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How to choose the right size generator

April 24, 2020

How to choose the right size generator


There's a storm brewing outside. You can hear the clouds clashing against each other. You can feel the chill wind whistling through your windows. Heavy rain begins to fall on your roof. Are you ready in case of a blackout? Having a backup generator for your home is so important in today's modern world, especially in unprecedented times like these. Knowing you are able to power up a few essentials around the house in a time of need is a peace of mind you can’t put a price on.


For first time buyers, purchasing a home generator can be a little bit confusing and daunting. There are so many factors to consider, like watts and amps. To narrow down your purchase, the best advice I can give you is to ask yourself, “What are my power needs? What’s essential during a power outage?”. So, let’s step back and take a look at your home, more specifically the appliances within them. Let’s figure out how to choose the right size generator.



2,000 Watts

Refrigerator (700W), 5 to 10 light bulbs (250W), laptop (200W), home security system (100W), smartphone charger (20W)


A 2000-watt “portable generator” is a great entry level for home power backup. Sometimes called, recreational generators, they are also perfect for tailgating, camping, and RVing. My recommendation is the DuroMax XP2200EH 2,220 Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator. What I like about this unit (besides the power) is two features, the inverter and the dual fuel technology. The digital inverter built into this generator provides clean and stable power for sensitive electronics, like laptops or WiFi routers. This unit also runs on gasoline or propane (hence the term Dual Fuel) giving you the freedom and flexibility of fuel choice.



3,000 Watts

Your choice between space heater (1,500W), washing machine (1,200W), or 10K BTU air conditioner (1,000W). Plus, Refrigerator (700W), 5 to 10 light bulbs (250W), laptop (200W), home security system (100W), smartphone charger (20W)


At 3,000 watts, you begin to enter the “midsize” generator territory. They are heavier than your portable generators. The reason behind this is because they feature stronger more powerful engines to produce high wattage. With that in mind, most midsize generators include wheels and handles making it very easy to transport. Another aspect to consider is noise level. Take the Honda EU3000IH 3,000 Watt Handi Generator for example. This unit runs quiet, so quiet your neighbors will thank you. Bouncing between 57 to 65 decibels. Furthermore, the EU3000IH offers great fuel efficiency. Runs 3.6 to 7.7 hours on a single tank, depending on the load. All thanks to Honda’s exclusive Eco Throttle System.



7,500 Watts

Your choice between 8-inch burner on an electric range (2,000W), or dishwasher (1,500W), Plus, Well pump (1,250W), 10K BTU air conditioner (1,000W), sump pump (900W),Refrigerator (700W), gas or propane furnace (800W). 5 to 10 light bulbs (250W), laptop (200W), home security system (100W), smartphone charger (20W)


These are “large” generators with big power. They can operate a wide variety of home appliances and can be used for other applications like outdoor events or construction sites. A good purchase in this segment is the Simpson 70010 7,500 Gasoline Generator. However, a better purchase is the DuroMax XP12000EH 12,000 Watt Dual Fuel Generator! LESS MONEY FOR MORE POWER AND MORE FEATURES!!! This DuroMax generator is my favorite recommendation at this tier. The power panel is packed with electrical features like, voltmeter, MX2 switch, idle control, DC charging, low oil sensor, and an AC breaker. The selection of power outlets is excellent too! We’re talking about, two 120V outlets, one 120V 30A twist lock outlet, one 240V 30A outlet, and a 240V 50A outlet. All powered by your choice of gasoline or propane.



20,000 Watts

Power up almost everything for most homes


So if you don't want to sacrifice any amenities in your home during a power outage, a standby generator is what you need. These machines are heavy and NOT portable whatsoever. They are stationary and have to be installed by a Certified or licensed Electrician, but once you have this up and running… it's a game changer! it's like having your own personal mini power plant, and if you want the best get a Generac. The Generac 70432 22,000 Watt Standby Generator would be my recommendation. Personally, would I like most about Generac's standby is ability to hook up Mobile Link. This allows you to monitor the status of your generator from anywhere in the world using a smartphone and easily access information like operating status. As a bonus, Generac also includes an automatic transfer switch. Not a bad deal!



A generator is a first line of defense against power outages. If you're caught without one during a storm, you’ll be facing a long list of inconveniences and unexpected expenses. From spoiled food, frozen pipes, to flooded basements. So when you're at home calculating how much wattage you need during a power outage. Remember that it's always best to have more than not enough. If you essentially need 2000 watts, consider purchasing a 3500 or a 4000 watt unit. Having that extra headroom will avoid tripping the breaker during a power surge and gives you the luxury to turn on a few more light bulbs. Also don't forget to pick up any accessories like extension cords, generator covers, transfer switches, RV adapters, or spare fuel tank. You may not realize you need this now but you probably will later down the road.