If you are looking for a generator to have in your apartment, you are in the right place!
In this guide, you will learn:
- How to choose a backup generator for indoor spaces
- Our #1 top generator pick
- Risks of using an electric generator
- And more...
If you live in an apartment, a conventional generator is NOT suitable for you! Those gas-powered generators give off toxic fumes that are hazardous to your well-being. It is best to get a battery-operated power pack. These run quietly and produce zero emissions.
These battery-operated mini generators are compact enough to keep around the house for power outages and to use them for road trips, camping, or even grilling!
Below is our list of the top battery-operated generators on the market. Keep reading to learn about the best generators for apartments and frequently asked questions. Let's get started!
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000
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Ef ECO Flow River Pro Portable Power Station
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Westinghouse iGen 160s 100W Solar Generator
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Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station
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Jackery Explorer 240W Portable Power Station
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Blavor Solar Power Bank Portable Charger
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Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
Our overall top pick for the best generator for an apartment is Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000.
This Jackery generator can provide you with 1,000 Watts of pure sine wave energy. Giving you enough power to run almost any small appliance.
You never have to worry about how you are going to get your generator charged back up when you pair it with two SolarSaga 100 solar panels. These guarantee you never run out of power when you need it!
It is hands-down, the best generator for an apartment that will keep you powered up through a power outage!
What Are The Best Apartment Generators?
- Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000 Apartment Generator (Best Overall)
- Ef ECO Flow River Pro Portable Power Station (Best Upgradeable)
- Westinghouse iGen 160s 100W Indoor Solar Generator (Best Lightweight)
- Goal Zero Yeti 400 Backup Power For Apartment (Best User Friendly)
- Jackery Explorer 240W Indoor Portable Apartment Generator (Best Bang For Your Buck)
- Blavor Solar Power Bank Portable Charger (Best Pocket-Sized)
The 6 Best Backup Generators For Apartments Reviewed
If you are looking to have the best power pack generator, you can't beat the Jackery Explorer 1000!
- Power: 1000W
- Charging Options : Wall outlet, car adapter, solar panel (not included)
- Weight: 22.04 Pounds
This generator can get you through a power outage with the capabilities of being able to power a full-size refrigerator!
The Explorer 1000 is able to provide you with 1000W of pure sine wave AC power. This ensures it is safe to plug in any of your electronics.
It provides you with three AC outlets, two USB-C, and one quick charge 3.0 port, giving you options for getting things charged back up in a power outage.
It is also capable of powering a mini fridge for up to 9 hours!
Our overall top pick for the best upgradeable options is the Ef ECO Flow River Pro Portable Power Station.
- Power: 600 W to 1800 W
- Charging Options: Wall outlet, car adapter, solar (not included)
- Weight: 16. 8 Pounds
The River Pro has a couple of upgradable options. Making it easier to customize to your needs!
You can expand its capacity by purchasing an additional battery to double the capacity from 720Wh to 1440Wh. Also, depending on how much power you need, you can purchase one 110W solar panel, one 160W solar panel, or two 110W solar panels, and connect them in parallel.
With X-Boost on you are able to increase your wattage to 1800W, allowing you to power up most essential small kitchen appliances.
This mini apartment generator allows for powering up to 10 devices simultaneously as long as you don't exceed 600W at a time. It features three pure sine-wave AC outlets, three DC outlets, two USB-A ports, one USB-C port, and one fast charge USB port.
It has other features like a molded handle, flashlight, and a reading light.
It is versatile enough to power up to 9 devices at once. There are two AC outlets, 2 USB ports, one USB-C port, one USB quick charge, and three DC power ports!
Not only is it emissions-free, it also produces no noise pollution! Making this a great choice to use indoors.
This power pack is able to be connected with other 33Ah lead-acid batteries to increase your available power and runtime.
Each Goal Zero Yeti 400 comes equipped with two USB ports, three DC power ports, and two AC outlets, allowing you to charge 7 devices all at once!
Best Bang For Your Buck
If you upgrade and purchase a solar panel to be able to charge the power pack, you will have constant power for your devices because you charge it while charging other devices.
The Explorer 240 has outputs for one AC outlet, two USB-C ports, and one DC power port.
With this pocket-sized portable charger, you will never have to worry about your phone or tablet going dead.
- Power: 10,000 mAh
- Charging Options: Solar, AC outlet
- Weight: 10 ounces
This portable charger may not be able to charge anything other than a phone or tablet, but at least in case of an emergency you can call for help!
It is compatible with all qi-enabled mobile devices and is also equipped with two USB-C ports. This little power pack also has a built-in flashlight and comes with a compass making it great for those outdoor adventures!
Can You Have A Generator In An Apartment?
Just because you live in an apartment doesn't mean you are immune to power outages, but who wants to live without power.
A conventional type of generator, that runs off some type of fuel, is not suitable for indoor use, due to the emissions that it puts off. Gas or propane-fired generators can result in carbon monoxide poisoning, if the generator is not used in a VERY well-ventilated area. In fact, you aren't even supposed to run fuel-burning generators in your garage or shed!
Battery-Powered Electric Generators
The best solution for dealing with power outages in an apartment is to have a battery-operated portable power station! These power packs, have different ranges of battery capacities depending on their size and charging options.
Most power packs come with three different options for charging, whether it be by a wall outlet, a car adapter, or using a solar panel.
The benefit of having your power pack set up to charge via a solar panel, is that even if you have a longer than expected power outage, you still have an alternate way of being able to charge your power pack and keep you going. Some units even allow you to charge your devices even while your power station is charging.
How Do Backup Generators for Apartments Work?
Generators that are best for apartments do not actually generate power on their own. They are a battery power pack that utilizes a separate power source, to charge up. Then it just stores power until you are ready to use it.
Some power stations are able to sit with a charge for long periods of time. Others it is recommended to drain the battery and then recharge every 3 months.
The nice part about indoor portable generators is that there isn't much maintenance to deal with. The only thing you have to do is make sure they are charged up. Once the power station is charged, you can plug in whatever device you want to use or charge in, and you are good to go!
You should keep an eye on the power level to ensure there is enough power to run, or charge the devices or appliances that are plugged in.
What Are the Different Types of Indoor Generators?
Lithium-ion batteries are a common type of generator used as portable power stations for indoor spaces like apartments.
Zero Maintenance - These batteries do not require watering like their counterpart, lead-acid
- Faster Charge Time - Charge significantly faster
- Longer Run Time - The time between needing to charge is longer
- Longer Life - It has a longer overall life span
- Reduced Energy Use - Requires less power to charge and needs to be charged less frequently reducing energy use and cost
- Cost - On average can cost up to 3 times more than other types of batteries
- Still Require Inspection - Even though there isn't any maintenance required by these batteries, you should still inspect them
- End of Life - Few are recycled due to the cost of recycling them
Lead Acid Battery
Lead-acid batteries are also common with indoor power generators.
- Cost - Fairly inexpensive to purchase
- Powerful - Are able to provide you with high power output
- Easily recharged - They have no problem being recharged over and over again
- Require Maintenance - The water level in these batteries need to be monitored along with being discharged and recharged regularly
- Weight - Tend to be very heavy
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How To Pick The Best Indoor Home Generators?
There are some key factors when picking a generator for your apartment. When the power goes out, how many appliances are you going to want to try and run? This will decide the size of power-pack you will need. Consider how you plan on charging the power pack as there are different energy sources that can be used to charge the station. The degree of portability is not to be forgotten; the weight of power stations varies greatly between brands and power capacity.
Capacity of the Generator
Power packs are sized off the number of watts that you intend on drawing. Most appliances will have their watt draw listed on the informational label that has the model number on it.
If it doesn't have the number of watts listed but has the amperage and voltage listed, you multiply the number of amps times the voltage it runs at.
To pick the best generator for your needs, get a list of everything you would like to run, and figure out what your highest amp draw would be. You will want to purchase a power pack that is capable of running that appliance. You should not have problems running anything smaller.
Most power packs are capable of being charged 3 different ways, by wall outlet, by car adapter, or by solar panel.
When purchasing the power station, pay attention to what comes with it and what you will have to buy separately. Unless you buy a bundle deal, the power stations do not come with the solar panel to charge it and then only some come with the car adapter.
Another thing to consider when searching for a generator for your apartment would be if you would ever want to be able to upgrade your power station. Some are able to add extra batteries or even connect to another unit in line. This would allow for extra power and give you the ability to run higher wattage appliances.
There is also the option for hooking more than one solar panel to the unit allowing for faster charge times.
Safety is important so there are a couple things you should look for when you are choosing your generator for inside the house. It is best to have one that has built-in safety features to prevent overheating and overload protection.
An internal high/low temperature gauge is a good addition to your power station because it should turn power off if the battery falls outside of the manufacturer specifications. This will help prevent any disasters that could come from the battery not functioning properly.
Overload protection is a great safety feature as well. This can stop an incoming or outgoing problem before it affects the unit itself, or your devices plugged into it. It can prevent overcharging of the battery by disengaging the power source that is charging it, preventing excess current. The other overload situation that it can protect from is trying to run too many things off the power station. It should have a shutdown feature that will turn the unit off once it reaches a certain power level to protect any device plugged into it from getting low current.
When shopping for a portable power pack, keep in mind if you are going to strictly use this for backup power in your home; or, are you going to try and get more use out of it by using it for road/camping trips.
Some of the units can get pretty heavy depending on their energy capacity. If you have to move it up and down stairs, how much it weighs could play a major factor into which one you may want to purchase. You can always look for something that can help facilitate transportation, like a cart.
Durability could be a big deciding factor if you want to use it for more than just backup power for your apartment. If you intend on getting more use out of it, you are going to want to get something that will stand up to transportation and any accidental impacts that may occur.
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What Are the Risks of Using Generators For Inside?
One risk of using a portable indoor generator would be the potential for overheating. If the unit starts to overheat, it can put the devices and your apartment at risk if it doesn't have safety measures built-in.
Overheating can cause poor sine waves, which is considered dirty electricity. This can cause electronic failure and ruin your device.
Overheating can also cause batteries and electronics to short out, which has the potential to lead to fires.
Don't overload your generator, and make sure the generator can handle your max appliance electrical draw.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Size Generator Do I Need for An Apartment?
You will need to figure out what your wattage usage would be and size the generator to meet your needs.
What Kind of Generator Can I Use for An Apartment?
If you are able to put your generator outdoors, you can get a conventional gas-powered generator. If you are not able to put the generator outdoors, you will need to invest in a battery-operated power pack. You cannot use a gas-powered generator indoors.
Is There A Generator That Can Be Used Indoors?
Yes, there is. They are called portable power stations. They do not use any kind of fuel, nor do they emit any type of fumes, so they are safe to use indoors.
Is There A Generator For A Condo?
Yes, there is. For condos, a battery-operated power station is required. Gas-powered generators are not safe for use indoors.
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Final Thoughts On Generators For Indoor Use
Going without power is never fun, so if you are unable to use a conventional generator, a portable power station is what you need!
These power stations are easily customizable according to your needs. You can choose the size you need based on your wattage consumption and then you can choose how you want to be able to charge the unit.
The nice part about these units is they produce almost no sound; they produce zero odor and zero emissions.
So instead of sitting in the dark, decide how much wattage you will require and go get yourself a power station!
I hope you enjoyed this Home Inspector Secrets guide!