Everybody knows the age-old rule when it comes to generators: never use them inside.
Unfortunately, this restriction can make running your essential electrics from your generator a complicated process in the event of a power outage.
That’s why many generator manufacturers have created indoor generators that are suitable for use in apartments and condos.
These indoor generators are much safer to run, more convenient to set up, and overall, the best choice if you want a reliable power backup source for a small living space.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the top-rated indoor generators on the market!
OUR TOP PICK
The Jackery Explorer 500 Portable Power Station is possibly the most popular indoor generator you can find through online retailers.
Jackery’s Explorer 500 indoor generator features a compact build, complete with a built-in handle that makes it easy to carry around and transport as needed.
This means that you can easily relocate it inside your apartment or condo. You could also take it on camping trips without too much trouble.
On the front panel of the Jackery Explorer, you can find a wide array of power outlets. There are 2 DC ports, an AC port, 3 USB-A ports, and a car port.
Because of the number of different outlets featured on the Jackery Explorer 500, you can power a variety of devices and appliances from the generator.
Additionally, this indoor generator has a battery capacity of 518 wH, which is enough to power a typical laptop for up to 30 hours or a television for 7.5 hours.
You could even power your mini fridge, which is impressive considering the compact size of the generator.
Something else we really appreciate about the Jackery Explorer 500 is the fact that it can be paired with the Jackery Saga Solar Panel, allowing for solar recharging.
This is a huge benefit because solar energy is one of the cleanest and most eco-friendly energy sources.
However, the Jackery solar panel is sold separately from the generator, so you’ll need to make an additional purchase in order to fully benefit from the unit’s eco-friendly potential.
- AC, DC, USB, and car port outlets - Highly versatile
- 518 wH - Good battery capacity
- Built-in handle - Easily portable
- Compact design - Facilitates transport and storage
- Pairs with Jackery Saga solar panel - Eco-friendly potential
- Solar panel sold separately - Requires an additional purchase for solar power
Another indoor generator that has been a major hit on the portable power market is the NinjaBatt Portable Power Station 300.
Featuring a total of 9 diverse power outlets, including AC, DC, USB, and a Type-C port, the NinjaBatt indoor generator is capable of powering a range of devices from a single source.
While the generator is in use, you can monitor important statistics such as battery life and running time from the LED display, which is easy and intuitive to read.
One of the best features of the NinjaBatt Portable Power Station, in our opinion, is the LED lighting built into the body of the generator. This essentially acts as a flashlight, which can be incredibly useful in a power shortage.
The usefulness of this generator as a flashlight is further enhanced by the ergonomic handle on top of the unit and the compact nature of the build.
This indoor generator is solar-ready, meaning that if you already own or are prepared to purchase a compatible solar panel, you can recharge the battery in the most environmentally friendly way.
However, buyers should be aware that the wH rating of this indoor generator is 280, which only delivers just under 6 hours of power at an output of 40 Watts. This might not be sufficient for longer power outages if you don’t have a way of recharging the battery.
- 9 power outlets - AC, DC, USB, and Type-C
- LED display - Clear and easy to read
- Built-in flashlight - Perfect for power outages
- Solar-ready - Compatible with solar panels
- Ergonomic handle - Enhances portability
- 280 wH - Not the highest battery capacity
The Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station is an excellent choice of indoor generator if you’re in the market for something versatile to power your small appliances in a power outage.
On the front panel of the Goal Zero indoor generator, you will be able to locate 7 individual power outlets, including AC and DC ports alongside USB ports.
This allows for the powering of various appliances with different charging requirements.
The battery capacity offered by the Goal Zero Yeti 400 isn’t the highest on the market, but it’s also very respectable, with a rating of 396 wH.
That’s enough to charge the average laptop 5 times over, for context.
You can chain the Goal Zero Yeti 400’s battery with other lead acid batteries to extend the overall battery life.
Alternatively, you can recharge the battery using solar power if you have a compatible solar panel to connect the unit to.
Goal Zero has incorporated a handle into the design of this indoor generator so that you can easily move it from room to room in your apartment or condo.
The only downside to the setup of this generator is the fact that some of the outlets require specific cables that can be quite difficult to source if you ever need a replacement.
- 7 power outlets - For AC, DC, and USB charging
- Chainable battery - Extends battery life
- Solar rechargeable - Capable of eco-friendly operation
- 396 wH - Decent battery capacity
- Built-in handle - Portable design
- Particular cables required - Difficult to replace accessories
If you’ve been looking for a high-powered indoor generator to get your apartment or condo up and running again during a power outage, we recommend the EGO Power+ PST3040 Nexus Portable Power Station.
The EGO Power+ indoor generator is rated at 3000 Watts, but it runs at a continuous rate of 2000 Watts.
This is powerful enough to run multiple key appliances, including a full-sized fridge-freezer, so you won’t have to go without your essentials if your power goes out.
Up to 4 batteries can be connected to the Nexus Portable Power Station at any time, which extends the battery capacity to a maximum of 1680 wH.
You can monitor the run time of your indoor generator from the bright LED display, which you will be able to read from a good distance away.
We should mention that because this is such a powerful indoor generator, it’s not as compact as some of the other models we’ve reviewed today.
In fact, it’s definitely on the bulky side. The steel handles help to make it more portable, but you’ll want to make sure that you have enough storage space for this unit in the long term.
What the Nexus Portable Power Station lacks in ease of portability, it makes up for in quietness of operation.
You can plug your television into this generator without worrying about background noise interfering with your favorite show!
- 2000 continuous Watts - Powerful
- Connects up to 4 batteries - 1680 wH maximum
- LED display - Bright and easily legible
- Steel handles - Makes transport easier
- Quiet operation - Minimal disturbance
- Bulky design - Not compact
Finally, we’d also like to recommend the Duracell PowerSource Portable Power and Solar Generator for indoor apartment and condo use.
There are 7 available power outlets built into this generator, including 4 AC outlets, a DC outlet, and 2 USB ports.
These outlets are supplied by 1800 Watts of peak power, which is enough to run a multitude of devices and appliances without any issues.
It’s not just the overall power rating of this generator that’s impressive, though. The battery capacity is rated at 600 wH, so you’ll get to enjoy hours of backup power support in the event of an outage.
If you want to prolong the battery life further, the threaded terminals inside the PowerSource generator allow for several batteries to be chained together for extra capacity.
One of the best features of the PowerSource indoor generator is the Instant On function, which allows the unit to transition from AC power to battery power automatically during an outage.
This means that, as long as you have your appliances connected to the generator, there will be no interruption in their functionality.
The main downside to the design of this indoor generator is the fact that it is very heavy and doesn’t have any handles to assist with lifting.
This makes it cumbersome to move around, even for short distances in your condo or apartment.
- 7 power outlets - 4 AC, 1 DC, and 2 USB
- 1800 Watts peak power - Powerful unit
- 660 wH - High battery capacity
- Threaded terminals - Built for battery chaining
- Instant On function - No power interruption
- Heavy with no handles - Difficult to move around
Best Indoor Generators For Apartments (And Condos) Buying Guide
Just because indoor generators are generally safer to use than fuel or gas generators doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still think carefully about your purchase.
There are several key features you should consider and weigh up before choosing an indoor generator for your apartment or condo, and we’re going to walk you through them in this buyer’s guide.
The first thing you’ll want to look into when assessing an indoor generator is the overall power output. This will be measured in Watts, and the number will essentially tell you how much of your apartment or condo the generator will be able to run at once.
For an apartment or condo, we recommend choosing a generator rated at least 300 Watts.
Bear in mind that this is really a bare minimum that will allow you to run a couple of small devices or appliances during a power outage. 300 Watts won’t run your entire apartment - it will just allow you to continue using your laptop or keep a small to medium-size fridge running.
If you want to be able to live more comfortably during a power outage, we’d recommend a rating of 500 Watts or more. You can find indoor generators with maximum power ratings of up to 3000 Watts, so it’s up to you how much you want to spend and how many appliances you want to run.
Please bear in mind that the maximum or peak power rating does not signify the continuous power output. For example, a 3000 Watt generator might only put out 2000 Watts on a continuous basis. Make sure to check these numbers before you finalize your purchase to avoid disappointment.
Also, remember to verify how many Watts of power you will need based on the demands of the appliances and devices you’re planning on connecting.
There’s often no telling how long a power outage will last, so ideally, you’ll want to prioritize indoor generators with long battery lives. This requires a high battery capacity.
Battery capacity is measured in wH (Watt-Hours). This is a measure of power over time. If a battery has a capacity of 1 wH, that means that it puts out 1 Watt of power over the space of an hour.
You’ll want to choose a generator with a high wH rating because the higher the number, the more hours of power it will provide for your apartment or condo.
A wH rating of at least 500 is optimal for powering an apartment-sized living area. Anything less than this can still be fine, but you’ll probably only be able to power a select few appliances, and only for a few hours.
Some indoor generators, with the proper battery chaining, can reach wH ratings of over 1600. If this is interesting to you, make sure you choose a model with threaded terminals so that you can chain multiple batteries together, extending the battery life and capacity.
You should always check what kinds of power outlets are built into your indoor generator before you buy.
Most indoor generators will feature AC, DC, and USB ports. However, some will have more of certain types of outlets than others, so it all comes down to what kinds of devices and appliances you want to power from your generator during an outage.
At this point, it’s also important to verify the voltages and amperages of each port so that you know whether they will be compatible with your appliances.
The most straightforward way to recharge an indoor generator battery is to use grid power through one of your household outlets. However, if you’re in the middle of a power outage, this won’t be possible.
That’s why many indoor generators also have the option to recharge from solar power.
The catch here is that most indoor generators don’t have built-in solar panels, so you usually have to purchase a compatible solar panel separately to make use of your generator’s solar charging potential.
In addition to being convenient in the absence of electricity, solar power is a clean form of energy that isn’t detrimental to the environment.
It’s also worth paying attention to the physical design of an indoor generator.
A compact and relatively lightweight design is always best, simply because it minimizes physical exertion if you need to transport it from room to room. Light, compact generators are also best for storage purposes.
Additionally, remember that many indoor generators are safe for outdoor use, so if you ever want to take your generator camping, for example, it’s important to prioritize portability.
Built-in handles are a key component of ensuring that a generator is easily maneuverable, so look out for this feature in particular.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Makes A Generator Safe For Indoor Use?
Essentially, an indoor generator is safe for use in an enclosed area because it doesn’t rely on fuel or gas to generate power.
The reason fuel and gas generators can’t be used indoors, even in well-ventilated areas, is because they can release fumes - namely, carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide fumes are toxic and can have detrimental health effects (including death) when inhaled in sufficient quantities.
Because indoor generators are battery-powered, they don’t produce any fumes, which means that you can run them indoors without worrying about your safety.
What Is The Lifespan Of An Indoor Generator?
It’s important to be aware of the estimated lifespan for your indoor generator early on so that you know when to replace it. After all, the last thing you want in a power outage is for your only source of backup power to die on you.
Generator lifespans will vary from product to product, so you should check the guidelines for your specific generator for the most accurate estimate.
However, as long as you’re ‘exercising’ your generator regularly (about half an hour weekly) and using it according to the directions, you can expect an indoor generator to last for between 1500 and 3000 hours of run time.