How Big a Generator Do You Need? Learn More About It

How Big a Generator Do You Need? Learn More About It

The more you have, the more you want. This is a universal truth that no one can deny. With the advancement of technology, people are now using electricity to enjoy a comfortable life in the best possible ways you can imagine.

The duration of power supply varies from places to places. But it would not be wrong to say that we are now living in an era when people enjoy power supply almost throughout the day and night. And we want more! We want to enjoy the benefits of electricity without any interruption 24/7.

Demanding more is not a crime. If you have a demand and the ability as well to fulfill that demand, there is nothing wrong with it. To enjoy uninterrupted power supply 24/7 at your home, all you need is a generator of appropriate size.

Now, every simple solution has some hidden facts that can ruin the sweet comfort you are looking for through that simple solution. For example, if you mistakenly buy a generator that is small in size than you require, you won’t be able to use all the essential appliances at times of power outage.

And overloading your generator has the potential to cause a disaster at your sweet home. On the other hand, if you buy an extra-large generator, you will have to spend way more than required.

So, question still remains – how do I understand that the generator is suitable for me, or how big a generator do I need? Don’t worry! I’ll try my best to help you out with that.

In this article, I’ll guide you through a step by step process so that you can make the calculations all by yourself to find out the suitable size generator for you.

Generator Types

Before we jump into measuring the size of the generator you need, you must have a clear understanding of the types of generators that you’ll find in the market. In general, there are two types of generators – stationary or large generators, and portable or small size generators.

A stationary generator starts automatically at times of power cuts. That means you don’t have to manually start the generator in case of power failure. You’ll need professional electricians to install it. And they are pretty costly as well. On the other hand, the portable ones are cheaper. At times of power outage, you’ll have to take it outside the house and manually start it.

Generator Sizing Chart

Now that you have got an idea about the types of generators, let’s move to measuring the size of it. Don’t get confused seeing the word “size”. It doesn’t mean the length and width of the generator. Rather it indicates the ability of the generator. In other words, the size of a generator means how much power it can supply.

Let me give you an overview of the range of power consumptions by different appliances.

Generally, cooling and heating appliances need a lot of power to run, while lights consume comparatively a lot less power. On the other hand, the appliances having moving parts consume power at different rates when they are in operation. Appliances like fans and pumps require more power to start operating, but consume comparatively less power to keep running. So, understanding the types of appliances you want to run with your generator will tell you what size of generator you need.

I’ve prepared a generator sizing chart for you. But you must keep in mind that this chart is just to guide you. Some of the appliances may have varied Watts range depending on their brands.

Appliances

Running Watts Starting Watts

Light bulb

60-70

0

Sump Pump

1140

2850

Water well pump

575

1440

Refrigerator/Freezer

700

220

Microwave Oven

625-1000

0

Coffee Maker

1000

0

Electric Stove

2100

0

Dishwasher

1500

1500

Toaster Oven

1200

0

Iron

1200

0

Washing Machine

1150

2250

Clothes Dryer (Electric)

5400

6750

Space Heater

1800

0

Window AC

1200-3250

3600-9750

Color TV

500

0

Security System

500

0

Hair Dryer

1250

0

Mobile Phone Charger

10

0

Computer 800

0

You’ll find these numbers on the data plate of respective products. If you don’t find such numbers, don’t hesitate to contact the manufacturer. Or, if you have a wattage meter, you can easily determine the starting and running wattage of each appliance you want to run with the generator.

Note that you must make the calculations in Watts. If you find any other unit mentioned in the product data plate, convert them to Watts. There are several websites to convert power units.

Calculating the Size of Generator

calculating size

Now, let’s do the calculation more precisely. First of all, make a list of the appliances you want to use during power outage. Then find out the starting and running Watts of those appliances. Now, simply sum them up to reveal the size of the generator you are looking for. I’ve done an example calculation for you:

Example Calculation to Determine Generator Size:

Appliances

Running Watts Starting Watts

Light bulb (7x)

490

0

Computer (1)

500

0

Refrigerator (1)

700

220

Television

500

0

Security System

500

0

Total

2490

220

Gross Total

2710

In this way, you’ll be able to find out the perfect size of generator for you.

This is all about “How Big a Generator Do I Need?” – the most common question asked about generator. Although it seems more like a technical question at first sight, it’s actually pretty simple, isn’t it?

A special note before you rush to make the calculations – you should contact and engage a professional electrician if you plan to install a stationary generator that is quite large. Rest assured, enjoy the power surge.

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