Noise is one of the biggest concerns most consumers have when they’re shopping for a camp generator. What is a quiet generator? Is there such a thing? Generator technology has come a long way. Over the years, the camp generator has totally changed the way we camp, allowing us to bring along essential electronics, keep our phones and laptops charged, and enjoy that hot cup of coffee in the morning. These generators, unlike conventional generators, feature a quiet operation that allows them to be used in state parks, unlike conventional generators. The camp generator is not only quiet it’s also compact and lightweight, which makes it easier to haul and transport. Now, bringing along a standalone power source on your camping trip is easier than ever.
What is a quiet generator? A quiet generator is one that allows you to carry on a conversation without being overpowered by the roar of the generator’s engine, which is usually the case with a conventional generator. The inverter generator is much different, offering a low noise rating of fifty-nine to sixty decibels when at full power. Because these generators are so quiet, most RV parks and state parks allow you to operate them around the clock.
Now that you know why these compact generators are so quiet, continue reading to find out how they stand up to conventional generators, what makes these inverter generators so powerful, and what type of noise rating to look for, if you want the quietest generator on the market.
An Acceptable Noise Level
When you’re looking for a portable generator, there are a lot of factors to consider, such as size, output, runtime, and price. However, for most people, aside from runtime, the noise rating is the most crucial spec to pay attention to. Most campsites have very strict noise laws in place, which is why conventional generators are usually not allowed.
So, if you’re tired of loud generators and you’re looking for a quieter, more energy efficient alternative, then the inverter generator is the generator you’ve been searching for.
We’ll cover how these portable generators work, perform, and how they handle different loads, and exactly why they’re so much quieter compared to other styles of generators.
The Conventional Generator’s Tired Technology
Surprisingly, not much has changed in terms of technological advances and conventional generator design. These are by far the most popular types of generators on the market because they’ve been around for decades. However, if you’ve ever been in the presence of a conventional generator, then you know the amount of noise they produce can be deafening. Unfortunately, their design has remained unchanged for years, with no hope of a quieter conventional generator in the future. These generators run on diesel or gas. The fuel powers the generator’s motor, which is connected to an alternator.
They must operate at a constant speed in order to produce enough electricity, which is why they’re not considered very fuel efficient, especially when compared to inverter generators. This type of constant speed also makes them produce constant, loud noise, regardless of the load size. Most models of conventional generators are seriously lacking in technology. Because they have not undergone any type of redesign over the past several decades, they really have not improved in any type of significant way.
The Quietest Generator on the Market
The camp generator is the newest style of generator to hit the market. These machines utilize advanced electronic circuitry in addition to high-tech magnets in order to solve the common issues associated with their larger counterpart. While these generators do produce an AC current just like a traditional generator, the current is converted to DC and then back to AC, which is why they’re referred to as inverter generators. Many people choose these generators because they produce safer, cleaner energy.
They also don’t produce much noise. Their quieter running engines, combined with their special mufflers and sound-dampening technology all work to reduce the noise the generator makes, producing impressively low levels. These generators are also able to automatically adjust some of their operations including the ability to adjust energy production based on load size. Because of this automatic process, these generators are less noisy and considered more fuel efficient than conventional generators.
What are Silenced Generators?
While not quite as quiet as the inverter generator, silenced generators are also enjoying a rise in popularity. These generators produce less noise than conventional generators, but they’re still louder than inverter generators because their engine design is similar to that of the conventional generator. However, they are housed in an acoustic cabinet, which is what makes them quieter than the conventional generator, making them a better alternative.
What are the Biggest Differences Between Inverter and Conventional Generators?
- The alternator and engine combination is very different. The conventional generator’s design consists of a separate alternator and engine, while the alternator and engine on the inverter generator is a single unit.
- An inverter generator is able to change up speeds, while the conventional generator’s engine must run at the same speed level, regardless of load size.
- Inverter generators weigh twenty to fifty pounds, come with a built-in handle, and are easy to transport. The conventional generator is heavy, bulky and not portable.
- The conventional generator does not produce clean power, while the inverter generator is able to produce clean energy.
- Obviously, the inverter generator is much quieter than a conventional model.
- Camp generators are also more energy efficient and run according to the required power load.
What is a quiet generator DB levels? Inverter generators can produce a noise level ranging from forty-two decibels up to seventy decibels, a noise rating that’s significantly lower than a conventional generator. Most generator manufacturers will indicate the noise level on the package, with a clear decibel range, such as 42DB-59DB. This range refers to load size. At a lower speed, the generator will have a noise rating of forty-two decibels, and fifty-nine decibels at full power. Even when the engine is running at full speed, the inverter generator is still much quieter than the conventional generator.
When you’re in the market for a new generator, paying close attention to a generator’s noise rating range is important. The inverter generator is so popular because, even at a higher speed, these generators produce noise levels that are as loud as a normal conversation.
Power Level and Noise Correlation
It’s important to note that the power output of a generator is directly related to the amount of noise the generator produces. This means that a three thousand watt inverter generator will have a higher noise rating than a two thousand watt generator. With a higher load size also comes an increase in volume. Even with a higher output, the inverter generator will still produce less noise than conventional generators.
My Inverter Generators is Too Loud at Max Load
As we mentioned, even a generator with a quiet noise rating can be louder than you’d like, based on load size. When your generator is at ninety to one hundred percent operating load it can be difficult to hold a conversation. If you want to decrease the amount of noise your inverter generator produces when it’s operating at a higher load then try installing a muffler. Many inverter generator manufacturers actually produce mufflers that are sold separately.
Fortunately, installing these mufflers is not only a great way to reduce noise it’s also incredibly easy. Some types of mufflers are designed to fit a variety of small generators, while for other brands of generators you’ll have to purchase a model specific muffler. Make sure the muffler you’re planning to buy is compatible with your specific generator.
To install, assemble the parts of the muffler, including the resonator and the diffuser discs. If your generator comes with a muffler and it’s not working efficiently, you can always upgrade. If you’re upgrading, carefully remove the stock muffler from the generator. Install the new muffler, using the adapter to perfectly fit the muffler to the generator’s exhaust port. Once the muffler has been installed, switch the generator on to ensure there are no exhaust leaks. Next, connect it to an appliance and increase the load speed until it’s running at ninety to one hundred percent engine speed in order to determine if the new muffler works.
And that’s it.
Many inverter generator muffler manufacturers claim that these special mufflers can bring the noise level down by five to ten decibels.
If you’re planning on permanently setting up your generator at home and you want to keep the noise level low when the generator is running at max speed, another option is building a small enclosure. While this is usually done for larger generators, it can also work for the inverter generator. Basically, a generator enclosure is just a small box that works to dampen the sound of the engine when the generator is at work. Of course, you’ll have to properly vent the box to accommodate the exhaust. You can purchase generator enclosures online or, if you’re handy, you can make your own.
What’s a quiet Inverter Generator Decibel Rating?
As you know by now, a generator’s noise rating is everything, especially if you plan on using your generator at a state park campground where strict noise policies are in place.
The best camp generator will have a noise rating around forty-two to sixty-two decibels. At this volume, you could easily carry on a conversation, without increasing the volume of your voice. Other models will have a noise rating of up to seventy decibels, which is significantly louder, but still quieter compared to conventional generators.
What are Better Power Source Alternatives to an Inverter Generator?
Solar panels, like the WindyNation RV solar panel kit, are completely silent, which makes them a great alternative. But this power source is not without its drawbacks. As an example, on a cloudy day, the solar panels will not be able to efficiently absorb sunlight, which means the system will not be able to produce as much energy as it can on sunny days. If you’re traveling through a sunny part of the country, then this shouldn’t be an issue. But if there are plenty of overcast days in the forecast where you’re traveling then an inverter generator, like the Wen PowerPro 56101 Inverter Generator, can provide a more reliable, solid performance.
To learn more about RV solar panel kits, click here to read our buyer’s guide.
Can You Use a Generator Indoors When it Rains?
No. An average generator produces a large amount of carbon monoxide. The airflow through your home and the direction of the wind can significantly affect the buildup of this deadly gas inside a structure. Unfortunately, high concentrations of carbon monoxide can accumulate in just five minutes. Even if you’ve done so in the past, indoor generator usage is incredibly risky. You may have operated one inside in the past with no issues, but all it will take is a shift in the wind to expose you to carbon monoxide.
How Far Away from a Home Does a Generator Need to Be?
A generator must be a minimum of fifteen feet from an enclosed structure like a shed, house, or garage. The exhaust should also be pointed away from vents, doors, and windows. If you’re using an extension cord, make sure you inspect it before each use.
What is a quiet generator? The answer is a model that produces seventy decibels or less, which is the inverter generator. These generators can be used in any application in which noise is a cause for concern. They’re perfect for indoor use during a power outage, camping trips, RV road trips, and any type of public event. The inverter generator is also ideal for any place that has a strict noise restriction such as public parks and gated communities. Their quiet operation is one of their best characteristics, but it’s certainly not their only one.