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5 Best Portable Generators with Low THD

5 Best Portable Generators with Low THD

A solid portable generator for your home is considered an essential in 2022, but they are not all created equally.

For instance, you need to know the THD level for the generator.

Buying one with a high THD level can negatively impact sensitive equipment. Anything sensitive to power changes is at risk with some generators. 

What should you look for in a generator, and what are the best portable generators with low THD on the market?

How Important are Low THD Portable Generator?

THD stands for total harmonic distortion, meaning it can produce clean power.

The THD level indicates how likely it is that the power generator will cause problems with your high-end equipment, such as:

  • Televisions

  • Computers

  • Game consoles and accessories

  • Monitors

  • Space heater

  • Electric water heater

  • Coffee maker

Generally, you don’t have to worry about THD because it is not a problem with utility electricity, but this is a factor to consider with backup power solutions.

Portable generators do not offer the same grade of electricity as utility companies. That means high-end appliances might not recognize the power coming from the unit. 

Why Generator THD is a Concern

THD has been a considerable problem in the portable generator industry for many years.

So much so that brands created low THD power generators specifically to compensate for it. These models are less likely to cause damage to sensitive equipment.

THD levels measure the quality of the electricity coming out of the generators. Lower THD is known as clean electricity. 

What is a Good THD for a Portable Generator?

Typically, for most portable generators a THD level of less than 6% is low.

Anything above 6% may affect the life of your home electrical circuits, cause microprocessors to break down and damage furnace controllers. Look for something under six percent to keep your electronics safe. 

For example the Whisper Series of generators from Firman Power Equipment all have a THD of below 3%.

What Else to Look for in a Portable Generator

There are other things you want to look for in a home or portable generator besides THD level. 

Power Supply, Running Wattage, and Voltage Output

Generators are marketed based on their power output, measured by how many watts they can deliver.

The electricity they supply dictates how many devices and appliances you can operate at once; a normal house will require around 5,000 watts.

If you need to run just some essentials or smaller electronic devices such as cell phones, a coffer maker, or low power lights, know how much power they need.

For example, a power-efficient refrigerator uses about 600 watts. Lights will require anywhere from five to 80 watts for each bulb.

A window air conditioner needs up to 1,000 watts. 

Other use cases such as power tools and powering appliances have their own requirements so be sure to think about what you'll likely need during.

Fuel Type or Power Source

There are a lot of options to choose from here. From gas generators, to propane generators, to those powered by a solar panel. Each of these of course have their own positives and negatives.

Some of the best portable generator models on the market today use a dual fuel or tri fuel setup, giving the owner much more flexibility.

Dual fuel generators will give you two different fueling options, and tri fuel gives you three.

Type of Generator

There are also a variety of low THD generator styles on the market today. You’ll want to understand them to buy the one best suited for your likely needs during a power outage.

Choosing the best portable generator depends on what you think you'll need in an emergency, so try to think about this before it happens!

Home Standby Generators

As the name suggests, standby generators start automatically if the power goes out.

Their power output runs from 5,000 to 20,000 watts and are used to power an entire house. This will be the most powerful generator type you'll find easily.

Portable Generators

The best low THD portable generators tend to be less expensive, but they also have more limited use cases.

These models offer from 3,000 to 8,000 watts of power.

Portable Inverter Generators

Inverter generators are also lower-cost alternatives. They provide 1,500 to 6,500 watts of power as the generator's output.

Portable Power Stations

These are relatively new types of generators – ones that have no motor, so they are very quiet.

They also produce zero emissions, so they are safe to use indoors. They run either on rechargeable battery or solar panels. However, they offer less output, too.

They tend to produce between 1,200 to 1,500 watts but of course allow you to avoid the dangers of things like Carbon monoxide poisoning, which is a real risk when using most generators indoors or in an enclosed space.

Portable Generator Safety

Make sure to look over the safety guidelines for the portable generator, too.

For example, look for automatic fuel shutoff, surge protector functionality. Also, most units must run outdoors, so consider weather issues and whether you want a canopy of some kind. 

Five of the Best Low THD Generators

Finding suitable home generators can be difficult, so let us give you a hand.

Here are five of the best of the best that come with lower THD and can offer emergency power. 

1. Westinghouse iGen4500

This Westinghouse IGen4500 product is one of several available that are a THD generator. It is an affordable inverter generator that produces up to 4,500 watts of surge power. It also runs out of one of two kinds of fuel: natural gasoline or propane. 

Some of the popular features of the Westinghouse iGen4500Df include low-rated noise production, decent run time before refueling – around 18 hours, and it offers a well-equipped outlet panel. It also comes at an affordable price. It offers:

  • Two 20A household outlets

  • Built-in USB ports

  • Push-button electric start

  • 3-year limited warranty

  • Lifetime technical support

It also boasts a 3% THD, making it a good choice for sensitive electronics. 

2. Honda EU2200i Companion Inverter Generator

The Honda EU2200i is a small, quiet inverter generator with a rated 1,800 watts of power and 2,200 startup watts. Honda generators are generally thought of as reliable and good value.

The Honda engine features:

  • Low noise – 48 dBA

  • .95 gallon fuel capacity

  • 8.1 operation hours

  • 2 AC outlets

  • Low oil automatic shut off

  • CO sensor and automatic shut off

  • CO alarm

It also has less than 3% THD.  

3. Westinghouse WGen12000

The Westinghouse WGen 12000 is a larger capacity portable generator for the whole house that provides 15,000 peak hours and 12,000 running watts of power. Westinghouse is known for their low THD generators. It features:

10.5-gallon gas tank with fuel monitor

  • Transfer switch ready L14-30R -14-50R outlets 

  • It runs 11 hours on one tank

  • Operates larger appliances

  • Smart Idle for better fuel efficiency

  • Low oil shutdown

  • Automatic voltage regulation

  • Overload protection

This larger generator offers less than 5% THD.

4. PREDATOR 9500 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator

The Predator 9500W Max Starting generator is also a large portable inverter generator effective for the whole house. It offers:

  • 459cc engine

  • 6.8-gallon fuel tank

  • 18.5 hours of running time at 25% load

  • Nine total power outlets, including 2 USB outlets

  • 7,600 watts

  • Electric start

  • Low noise level

This unit has less than 3% THD. 

5. Honda EU7000Is

The Honda EU7000IS is a good generator similar to the Predator but with 5,500 running watts. It offers:

  • 16 hours of running time

  • 389cc engine

  • Six power outlets

  • Carbon monoxide detection shutoff

Also, like the Predator, it has less than 3% THD

Finding suitable portable generators can be a lifesaver should the power go out and you need to generate electricity.

A home generator provides you with power when you need it like during hurricane season and is on stand by when your electricity is working fine. 

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