How heavy and noisy is a generator?Buyers Guides
You’ve found the perfect generator to power your appliances. Great! Now you need to move it to where it needs to be. The problem is it’s heavier than you realized and you can’t move it by yourself. Worse still, when you turn it on, it sounds like a jet engine has fired up and your neighbours waste no time in complaining. Learn more about generator noise level.
Noise and weight might not be top of the list when you purchase a generator, but they are hugely important factors when you want to use it. If you compromise on either, you could end up with a generator that is more of a hassle than a help.
Let’s look at noise levels first.
Many areas have noise regulations that may impact generator usage, particularly at night. This is especially the case for residential areas – so if you’re planning on using the generator around the home or work shed, you must consider the noise level. For obvious reasons, loud generators are also not recommended for camping, caravanning and outdoor events unless you want to make enemies!
The good news is most generators are labeled with a decibel rating. This is measured at an industry standard of seven metres away from the source (in this case, the generator).
Here’s how it works: for every increase in 10 decibels, the generator noise level is roughly doubled. So a generator that runs at 70 decibels is ten times as loud as a generator that runs at 60 decibels.
How loud is loud?
Inverter generators typically range between 50 dBA to 60 dBA and are now designed with noise reducing features. If you look for these when choosing your generator, you can’t go wrong:
- Internal silent muffler
- Noise block sound reduction system (Yamaha)
- Noise level suppresser
- Quality construction and materials help to keep noise levels low
- Totally enclosed casing
- Rubber isolation feet
Also, keep in mind that inverter technology is generally quieter than conventional and AVR generator types purely thanks to the way it generates the power. However, there are some models, such as certain ones in the domestic backup Pramac auto-start range which are ‘super silenced’ and comprise internal sound proofing within the canopy to keep the generator noise level right down without compromising on power. Again, it’s worth looking out for these features if generator noise level is important to you.
Larger industrial type generators tend to run at around 70dBA and above, as they are open framed and use larger engines to run heavier equipment. Generator noise level for these type of units typically aren’t as much of a priority compared to those generators used for recreation or domestic purposes.
Overall, it’s hard to go past the Yamaha Inverter range for quiet operation – their patented noise block sound reduction system means they are the quietest generators in the world.
Next, consider the weight.
The weight of your generator will determine how easy it is to move, store and transport. So if you want a portable generator to take on the road, it should be exactly that – portable. If you’re really only going to move it from the corner of the work shed to the work bench, you can afford to go a bit heavier.
Obviously, the more power you need, then typically the heavier the generator will be. Inverter generator models from 1000 to 2000 watts will typically weigh between 12 to 20kg’s and are easy to pick up and pack away for camping trips or small business. The smallest and lightest is the Yamaha EF1000iS – very popular for charging camping batteries:
The next level of inverter generators up in power are around 30kg’s or more – these are still portable though, as they will come with handles or wheel kits for easy manoeuvrability. A good example is the Yamaha EF2400iS – this is the most common generator for running caravans, especially when you need to run a caravan air conditioner.
Beyond the inverter range, trade generators and larger backup generators are far heavier as they require much larger engines for increased power. For example, the most common tradesman/farming generator, the Powerlite 8kVA model weighs 70kg and the most popular domestic backup unit is the auto-start Pramac S8000 weighing in at 96kgs. Despite not needing to move these generators around as much as recreational units, they still come with additional optional wheel and handle kits for transportation. Other larger units will also come with lifting bars or even forklift slots if required.
If you’re looking at brands… Again, Yamaha is renowned for its lightweight generators and is a market leading premium option, while Cromtech is a budget brand that has a great value for money model in the Cromtech Outback 2400w inverter generator.
These two brands are your best lightweight options up to around 2400 watts in the inverter range. The Cromtech Outback 2400 inverter generator comes in at around 20kgs and is super quiet at only 52 to 58 dBA. It only has a 1 year warranty (compared to Yamaha generators which have 4 years) but the Cromtech is a good option for infrequent use. Many budget brand generators dont have a national service network to support their products, but Cromtech is an exception and are backed by service agents around the country.
For more power of 7000 watts and above, look for the trade options (Powerlite, Gentech, Crommelins) or for the larger domestic backup look for the Generac and Pramac models, as they are designed with additional transportation features as optional extras.
Now you’re worked out what types of models suit your noise and portability requirements, check out our comprehensive range of generators at mygenerator.com.au
DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.