How Do I Choose a Power Inverter? Your Complete Guide
Have you ever wished you could play your gaming system or cook food right in your car during a long road trip? If so, what you need is a power inverter.
Power inverters make it possible to plug devices and appliances into your car that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise, and high-quality ones are rated at 95% efficiency when it comes to powering your device.
You’ll want to be smart when you choose a power inverter, however, as prices range from less than $40 to well into the thousands.
Here’s your guide to power inverters so you can purchase the one that works best for you.
What Is a Power Inverter?
A power inverter is a device that converts your car battery’s direct current into alternating current.
Because of this current conversion, you can plug devices into your car and power them as you would through an outlet in a house.
You’ve seen adaptors for the cigarette lighter in your car used to plug in things such as your cell phone charger, but for larger electronics and devices an adapter won’t work, only a power inverter will.
How to Choose a Power Inverter
Things you’ll have to pay attention to when choosing the right power inverter are wattage and wave type. You’ll also need an idea of how often you’ll be using it.
Here are some things to look out for.
How Often Will You Use It?
When choosing a power inverter for your car, think about how often you’ll use it, as this will determine which model is best for you.
For example, if you think you’ll be using it almost daily, a power inverter that is hard-wired into the car will be best. This means it will have a direct connection to your car battery. This is reccommended for larger inverters.
However, if you’re only using it for its convenience in certain scenarios, you can get a power inverter that will plug right into your car’s cigarette lighter. An added plus to a plug-in inverter is that you can use it in different vehicles and also take it out of your car when it’s not in use.
How Much Power Do You Need?
Power inverters come in several sizes, the most common sizes being 1,000, 3,000, and 5,000 watts. The right size inverter depends on the wattage each device that you’ll be using requires. This typically can be found on the device itself or in the manual that came with it.
A 3,000-watt inverter is said to be the happy medium of inverter sizes and is often the most recommended size to get.
However, your best bet would be to add the wattages of the devices you’ll want to plug into the inverter. Once the wattages are added together add a 20% safety margin on top of that and that will help you determine the minimum size inverter you should purchase.
Modified vs. Pure Sine Wave Inverter
When choosing a power inverter you have to pay attention to more than just the size – such as the wave type. The two main types of inverter are the modified sine wave and the pure sine wave.
The modified sine wave inverters are cheaper and provide less "clean" power. This makes them good for plugging in most everyday simple electronics and tools.
Pure sine wave inverters on the other hand are the most common choice since there’s more of a chance they’ll be compatible with anything you need to plug in. They produce a very "clean" or pure current so you have the option to plug in more sensative devices such as laptops.
Purchase Your Power Inverter Today!
Power inverters aren’t just for vehicles – they work just as great in small cottages or outhouses, or even a boat.
And now that you’re equipped with the necessary information to choose a power inverter that works best for you, it’s time to get shopping.
For other accessories that will go great with your new power inverter, check out our website.
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