Why look for a Quiet Generator?
If you have ever worked or sat near a running generator, you know how disturbing its sound can be. Quiet generators with a lower sound rating have been introduced to save humans, animals, and the environment from the harmful impacts of sound produced by a generator. These generators, or more commonly known as inverter generators, are known for their quiet operation and low running sound. Research conducted by NCBI explains the auditory and non-auditory effects of noise pollution on human health. When the exposure is prolonged, it can lead to hearing loss, stress, poor concentration, decreased productivity, communication problems, fatigue, insomnia, and more severe issues like cardiovascular problems and cognitive impairment. National Geographic has also explained the harmful effects of noise pollution on human health and wildlife. When you are running a noisy generator, you are not only putting yourself and your family in danger, the animals around, environment, and neighbors are all disturbed by its roaring sound.
Some local authorities and states also limit the maximum sound your generator can produce. Therefore, it is your legal, moral and ethical duty to keep the generator sound as low as possible. Finding a quiet generator according to your needs that is durable, reliable, affordable can get very challenging at times. To help you out, we have developed this guide for quiet generators. In this article, you will find some of the best quiet generators available in the market, a buying guide, and a FAQ section. It will assist you in buying the best generator with a minimum sound rating.
Quiet Generator Reviewed
Westinghouse iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator
Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator
Champion Power Equipment 4000-watt Inverter Generator
Briggs and Stratton P2200 Portable Inverter Generator
WEN 56380i Portable Inverter Generator
WEN 56235i Super Quiet 2350-Watt Generator
Generac iQ2000 Gas Powered Inverter Generator
Ryobi Digital Inverter Generator
Rockpals R2000i Inverter Generator
1. Westinghouse iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator – Quiet Generator for Tailgating
Fuel Source: It is a gas-powered inverter generator.
Noise Level: iGen2200 operates very quietly at a decibel rating of 52 dB (A).
Engine Power: It has an efficient 79cc Westinghouse OHV engine.
Power Output: Westinghouse generates 2200 starting watts and 1800 running watts.
THD Rating: Less than 3% THD rating makes it safe to power sensitive electronics. THD is Total Harmonic Distortion that shows how much distortion is there in a signal.
Weight, Warranty, Certifications:
The weight of this unit is 46.3 pounds.
A 3-year limited warranty backs it.
It is an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), USFS (United States Forest Service), and CARB (California Air Resources Board) compliant generator.
Power Outlets: We have two 120V AC 20A household outlets and two 5V DC USB ports. All these outlets are covered.
Fuel Tank Capacity and Runtime: You will get 12 hours of runtime on a 1.2-gallon fuel tank. This great runtime is because of the Eco-mode. You will turn it on to get maximum fuel efficiency.
Parallel Capability: It is also parallel capable that allows you to connect with other generators to generate more power. It would help if you had the Westinghouse parallel cord to link iGen 1200, iGen2200, iGen2500, and WX2200iXLT.
Safety Features: Low-oil shutdown with an indicator that turns off the engine when oil levels go down. Overload protection with an indicator protects the engine from taking the extra load.
2. Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator – Best Expensive Quiet Generator
Fuel Source: Honda EU2200i is also a super quiet generator that is gasoline-powered.
Noise Level: Its operational sound is between 48 dB (A) and 57 dB (A).
Engine Power: It has a robust and reliable engine, 121cc GXR120, with an air-cooled cooling system.
Power Output: Starting watts it can produce are 2200 and 1800 are the running watts.
Fuel Tank Capacity and Runtime: The fuel tank capacity of this generator is less than Westinghouse iGen2200. It can give a maximum runtime of 9.5 hours on a 0.95-gallon tank.
Parallel Capability: Connect another Honda EU2200i to double the output power.
Safety Features: There is a fuel shutoff switch that allows the generator to run without fuel to prevent stale gas related problems. Also, we have overload protection and low-oil shutdown with indicators.
THD Rating: EU2200i is relatively safe for sensitive electronics as it produces clean and stable power.
Weight, Warranty, Certifications: It comes with a 3-year limited warranty. Also, its weight is 47 pounds.
Power Outlets: If we focus on power outlets, there are two 120V AC 15A outlets and 12V DC charging ports.
3. Champion Power Equipment 4000-watt Inverter Generator – Best Quiet Generator for RV
Fuel Source: It is a gasoline-powered RV-ready Digital Hybrid inverter generator.
Noise Level: Champion 100302 noise level is little on the higher side, but still 64 dB (A) is quite acceptable.
Weight, Warranty, Certifications: If we talk about its weight, then it weighs 81.6 pounds. Also, its warranty period is of 3 years.
Engine Power: We have a 224cc Champion OHV engine.
Power Output: Champion can produce 4000 watts of peak power and 3500 watts of rated power.
Fuel Tank Capacity and Runtime: You will be able to power your appliances up to 17 hours on a 2.9-gallon tank at a 25% load. There is an Eco-mode that saves fuel and extends the life of the engine.
THD Rating: The THD rating of this unit is less than 3%.
Power Outlets: The control panel is featured with two 120V household outlets and one 120V RV-ready outlet.
Parallel Capability: You can generate more power from your unit by connecting another generator with it.
Safety Features: Low-oil shutdown and overload protection with indicators.
4. Briggs and Stratton P2200 Portable Inverter Generator – Best Quiet Generator for Camping
Fuel Source: P2200 runs on gasoline. It is a gas-powered generator.
Noise Level: Low tone muffler keeps the noise levels low. Its operational sound is at 59 dB (A).
Engine Power: The 111cc OHV engine powers it.
Power Output: If we focus on its peak and rated watts, it produces 2200 starting and 1700 running watts.
Power Outlets: There is a 12V DC outlet along with two 120V AC household outlets.
Fuel Tank Capacity and Runtime: It has a 1-gallon fuel tank that gives up to an 8-hour runtime at a 25% load.
THD Rating: With less than a 3% THD rating, this unit is relatively safe for delicate electronics.
Weight, Warranty, Certifications: The weight of P2200 is 54.6 pounds. Its warranty period is of 24 months, and it is not a CARB-compliant unit.
Parallel Capability: Briggs and Stratton P2200 is also parallel capable.
Safety Features: Low-oil indicator with automatic shutoff and overload indicator with protection
5. WEN 56380i Portable Inverter Generator – Best Quiet Generator for Home Use
Fuel Source: WEN 56380i can only run on gas.
Engine Power: A 212cc 4-stroke OHV engine powers it.
Power Output: WEN 56380i can produce 3800 peak watts and 3400 rated watts.
Noise Level:57 dB (A) at 25% load is its decibel ratings. It is a little bit quieter than Briggs and Stratton P2200.
THD Rating: It produces clean power to keep your items safe and secure. Its THD rating is less than 1.2%.
Fuel Tank Capacity and Runtime: The fuel tank capacity of this generator is 2.2 gallons. You will get a runtime of up to 8.5 hours at 50% load. There is an Eco-mode that helps you in getting this runtime.
Power Outlets: Its control panel features one 12V DC and one 5V USB port. Also, we have two 120V AC household receptacles and one RV-ready receptacle.
Weight, Warranty, Certifications: The warranty period of this machine is of 2 years. And its weight is 111 pounds. Also, it is CARB and EPA III compliant.
Parallel Capability: You can connect up to two WEN inverter units with the help of a WEN 56421 parallel connection kit to get more power output at the time of need.
Safety Features: There is a spark arrestor along with the manual fuel shutoff switch. Spark arrestor prevents spark from getting off the muffler. And the manual fuel shutoff switch allows the engine to run on the remaining fuel in the carburetor. When the main fuel supply line is cut off, the remaining fuel is used to run the generator before shutting down. Also, we have low-oil and low-fuel shutdown with overload protection.
6. WEN 56235i Super Quiet 2350-Watt Portable Inverter Generator – Best Quiet Generator for the Money
Fuel Source and Power Output: It is a gas-powered machine and produces 2350 starting and 1900 running watts. The power output is enough to run a couple of your compulsory appliances during an outage. You can also use this super-silent machine at tailgate parties, camping, beach, game events, and RVs.
Noise Level: It produces 51 dBA sound. The noise level is not more than a vacuum cleaner. This machine will not become a nuisance for you and the people around you.
Engine Specifications: The inverter uses a 79cc OHV engine. The engine is powerful and will not let you down at the time of need.
Gas Tank Size and Runtime: It has a 1-gallon gas tank, and you can run this machine for 10 hours at 25% load. When the machine is subjected to 50% load, you get 5-6 hours.
Outlets: When you are buying an inverter, outlets matter a lot. WEN 56235i comes with a 12V DC outlet, two USB outlets, and one 120V 15A AC outlet. You can run your sensitive appliances without any worries.
Parallel Connectivity and Eco-Mode: The unit offers an eco-mode and parallel connectivity. Such features enhance the usability of the machine and give you a low running cost.
Safety Features and Control Panel: The safety features include low oil shutdown, surge voltage protection, and overload protection. It also offers indicator LEDs for low oil, overload, and output. It comes with a manual choke and a fuel shutoff feature that utilizes the carburetor’s leftover gas before shutting down the generator.
Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: The generator measures 17.3 x 11.5 x 17.5 inches and weighs only 39 pounds. It is one of the lightest generators in this power range. Low weight and compact size make the unit easy to store and carry.
Warranty and Certifications: It has a 2-year warranty and is CARB certified.
7. Generac iQ2000 Gas Powered Inverter Generator – Best Quiet Generator under $500
Fuel Source: You can run the Generac iQ2000 on gas.
Noise Level: It is quieter than Honda.
Fuel Tank Capacity and Runtime: iQ2000 has a small fuel tank size of 1.6 gallons. On a full gas tank, you will get 5.7 hours of runtime at 50% load. It is powered by three operating modes: Economy, Standard, and Turbo modes. Each mode gives a different runtime based on the load applied.
Engine Power:80cc fuel-efficient engine is with Generac iQ2000.
Power Output: You can get 2000 watts of peak power and 1600 watts of running power.
Power Outlets: Power outlets include two 120V AC outlets.
Parallel Capability: Buy a separate parallel kit model 6877 to run two units together.
THD Rating: Lower THD ratings make it ideal for the most sensitive electronics.
Weight, Warranty, Certifications: Its weight is 46.2 pounds, and it comes with a 3-year limited warranty.
Safety Features: Overload, low-fuel, low-oil, and overheating alerts are there. Also, you have a Power Bar that shows wattage power.
8. Ryobi Digital Inverter Generator – Best Quiet Generator under $700
Fuel Source: It is a Bluetooth powered inverter generator that runs on gasoline. You can control the unit with the GENControl app.
Power Output: Ryobi can produce 2300 starting and 1800 running watts.
Weight, Warranty, Certifications:56 pounds is its weight, and it meets the CARB set standards.
Noise Level: It operates at 57 dB (A).
Power Outlets: There are two 120V 20A AC outlets and two 5V USB ports.
Fuel Tank Capacity and Runtime: A 1.2-gallon fuel tank provides a 10.3-hour runtime at a 25% load, thanks to its idle-down technology that increases fuel efficiency.
THD Rating: It provides clean power to protect your delicate electronic items.
Parallel Capability: Link another Ryobi inverter generator for the production of more power.
9. Rockpals R2000i Inverter Generator – Best Quiet Generator under $450
Power Output: Rockpals R2000i can produce2000 peak watts and 1800 rated watts.
Engine Power: A 79.7cc 4-stroke OHV engine powers it.
Fuel Source: You are required to use gas to run the generator.
Noise Level: 58 dB (A) noise level at full load is quite acceptable.
Fuel Tank Capacity and Runtime: The fuel tank size of R2000i is 1-gallon that allows you to enjoy 6 hours of uninterrupted power at half load.
Weight, Warranty, Certifications: It is EPA III and CARB compliant and weighs 46 pounds. Also, its warranty period is of 2 years.
Power Outlets: There are two 5V USB ports, two 120V 20A AC outlets, and one 12V DC outlet.
Parallel Capability: Generate 3600 rated watts by connecting another R2000i with the generator.
Safety Features: Overload protection and low-oil shutoff with indicators
THD Rating: It is relatively safe to power sensitive electronics through it.
Output and Power Needs
Either buying a quiet inverter or a conventional generator, the most important thing to consider is the power output. Quieter generators usually have a low output compared to conventional generators. Therefore, they are perfect for small homes, apartments, small RVs, camping, and tailgating. Don’t worry, if you know load and power management, you can run many appliances on a small inverter as well. The trick here is load management, and we will help you learn it. First, consider the table below.
|Appliances||Starting Wattage||Running Wattage|
|1/2 HP Furnace||2350||875|
In the example above, you need 6250 watts to start the appliances and 3075 watts to keep them working at one single time. Here, you need to consider two things. First, you can keep the starting wattage under the maximum running wattage by adding loads one by one to the generators. Secondly, you won’t be using all the appliances at one single time. So, in this situation, a generator with a maximum running wattage of 3500 watts will be ideal. It is better to leave a cushion of 300-400 watts to adjust any additional load. By doing load management, you will save a lot of money on the initial purchase and in the long run. Smaller generators are easier to maintain and have a low running cost.
Almost all the inverters operate below 60 decibels. Above this point, continuous and prolonged exposure is regarded as harmful by experts. All the generators on our list work under this sound range. If power is your main concern, you will have to use conventional generators. They provide more power than inverters but are also noisier. You can reduce their operational sound by using generator enclosures or mufflers.
Inverters have a more advanced control panel than conventional generators. However, you must look for maximum options on the control panel. A fully advanced control panel will inform you about the total running hours, wattage drawn from the generator, and oil condition. It will also have on/off buttons, choke, and power outlets.
You will need to run the appliances directly on the generator. Therefore, look for a generator that comes with a maximum number of outlets. An ideal setup will be AC/DC outlets, car charger adapter inlet, and USB inlets. Inverters are best known for producing clean electricity, and you can charge your laptop, phone, medical equipment on them without any worries.
Gas Tank Size and Run Time
Inverters usually have a small gas tank. Due to the fact that they are efficient and provide a better run time than classical generators, a small gas tank can last for a long time. If you want to run your generator for a long time, look for a big gas tank. The running time is directly linked with the amount of gas in the tank. Just a pro tip: to get better run time, always apply 50% load on your generator.
Inverters come with a throttle system, idle mode, or eco-mode to adjust the engine output according to the load applied on it. It helps in increasing efficiency and enhancing the run time. Look for such features in the inverter as they keep the operational cost low.
What’s the point of buying a quiet generator if it’s not safe to use. Check what safety features the generator is providing you. It must have surge voltage protection, auto shutdown in response to overheating, overloading, and low engine oil. The outlets must be covered with rubber pads to keep the plugs safe from water and dust.
Are you tired of pulling the ropes every time you have to start your generator? Then, buy an electric start generator. All you have to do is push the button and the generator will start. Please keep in mind that electric start generators are a bit costly as compared to recoil starting models.
Quiet or loud, the generator must be portable. Inverters are lightweight and hence easy to move around. You must look for high-quality wheels, carry handles, and drag handles in the generator. Every time the power goes out, you will have to move your generator outside. So, if your generator is without wheels, moving it will be a big hassle.
A majority of the inverters are parallel capable. Paralleling means to connect two same model inverters together and get a high power output. It also increases the number of available outputs and helps in running heavy appliances. When you have two small generators, you can use them for different purposes. When connected, they can be used to run heavy appliances.
Warranty and Environmental Compliance
A warranty gives you peace of mind. It helps you save money on repairs during the warranty period. The industry standard is 1-3 years. To get the maximum benefits from the warranty contract, make sure you read all the terms and conditions. Apart from warranty, you must also look for certifications from EPA and other regularity bodies. If you are living in California, only buy CARB compliant generators.
The last thing to consider is the price. Quieter models are costly than noisy ones because they have better mufflers and exhausts installed. Overall, inverter generators are expensive than classical generators. If you want comfort and peace of mind, expect to pay more.