If you’re like most, you leave the technical talk to the professionals. But when it comes to your home, and the appliances that run it, it’s always useful to have a general background on your home tools and appliances. For starters, what’s a power inverter? Here, we will break down everything you need to know about power inverters for your home. We will be discussing key points such as what is a power inverter, the different types of inverters, and how to choose one best suited for your home and lifestyle. 

What is a Power Inverter? 

First thing’s first, what is a power inverter? Power inverters are the medium to the lifeline of your household. They convert direct currency into alternating current electricity. So what does this mean? In simple terms, power inverters take the electricity from your local electricity provider, and turns it into electricity that is safe enough to power your household appliances. There are many different types of power inverters available on the market, each with different features and specifications in order to properly accommodate for your lifestyle and household needs. 

Power Inverters vs. Power Generators 

Before we dive into the ins and outs of power inverters, we need to discuss the difference between power inverters and power generators. Both are appliances used in relation to power and can easily be confused.

What’s the difference between a power inverter and a power generator? There are many. For starters, power generators are meant to supply backup power in the event that there is a power outage. Power inverters, on the other hand, are meant to operate continuously, allowing electricity to be converted for use. Other minor differences are that generators require fuel and are generally louder, whereas inverters are silent and very rarely require maintenance. 

Types of Power Inverters 

There are three different types of power inverters: sine wave power inverters, modified sine wave, and square wave power inverters. Each gives off waves in different forms and have their own advantages. 

Sine Wave Power Inverter

Sine wave power inverters are the most common type for home use. These are inverters that convert direct currents (DC) into alternating currents (AC) and in the form of sine waves. Sine wave inverters are great for long distance transmission and minimize the amount of radio power during the process. Most households are compatible for use with sine wave power inverters. 

Modified Sine Wave Inverter

Modified sine wave inverters are also known as quasi wave inverters. These inverters use a series of positive and negative voltages to replicate sine waves in a similar manner. Sine wave inverters are a bit more expensive, so modified sine wave inverters are a more budget friendly alternative. Modified sine wave inverters power most appliances but are not guaranteed to work with all. 

Square Wave Power Inverter

Square wave power inverters generate square waves. Solar energy or direct current electricity is taken in from the inverter and converted into alternating current electricity in the form of square waves.These inverters are basic, inexpensive, and great for powering smaller and simple appliances. 

Factors to Consider

Now that we have discussed the three types of power inverters and their features, there are other factors to take into consideration when choosing the right power inverter for your home.


How much power do you use? This will be one of the biggest factors to take into consideration. If your household requires a lot of power then a basic power inverter is out of the question. Not only do you need to ask how much power you use but you also need to consider what kind of appliances are you powering? Remember, a modified sine wave inverter only works for up to 90% of electrical appliances. 


While a power inverter does not require as much maintenance as a power generator, it is still important to keep an eye on your power inverter. Take into consideration the battery life of your inverter in terms of its voltage and voltage shutdown.

Also keep in mind the risk of overheating. Like most electric appliances, overheating risks damage to the surrounding area of the appliance, and the appliance itself. Power inverters are a medium for power to constantly be flowing through so it is important to watch out for overheating as it could become a fire hazard. The best way to prevent overheating is to make sure the inverter is placed in an open environment with no flammable materials in sight. 


A power inverter is a very important appliance for every household. No, you don’t need to become an electrician or know how to handle your inverter yourself. But having a basic background knowledge regarding power inverters, what they do, and power inverter maintenance, makes you one step ahead in terms of knowing your home. 


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