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How Big Of A Generator To Run A Whole House? Going For Large Generators

a generator outside of a house

Generators are slowly becoming a common household item simply because more and more people want to be prepared for emergencies and unexpected power outages. It might also be because many of us just cannot stay off the grid or live without all our electronic comforts for a very long period of time.

While most people are looking only to buy small generators that can help them power up lights and maybe one or two vital appliances, there are those that are looking to get larger generators. This is because they are looking for something that can easily help them power up their entire home.

Generators come in different types and sizes and being able to find one that can accommodate your exact needs is very important. Aside from helping you make your home as comfortable as possible, it can also help you avoid paying too much on a generator that is too big. Here’s what you need to know:

Understanding The Generator’s Size


The very first thing you need to understand is that generators are typically sized by the amount of power that they can provide. This simply means that the size of the generator refers to power and not to the physical dimensions. In fact, there are models that are quite big and bulky, but they are not powerful.

If you want to buy a generator that can run a whole house, you will need to take a look at how much power the product can provide. In general, the more the power the generator can produce, the more expensive it becomes. If you buy one that is too small, you can end up overloading or damaging it.

If you also buy something that is too big, it might cost you too much money and it can also easily take up too much space in your property. This is why it is very important for homeowners to know exactly how big their home is and to have a good idea of how many watts all of their appliances will consume.

Calculating The Demand

plugging a generator

The next thing you need to do is to try to calculate the precise amount of watts that your entire home needs or at least make a realistic estimate. You will have to make a list of all the appliances in your home, or at least make a list of all the things that you want to run during a power outage or emergency.

You should try to include the number of lights in and out your house, the refrigerators, the heater, air conditioner or centralized AC systems as well as the appliances used for cooking. You should also consider putting into the list the electronic devices that you want to use for your leisure. This includes all of the appliances that you might want for comfort or entertainment.

The next thing you will need to do is to try to include the running and the surge watts of all these appliances. You will then have to sum up everything so you will know how many watts all of these appliances consume.

How Big Of A Generator To Run A Whole House?

house generator

Now that you have the facts with you, you need to look for a reliable generator. In most cases, generators are only allowed to run with 80% load, this means that the generator needs to be able to produce a lot more watts than what the entire house needs in order to for it to run properly.

However, you should also take into consideration that not all of the appliances on your list will run at the same time. This is why you will only have to consider the surge and running watts of the most important appliances and make sure that you have enough allowance for the other less important ones.

building generator

Small homes with a few people living in it might be able to run on a generator that can provide as much as 3,000 watts, but ideally, you should be looking to buy one that can give you 5,000 watts so you can have that much allowance. For medium sized homes, you should look into 5,000 - 8,000 watt products.

For large houses however, you might want to avoid portable generators and look into stationary ones. You will have to buy a generator that can provide you with at least 10,000 watts of power. If this is still not enough, you can also opt to buy very large generators that can give you 15,000 watts.


man checking generator

Generators are now considered as a necessity in many homes not just for emergency or practical purposes, but also as a means of comfort. So you will know how big the generator should be, make the calculations and opt for a unit that can give you allowance for surge watts and for other appliances.

About the Author Emily Taylor

My name is Emily Taylor, gardening is my passion and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone. I know that there are millions of people out there want their backyard and garden be attractive just like their front yard, so I am here to help you create your own backyard paradise.

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