When it comes to power outages, having a generator can be a lifesaver. But, with so many different sizes and types of generators available, it can be difficult to determine which one is right for your home. In this article, we will explore the factors that determine what size generator you need for your house and provide a helpful chart to guide you in your decision-making process.
Factors to Consider When Sizing Your Generator
Before we dive into the chart, it is important to understand the factors that determine what size generator you need for your house. These include:
- Wattage: The amount of power your home requires will depend on the appliances and electronics you need to run during an outage. Make a list of all the items you want to power and their wattage requirements.
- Starting vs. Running Wattage: Some appliances, such as refrigerators and air conditioners, require more power to start up than they do to run. Be sure to factor in the starting wattage when calculating your total power needs.
- Generator Type: There are two main types of generators: portable and standby. Portable generators are smaller and can be moved around, while standby generators are permanently installed and automatically turn on during an outage. Standby generators are typically more powerful and can handle larger loads.
- Fuel Type: Generators can run on a variety of fuels, including gasoline, propane, and diesel. The fuel type you choose will impact the generator’s power output and runtime.
- Climate: If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, you may need a larger generator to power your heating or cooling systems.
Generator Sizing Chart
Now that you understand the factors that determine what size generator you need for your house, let’s take a look at a helpful chart to guide you in your decision-making process. Keep in mind that this chart is a general guide and you should always consult with a professional to determine the best generator size for your specific needs.
|Generator Size||Wattage Output||Typical Appliances/Systems Powered|
|3,000-4,000 watts||3,000-4,000 watts||Refrigerator, lights, TV, microwave, sump pump|
|5,000-6,500 watts||5,000-6,500 watts||Refrigerator, lights, TV, microwave, sump pump, furnace blower|
|7,000-8,500 watts||7,000-8,500 watts||Refrigerator, lights, TV, microwave, sump pump, furnace blower, central air conditioner|
|10,000-12,000 watts||10,000-12,000 watts||Refrigerator, lights, TV, microwave, sump pump, furnace blower, central air conditioner, electric water heater|
|15,000-17,500 watts||15,000-17,500 watts||Refrigerator, lights, TV, microwave, sump pump, furnace blower, central air conditioner, electric water heater, well pump|
Video: What size generator do I need?
1. How do I calculate my home’s wattage needs?
To calculate your home’s wattage needs, make a list of all the appliances and electronics you want to power during an outage and their wattage requirements. Add up the running wattage for all items and then factor in the starting wattage for any appliances that require it.
2. Can I run my whole house on a generator?
It is possible to run your whole house on a generator, but it will depend on the size of the generator and the power needs of your home. A standby generator is typically required to power an entire home.
3. What type of fuel should I use for my generator?
The type of fuel you use for your generator will depend on your personal preference and the availability of fuel in your area. Gasoline is the most common fuel type, but propane and diesel are also popular options.
4. How long will my generator run on a full tank of fuel?
The runtime of your generator will depend on the size of the fuel tank and the power output of the generator. A larger generator with a larger fuel tank will typically run for a longer period of time.
5. Do I need a professional to install my generator?
It is recommended that you have a professional install your generator to ensure that it is done safely and correctly. A professional can also help you determine the best location for your generator and ensure that it meets all local codes and regulations.
Choosing the right size generator for your home is an important decision that requires careful consideration of your power needs and the factors that impact generator performance. By using the chart and information provided in this article, you can make an informed decision and ensure that you are prepared for any power outages that may occur.