Phil has been working as a technical engineer since his graduation, and has never thought of changing his profession. Also, he’s an avid fisherman and camper, so it’s not only work which makes him deal with generators.
Last updated: March 16, 2021
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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.
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.
What we liked:
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
What could be better:
Heavy and bulky
Some users complained about a broken plug connector
The Champion Power Equipment 75537i is an excellent power generator to invest in. You will be able to power your air conditioner easily using this product. It comes with a wireless remote start that makes it very easy to use. There is a key fob that will allow you to start and stop the generator even when you are 80 feet away. It also comes with a convenient electric start option. You should not face any problem when operating the 3-position ignition switch. The generator is equipped with the Quick Touch Panel so that you are able to access all the controls in one spot.
The model has been designed to produce clean electricity so that you can use it to power sensitive electronics like air conditioners. It is equipped with multiple outlets and is a perfect fit in an RV. The generator does not make a lot of noise during operation. The 58 dBA of noise will not cause you any disturbance. You can expect up to 2,800 running watts and 3,100 starting watts of power from this generator. You will get 8 hours of run time when you use the generator at a 25% load.
The generator comes with a 3-year limited warranty, and the company also offers free lifetime technical support. This generator strikes the perfect balance between versatility and efficiency. Since the machine is lightweight, you should not have a problem carrying it around. The Cold Start Technology will make sure that your generator works without a glitch even in winter.
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.
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 we liked:
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
Three-year warranty for residential and commercial users
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.
If you want a dependable generator that will ensure your air conditioner runs smoothly, then you cannot go wrong with this model. It comes equipped to meet your power needs but is slightly less powerful than other generators on our list. This means that this generator can’t power anything except an air conditioner when you plug it in.
The machine comes with increased motor starting capability as a result of which it becomes easier to set the air conditioner into action. Moreover, the generator only produces clean power that is suitable for sensitive electronics like air conditioners. The power will not cause any damage to the AC since it is even cleaner than commercial power. The generator is able to make the necessary adjustments to create a harmony between the engine speed and the load. There will be no overloading as long as the generator is working properly.
With this machine, you will not have to worry about engine damage. It can prevent engine wear and tear that happens because of low oil. You will not have to spend on costly repairs and maintenance often. The quiet operation is a bonus because you will be able to use the generator for extended periods of time without being disturbed. The combination of efficiency, reliability, and portability is difficult to find, but this model manages to tick all three boxes. The cast-iron cylinder liner ensures a long engine life and consistency even after continuous use. It is one of the best generators for a 13,500 BTU air conditioner.
What we liked:
Powerful for a small generator
Can start newer 13,500 BTU AC units in RVs
Electric throttle feature is responsive to surge demands
What could be better:
Does not come with many outlets
Powerful engine burns extra fuel reducing fuel-efficiency
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 3100 peak watts and rated 2,800 rated watts. The company is known to make solid machinery that is reliable. The 171cc 4-stroke Champion engine is made to last. It comes with a 1.6-gallon fuel tank that can power the machine for 8 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.