours at half load on a 1-gallon fuel tank.
Eco-Mode: This eco-mode helps you in saving fuel and money. It allows the motor to adjust its fuel consumption automatically according to the load applied. The motor doesn’t run at 3600 rpm all the time.
Power Outlets: Its control panel features two 120V AC outlets, one 12V DC outlet, and a 5V USB port.
Parallel Connection: WEN 56200i allows you to connect another generator with the WEN 56421 parallel connection kit to produce more power than 2000 watts.
Sound Level: It operates very quietly at 51 dB (A).
Safety: Its safety features include overload protection and low-oil and low-fuel shutdown with indication lights.
Weight and Warranty: It is a lightweight unit with 48 pounds of weight. And, it offers a 1-year commercial and a 2-year residential warranty.
3. Champion 100263 3400-watt RV-ready Portable Inverter Generator – Dual Fuel
Certifications: It is both CARB-compliant, and EPA certified.
Generator Type: Champion 100263 unit is dual fuel, RV-ready portable inverter generator.
Sound Level: It operates at 59 dB (A), which makes it a little louder than WEN 56200i.
Starting Mechanism: You can start this Champion generator either manually or electrically. A 3-position ignition switch helps you to start the generator within seconds.
Engine and Output Power: The 192-cc 4-stroke single-cylinder engine can generate surge power of 3400 watts and rated power of 3100 watts.
Clean Power: It provides clean electricity (Less than 3% THD) for powering sensitive electronics.
Fuel Tank Capacity with Runtime: Champion 100263 can run up to 7.5 hours on a 1.6-gallon gas tank and up to 14.5 hours at quarter load on a 20-pound propane tank.
Eco-Mode: Like the Eco-mode of WEN 56200i, it saves fuel, offers quieter operation, and extends the engine life.
Parallel Connection: Connect another Champion inverter generator to meet your additional power needs.
Power Outlets: A 12V DC outlet with a dual USB adapter, two 120V AC 20A outlets, and one RV-ready 120V AC 30A outlet
Safety: Low-oil shutoff and overload protection with indication lights.
Weight and Warranty: It is heavier than WEN 56200i because it is a bigger unit. And if we talk about its warranty period, then it is for three years.
4. WEN 56475 Gasoline Powered Portable Generator – Under $500
Generator Type: This WEN 56475 is a portable RV-ready conventional generator that runs on gasoline.
Certifications: It meets all the set standards of CARB and EPA III.
Weight and Warranty: It is backed by a 2-year limited warranty and weighs 113 pounds.
Starting Mechanism: WEN 56475 supports both the electric and recoil start mechanisms.
Engine and Output Power: The 223cc OHV engine provides 4750 watts of starting power and 3750 watts of running power.
Fuel Tank Capacity with Runtime: It has a 4-gallon fuel tank that gives up to 11 hours of runtime at half load.
Power Outlets: The control panel of WEN 56475 has two 120V 20A outlets, one 120V 30A outlet, and one 120V RV-ready outlet.
Sound Level: The engine of this generator operates at 68 dB (A).
Safety: Spark arrestor, low-oil shutdown, and overload protection are all included in the safety features.
The spark arrestor allows you to use the generator in parks. It limits the sparks from getting out of the muffler.
5. Rainier R4400 Portable Generator – Under $500
Certifications: Rainier R4400 is also a CARB compliant generator.
Generator Type: It is a conventional gas-powered generator that is portable as well.
Starting Mechanism: Electric start system with a recoil backup for emergency purposes
Engine and Output Power: This unit from Rainier can generate 4400 peak watts and 3600 rated watts. It is featured with a powerful 212cc OHV 4-stroke engine that gives this impressive output power.
Fuel Tank Capacity with Runtime: It has a 4-gallon gas tank that can run the generator up to 18 hours.
Power Outlets: Its power outlets include two 120V 20A household outlets, one 120V 30A (L5-30R) outlet, and one 120V 30A (TT-30R) outlet.
Sound Level: Its operational volume is 65 dB (A) that makes it a less noisy unit than WEN 56475.
Safety: Automatic low oil shutdown protects the engine from damages.
Weight and Warranty: 3-year limited warranty and 105 pounds weight.
6. Generac 5946 GP6500 Portable Generator – Under $1000
Generator Type: Generac GP6500 runs on gasoline. It is a conventional portable generator.
Weight and Warranty: It is a heavy unit with 197 pounds of weight. And if we focus on its warranty, then it comes with a 2-year residential warranty and a 1-year commercial warranty.
Certifications: You can ship and use this generator in California because it is CARB compliant.
Starting Mechanism: It only features a recoil start system.
Engine and Output Power: Generac’s 389cc OHV engine generates 8125 starting watts and 6500 running watts.
Fuel Tank Capacity with Runtime: It features a 6.7-gallon fuel tank that can offer a runtime up to 10 hours at 50% load.
Power Outlets: There are four 120V 20A outlets and one 120/240V 30A outlet.
Safety: Low-oil level shutdown feature and covered, circuit breaker protected outlets are for your safety and protection.
7. Goplus Gas-Powered Portable Inverter Generator – Under $700
Certifications: Goplus Ironman is also a CARB certified generator.
Generator Type: It is a gasoline-powered inverter generator.
Starting Mechanism: Recoil start mechanism
Engine and Output Power: It produces 3000 starting watts and 2800 running watts.
Clean Power: Power your most sensitive electronics through this generator without any hesitation.
Fuel Tank Capacity with Runtime: Goplus Ironman has a 4-gallon gasoline tank that gives a runtime up to 7 hours at full load and up to 22.5 hours at 25% load.
Economy Mode: Economy mode is also there for maximum fuel efficiency and to extend the engine’s life.
Power Outlets: One 120V 30A outlet, one 12V DC outlet, and two 120V 20A outlets are featured.
Sound Level: Its operational sound is 60 dB (A).
Safety: Overload protection and low-oil shutdown with indicator lights
Weight and Warranty: Its weight is 116 pounds.
Output and Power Needs
Either you are buying a CARB compliant or a simple generator, you need to select the right unit. The most important thing in this aspect is power calculation. You can do this by making a list of all the appliances you need to power on the generator. Find out their starting and running wattages and calculate the total. Consider the example below.
|Appliances||Starting Wattage||Running Wattage|
|1/2 HP Furnace||2350||875|
As you can see that the starting wattage needed to start all the appliances at one time is 6250 watts, and the running wattage is 3075 watts. In such a situation, a generator with a running wattage of 4000 watts will be ideal. It is best to leave a cushion for some appliances. You can work your way around with a small generator by adding the loads one by one. If you are new in the world of generators, you will be tempted to buy a generator with 6250 running watts, and you will end up wasting a lot of money. It will also be costly to run, maintain, and repair in the long run. If you buy a smaller generator, you can save a lot of money.
Inverter vs. Conventional Generator
Both the inverter and conventional generators are CARB compliant, so you can select anyone to meet your power needs.
Inverters are compact, portable, and light in weight. Also, they produce clean AC power that is ideal for powering sensitive electronics. On the other hand, conventional generators are usually bigger in size and heavier in weight. Also, most of them can’t produce clean electric power.
Inverter generators produce less output power than conventional generators, so they are mostly used to power tailgate parties, campsites, and other outdoor gatherings. In contrast, most of the conventional units are used to power homes and RVs.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime
Inverter generators do come with small size fuel tanks, but they give excellent runtime because of the economy mode.
However, in conventional generators, you need to focus on the size of the fuel tank to get good runtime.
At least, your conventional generator must feature a 4-gallon tank to give up to 9 hours of runtime.
But the runtime also changes according to the load applied. Your generator will run for a longer period at a 25% load and will give a shorter runtime at 75% or 100% load.
The noise level depends on the generator type. If you want a generator with lower noise levels, then go for an inverter generator. These inverter generators produce no more than 60 dB (A) of noise. On the other hand, conventional generators mostly operate at 65 dB (A) or above.
You should also focus on the control panel of your generator to know which of the power outlets and how many of them are present.
If you are only purchasing a CARB compliant generator to power your house, then make sure it has at least two 120V 20A household outlets, one 120V 30A outlet, and USB ports. For tailgate parties and campsites, a 12V DC outlet becomes a must along with 120V 20A outlets and USB ports. Also, to power an RV, double-check your generator has an RV-ready outlet.
Look for a generator that will give you maximum portability. Conventional generators are heavier than inverters and hence require more high-quality wheels and carry handles. It is easy to move around with an inverter, but when it comes to conventional generators, you need to pick a lightweight generator.
Look for a CARB compliant generator that offers you maximum control through the control panel. Inverters usually have a fully advanced control panel, and you can control the unit with the help of buttons. It also displays different readings through odometers. Some conventional generators also come with a fully loaded control panel that makes the machine user-friendly and easy to handle.
The latest model will give you all the three modes for starting it up, a remote control start, an electric start, and a recoil start. A remote control is a luxury, and it may develop issues later on. It is better to look for a generator with an electric start mechanism because you don’t always feel like pulling the starting rope.
Almost all the inverters come with paralleling capabilities. It allows you to connect two inverters and get more power to run a heavy appliance. Conventional generators can be made parallel capable with a paralleling kit, but the results are not always satisfactory.
A generator with a warranty will ensure that you don’t have to spend a single penny on repairs during the warranty period. A generator can develop issues within 1-2 years of purchasing. Hence it is better to go for a unit with a warranty cover. Make sure you read the terms and conditions associated with the warranty.
CARB generators are slightly costly than conventional generators, but they keep your surroundings clean and free from harmful gases. It is better to stay within your budget while shopping for a generator. Please keep in mind that inverters are costly compared to conventional units.
Fuel Type: Gas vs. Propane
When you select a CARB compliant generator, it is better to understand gas and propane as generator fuels. We have listed some of the key differences with respect to generators.
Output: Gas has a better energy density and gives a better power output than propane. A dual fuel generator will give more power while running on gasoline as compared to propane.
Run Time: If you are using a small generator (under 4000 watts), you will get a better runtime on propane but lesser power. As the generator’s size increases, the run time for propane decreases and improves for gasoline.
Shelf Life and Availability: The shelf life of propane is 8-10 years. For gas, it is just 8-10 months. Gas and propane are available throughout the year. However, at the time of natural disasters or infrastructural problems, finding gas is a challenge. At such times, propane will help you keep the generator running. It is wise to store a propane cylinder for tough times.
Safety: Propane is safer to operate than gasoline. It won’t spill, evaporate, or catch fire.