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Generator Wattage: How Much Do I Need?

Mike Jeffries | November 22, 2017

generator mader electricA generator can power the essentials, like providing power to hospitals and nursing homes in a natural disaster, or running your sump pump during a power outage, so your home doesn't flood. It can also provide power for the non-essential things - like blenders, stereos, or lamps.

Related Blog: When Should You Invest in a Natural Gas Generator?

So, how do you determine which generator is right for you? How much generator wattage do you need to run the electronics you find necessary?

Determine what appliances and electronics you are powering. Of course, the more you are running, the more power you will need. Consider the following:

  • If you have a well instead of city water, you will need at least a 3800 watt generator.
  • Electric heating and air-conditioning will require 15,000 watts or more to run, and a portable generator will likely not be enough to power them.
  • A gas-fired water heater can require as little as 2500 watts, but electric water heaters will require at least 4500 watts.
  • A refrigerator/freezer needs 700 watts to run, but about 2200 watts to start. A deep freezer needs 1500 watts.

Most homeowners can often power most of their appliances using between 3000 and 6500 watts.

What about a generator for recreational use?

  • If you are powering your RV or cabin, consider the size of your AC unit first, as it requires the most wattage to power. A 13,500 btu air conditioner will require a 3000 watt generator.
  • Other items need significantly less wattage to run. A small coffee maker needs 600 watts. A slow cooker needs about 300 watts. Your microwave will need about 1000 watts.

Both for home and recreational use, you will need to consider how many appliances you are running at one time. Running a hair dryer, the fridge, and a slow cooker all at the same time will require more wattage than one at a time.

For questions or to help select the right generator for you, contact us today!

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