Table of Content [ Show ]
With our heavy reliance on everything electronic, power interruptions are really an inconvenience to our daily lives. Unfortunately, electric outages are becoming more common in the US, especially with our nation’s aging grid becoming more vulnerable due to extreme weather conditions. And it only makes sense to look for a stable source of reliable power, like solar generators, to ensure our households remain functional during such times.
There are several considerations when determining the right size generator for your home. In this article, we’ll help you determine how many watt generator you need to run your house, explore your generator size options, and provide more helpful information to help you choose the right home backup power.
Understanding Your Household’s Power Consumption
Before we go into the nitty gritty of generator sizing, it is vital that you understand your home’s power consumption. Naturally, you want to determine the wattage you require to power the essential electronics in your home using a generator. The size of your house, the number of appliances and electronic devices, and your lifestyle are all contributing factors that will help you figure out how many watts you need for a generator.
Note that wattage refers to the measure of electrical power the generator can deliver to power electrical devices and appliances in your home.
Computing Your Power Consumption
Identify Essential Appliances
The first step to determining how many watt generator you will need, is creating a list of the essential appliances or devices you would want to power during an outage. Some items you may want to add to your list are lights, refrigerators, lights, air conditioners, water heaters, appliances to help you cook like an electric stove and communication devices.
You can refer to this table to get an idea of how many watts are used by a few common household appliances and devices.
7W - 10W
17W - 295W (depending on TV size)
65W - 80W
60W - 70W
100W - 200W
Desk Top Computer
100W - 450W
1300W - 1800W
1000W - 1200W
600W - 1700W
4W - 7W
4W - 10W
Calculate Running and Starting Watts
Different appliances have various power needs, and it’s critical to distinguish their running watts from their starting watts. Running watts is the continuous power an electrical device needs to operate. Starting watts, on the other hand, is the extra power that the device needs during a startup.
To calculate your required total watts, sum up the running watts of all the appliances and devices to get a baseline, and also add the starting watts of the largest appliances you wish to power.
Consider HVAC Systems and Power Tools
As heating and air conditioning systems significantly impact your household’s overall power needs, you must factor these into your computations if you plan to power them using a generator.
If you anticipate using power tools during a power interruption, you must also consider these. Remember that power tools have higher starting watts, so you want to account for the maximum power they will draw when determining the size of your generator.
Anticipate Future Needs
As mentioned earlier, your household’s lifestyle is another thing to consider. Think about the possible changes or additions to your household that may increase your power requirements in the future. Choosing a generator with extra capacity that can accommodate any additional appliances or unforeseen circumstances is a good move. This forward-thinking strategy ensures that your generator remains relevant and efficient even as your needs evolve.
Determine the Size of Your Home
Another important thing to consider in determining the size generator you need is the square footage of your house. This is because the size of your home directly influences your electric needs. How big the home is, the number of rooms and the types and quantity of appliances used will all determine your power requirements.
Typically, a larger home will have more electrical devices, appliances, and possibly more HVAC systems, which means more power is needed during an outage. Without considering the size of your home, you may risk getting a generator that cannot deliver your household’s power requirements during an outage.
How many watt generator do I need to run a house?
Every home has unique power needs. Some homes may only require only the essential appliances running during a power outage, while some households may need to use more. However, in general, you will only need around a 5000W to 7000W generator to run a house.
A 2000-square-foot home, which is the median size of homes in the country, will need a minimum of 5500W to run the basic appliances during an interruption. Again, the wattage of the generator you will need depends on the electric devices that you want to power.
Why is it important to choose the right generator size?
There are several reasons why it’s crucial to get the right generator size for your home, as this affects its performance, efficiency and ability to meet your requirements. For example, when a generator is too small for the intended load, it will cause the system to overwork, use more fuel (if you plan to use traditional generators) and potentially cause wear and tear. Overloading a generator is a significant risk to both the generator and the appliances connected to it. On the contrary, an oversized generator running at partial load wastes energy and increases operational costs.
For solar generators, which often include a battery storage system to store excess energy, selecting the right generator size helps in the battery's longevity. An oversized generator can lead to rapid charging and discharging cycles, shortening the battery's lifespan.
What are the different types of generators?
There are various types of generators, and the main types of generators used in houses include:
These are fuel-type generators that are more advanced than traditional generators and are known to be more fuel-efficient. Inverter generators provide a stable power output, making them ideal for powering sensitive electronic devices like PCs, laptops and smartphones.
Portable generators are versatile and convenient power sources. They are compact and designed for mobility, making them easy to transport. Although portable generators are popular for outdoor uses, they can also serve as emergency backup power for homes during interruptions.
While many portable generators are fueled by gasoline, there are also portable generators that use clean energy sources such as solar and wind. Nature’s Generator Lithium 1800 is a compact but powerful generator that delivers excellent performance and quality and allows the capacity to expand. The Lithium 1800 is built with the latest LifePO4 batteries, which ensures a durable and efficient power storage solution. With this portable generator, you can power a full-size fridge, LED light bulbs, and portable AC and charge laptops and smartphones.
Over the years, solar generators have been a popular and affordable choice for home backup power. Recent technological advancements allow households to draw efficient and reliable power from clean and sustainable sources.
Smaller generators, like Nature’s Generator 1800W and Elite Systems, are portable solar power stations that harness power from the sun and wind and can provide anywhere between 1800W and 3600W, depending on your set-up.
Larger models like the Powerhouse generator can single-handedly run a house and address all your power requirements with its split phase 240V/7200W or single phase 120V/7200W (combined) pure sine wave inverter. It also allows you to expand your solar power system to meet your needs in the future. These generators are also an ideal choice for off-grid homes.
Determining the right size generator to power a house involves a close assessment of your power needs – which includes essential appliances, HVAC systems and other devices or tools. Calculating the overall wattage you require and considering factors such as your home’s square footage gives you peace of mind that your generator will run smoothly amidst power outages. Whether you’re opting for a portable or a whole-house generator, the key here is to align the generator’s capacity with your specific power requirements.
* We want to give credit where credit is due. Professional writer, Ishna Sablaya, contributed research and content to this blog titled: How Many Watt Generator to Run a House Thank you, Ishna, for your contributions!