AC vs DC Generators: Which One Is Better for Your Needs?


You’re probably planning to buy a generator for your home, but choosing between the AC and DC type makes everything confusing. To help you decide quickly, we’re going to compare AC vs DC generators.

An AC generator produces an alternating current.

Alternating current (AC) simply means that the current flows back and forth. The main reason why this is the case with AC generators is their magnet.

The magnet in an AC generator has north and south poles, causing the current’s back-and-forth movement. That’s why it’s called an “alternating” current.

However, the process happening inside AC generators isn’t enough to explain why it’s better or worse than the DC type. So, take a look at the pros and cons of AC generators:


  • Low-maintenance.
  • Practical for providing power to simpler machines such as home appliances.


  • Can’t provide power to bigger, more complex machines such as industrial motors.
  • Not efficient and reliable enough for long-term mobile use.

A DC generator produces a direct current.

While AC has a complex flow, direct current (DC) only moves in a single direction. To make this possible in a DC generator, a commutator is used. The commutator facilitates the entrance and exit of charges to and from the generator.

Still, it’s best to see the applications of DC generators with the following details:


  • Meant to power massive machines (especially for transportation systems).
  • Ideal for long-term mobile use such as living off the grid.


  • Require regular maintenance to ensure replacement of brushes.
  • Impractical for an average homeowner.


Now that we’ve compared AC vs DC generators, have you already decided which type is ideal for your lifestyle? Just remember that for home use, we recommend AC generators since they require less maintenance. However, if you want something to power bigger machines, resort to a DC generator.

For more buying tips, learn how to choose the right generator size for your home. When you’re already a proud owner of a generator, check out some tips on how to reduce its noise.