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How Many Types of Generators Are There?

All five types serve the same purpose, which is to power your devices, but some are designed to power specific equipment.

Types Of Generators

Here’s a rundown of the different types of generators and what each one is best suited to do (and when):

Inverter generators

This type of generator is the quietest of them all, able to provide power to your lights, heaters, fans, and smaller devices like radios and phones. An inverter generator is perfect for recreational activities, like boating and camping.

Portable generators

Portable generators provide limited power and are primarily used for building or maintenance equipment, like drills or saws, that operate for short periods of time. This type of generator is easy to move around, but it doesn’t have the wattage capabilities to restore power to your home’s major appliances or systems.

Whole-home generators

As the name suggests, this type of generator is designed to restore power to your whole home in the case of a power outage, supplying power to your appliances and HVAC systems, while also powering your entire home or select circuits. These generators can operate with an existing fuel supply and be up and running within seconds of an outage.

Thermoelectric generators

Thermoelectric generators are solid-state devices, meaning their parts are very unlikely to wear out and break. Some versions are completely silent and can use any type of fuel to generate heat and power. This type of generator is highly efficient and is typically used for industrial processes, including gas pipelines, automobiles, and power plants.

Solar generators

Solar generators use solar panels to soak up the sun, drawing and storing energy in a high-capacity battery. The energy is then transferred through an inverter and used to power a variety of devices in your home (think lights, laptops, and refrigerators). This generator is silent, energy efficient, and it doesn’t emit carbon dioxide into the air so you can run it indoors.

Great Generator Options For You

Now that you’re an expert on the different types of generators, how do you know which generator type is best for you?

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