A power inverter is a special device engineered to convert low-voltage direct current (DC) power to standard alternating current (AC) power. This allows you to operate household appliances and other electrical equipment using the power of a car, boat, or truck battery, or other renewable energy resources like wind turbines and solar panels.
Inverters are excellent alternative sources of household power. They are also commonly used to supply energy to RV equipment, and as an emergency power back-up for essential equipment like medical devices, freezers, phones, and sum pumps during outages.
The type of inverter you need largely depends on the kind of equipment and devices that you need to supply power to. For instance, compact or lightweight inverters, are primarily used in SUVs, cars, and minivans and can power small devices like computers, phones, and cameras. Heavy-duty inverters also get their power from boats, RVs and trucks, and have the ability to power basic home appliances like television sets, radios, and other larger devices. Inverter/Chargers, on the other hand, are more commonly used in remote work sites and even in homes to power various types of household appliances as well as power tools.
The key difference between major types of power inverters is the amount of AC power they convert or produce. To make sure that the inverter you are purchasing can power the devices you need efficiently, add up their wattage and see if the inverter you wish to buy can support as much.
Caution should always be practiced when using power inverters, especially when you intend to power multiple devices with them. Always choose a power inverter with a high enough rating for the types of devices that you are running so as to avoid using the unit for more than it is designed to accommodate.