- 1 How much generator power do you need?
- 2 Commercial vs. home generators
- 3 Types of generator
- 4 What to choose based on the situation
- 5 What first-time buyers should consider
- 6 Should I choose a 4,000-watt generator?
- 7 Top 3 Picks – 4000-Watt Portable Generators
- 8 Final verdict
A high-power generator in a portable construction? This seems to be too good to be true, but nowadays, you can find compact generators that can produce enormous power to run appliances. One good example of this is the best 4000 watt portable generator.[table id=3 /]
Investing in a reliable generator is a must. Since you’ll be relying on this machine during outages, it’s just right that it stays functional for years. Also, sizing your generator to the amount of electricity you need will help find the best match to your household or commercial space.
There are tons of options out there but not every product is for the money. Since we’re looking for a high-power model, we need to be meticulous as extra power also means added price.
How much generator power do you need?
Again, we may sound like a broken record, but always size up the generator before buying it. Knowing how much power you need will save you thousands of dollars from buying a dysfunctional generator.
Basically, the amount of power you need will depend on the load you want to plug into the engine. Usually, home use will require lower power than those used for commercial establishments. Let us help you size up your generator for home use:
Most home appliances can run simultaneously at around 3,000 to 6,500 watts. For homes with city water supply and a small furnace, the basic needs for heating can be met at 3,000 watts. If these basic heating systems are larger, the required power doubles at 6,000 watts.
Remember, if you’re buying a portable generator never expect that it can run your entire household. You’re buying a generator not a power plant! Even if it’s the longest running portable generator, it will have operational limitations.
So is a 4,000-watt portable generator enough to cover the staples? If you’re just running a small heater and a few lights, this generator will be more than enough. But to make sure, here are some of the common household appliances and the generator power it requires to run:[table id=2 /]
As you see, you can run most household appliances with the best 4000 watt portable generator. Those that need higher starting and running watts should be run independently or together with a low-watt appliance. The likes of lights, laptop, TV, and less power-hungry gadgets can be plugged in simultaneously.
Be careful with the amount of load you’ll connect to the generator to avoid overloading and quick fuel burns. As a rule of thumb, around 70%-80% of load is the safest range to keep your generator running smoothly and in longer periods.
Commercial vs. home generators
After you’ve identified the load you want to plug into the generator, it’s time to know the difference between a commercial and a household generator.
First off, commercial generators are massive and way powerful too so it can run a business until the power supply comes back. This isn’t a portable type although some establishments can have portable units to power up individual sections of the business.
Commercial generators are three-phase generators. This means the engine is geared to power large and energy-hungry motors.
Typically, three-phase generators are used for industrial purposes and considered as the longest running portable generator.
On the other hand, household generators are scaled-down versions with around 2kW to 7kW power. These generators are way smaller, cheaper, and quieter than commercial generators. Household generators can’t be used for massive commercial use. But for homes that need to run with power during outages, commercial-grade generators can be installed. However, this can cost a fortune considering that outages don’t happen every day.
Types of generator
For household use, there are three major types of generators you can choose from: home standby, portable, and inverter. Nowadays, there are hybrid types that combine the features of any of the three types.
If you want a generator that turns on automatically during a power outage, you can avail a standby home generator. This is installed outside the house and fixed permanently. This runs on propane or natural gas so there’s no need to monitor the fuel levels for refilling.
Standby generators are the best options for homes experiencing frequent outages. If you need your appliances running continuously for medical and security reasons, a standby generator is a must-have.
The cost of standby generators can range from $2,000 to $20,000 depending on the size and power capacity.
Portable generators, on the other hand, are the most popular. These are typically compact, lightweight, and easy to transport. Portable generators are usually run by gasoline and have to be refilled multiple times a day, more so if it’s running with a high load level. Also, the longest running portable generator can be pricey.
There are power outlets on the controls of the generator so you can plug appliances or extension cords directly to the engine. A portable generator typically has an alternator, internal combustion engine, fuel tank, starter, and outlets. This type ranges from $500 to $2,500 with different wattages.
Inverter generators are known to be the quietest type without sacrificing the wattage capacity. Somehow, inverter generators work the same way as other types. However, after the raw AC power is produced, an inverter generator converts this into DC power and then into AC once again. This process is known to produce cleaner, more stable, and smooth power source.
Inverter generators have the basic portable generator components but with the addition of a microprocessor that allows the conversion of the current from AC to DC and then back to AC.
Aside from this, inverter generators are also engineered to have sound attenuating chassis. This is why inverter generators are quieter than other types. Most inverter generators share the same price range with that of portable types.
What to choose based on the situation
All of these generator types are useful, but the best one depends on the situation. Where are you going to use it? How much noise can you tolerate? Do you have the budget for it? Here, we listed some of the possible scenarios and the best generator type to choose
1. I always experience frequent power outages
This situation is frustrating and directly impacts your quality of life. When prolonged outages are taking place, it’s best to get any of these three: large inverter, portable, or stand-by.
The best choice is a standby generator in case you’re in the middle of a blizzard or a snow storm. Running a generator manually outdoors in this weather condition is dangerous and a big hassle. When it comes to portable models, look for the one with the most juice. The best 4000 watt portable generator we reviewed below would be a perfect choice.
2. I rarely experience power outages at home
On the flipside, if you rarely encounter power outages, you’re better off with small portable inverter generators.
Small inverter generators with a power of around 2kW will be excellent in running lights and heating systems one at a time. During a brief outage, this should be enough to sustain your need for electricity. This generator type is also called recreational generators as it can fit on a car trunk for camping and outdoor use.
3. I only experience outages once in a while
Casual outages don’t call for expensive stand-by generators. You’ll likely survive with a high-power inverter engine like the ones we reviewed below. There’s a chance that these outages can happen in extended periods so you need that extra kick to run appliances.
Always consider the purpose of the generator before buying one. This way, you can size it up and maximize its full potential. There’s nothing wrong in investing in expensive and the best 4000 watt portable generator if you have the money. Just make sure that you run it once in a while to keep the engine in check.
What first-time buyers should consider
Aside from the first points discussed, there other factors to consider before purchasing a generator for home use. This is to ensure that the generator will function optimally. Here are some points to ponder:
⚡Location of use
Are you living in a high-altitude area? If so, you need to de-rate your generator requirement by 1% for every 100 meters above sea level.
Aside from that, remember that you’re not supposed to operate a generator close to your house. These engines produce harmful fumes including the deadly carbon monoxide. Make sure that you have enough space to cover the capacity of the generator.
Also, check if your location is hotter than usual as this can affect the performance of the generator. Consider this before getting a longest running portable generator.
When you’re planning to purchase a certain model, take time to check if there are available replacement parts in case repairs would be needed. The brand should also provide the replacement parts to ensure compatibility. If not, the generator should have readily available parts in the market.
Never run your generator at a load of more than 80%. On the other hand, never use the generator for a load of 40% or lower as this can damage the engine. Always watch out for overloading as this can cause money due to faster gasoline use.
⚡The size and weight of the generator
Most of the time, the size and weight of the generator aren’t defining factors. But for small homes, getting a compact and light generator will be suitable than investing in a larger one. Take note that some people purchase generators for camping purposes only. This will only need small and hand-carry generators.
Who wants a noisy generator? If you want a quieter option, always stick to inverter models. These are made to have low noise levels around 45-60 dBA (A-weighted decibels). This way, your neighbors won’t complain about the noise and you get to reduce the wear and tear on the generator.
Even though inverter generators are quiet, it’s still not safe to place it too close to your house. Since it’s still powered by gas, the fumes can pose health threats to your family.
It’s always best to get the longest running portable generator to sustain your electricity needs. Most portable and inverter generators can run for up to 9 hours in a 50% load. Meanwhile, large loads will slash the run time drastically. If you think you’re going to experience extended power outages, you might as well invest in a generator with a larger gas tank.
The longer the run time the better for you. However, this will come with additional dollars as well.
Should I choose a 4,000-watt generator?
If you need more power, the best 4000 watt portable generator is for you. With this, you can run more appliances at a time, thus enjoying comfort even during an extended power outage. A 4,000-watt generator also has a larger fuel tank which allows it to run longer than other models. If you can, opt for an inverter type so your home will be supplied with clean and stable electricity.
However, the only downside to this powerful generator is that it comes with a hefty price tag. Not all households can shell out thousands of dollars just to acquire a generator. Still, nothing beats preparedness when power outages strike.
Top 3 Picks – 4000-Watt Portable Generators
To skip the hassle of looking for the best 4000 watt portable generator, we’ve rounded up three of the best offers in the market. These are portable and inverter types that can give enormous power and excellent starting running watts. Check which one suit you best:
Briggs & Stratton Q6500 Inverter Generator
If you’re looking for a powerhouse generator that can deliver more than 4,000 running watts, you can never go wrong with Briggs & Stratton’s Q6500. This has starting watts of 6,500 and running watts of 5,000. You can run power-hungry appliances at the same time with this capacity.
Although powerful, this is compact enough for small storage with the dimensions of 25.53 x 21.12 x 21.43 in. However, it’s a heavy machine at 135 pounds but worth the sacrifice given its wattage. After all, it’s more than the best 4000 watt portable generator.
This Briggs & Stratton generator is 60% quieter than typical generators. As an inverter type, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. This Briggs & Stratton model has a noise level of 66dBA with 25% load. That’s equivalent to the sound level of a casual conversation. However, this generator can get buzzier as you plug in more loads.
When it comes to runtime, this generator comes with a massive 5-gallon tank that can provide electricity for as long as 14 hours with 25% load. As for the controls, it comes with four 120V-20A ports, one 120V/240V slot, two USB ports, and a 30A locking.
The Briggs & Stratton generator comes with a built-in telescoping handle for easy transportation despite its weight. It also sports 8-inch wheels.
Remember that this generator utilizes a pull start than an electric start. Nevertheless, it’s very easy to ignite and use. Just make sure that you keep this at least 20 feet off your home during operation as the dangerous fumes can suffocate the occupants of your property.
DuroStar DS4000S Gas-Powered Generator
For those who don’t have the budget to splurge on an expensive inverter generator, a portable powered model would be the next best choice. It may not be as quiet as the first model, but it’s still powerful when it comes to supplying you with electricity.
The DuroStar DS4000S model has a starting 4,000 watts and running 3,300 watts. It’s also made quieter at around 69 dBA on lower loads. And with the 4-stroke OHV engine, there will be a forced air cooling system to keep the engine from billowing with smoke.
At a load of 50%, this generator can run for a full 8 hours in its 4-gallon capacity. This DuroStar model is also equipped with a low-oil shutoff technology to protect the engine from intense wear and tear of running dry. Also, this model has a torque of 9.7 feet – the best 4000 watt portable generator, so far.
The generator is enclosed in a solid steel frame that also serves as the handle. It also has motor mounts to reduce noise during operation. Overall, this model has a dimension of 23 x 18 x 17.5 inches and weighs 102 pounds.
When it comes to panel outlets, you’ll have two 120V-20A 3-prong outlets and one 120V-30A twist-lock outlet. The DuroStar also has a voltmeter to monitor if the engine is supplying optimal electricity.
To ensure that the oil won’t drip through the air filter, place the generator on a leveled surface. We also suggest that you purchase a wheel kit as this is too heavy for manual lifting.
Champion RV Ready Portable Generator
A solid frame, built-in wheels, and an easy-to-start engine? The Champion RV Ready Portable Generator is really a champ when it comes to convenience and portability. It has 4,000 starting watts and 3,500 running watts which is powerful enough for most household staples.
This Champion generator is RV ready which means you can safely run an RV air conditioning unit using it. With a built-in volt guard, even your frequency sensitive appliances are safe here. As a generator with an electric start, this generator comes with a pre-installed battery for your convenience.
With a 3.8-gallon full tank capacity, you can run this generator for 12 hours in a medium load. This will yield a noise level of 68 dBA but it can get a little louder as you increase the loud. Make sure that you place this best 4000 watt portable generator at least 23 feet away from your house.
The best thing about this generator is it comes with remote control. With that, you can stop and start the engine from 80 feet away. This is added convenience, especially if you’re busy with other chores around the house.
This Champion generator also has a low-oil shutoff for the safety of your engine. The cold start feature is also an added guarantee that you will experience the same convenience even if igniting this generator during the winter season.
How about portability? This generator has dimensions of 22.8 x 22 x 30.7 in. which is compact enough. Another plus point here is the wheeling kit that comes in the package. However, note that this is comically heavy at 140 pounds.
These three generators are powerful and best of its kind. Make sure that you choose the one that suits your needs and budget. Although inverter types are far more expensive, it’s worth the investment if you want a quieter machine and cleaner electricity supply.
Nevertheless, never shy away from other portable options. Since it’s supposed to be placed from your house, the noise should not be annoying.
Above all, don’t forget to size up. Check if the best 4000 watt portable generator meets your load demands. It may sound like a good idea to invest in a high-power generator right away, but remember that operating in very low loads isn’t good either.