Generac iQ3500 Portable Generator Review (2023): What You NEED to Know

Generac iQ3500 Portable Generator Review

If you are looking for quiet generators to power your home when the lights go out, you should place the Generac iQ3500 on your list. Its design has great appeal if you want to combine power, efficiency, and noise-free operation in a generator.

I can relate to the annoyance of sudden power outages, thanks to a relatively recent experience of a power blackout happening to me when I was in the thick of a work project and working from home. That annoyance led me to begin looking for a portable generator – and on the advice of a good friend who happens to be an electrician, he recommended that I check out the Generac iQ3500 portable generator. Thankfully, it did not disappoint.

In this article, I review the Generac iQ3500 generator. This information should help you know if it is the best choice for you and its features– as well as briefly examine some alternatives you can consider.

Generac iQ3500 portable generator Breakdown and Review

The rise of inverter technology has led to an increasing number of quiet generators – including the Generac iQ3500 generator. This generator is so quiet that you can switch it on even on camping trips, with Generac stating that it is 40% quieter than the Honda portable generator (its closest rival). It also has the revolutionary feature of Power Rush technology that makes its work highly efficient.

The model is great for both play and work scenarios, thanks to its durable and steady exterior, making it useful on worksites and various relaxation venues. We will discuss more of its features in the next sections.

What we liked

  • Hushed operation
  • Long-running time (14.1 hours at 25% load and 8.9 hours at 50% load)
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Uses an electric start
  • Durable housing
  • It includes an Economy mode that reduces noise levels and fuel consumption
  • It has a digital display for the fuel levels, hour meter, generator status, watts, and remaining runtime

What we didn’t like

  • It is not as lightweight as the manufacturer advertises it
  • Lacks wheels for easier mobility

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Generac iQ3500 generator Specifications

Model Generac iQ3500
Starting wattage3,500 watts
Running wattage3,000 watts
Fuel typeGasoline
Engine displacement capacity212 cc.
Voltage 120V
Weight (in lbs.)109.1 lbs.
Dimensions (in inches)23.7 x 18 x 21.7 inches
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Generac iQ3500 Portable Generator Features

Fuel consumption

The Generac iQ3500 has a capacity of 2.6 gallons fuel tank, which allows you to run it for quite some time before needing to refuel it. It operates on gasoline, so ensure you remain safe at all times by avoiding placing unused fuel near it.

Its consumption is quite impressive because of how long it takes. On 25% load, it runs for up to 14.1 hours, while 50% load takes the run time up to 8.9 hours. Suppose you want to extend its quiet operation for as long as possible. In that case, it includes an Eco Mode that boosts fuel efficiency and works when connecting low-power appliances such as radios, TVs, video games, and lights.

You can use this generator comfortably in all 50 states, as it complies with CARB and EPA standards.


The good news is that its digital display will allow you to quickly monitor fuel levels without needing to open the tank manually to see if it needs refilling. Its display will alert you on the remaining run time and when the tank is low on fuel.

Overall, the control panel is very easy to understand, with the standout feature being the intuitive PowerDial that combines the functions of Stop, Run, and Choke for convenient control. This is also aided by the unit using an electrical start mechanism to power it on.


Weighing slightly more than 109 pounds, this is not as lightweight as Generac states. Additionally, it does not have a wheel kit for easier movements, although it includes a handle – which is not saying much if you move it around alone.

Power output

The generator has a 212cc engine that produces an output of 3000 watts (running wattage) and 3500 watts (starting wattage). However, this wattage can change depending on altitude and ambient temperatures.

Since it relies on inverter technology, the Generac iQ3500 gives you a stable and clean output, allowing you to connect sensitive electronics.

Who is it best suited for?

It is an ideal pick if you are looking for a versatile generator that can work equally well in recreational activities and job sites and if you are a mobile worker who frequently works in remote areas without access to a central power grid.

Are there alternatives to the Generac iQ3500 portable generator?

Yes, there are. Although there are many great options for every budget, three main alternatives come to mind. First is the Champion Power Equipment 100110 if you are not limited by your budget and want a generator with a dual-fuel tank and digital display.

Additionally, consider the Sportsman GEN400DF if your priority is getting a dual-fuel model at an affordable price, and the DuroMax DS4400E if you are looking for a gasoline-powered portable generator that is surprisingly quiet in contrast to most gas-powered generators.

Features of alternative generators

Model Champion Power Equipment 100110Sportsman GEN400DFDuroMax DS4400E
Starting Wattage 11,500 watts4,500 watts4,500 watts
Running Wattage9,200 watts3,500 watts3,500 watts
Voltage 240V120V120V/240V
Engine displacement capacity 459cc.212 cc.210 cc.
Fuel typeGasolineLPG (Propane) and GasolineGasoline
Dimensions (in inches)27.7 x 27.6 x 26.6 inches23 x 19.5 x 17.5 inches25 x 22 x 22 inches
Weight (in lbs.)213 lbs.20 lbs.115 lbs.
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Verdict: So, should you buy the Generac iQ3500 portable generator?

Yes, you should – and it will exceed your expectations in many ways. Although it is not the most affordable generator on the market and is quite heavy, it combines the benefits of valuable features, sufficient power, and a reasonable price point.


How many decibels does the Generac iQ3500 produce during its run time?

It goes up to 65 decibels, roughly the same volume as a normal conversation.

What is the life expectancy of the Generac iQ3500 generator?

Like most portable generators, their lifespan is between 25 and 30 years. Keep in mind that this may be more or less depending on maintenance, runtime hours, and installation quality.

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