The name Generac is seemingly a combination of the words “generator” and “AC” power. “Power” is emphasized because Generac portable generators exhibit a lot of it. Generac produces many generators for commercial or industrial use but also produces generators for residential or portable purposes. In this article, three such home generators will be compared and contrasted.
These three generators are the Generac Homelink 6500E, the Generac IX series and the Generac LP series. These three generators are all intended for use by homeowners, but that seems to be the extent of their similarities. They all seem to be as different as night and day and hence need a closer look.
For example, in terms of power, efficiency and cleanliness, the Homelink 6500E has a 389cc OHV engine with splash lubrication, ensuring for a long life for the engine. The IX series has inverter technology--providing clean and stable energy--which is especially attuned to power computers and other equipment that are sensitive to fluctuations in power. The LP series are run by liquid propane which is virtually non-toxic, and far superior to gasoline in Generac portable generators.
In terms of portability, the Homelink 6500E and the LP series have heavy-duty, never flat wheels. The 6500E is defined as having 10 inch wheels; the LP series is not exactly described but it does appear to be the same or similar size. The IX series is even more portable in that it is smaller, lighter, and has a carrying handle. It rests not on wheels but on small legs.
Another seeming similarity is that of the power switch panel and accessibility. The 6500E has an upgradeable manual transfer switch that allows you to change from utility to generator power by simply pressing a button. The IX series allows you to switch from high mode which can be used for operating multiple appliances or equipment, to economy mode which can be used to save fuel and to reduce sound levels (very useful in campgrounds where you will have neighbors). The LP series have covered outlets (very useful when using this outdoors in the rain) and a low-oil shutdown (preventing potential damage).
The differences are in the appearance and aesthetics of these Generac portable generators. The 6500E most resembles the typical power generator. The IX series is very small and portable, and resembles a vacuum cleaner more than it does a high-power generator. The LP series is larger than the 6500E and looks more like a medium to large sized lawn mower.
Again, all these portable generators appeal to homeowners but their purposes are different. The 6500E is maybe for your home needs, especially during power outages. The IX series is geared for those who are away from home, such as travelling to campgrounds or through the wilderness, or when you have a tailgate party. The LP series, like the 6500E, is for home use but we infer that it is intended to be used outside, such as powering the patio or the outside house lights during Christmas or other holidays.
The costs are also significantly different. The 6500E is the most expensive at $1,800. The IX series has four models ranging from $320 to $590, with the IX1400 being rated the most favorable and priced at $500. The LP series has two models ranging from $610 to $800.
We found these Generac portable generators to be quite different from each other. Having said that, for your standard home needs, we give the edge to the LP series for its cost and clean liquid propane fuel, and which is still accessible during long power outages (unlike gasoline). For your home-away-from-home needs, then there really is no better option for Generac portable generators than the IX series.