Have you ever been sitting all nice and cozy in your home, and all of a sudden, the power goes out? While living in a rural area, an ice storm knocked the power out for four days. During this time, food was lost, and cold showers were available but not hot ones.
A generator could have kept the food fresh and the showers hot. With a portable generator, you can keep your home and RV comfortable for days. However, some generators can be incredibly noisy. This constant noise can become extremely frustrating for you and your neighbors.
Do not worry. A quiet generator can allow you to be comfortable during a power outage and keep the noise to a minimum. Sometimes, finding the perfect quiet generator can become a daunting task, but with this guide, you will have no problem finding the exact match to your quiet generator needs.
Top 9 Quiet Generators
1. WEN 56200i
This generator is considered to be one of the best inverter type generators available on the market. When you have a conversation, you speak with an inside voice. This generator understands the concept of an inside voice. It does not experience voltage drops or spikes.
With this WEN, you can generate 1600 watts when it is running. It will produce 2000 watts of surge power. At 25% load, the WEN 56200i is extra quiet, producing only 51 decibels. It comes equipped with a 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine giving you enough power to run your entire home.
The noise level of this generator makes it an excellent choice for those areas wanting it as quiet as possible. For example, hunting and camping require a noise-free atmosphere. The harmonic distortion is held below 0.3% when there is not a load and at 1.2% when carrying a full load.
This unit is also fuel-efficient because, with a gallon of gas, you can run this generator for six hours at 50% load. The WEN also has an economy mode throttle. This throttle allows the motor to automatically adjust the fuel consumption preventing an unnecessary usage of gasoline.
Some extra features of the WEN56200i include one 5v USB port, two 120v receptacles, and one 12v DC receptacle.
- Easy to use
- Extremely quiet
- Excellent value
- Lacks a fuel valve
- Plastic covering
2. Honda EU3000iS
This quiet and efficient generator is a fabulous choice for an essential home backup, camping, or an RV. This generator is back by the Honda name, which is known for its reliability and dependability. Honda’s engines are known to last for years, so that this generator will be well worth the investment.
Even though this generator is portable and comes with a handle on each side, it does take two people to move it from place to place. While employing inverter technology, the Honda EU3000iS can give you 3000 watts surge and 2800 watts of continuous power.
The power produced by this generator is safe to use for sensitive appliances and electronics without worrying about power issues or surges. With this amount of energy, it can handle a laptop, mobile phone, microwave, fridge, and even a 13,500 BTU AC unit when you are camping.
With only 3.4 gallons of fuel, this generator can run for at least 20 hours, making it one of the most efficient generators on this list. Some individuals may need more power to run an entire household. This Honda generator has you covered because it has the capability of connecting two with a parallel cable to double the amount of power produced.
- Produces only 49 to 58 decibels of noise
- Eco-throttle fuel-efficient feature
- Weighs over 130 pounds
3. WEN 56203i
One of the WEN company’s goals is to provide the customer with a reliable and affordable product. A perfect example of the WEN company meeting this goal is the WEN 56203i. This generator is priced around the same amount as the previous WEN 56200i.
While the WEN 56200i is an excellent generator, this unit provides the customer with 10% more power than the original model. It also can produce 2000 watts of surge power while giving you 1700 watts of continuous running power.
At 25% load, it will only give off 51 decibels, which makes it quiet for its class of generators. This fact means you can get the power of a bigger machine without issues with noise pollution. At 50% load, the eco-mode of this generator allows it to run for 7 hours on one gallon of fuel.
With these benefits, the WEN 56203i is a fabulous choice for those who want a quieter machine while saving money. The total harmonic distortion of this generator without a load is 0.3%, and it is 1.2% with a full load.
As with some others on this list, the WEN 56203i produces clean energy without surges or drops in voltage. This fact makes this unit the right choice when you want to power sensitive and expensive electronics include computers and mobile phones.
- Automatic fuel adjustment
- Lightweight weighing only 38 pounds
- Can connect two units
- No grounding wire
- Not suitable for heavy-duty power tools
4. Westinghouse iGen2200
Another excellent addition to this list is the Westinghouse iGEN2200. This inverter generator weighs approximately 46 and has a built-in handle making it easy to use. With starting watts at 2200, this generator can produce 1800 watts when continuously running.
At a quarter load, this Westinghouse generator can run for 12 hours with 1.2 gallons of gas. You will not experience any electrical spikes or drops when using this generator allows you to use it with game consoles and expensive cell phones.
The Westinghouse iGen2200 comes equipped with a variety of features. One of these features is the utilization of asymmetrical fans and quiet dual mufflers. This generator has an extra level of an insulated enclosure to help reduce the noise level.
It also comes equipped with two USB ports and 120v outlets. This device will also automatically adjust the engine speed according to the load. This feature saves you money every time you turn the unit to the on position.
This unit also has an overload protected panel for convenience. The Westinghouse generator is completed by adding a spark arrestor and its CARB compliant. One of the best features of this unit is Westinghouse makes it, and Westinghouse has fantastic customer service.
- Easy to use
- Automatic adjustable engine speed
- Only 52 decibels at ¼ load
- Sometimes engine idles roughly
- Do not use with heavy-duty power tools
You will find that this Yamaha is one of the few generators that can distribute maximum electrical output while maintaining excellent portability. Weighing in at only 44 pounds, one person can easily move this unit where it needs to go and then returning it to storage.
This unit can produce 2000-watt maximum AC output while operating at 1600 watt rated. With this much output, this generator is ready to power a wide variety of different appliances requiring various wattage.
With a 25% load, this generator will operate with only 51.5 decibels noise level. This amount of decibels makes this device quiet when compare to other inverter units available on the market. With its dispelling heat efficiently feature, this unit was made to operate for optimum fuel consumption.
With only one gallon of fuel, the EF2000iSv2 will continuously run for well over ten hours with a 25% load. When the dual-core alternator stator is in use, it will reduce how fast the engine is running, which limits the amount of gas used.
Another excellent feature of this quiet generator is the control panel. This panel is centrally located, allowing you to conveniently control and assess a wide array of features with a push of a button. The decompression system allows this unit to start without any issues.
- Durable construction
- Smart throttle feature
- Not as affordable as others on the list
Equipped with a 79cc OHV engine, the WH2200iXLT is a favorite choice for a quiet portable generator. The surge wattage for this unit rounds out at 2000 watts, which you will find is pretty typical for this size of device.
With an economy mode built-in, this unit specializes in fuel efficiency by keeping gas consumption at low levels. The control panel is definitely the best feature of this generator. This panel has color-coded touch points to make it user-friendly.
If you are a first-time generator owner, this model is popular due to its easy to understand design and operation methods. It even has an automatic shutoff when the oil is too low, which helps protect the unit from low-oil damage.
With a less than 3% harmonic distortion, this unit is a fabulous choice if you plan to use it for sensitive electronics. This Westinghouse generator has excellent fuel efficiency. At a 25% load, it can run for 22 hours. With a 50% load, it can run for over 13 hours.
With operation at 52 decibels, this Westinghouse is a quiet generator for sure. Because it only weighs 43 pounds, you can easily get this generator where you need it to be.
- Low oil automatic shutoff
- Economy mode
- Lacks a fuel gauge
This Champion generator is a gas-powered inverter unit, which is an excellent option for a campsite, RV, or cabin. It is lightweight and durable, which means it can handle frequent transports. On a full tank of gas, this unit can run for 9.5 hours at 25% load.
With a rate of 53 decibels, you will only hear a normal conversation level at 23 feet away. At this rate, it is relatively quiet, and you can run it day and night without complaint. As with other generators on this list, this unit has a wide array of fabulous features.
One of these features is the low oil sensor. This sensor will automatically turn the device off if the oil gets too low for safe operation. Another feature is the easy pull recoil start. This feature is great for when you need to start the generator quickly.
This versatile unit also has an economy mode. This mode will automatically adjust the fuel rate according to the load. This adjustment allows the unit to conserve gas, which will save you money in the long run.
The start watts of this device are 2000 while the running watts are 1700. You can also integrate multiple units with easy. It was designed to allow you to stack multiple units to increase the amount of available power.
- Built-in carrying handle
- Can stack multiple units
- Fuel efficient
- Does not have a gas or oil drain
- Low surge capacity
This generator is a combination of two of the top brands for generators. The engine of this unit is a Yamaha MZ80, while the rest of the unit is all Smarter Tools. It comes equipped with Sinewave technology, which allows you to run a variety of sensitive electronics.
This generator was given an excellent emission engine life rating from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and CARB. Being fully compliant with both of these agencies, this unit is ready for almost any home or RV. This extra quiet device comes equipped with a special spark arrestor. This unique spark arrestor helps to prevent damage to the device from stray sparks.
With the ability to work together with another Smarter Tools STAP, you can get up to 3200 total running watts. By itself, this unit can give you 1600 running watts and 2000 starting watts. Weighing only 47 pounds with a built-in handle, one-man can easily transport this unit.
This unit comes with a variety of features, such as a fuel gauge. This gauge ensures that you never run out of fuel. The USB charging outlet is another excellent feature associated with this device. You can easily add oil through the easy to access fill door.
- 51 decibels
- CARB and EPA compliant
- Yamaha engine
- Not appropriate for large appliances
With a history of iQ generators, Generac has given us one of the best devices of the series with the iQ3500. 3500 is the maximum rated watts while 3000 is the running watts. With this amount of watts, this device is ready to handle all of your basic power needs.
Generac did not stop with the wattage; they also added a 212 cc OHV engine for a powerful combination. The gas tank can carry 2.6 gallons of gas, making the tank one of the largest capacity tanks on this list.
With a full tank of gas, this unit will run for 14 hours at a quarter load. If it is at a 50% load, the device will run continuously for 8.9 hours. The fuel-efficient economy mode on this device saves fuel, but it also helps to reduce noise.
This generator is the heaviest unit on the list weighing in at over 109 pounds. It does have a handle on each side of the box to make it easier for two people to move it from place to place. However, this generator is probably more suited for those who will not be carrying it frequently.
- Can parallel to double power
- Excellent control panel
- Two economy modes
- Weighs 109 pounds
- Not CARB complaint
Why have a quiet generator?
When you are searching for a generator, you may not realize how important it is to find one that is relatively quiet. One of the most common reasons people choose a quiet generator is to avoid noise while at home. However, regulations, camping, and fuel efficiency are other vital reasons for a quiet generator.
Some cities and towns have ordinances associated with the noise limit. Typically, this limit is set at 75 decibels, so any device with a noise level higher than this limit would ensure you have to pay a fine. The limit is typically set at 75 decibels because prolonged exposure at higher decibels can cause headaches and other physical issues.
In a camping or RV parks, the noise limit is generally set at 65 decibels. This limit applies to any appliance, including generators. These strict requirements are due to the close quarters of the camping equipment.
If you live in the country or away from neighbors, you probably do not have regulations about noise limits. However, following these regulations will help ensure you can sleep at night and not develop a headache from your own generator.
Some people decide to turn the unit off at night, so they do not have to listen to the noise. This choice is okay unless you need to run the device while you are sleeping to keep the food cold. The best option to avoid noise issues is to find a generator that runs at 50 decibels or less.
Camping or RV
When you are camping or at an RV park, you will want a quiet generator to ensure you do not disturb anyone. Generally, when people are camping, they are looking for peace and tranquility. It is impossible to feel peaceful when your generator is the loudest sound at the park.
A loud generator can cause you to have to yell at your family to be heard. This yelling will take the fun out of an otherwise great camping or RV trip. When you think about it, it is also incredibly rude to run a loud generator at night in a whisper-quiet site.
When you purchase a unit, you may realize it is consuming a lot of fuel, which is a waste of money. If you ask around, some people will suggest purchasing a quiet generator. With this advice, you may be wondering how a quiet generator saves fuel.
A lot of quiet generators come with a variety of advanced technology features that automatically adjust the fuel consumption to match the actual needs of the load. With this automatic feature, you never have to wonder if you are wasting fuel.
Another consideration with quiet devices is fuel type. It is generally known that propane is cheaper to use than gas. The best option to save money here is to purchase a dual fuel generator. These types of generators can save money and still run quietly. If you need an eco-friendly and noiseless unit, an excellent choice is a solar-powered device.
What things should I consider when purchasing a generator?
When you are wanting a generator, the noise level may be a critical factor in the decision. However, most experts will tell you to research a variety of items before choosing your unit. Some of the most vital aspects of a generator include power, fuel source, expense, portability, performance, and extra features.
When you are looking at the power of a generator, you will notice it is all about the number of outlets and the power output capability. The first step in deciding the minimum amount of needed power is to determine the power requirements.
If you are looking to power a house, a refrigerator needs about 600 watts while a portable heater needs 1500 watts. A computer uses approximately 60 to 300 watts, and a window air conditioner uses about 1000 watts.
You can find the power requirements for most appliances on the attached label. However, the most accurate readings will come from an electrician. Some experts say to consider the basic power needs for a survival situation such as a natural disaster.
Most people know that generators can be gas, propane, or diesel. However, a few may not be aware that you can purchase a solar-powered unit. Whether a unit runs on gas or diesel, it has some similar advantages and disadvantages.
When using a gas or diesel generator, the greatest advantages are size and wattage. When a gas or diesel unit, you are purchasing a big device with a massive amount of power typically. These units can handle running your refrigerator, computer, and phone easily. Some of these units can even handle cooling and heating appliances.
One of the significant drawbacks with a gas or diesel unit is you must store fuel that can use up your precious garage or shed area. You cannot run a gas or diesel unit inside your house is another disadvantage. Also, if you spill the fuel, it can be not only costly but dangerous.
With a propane unit, you do not have to worry about spillage because propane will evaporate. Propane is an excellent source of fuel because it has an indefinite shelf life. Propane is also cleaner and cheaper than gas or diesel.
However, propane does not perform as well in cold weather as gas or diesel. This fact can be an issue if you live in a cold temperature region. Another drawback with propane is some experts will tell you that propane engines experience more issues than a gas or diesel engine.
One of the advantages of a solar unit is you can safely run the device indoors without fumes. These units are typically the quietest units available on the market. However, the best advantage is you can save money because the source of fuel is renewable.
The biggest drawback of a solar generator is it will not produce as much power as the other fuel types. Another disadvantage of a solar generator is that these units cannot charge without the sun. This fact means if your electricity goes out on a cloudy day, it will not charge while in use.
It must be mentioned that a type of hybrid generator is available. This dual system or dual fuel units allow the unit to use either gas or propane as a fuel option.
An essential aspect of purchasing a generator is the expense. Generators can run from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. You may want to set a budget before deciding on the features. However, a general rule for fuel-powered generators is more power equals more money.
A quieter motor and the ability to run for consecutive days will also increase the price of a gas-powered unit. A solar device that will store 100 watts of electricity will obviously cost more than a solar unit that collects only 50 watts. With a device that is light in weight or higher wattages, you will see a higher price also. Your budget should take all of this information into account.
One of the most frequently overlooked aspects of a generator is portability. If you have a unit that weighs 20 pounds, almost anyone can transport it from place to place. However, a 44-pound unit might be a different story. If you plan to move the generator a lot, it would be a good idea to purchase a lighter device.
The word performance is associated with how well the generator functions. Most units will give the number of hours it will run on a particular amount of fuel. A solar-powered unit will tell you how
long it will run on at full battery capacity.
Performance can be measured with a continuous rating or a maximum rating. A continuous rating indicates how much power the unit can continuously supply. The maximum rating is the amount of energy the unit can give for brief periods of time.
The warranty offered by the manufacturer also falls under the performance category. You want a machine that will last you years. When a guarantee is provided, you can be sure that the unit will at least last as long as the offered warranty. If it does not, the warranty may cover the issue.
Another performance issue is the generator’s material. A plastic unit will not be as durable as a steel unit. If the generator has wheels, you should consider the fact that tires can go flat. Some experts will suggest for a first-time buyer to go with a well-known make or model.
Almost every major purchase comes with a long list of features. Sometimes, the benefits of these features are not completely clear. For example, a transfer switch or interlock device is needed if you plan to run 220-volt appliances. These appliances need over 5000 watts, so you can connect the device to the circuit panel using a transfer switch.
This connection allows you to change from the panel to your generator with a flip of the switch when the power goes out. This switch installation requires an electrician who will add to the cost of using the generator.
Some other examples of added features can include an automatic start, electric start, fuel gauges, wheels, fuel stabilizer, eco-mode, outlets, USB ports, storage covers, consoles, and a variety of others.
After reading this article, you know what is the quietest generators. You also have a good understanding of the different considerations associated with generators. You are ready to find the perfect quiet unit to match your particular needs. Good luck shopping for your new device.