What Is the Optimal Generator in Terms of Power?November 28, 2022
One of the greatest things about our civilization is how we have harnessed the power of electricity. Generators come to the rescue when we’re far from power supply lines or they are off. But how to choose the right power to avoid both underperforming and overpaying? Is a 3000W inverter generator enough for your home, or should you aim for a more powerful one? This is how to choose the right generator for home or outdoor use.
If you run a small business (an office, a small restaurant, a workshop, etc.), power is the key. You need to keep all the equipment working even if the supply fails. This might include some equipment that’s quite demanding. Electric ovens, coffee makers, computers, printers, big-screen TVs, and audio equipment – all of them consume a lot of power. You shouldn’t allow for a long pause with the power off.
At home, you might only go with the most necessary devices, like home lights, the fridge, air conditioners, water pumps, electric ovens and stoves, phone/laptop chargers, or security systems. This allows you to go with a smaller generator which only provides the basics. It might be different if you often experience long outages and have to take shower, wash your dishes and clothes, and work on your desktop despite line failures.
Finally, an outdoor trip does not require a lot, as most devices you take with you are usually low-power ones. Some of them can be charged at home, like music speakers or power banks for your phones. There are still electric BBQs, lights, and – for music fans – a powerful speaker or two with a built-in amplifier (if you want a full-fledged gig setup, that’s a different story).
Calculate the Power
To calculate how powerful a generator you need, do the following:
- List all the devices that you want to turn on while the generator is working. Include all the lights in your house, accidental devices like laptop/phone chargers, and those you want to keep on running, like the fridge, the router, the TV (if you intend to use it), etc.
NB: If the wattage is not specified in the manual, you can calculate it by multiplying the voltage by the amperage. For most home appliances, though, it’s explicitly specified.
- Add up the wattage of all of them.
- Add about 20% of the total to avoid overloading.
The result you get is the value you should search for while buying a generator. If there is none matching the figure but there are either more or less powerful generators, it’s better to choose a stronger one. Loading it partially is still better than overloading it. In general, 7,500 to 10,000 W will be enough to run the most critical appliances, and a 15,000 W generator will support your usual lifestyle. It’s better to have a standby generator connected to your propane pipe so that you don’t have to start it manually or constantly change the fuel.
The same applies to outdoor jobs and parties. Add up the required power of all the tools and appliances you’re about to use and find the right power value among the available generators. In general, 2,000-3,000 W will do.
The Choice Is Yours
From all the variety of generators sold now, it’s you who ultimately makes the choice. Do the math again before buying a generator. This will save you from either overpaying or using an underpowered generator. All needs are individual, and knowing yours will help you determine the power you need.
We hope these tips will help you find the perfect model for your household or whatever building you need the power for. Follow the manual closely; this will save you more trouble than you might think. Stay fueled and powerful!