6 Best Generators for Air Conditioners – Reviews and Buying Guide (Summer 2022)

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Last updatedLast updated: June 03, 2022
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Air conditioners can no longer be considered a luxury, especially if you have hot summers. The rising temperature has made it difficult for us to imagine our lives without air conditioners, but what should you do if you no power source where you need it? The best generator for an air conditioner will help you through the heat.

We know, however, that finding such a generator can be tricky because there are a number of factors that you have to consider. We reviewed the most popular models on the market to figure out which are the best. In this article, we have narrowed it down to six options for you. The WEN 56380i emerged as the Editor’s Choice. It offers excellent value for money. The generator comes with many outlets so that you have a certain degree of flexibility when using the machine. The electric start feature also proves to be helpful. The Eco-mode allows users to save both fuel and money. The model makes very little noise at the time of operation.

We have taken certain features into consideration when framing the reviews. The peak and rated watts of a generator will determine how much power you have access to, while the reliability of the engine will decide how durable the machine will be. The runtime is an indicator of how long you will be able to use the generator at a stretch. Portability and availability of outlets are important features for RV owners.

You will find a table listing all the products followed by their in-detail reviews and a buying guide.

Top 6 Generators for Air Conditioners Review 2022

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Editor’s Choice

WEN 56380i

Features
  • Peak/rated watts: 3,800/3,400
  • Engine: 212cc 4-stroke OHV
  • Fuel tank: 2.2 gal.
  • Run time: 8.5 hours (50% load)
  • Outlets: (2) three-prong 120V receptacles;(1) AC 120V NEMA TT-30R RV;(1) 12V DC;(2) 5V USB ports
  • Start type: electric, recoil
  • Dimensions: 23.2 x 18 x 20.1 in
  • Weight: 99.2 lbs
  • Warranty: 2-year limited

An air conditioner is a necessity, especially if you live in a warm region. Not being able to switch on your AC because of a power cut can be torturous. So, you need to get a generator that can support your AC without any problem. We think that this product will be the perfect option for you.

The WEN 3,800-watt inverter generator creates clean energy that is not disturbed by voltage spikes and drops. It does not make a lot of noise so that you can continue your work without any disturbances. With this model, you will have access to 3400 rated and 3800 surge watts of power. The 212cc 4-stroke air-cooled OHV engine is impressive and efficient. It operates quietly at just 57 decibels when you are using it at quarter load. This would be an excellent generator for an RV air conditioner to take with you when you are going camping.

The WEN 3800W Inverter Generator comes with the fuel shutoff option. This means that the generator will be able to utilize the remaining fuel in the carburetor and then shut down in case there is an oil shortage. This will help in prolonging the lifespan of the generator and making its storage easier.

Lightweight and portable, it comes with built-in wheels and a folding handle. The 2.2-gallon tank will provide you with over 8.5 hours of half-load run time. The control panel has a digital fuel and load display that is easy to comprehend.

Why is it special?

  • Comes with many outlets, including USB ports and RV receptacles
  • Offers the electric start feature
  • Good runtime at half load
  • Wheels and handle make it convenient to wheel the generator around
  • Comes with the Eco-mode
  • Makes relatively less noise
  • Great price

What are the flaws?

  • Heavy and bulky
  • Some users complained about a broken plug connector
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Best for Portable AC

Champion Power Equipment 200987

Features
  • Peak/rated watts: 4,500/3,500
  • Engine: 212cc, OHV, 4-stroke, variable speed
  • Fuel tank: 23.3 gals.
  • Run time: 14 h (25% load)
  • Outlets: 12V DC Automotive, 120V 30A (TT-30R), 120V 20A Duplex (5-20R)(2)
  • Start type: electric, recoil, wireless remote
  • Dimensions: 23.2 x 17.7 x 20.1 in
  • Weight: 101 lbs
  • Warranty: 3-year limited

You don’t have to be without power during your moments of relaxation in the middle of the forest, in your RV, or even during emergencies at home. The Champion 200987 generator set is a handy device that helps you to stay connected and powered on for several hours while staying off the grid.

Also, using it is not difficult at all. It’s only a matter of choice as you can decide to start it using the simple recoil starter, the remote control, or the electric key start. You just need to press its start button to turn it on or off.

As you can also see, it doesn’t take up a lot of space, thanks to its 23 x 18 x 20 inches dimensions. However, with its weight of 97 pounds, you have to know that this is not a lightweight generator. Nonetheless, it’s not that heavy too. The Champion generator comes with two medium-sized wheels. These are just perfect for making you be able to move around with it.

In addition, it has a sturdy handle for easy transport. This generator set is certainly very expensive, but at least you can be sure that it will guarantee you safety, ergonomics, and very high durability. Its use is really very practical and this is made easier thanks to the instruction manual that comes with it.

What makes it stand out?

  • Nice and very secure design
  • Optimized engine
  • Ecological operation
  • Quiet enough for residential use
  • Portability features
  • Great fuel economy features

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • A little bit expensive
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Features
  • Peak/rated watts: 4,000/3,500
  • Engine: 224cc4-stroke Champion
  • Fuel tank: 2.9 gal.
  • Run time: 17 hours (25% load)
  • Outlets: (1) 120V 30A (TT-30R); (1) 120V 20A Duplex (5-20R); (1) 12V DC Automotive
  • Start type: recoil
  • Dimensions: 20.5 x 17.9 x 17.7 in
  • Weight: 6 lbs
  • Warranty: 3-year limited

If you are looking for an advanced generator that is flexible and functional, then this might be the model for you. One of the best portable generators for an air conditioner, it has an open frame inverter design that sets it apart from Champion’s traditional generators. This model is up to 50% quieter and even 20% lighter than a regular Champion 3,500-watt generator. You will be able to carry it from one place to another without any difficulty. Since it makes less noise than a conventional generator, around 64 dBA, the model is a perfect companion during your travels. The generator makes of noise when it is operating.

The generator comes with the Economy Mode with the help of which you will be able to save a significant amount of fuel and extend the engine life of your generator. One minor inconvenience that you might face is that the machine does not come with any GFCI outlets.

It will give you 3,500 running watts and 4,000 starting watts of power. You can expect a run time of 17 hours when you are running the generator on gasoline.

This model produces clean energy, which will not mess with sensitive electronics like air conditioners. It is equipped with multiple outlets. Moreover, it is parallel ready, which means that you will be able to augment the power output by connecting generators to it. The generator is backed by 3-year limited warranty, and you will also have the benefit of lifetime technical support. The Quick Touch Panel combines all the important controls in one place.

Why is it special?

  • Excellent fuel efficiency
  • Delivers clean energy for optimum protection
  • Parallel-ready design
  • Features a highly advanced open-frame design

What are the flaws?

  • Wheel attachment has to be bought separately
  • Noisy for an inverter generator
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Most Fuel-Efficient

Honda EU3000iS

Features
  • Peak/rated watts: 3,000/2,800
  • Engine: 196ccHonda GX200
  • Fuel tank: 3.4 gal.
  • Run time: 7.1 hours (rated load), 20 hours (25% load)
  • Outlets: (1) 20A 125V Duplex, (1) 30A 125V Locking; (1) 12V DC
  • Start type: electric, recoil
  • Dimensions: 25.9 x 17.6 x 22 in
  • Weight: 131 lbs
  • Warranty: 3-year limited

The Honda EU3000iS is a very popular model, and it will be worth your time to check it out once. Not only will you be able to use it for powering generators, but it will also successfully run a variety of sensitive appliances like furnaces, microwave ovens, blenders, and more. It is flexible without compromising performance in any way.

The generator makes very little noise so as not to disrupt your regular life. The EU3000iS makes just about 49 to 58 dB when it is operating. This sound will not pose a huge problem, which means that you can even take this generator on your camping or RV trips.

This generator is designed to be fuel-efficient and can run for up to 20 hours. The 3.4-gallon tank will store enough fuel to meet your requirements. The eco-throttle mode is partly responsible for the great fuel efficiency of the generator. You can expect the run time to vary between 7.2 and 20 hours on a single tank, depending on the load. Make sure that you do not apply an excess load, and there will not be any problems.

The advanced inverter technology of the model ensures that it does not cause glitches when powering sensitive equipment. The stable and clean power will ensure that your air conditioner remains safe under all circumstances. The engine shuts off when it detects low oil in the generator.

What makes it stand out?

  • Durable and reliable Honda GX200 engine
  • Has electric starter with backup recoil cable
  • Best-in-class fuel efficiency
  • Offers 7.4-hour runtime at rated load
  • Extraordinarily quiet
  • Three-year warranty for residential and commercial users

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • Very expensive
  • Difficult to transport without wheels
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5
Best Dual-Fuel Generator

Champion Power Equipment 100263

Features
  • Peak/rated watts: 3,400/3,100 (gasoline), 3,060/2,790 (propane)
  • Engine: 192cc4-stroke Champion
  • Fuel tank: 1.6 gal. (gasoline)
  • Run time: 7.5 hours (gas at 25% load), 14.5 hours (LPG at 25% load)
  • Outlets: (1) 120V 30A (TT-30R); (1) 120V 20A Duplex (5-20R); (1) 12V DC Automotive
  • Start type: electric, recoil
  • Dimensions: 25.1 x 17.3 x 18.3 in
  • Weight: 95.7 lbs
  • Warranty: 3-year limited

If you want the flexibility of the dual-fuel feature, then you will enjoy the Champion Power Equipment 100263 and all that it offers. You can run this 3,400-watt portable generator on either propane or gasoline. The machine comes with a tank that can store up to 0.6-quarts of oil. There is a low oil shut-off sensor that protects the engine in case there is a shortage of fuel.

You can power the generator easily using the electric start feature. The 3-position ignition switch is easy to use and navigate. There is a Quick Touch Panel on the machine that will give you access to all the important controls in one place. The generator is able to cut down on noise when operating and produces just 59 dBA at 23 feet. You will not feel perturbed by the noise, which will allow you to continue with your regular tasks. The ultra-quiet operation makes this machine the perfect contender for RVs.

You can expect 3,400 starting watts and 3,100 running watts of power from this model. When you operate the generator on gasoline, you will most likely get a run time of 7.5 hours. It will give you 14.5 hours of run time on propane. You can even increase the power output with the help of the Parallel Kit.

The machine has been designed to produce clean power so that your air conditioner does not suffer any damage. The 192cc engine is reliable. All in all, this powerful generator is portable and efficient at the same time.

What makes it stand out?

  • Very quiet operation
  • Comes with two fuel options
  • Good inbuilt handles
  • Parallel ready
  • Propane hose included
  • Lightweight

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • Small gas tank
  • Run time on gas could be longer
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6
Handy Efficiency Mode

Westinghouse iGen2200

Features
  • Peak/rated watts: 2,200/1,800
  • Engine: 80cc OHV 4-stroke
  • Fuel tank: 1.14 gal.
  • Run time: 12 hrs. (25% load)
  • Outlets: (2) 120V; (2) USB
  • Start type: recoil
  • Dimensions: 19.8 x 11.4 x 17.9 in
  • Weight: 46 lbs
  • Warranty: 3-year limited

Westinghouse is one of your best bets if you’re in the market for a portable inverter generator. This business is well-known for its high-quality generators and related items. The Westinghouse iGen220 is a mobile model with several characteristics that make it an excellent alternative to traditional power.

This generator is simple to start up with a single pull, just like most portable generators. It isn’t an electric start model, but it’s still relatively simple to operate. The presence of a control panel was one of the aspects we appreciated about the design. This is simple itself to use because all of the buttons, outlets, and knobs are clearly labeled and manipulable. There are also fast settings options for adjusting settings quickly.

When purchasing a generator, the noise level is one of the most important factors to consider. Many generators on the market have a noise level of between 70 and 78 decibels. This model’s noise level is just 52 decibels, almost silent. There’s also an Efficiency Mode on this machine that ensures it runs at total efficiency even while using less fuel.

What makes it special?

  • Affordable
  • Economical fuel consumption
  • Powerful engine
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Three-year warranty

What cons did we find?

  • Does not come with many outlets
  • A powerful engine burns extra fuel reducing fuel-efficiency
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Things to Consider

Choosing the perfect generator to run your air conditioner can be stressful. If you want to narrow down the list that we have given above, then you are free to consult this buying guide, as it will help you choose the model that is perfect for your requirements.

How powerful should a generator be to run an air conditioner?

6 Best Generators for Air Conditioners – Reviews and Buying Guide (Summer 2022)

You should remember that your air conditioner will require more power to start up than it will need while it is operating. Your generator should offer enough surge or peak load capacity for the air conditioner to start. Otherwise, both machines might suffer damage. Once the air conditioner is up and running, it will draw only about 1,500 watts, but that might double for just a few seconds when the compressor restarts. The generator should not trip its breaker during the process.

So, check your AC power requirement before settling on a particular generator.

Features to consider in a generator

When you are evaluating generators, certain features should get more priority than the others. You should know which features to look for in a generator so that the machine can fulfill all your needs with ease. Be thorough with your research to get the best value for your money.

Surge and rated power output

Each generator has a surge and a rated power output. The surge or starting watts indicate the extra watts which are used by motor-driven products when they are just starting. On the other hand, rated output refers to the continuous watts that the generator produces to power all machines. The WEN 56380i offers great values for both.

Reliable engine

The engine of your generator should be sturdy and dependable so it can run an air conditioner smoothly. The heavy-duty engine should be able to run for extended periods of time and keep up a consistent supply of power efficiently. Such brands as Champion, Honda, and Yamaha produce reliable engines that you can expect to run for years to come.

Fuel tank capacity and runtime

You must take the fuel tank capacity of the generator into consideration as that will determine the run time of the product. In case you want to use your generator for extended periods, it should have a large fuel tank. For example, the Honda EU3000iS has a massive 3.4-gallon fuel tank that ensures up to 20 hours of continuous operation on a quarter load. You can go for a smaller fuel tank if you do not want continued usage at a stretch or want a more lightweight and portable generator like the Yamaha.

Safety features

Modern generators usually come with safety features that protect you against accidents. The low-oil shutoff option turns the engine off when the machine detects low fuel. This prevents excessive wear and tear of the engine. The overload prevention will ensure that the generator turns off when there is excess load.

Warranty and customer service

The warranty period of a generator can denote how much faith a brand has in its final product. Moreover, having the warranty will give you more confidence when you are just starting to use the generator. Do not invest in a generator whose warranty policy does not impress you. The customer service offered by the brand should also be helpful and polite.

Dimensions, weight and portability

6 Best Generators for Air Conditioners – Reviews and Buying Guide (Summer 2022)

The dimensions and weight of a generator determine the portability of a generator together. If you are planning to travel frequently with the generator, then it should be portable. Features like wheels and handles can make it easy to carry the machine around. The dimensions of the generator will also determine how you store it.

Ease of use

The generator that you buy should not be complicated to use. The control panel should be easily navigable. There should be a monitoring system to measure the performance of the machine. Most manufacturers have begun adding the electric start option to their generators. Both the WEN 56380i and the Champion Power Equipment have the electric start feature.

Noise level

Most modern generators are not likely to make as much noise as traditional models. They have noise reduction technologies and mufflers in place so that the sound produced resembles the noise level of a regular conversation. Go for a machine that produces 50 to 80 decibels of noise.

FAQ

Traditional 3,000-watt generators are known to produce very loud sounds because of their mechanism. The combination of the engine speed and the electrical output force conventional generators to make high levels of noise. However, recent technologies have made it possible for us to lay our hands on inverter generators that make much lesser noise in comparison. They come with mufflers that cut down on the sounds produced by the engine and allow you to remain undisturbed even when you run the generator for an extended period of time. The generators listed above produce noise levels varying between 50 to 80 decibels so you should have no problem!

If you have an air conditioner that requires 15,000 BTU to operate, then you have to invest in a 3,000-watt generator at the very least. Once the air conditioner starts working, it will utilize 50% less power. However, if you want to be on the safer side, then you should get a generator that offers 3,500 starting watts of and 1,800 running watts. In case you are planning to power other appliances along with your air conditioner, then you will need a generator that offers even more power. Do not overload your generator under any circumstance so as to avoid accidents. When you are in doubt, go for the more powerful generator.

Our Verdict

All the air conditioners that we have mentioned above have our stamp of approval, but we do have favorites.

The WEN 56380i emerged as the best generator for air conditioner as it combines portability with functionality. It will give you 3,800 peak watts and 3,400 rated watts. The 212cc 4-stroke OHV engine is reliable and will last you for a long time. The 2.2-gallon fuel tank will give you a run time of about 8.5 hours at 50% load. It comes with a variety of outlets. You can switch on the machine using the electric start.

The Champion Power Equipment will give you 4,500 peak watts and rated 3,500 rated watts. The company is known to make solid machinery that is reliable. The 212cc 4-stroke Champion engine is made to last. It comes with a 2.3-gallon fuel tank that can power the machine for 14 hours at 25% load.

The Champion Power Equipment 100302 provides users with a massive 4,000 peak watts. It comes with the 224cc 4-stroke Champion engine and a 2.9-gallon tank that work together to give you 17 hours of run time at 25% load.

References

1.
Can a Generator Run an AC Window Unit? | Home Guides | SF Gate
Can a Generator Run an AC Window Unit?. Any window air conditioning unit can be powered by a generator. However, you may not be able to power many other appliances plus an AC window unit, depending on the size of the generator.
2.
STUDIES ON CONTROL OF NOISE FROM PORTABLE POWER GENERATOR
Portable power generators are used very commonly in shops, offices and homes today in order to supply power during power shutdowns. These generators emit very high levels of noise, in addition to noxious air emissions.
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