So, you are thinking about buying a generator? Maybe it’s in preparation for the hurricane season. Perhaps you work from home and need a power supply you can fall back on when the utility electrical service goes off without warning. It might even be that your home is in a place where utility electrical service is not available. But are you even aware of the major types of home generators?

It goes without saying that a home generator is a great way to ensure your home enjoys a power supply throughout. But home generators are not difficult to understand as a quality home generator repair service such as will tell you. As an example, home generators are usually classified based on size and wattage. If you’re looking for a new home generator, continue reading to learn about the five major types of home generators.

Your Guide To The 5 Major Types of Home Generators

Your Guide To The 5 Major Types of Home Generators

1.      Recreational inverter.

A recreational inverter goes for anywhere between $400 and $1,000. It weighs about 60 pounds and offers as much as 2,000 watts. It is the lightest class of home generators and will typically power lights, small electronics, a refrigerator, and nothing else.

A recreational inverter is quiet, needs no installation, and can be easily transported. Many are user-friendly and come with smartphone apps. A key drawback is that while recreational inverters may cost as much as portable generators, they deliver less power. Recreational inverters are a good choice if your home hardly loses power or if you are regularly on the go.

2.      Mid-sized inverter.

A mid-sized inverter usually costs between $1,000 and $1,700. It weighs about 150 pounds or less and offers up to 3,500 watts. Like the recreational inverter, it is quiet and lightweight. However, it can generate significantly more power. It is a good choice for homes that rarely experience blackouts.

The mid-sized inverter can keep lights and a refrigerator running for up to 18 hours with just three gallons of gas. That said, most models will only power 110-volt appliances with two- or three-prong plugs. So if you are looking for something to power your heating and cooling equipment or well pumps, a mid-sized inverter might not work.

3.      Portable generator.

Going from $700 to $2,800, the portable generator offers up to 7,500 watts. The name is somewhat misleading since many models tip the scales at just under 300 pounds. Portable generators generate enough energy to satisfy the requirements of the average household.

They may be connected to breaker panels in order to power well pumps and other hardwired equipment. Note however that connecting the portable generator to your home’s circuit breaker may cost you as much as the generator itself. Also, the generator should not be used in the rain or snow without appropriate protection.

Portable generators are best suited for homes that experience occasional electrical outages. For a list of the top portable power stations we asked the experts at

4.      Large inverter.

A large inverter costs $1,400 to $4,000 and weighs from 250 pounds to in excess of 350 pounds. Offering as much as 7,500 watts, it generates enough power to run a refrigerator, a small HVAC unit, and other essential appliances.

Large inverters are fuel-efficient, quiet, and generate steady power suitable for sensitive electronics. They run on stabilized gasoline as opposed to propane or natural gas. Given their capacity, large inverters are ideal for homes that face prolonged and/or frequent power outages.

5.      Home standby.

Costing $2,000 to $6,000, a home inverter weighs 350 to 600 pounds and offers as much as 20,000 watts. They are typically installed permanently, adjacent to your house. Home standby generators switch on automatically when the utility supply goes off. They run on propane or natural gas and can power all home appliances.

On the downside, installation may cost as much as the generator. A home standby is not the best option if you are in an area that is prone to flooding since the generator cannot be easily moved. On the other hand, a home standby is best in areas with unpredictable or absent electrical service.

There is no one-size-fits-all generator.

Your choice of generator will primarily depend on your need and budget. A home standby is the most powerful, but most homes do not need one. For example, if you are in an area that hardly experiences extreme weather or other events that would potentially disrupt electrical service, a home standby would lay idle virtually throughout the year. In that case, a recreational or mid-sized inverter would be a more practical situation.

As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, we love to hear from you in the comments below. Also below are links to more fantastic articles about ALL things DESIGN for your home or business.

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About the Author: Ashley Edwards