After all the talk here about natural gas shortages and the issues in Texas last winter, I've been thinking about picking up my first generator. I know I will need an inverter so I can run sensitive electronics, I've been looking at some of the cheaper honda look-alikes in the 2000w range. I've also seen some of the cheaper open frame inverters with slightly more wattage (3000w - 3500w continuous) for just a few dollars more (around $50 to $100 more). My purchase is not intended as a total shtf prep, but rather for temporary outages lasting up to a few days. I would need to power a few comfort items: 2 fridges, gas furnace (if natural gas is available but power is out), maybe a tv or microwave. Both of these types of generators could probably handle each of these items, but the 2000w will not be able to power them all at once. While I would like to have a higher wattage unit, I think the benefits of a near silent generator would make it worth it, IF IT IS POSSIBLE.
So my question is this: is it possible to make a small 2000w inverter generator quiet enough that neighbors who are outside and 100 feet away won't be able to hear it running? Imagine it is the day after a winter storm, no cars are on the road, it is virtually silent outside. in my area no one has snow blowers so any small engine noise would be suspicious.
I know I would need to build a baffle box or quiet box to reduce the noise level of the generator. I briefly looked on youtube and found a few examples of people running inverters inside a quiet box. Most of them said it was quieter than a window A/C unit, but I think even that might be loud enough to be noticed. The only time I've ever been around a honda inverter was when I was walking around sporting events. I did notice that you can't hear them until you are nearly on top of them, but a sporting event is also much louder than a quiet neighborhood after a snow storm. If it is possible to quiet an inverter enough I may look further into it, but if it is definitely not possible I will probably look at the bigger but slightly louder open frame inverters.