Power Inverter for Your Car- How Much Power Does an Inverter Use?

Anyone that does a lot of driving, takes road trips, or is in their car for long periods of time can benefit from buying a power inverter. Power Inverters are necessary to power home electronics that work off of an AC input. The world of power inverters can get overwhelming with so many different options being available. The most important thing to understand is how much power your potential inverter will use and how well it will work with your vehicle and electronics that it’s powering. We’ve decided to cover the top things to keep in mind when shopping for one.

  1. Make a list of what items you want to run- The type of electronics you decide to run on your inverter will determine the size and type you need to shop for. Also keep in mind if you will want to run more than one at a time and add up their power requirements. Common items to run off an inverter are Power tools, TV and entertainment items, Cooking items, personal heaters, etc. Remember some items like a personal heater may pull a LOT more power than something small like a small TV or gaming system.
  2. Decide what type of Inverter is for you- There are two most common types of power inverters. They each have their place, but the power items you are powering may determine the need for one or the other. Modified Sine wave power inverters are generally cheaper, but they tend to have intermittent power output that can fluctuate slightly and can cause issues with electronics that need a consistent flow of AC power. Pure Sine inverters produce a ultra-steady output and will power anything that you can throw at it (that doesn’t exceed the output power of the inverter).
  3. How big of an inverter can your battery handle?- Inverters generally draw a small amperage (under 15 amps) and can run off of a normal cigarette outlet in your vehicle. The draw of the inverter is greater than that of simply letting your radio play, so powering your inverter for long periods of time with the car off can drain your battery. We suggest either periodically starting the car to allow the alternator to top off your battery in between long spans of inverter use. For more portable use we have seen users purchase a deep cycle battery and run it in tandem to the cars battery for extended periods such as when camping or tailgating.
  4. Perform a Charging and Battery System check before extended use- If you plan to go camping, take a road trip, or use your power inverter more than usual we suggest performing a load test on the battery and charging system to make sure they are up to the task and won’t leave you stranded. Load test tools can be bought for cheap or a local autoparts store or garage can quickly do these tests for you (many do it for free).

Find our full line of power inverters that can handle any of your remote power needs by visiting our Power Inverter Category on Eastwood.com.

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