What sizes of Portable Generator do I need?


In many emergencies, a portable generator comes in handy. Thus whether you reside in an area prone to natural disaster, or you need to have a source of backup power source when there is a severe unexpected power surge or outage. A portable generator can give you the peace of mind that you want.

You can have your house most important appliances working using a portable generator, even if there’s an issue with the primary power grid. Nevertheless, when it comes to purchasing in for the right portable generator, you might experience some confusion.

Truth is generators are somewhat complicated. So what difference exists between operating surge watts and watts? Do you need to find out if amperage matter? You need to find out the amount of watts you require ensuring you are able to have your most essential systems up and running.

The size of the generator you need

There is not a one cap fits all answer to the perfect size of the generator that you need. And this is because; several factors determine the kind of portable generator you would need for your home. Hence here are the varying factors that determine the size of generator you need:

  • The number of household appliances you need to power: if you are only interested in powering up just a few devices; more like a few lights and your fridge, then you need to purchase a smaller generator. However, if you are powering up other systems like heaters and air conditioners, you need a higher model.
  • The time your generator will be used: the time your portable generator works will largely depend on its tank size, fuel consumption, power, and some other factors.
  • The maximum watts of all your devices: you need to go for a generator that can handle the full running watts and surge watts of your total household appliances.

There are other things to consider, such as the number of outlets you require, and other such issues.

How to find out the right size of portable generator you need

Below are essential steps to take if you need to know the perfect portable generator to use:

  • Pick all the items you wish to power at the same time: for instance, if you would like to use one burner on your stove, your refrigerator, and your air conditioning unit. Now being able to run these appliances would ensure that your safety and convenience are checked when the power goes out.
  • Itemize the running watts and surge watts of each appliance: One burner on your stove needs 2500 watts of power and 0 surge watts. You’ll need 800 running watts in your refrigerator and about 1200 surge watts. The air conditioning system requires 1,200 running watts and 1,800 surge watts.
  • Itemize the accumulative number of operating watts for the items you need to power: For instance, the cumulative should be 4500 watts.
  • Identify the appliance with the highest starting watts power: in our example, the air conditional requires about 1800 additional watts to jump-start; hence this is the appliance with the highest watt requirement.
  • Add the appliance with the most watt consumption to the amount of running watts: We will also include the 1,800-watt air conditioning unit to the volume of operating watts we need, which is 4,500. This means that the overall wattage capacity is 6300. This indicates that you need to pick a portable generator with a surge watt output of at least 6300 – that’s going to be the right size for you!

You might become curious why we’re only taking considering the appliance that has the most surge power consumption requirement and applying it with the working watts – instead of adding all the surge wattage requirements combined.

This is because only a few seconds of surge wattage is needed. Using the refrigerator, as an illustration, an additional 1,200 watts are required to provide a total of 2000 watts required to get the engine on. Nevertheless, after starting to work, it will begin to use less power till it uses just about 800 watts.


With this short guide and illustration, it’s expected that you understand how generators work. Thus, you will be able to locate the ideal portable generator for your use. So hop on and get shopping and remember to keep yourself safe and comfortable anytime there’s a power surge.