Inverter Vs Traditional Generator: Which Do You Need?

Posted on August 27, 2020 by Oozle Media

inverter vs generator? which do you need?

A generator can power many different appliances in your home, business, or recreational area when grid electricity isn’t an option. Depending on how and where you need electricity, generators can be a great addition to any family’s emergency preparedness plan. On the market, there are a lot of different kinds of generators. The two most popular generators are traditional/conventional generators and inverter generators. When deciding between these two, we suggest considering the following:

  • Activity
  • Size
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Power output
  • Noise level
  • Convenience
  • Price

Difference #1 – Current

traditional generator

Standard generators, also known as conventional generators, are the most widely used units today having been around for a long time. A conventional generator’s engine provides power to a motor attached to an alternator in order to produce electricity.

Inverter generators produce electricity in three phases. They draw power from a DC source like solar panels or car battery and convert it into AC power using electronic circuits. DC stands for direct current. This means that the electric charge (current) only flows in one direction. AC stands for alternating current and describes the flow of charge that changes direction periodically.

Difference #2 – Activity

people camping using a generator

Conventional generators tend to be louder and make noise because of how the engine runs. The noise you hear from a conventional portable generator is caused by internal fuel combustion. Because of this, the activities associated with a conventional generator are usually on job sites where workers need to power air compressors, nail guns, saws, hammer drills, and other equipment.

Inverter generators are smaller, lightweight, and much quieter generators. The activities associated with this type of generator could be:

  • Camping, boating, and other recreational activities
  • Lights, heaters, fans, radios, smart phones and more

However, the best way to know what activity is best for which generator is by knowing how much wattage you need to power whatever it is you need. This leads us into our next differences: Noise, fuel efficiency, and power output.

Difference #3 – Noise, Fuel Efficiency, and Power Output


We are combining noise, fuel efficiency, and power output together in Difference #2 because each aspect affects the other. Conventional generators run on fossil fuels such as diesel, gasoline, or propane. They often have larger fuel tanks compared to other generator types in the market which allows them to run longer with fewer refueling efforts. With engine sizes of up to 10,000 watts, conventional generators can create more power than an inverter generator.

Although inverter generators can’t produce as much power as conventional generators, they are more efficient due to how the energy how the AC current is produced. The more efficient a generator is the less fuel is used and the smaller the fuel tank can be. The wattage that can be produced with an inverter ranges from 1200 to 4000 watts.

Difference #4 – Price

When it comes to price, conventional generators typically have a lower initial cost and are more affordable if you need a lot of power. Inverter generators are more expensive due to the innovative technology it uses and the added benefits such as noise and economic efficiency.

Check out our infographic for a better breakdown on Inverter Generators and Traditional Generators:

Inverter vs Generator Infographic

Your Electrical Specialists

We hope you’ve learned a little more about inverter and traditional generators to make the best choice for your needs. If you’re looking to know more, fix, replace, or install a generator, choose JP Electrical. Give us a call today and we would be happy to help.

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