While diesel generator units tend to have a longer life than their gasoline equivalents, the noise levels of diesel engines can be decisive in, for many people, ruling the appliances out for domestic use.
However, modern diesel units, right down to the best portable diesel generator appliances, benefit from technology designed to keep noise to a minimum, and our reviewers have been taking a look at the the best quiet diesel generator units for this review.
You may well be asking if it's possible to find a diesel generator that is sufficiently quiet to operate in the home without disruption.
Given the significance of noise levels emitted by diesel generators, our team has looked at the best appliances on the market, showing how diesel units are not as loud as general opinion might lead you to believe, and also balancing the dBA against other factors such as power, performance, reliability and overall value.
The following units by DuroStar, Pro-Series, Generac, Pulsar and Dayton received the thumbs up in our team's review of the best quiet diesel generator units.
At 61 dBA, this has the lowest noise level of any of the diesel generators that we reviewed in the quiet diesel generator category. DuroStar is one of the most dependable of power generator brandnames, and here they underscore that reputation with a robustly constructed unit that seems designed to minimise operational noise.
This generator benefits from a vibration-isolation mounting between the engine/alternator feet and base, which helps to reduce vibration.
Naturally, the reduced vibration not only minimises annoying noise, but it also improves the unit's durability. All of this is complemented by a super quiet muffling and soundproofing which helps to reduce engine noise further.
This is one of the most user-friendly of power backup generators. With its four-stroke single-cylinder direct-injection engine, this generator has a remote and electric start choice, while the alternator is all but maintenance free, with its automatic voltage regulator.
The control panel keyed ignition as well as alert signals and shutdown indicator for low oil pressure, as well as a volt meter, circuit breakers, low fuel indicator and power outlets.
This is also a safe unit to use, with fully protected 12V, 120V and 220V outlets, while safe operation is enhanced by the unit's ground fault interrupter 120V outlet.
Next on our roundup of the best quiet diesel generator units is the Pro-Series GENSD7. Emitting just 70 dBA of operational noise, you might be fooled into thinking that there can't be that much power here, but that's not the case.
The Pro-Series GENSD7 provides 5,500W of continuous power (or 7,000W surge), while its four-gallon gas tank, complete with fuel gauge for easy operation, provides up to 7-hours' running time on a full load.
The Pro-Series GENSD7 is also approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is incredibly easy to use.
With a series of slick functions including electric start, circuit protection, an auto shutdown facility when the oil runs low, and a voltage meter, this is another unit that enjoys the simplest and most user-friendly operational systems we've seen.
Other features include a pair of 120V AC outlets, one 120V AC twist lock outlet, one 120/240V twist local outlet, and one 12V DC terminal for battery charging.
Like the Pro-Series GENSD7, the Generac 6864 has operational noise levels of up to 70 dBA, and so is another appliance that we could not ignore in our survey of the best quiet diesel generator units.
With a durable, robust welded 1.25in steel frame, the Generac 6864 is a workhorse of a unit. This generator is a blend of power from an air-cooled, direct-injection, industrial-grade Yanmar LW Series 435cc diesel engine, and technology that ensures less than 5 percent of total harmonic distortion for clean and smooth operation of even the most sensitive of electronics and appliances.
The Generac 6864 has some amazingly user-friendly features, including an hour meter that makes it easy for the maintenance schedule to be planned, an electric start that is a single-touch dream to operate, easy portability and stowage, and fuel conservation and noise reduction features such as idle control, in addition to a 12-gallon fuel tank that provides up to a whopping run-time of just over 32 hours on a 50 percent load.
Noise levels begin to creep upward in our review when we come to the Pulsar PG7000DOF, which has an operational noise level of up to 76 dBA. However, there is no denying the unit's power and efficiency. This four-stroke peak 7000W Generator has a maximum output of 7000W/60HZ and rated output of 5500W/60HZ.
The Pulsar PG7000DOF has a single -cylinder 10hp air-cooled engine, and among its features on the control panel are a pair of 120V outlets, one 120V/240V twist lock, and one 120V twist lock.
With the highest operational noise levels of all the units in our quiet diesel generator review at 78 dBA, the Dayton 36C206 has much to recommend it for those seeking a diesel power generator that is quiet enough to be considered for a reliable and efficient home backup source.
This portable generator, with 5,000W rated and 9,160W surge, runs on a 442cc Kohler engine, with a run-time on full load of 6.8hrs (and 12.8 hours on a half load).
There is nothing that this generator will not be able to handle in your home, and depending on the appliances you need to power during outages, the trade off for slightly louder operational noise levels might well be worth it.
The Dayton 36C206, with its 9.8hp engine and fuel tank capacity of 2.6 gallons, and electric or recoil starter, while going towards the upper end of the operational noise levels for domestic use, is unquestionably one of the best portable generators on the market, so the question of the sacrifice is really up to you.