A portable generator is a source of electricity that you can take wherever you go. Next time you go camping in the woods, hit the road in an RV, or your city gets its power knocked out by unseen forces, you can whip out a portable generator to keep your electronics up and running. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of different portable generator models on the market, each with unique specs and features. This makes choosing the right portable generator quite a challenge.
In this article, we’re going to look at three of Westinghouse’s inverter generator: the iGen1200, iGen2200, and iGen4500. Despite their similar names, they vary in some of the most significant ways imaginable. So how can we determine which of these three inverter generators to take home with usWe’ll provide you with a quick comparison of the three and offer our opinion on which of them is the best.
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Surge and Running Wattages
Surge wattage refers to how many watts a generator can provide to kick-start your appliances to life, whereas running wattage indicates how many watts the generator can supply continuously. The iGen1200 has surge and running wattage ratings of 1,200 and 1,000, respectively. This isn’t a tremendous amount, but it’s enough for a portable AC and TV.
This machine can provide up to 2,200 watts for turning your electronics on. It supplies around 1,800 watts to keep them running. With 1,000 extra watts compared to the iGen1200, you’ll have much more capacity for plugging in larger and/or more electronics simultaneously.
The largest of the three, the iGen4500, has a surge wattage rating of 4,500 watts and a running wattage rating of 3,800 watts. This is more than double the capacity of the iGen2200 and should provide your entire RV with a continuous flow of clean power without picking and choosing which electronics to prioritize.
Conclusion: The first thing to do when researching portable generators is to check how much power they can supply. First, calculate how many watts it takes to turn on your most important appliances or those which you wish to take with you on outdoor trips. After adding them up, you should have a clear picture of how much power you actually need. Since only the user can determine how many watts they need for their electronics, only you can know whether you need a light 1,200-watt machine or a heavy-duty 4,500-watt generator.
On a full tank of gas (0.8 gallons) while running at quarter capacity (250 watts), the iGen1200 can provide up to 10 hours of clean energy. You can further extend the machine’s runtime by switching to Efficiency Mode, but it will significantly reduce how much power it supplies to your electronics.
The iGen2200’s 1.2-gallon gas tank can provide up to 12 hours of clean power when supplying up to 450 watts to your appliances. Like the iGen1200, this model also features an Efficiency Mode which can prolong the runtime of the machine.
The iGen4500 comes with a large 3.4-gallon tank which can supply up to 950 watts (25% load) for 18 hours. Basically, on a full tank of gas, your most critical appliances can be kept running for almost an entire day. Like the previous models, the iGen4500 also has an Efficiency Mode which allows the machine to provide up to 24 hours of good, clean energy.
Conclusion: Even though larger generators have larger fuel tanks, it’s common to find them running for proportionately shorter amounts of time continuously. This is because they need to work extra hard in keeping more of your appliances on, using considerably more fuel in the process. With that in mind, once again, we can’t decide for you. The user needs to decide whether more power for shorter amounts of time is better than less power for longer and vice versa.
iGen1200 and iGen2200
Neither the iGen1200 nor the iGen2200 come with LED displays. Without an LED data center, you’ll need to manually check how much gas is left in the tank and calculate how much power the generators are currently supplying. As long as you play it smart and don’t overload the machines, you won’t need to worry about causing irreparable damage.
This machine comes with an LED data center which shows how much fuel is left in the tank, how much power is being supplied, the voltage output, and the remaining runtime based on power consumption and the fuel in the tank. With the LED display center, a lot of the guesswork is taken out of the equation, so you’ll know how many more hours of energy you have and when to refill the tank.
Conclusion: Having an LED data center is considerably more convenient than operating a generator without one. Since most of the calculations are done for you, you can enjoy your vacation into the woods without needing to check the fuel tank constantly. The power consumption and voltage outage gauges are also extremely handy for those of us who can’t be troubled with calculating how many watts are used by which devices.
Recoil Cord, Electric Start Button, and Key Fob
iGen1200 and iGen2200
The only way to start up the iGen1200 and iGen2200 is by pulling on the recoil cord. Unfortunately, neither of these portable generators comes with electric start push buttons. This shouldn’t be a deal-breaker since it only requires one or two good tugs of the recoil start cord to begin operations.
Convenience is something that Westinghouse has fully implemented in their iGen4500. There are three ways to turn this baby on. First, you can pull on the recoil cord like you would a lawnmower. Second, simply push the electric start button and wait for the iGen4500 to purr to life. Finally, the most convenient way is turning the generator on from a distance with the help of a key fob.
Conclusion: Even though the methods of turning a generator on should be one of the lower priority specs when searching for a portable generator, it’s still nice to know that some models come with different ways of kick-starting them to life. The iGen4500’s key fob may be overkill, but it’s extremely fun to use. Also, since you’ll be standing more than 10 feet away from the machine, you won’t need to deal with the loud sputtering noises coming from the machine as it turns on.
In conclusion, the user needs to make the most important decisions when choosing a portable generator, namely the surge and running wattage and total runtime. It would be nice to have a beefy 4,500-watt machine, but if you only plan on taking a few handheld gadgets with you on a camping trip, then the iGen4500 would definitely be overkill.
The exclusive features found on the iGen4500 such as LED display and key fob are nice to have, but they shouldn’t be the determining factors in choosing between 1,200 watts, 2,200 watts, and 4,500 watts. The good thing is that choosing any of these machines is a smart choice. They all perform exceedingly well and provide clean energy for delicate electronics.
|21 x 20 x 14 in||26.3 x 24.8 x 22.9 in||18 x 11 x 18 in|
|46.5 pounds||122 pounds||48 pounds|