What size Portable Generator Do I Need ?

what size portable generator do i need


A portable generator is the best investment you can make for your comfort. Portable Inverter generator can help you to keep your home nice and toasty in the winter or cool as a snow in the summer. Portable generators for Home also help you to charge your phone or cook meals.  The portable generator would be the fastest way to whirl back into action if you are facing a sudden power cut in your place but want to use your computer for work today. Even to make your camping trips a little more comfortable, these generators are an excellent investment. Unlike, permanently fixed standby generator, the portable generators require fewer bucks up front — about $200 to $2000. Best of all, it is also very easy to get up and running. You can buy a good portable generator online, or at a local equipment dealer, or at a big-box store. Then simply drive it home and store it in the garage or shed. In the emergency situation, just wheel it out, gas it up, pull the starter cord, and you have got your own mini electric plant. However, with the overwhelming options available for portable generators in today’s market, finding the best one may seem utterly impossible. So it is always required to plan and analyze what you need and then to select the best one to keep you out of the dark.


It is very important to choose the exact size portable generator for your needs. If you choose a portable generator that is too small, then you will not be able to run your essential appliances during a power outage. Overloading generator can cause damage as well as sudden break down to all the home appliances that are utilizing the generator power. Similarly, if you pick a portable generator that is big, then you will be spending more on its purchase, maintenance, fuel, installation and repairs than required. So choosing a generator that is big in size can lead to unnecessary and huge cost.

Most of the new generator purchasers are only interested in one that can handle their refrigerator/freezer in a power outage.  If you are also the one among them, then it is best to look at the generator that provides at least 2500 surge watts.  Although most refrigerators require less than 700 to 1000 watts to run, when the compressor cycles on, they need the additional watts.

Before deciding which size of portable generator do you need, it is also important to make sure about how much power do you need for your residential or commercial purpose.

To exactly analyze your basic home power needs, think of few questions like whether you use well water or city water? And whether your hot water heater is electric, gas or oil fired? House owners can generally power most of their household appliances using between 2000 and 8000 watts. If your place consists city water and little furnace, then you would expect that 2000 watts to 5000 watts will cover your requirements. On the other hand, if you have a good pump or larger furnace, you will likely need a 5500 to 6500-watt generator. The other basic factor you need to consider is the size of your AC unit. It is also very important to check the power requirement of your coffee pot, blender, or other appliances you want to use. To determine your power needs, check out wattage estimation guide in google that can help you to build a quick estimate.  Appliances with electric motors need additional power to start.


What size do you really need?

If you have made a decision to get a portable generator, then a basic question you might get from a shopper would be “What size of portable generator do you need for home use?”  However, the answer to this question would not very popular. The answer is, “It depends on many things”.

Most of the people check online or go to shops and make their generator purchase and wish that they had considered all the factors first.  But portable generators are expensive systems and you don’t want to waste your hard earned money on the one that doesn’t suit your requirements. For example, consider two best selling generators.  The Earthquake 800-watt inverter generator that can only power two or three items at a time. On the other hand, the equally popular Generac 8000 watt generator that has the power to handle up your home’s power panel to supply most of your needs in a power outage. Few people think of one size, while another group of people thinks a completely different size and these all depends on what they need.

While calculating the watts that you will need, you have to consider the extra watt requirement.  For example, consider a standard refrigerator. To continuously run this unit, you should have approximately 700 to 1000 watts.  However, if the compressor kicks in, then it needs some additional 1100 surge watts. So in total, it takes 1800 to 2000 watts to provide ongoing power to your refrigerator. As it settles into running watt requirement of 800, the difference of 1200 watts can then be used to power something else.  If you have a low to the mid-watt generator, then you can prefer to run your refrigerator most of the time and rely on it keeping itself cold with the doors closed, then unplug and switch the power to other needs.

The size of your portable generator mainly depends on the number and type of electrical appliances that you plan to run. Cooling and heating appliances like freezers and air conditioners consume a lot of power. You will require a huge generator to power such appliances. Whereas, if you want the generator to only power lights, then you can opt for a smaller generator. For the home appliances that have moving parts like pumps and fans, consume a lot of electricity at start-up but do not require a lot of power to continue functioning. So the first thing you need to do is to work out and analyze your total electrical load, using the power charts available online and then prepare the steady state load, such as appliances and lights, which you expect to operate at any time.


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