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What Size Home Generator Do I Need? A Comprehensive Guide

Apr 13,2023 | YESGENERATOR

Determining the Right Generator Size for Reliable Backup Power

house generators

Choosing the right size generator is crucial when it comes to ensuring your home is equipped with a reliable backup power solution. Whether preparing for unexpected power outages or seeking peace of mind during emergencies, finding the appropriate generator size will provide the needed power.

In this guide, we'll walk you through determining the ideal generator size for your home, considering factors such as power requirements, appliances, and your specific needs.

Assessing Power Requirements:

Electrical Appliance Typical Energy Consumption Table
Appliance Consumption (Watts) Appliance Consumption (Watts)
Toaster 800-1500 Television - 25"color 150
Popcorn Popper 250 Television - 19"color 70
Blender 300 Television - 12"black and white 20
Electric cooker with oven 1 000-2500 VCR 40
Microwave 600-1500 CD player 35
Waffle Iron 1 200 Stereo 20
Hot Plate 1 200 Clock radio  
Frying Pan 1 200 AM/FM auto cassette player 8
Dishwasher 1 200-1 500 Satellite dish 30
Sink waste disposal 450 CB radio 5
Washing machine - Automatic 500 Electric clock 3
Washing machine - Manual 300 Radiotelephone - Receiving mode 5
Vacuum cleaner - High Power 1 600-2000 Radiotelephone - Transmitting mode 40-150
Vacum cleaner - Upright 200-700 Lights: 100 watt incandescent 1 00
Vacuum cleaner - Hand 1 00 Lights:25 watt compact fluorescent 28
Sewing machine 1 00 Lights:50 watt DC incandescent 50

To determine the generator size needed, assess your power requirements. Consider the essential appliances and systems you want to power during an outage. Standard power-hungry devices include refrigerators, air conditioning units, sump pumps, and central heating systems. Please list these items, noting their running Wattage and starting Wattage.

Understanding Running and Starting Wattage:

It's important to differentiate between running Wattage and starting Wattage. Running Wattage refers to the continuous power needed to keep an appliance running while starting. Wattage refers to the initial surge of power required when an appliance starts up. Appliances like air conditioners and refrigerators often have higher starting wattage demands. Take note of these values for each appliance on your list.

Generator Selection Calculation Tool

Considerations for Standby Generators:

If you're considering a standby generator, it's essential to consult a standby generator sizing guide or seek professional assistance. Standby generators are permanently installed, automatically switching on during power outages. These systems require a more precise sizing process, factoring in your home's electrical panel, power needs, and potential load demands.


Exploring Fuel Options:

Consider the fuel options available for your generator. Common choices include natural gas, liquid propane, and diesel fuel. Each fuel type has advantages and considerations regarding availability, cost, and environmental impact. Assess the availability of fuel sources in your area and choose one that aligns with your preferences and requirements.


Incorporating Transfer Switches:

When selecting a generator size, take into account the inclusion of a transfer switch. A transfer switch ensures a safe and seamless transition of power from the generator to your home's electrical system. It also helps manage the power load and prevents back feeding. Determine the appropriate size and type of transfer switch needed for your generator to guarantee compatibility and optimal performance.


Seeking Professional Guidance:

While online resources and sizing tools provide valuable insights, seeking professional guidance from generator experts or electricians is always recommended. They can evaluate your circumstances, assess electrical panel capacity, and ensure compliance with local codes and regulations.


Choosing the right size generator for your home is crucial for reliable backup power during outages. You can confidently select the generator size that meets your needs by assessing your power requirements, understanding running and starting Wattage, utilizing sizing tools, and considering fuel options and transfer switches.

Remember, professional guidance is invaluable in ensuring an appropriately sized generator installation. With the right generator, you can enjoy peace of mind, knowing your home will remain powered despite unexpected events.

Yesgenerator has been engaged in the production of home standby generators for more than 20 years, we provide many types of portable generators, contact Yesgenerator to get the industry's top generator equipment.