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Whole House Generator Size Calculator Online

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Total Running Power: watts

Total Starting Power: watts

Recommended Generator Size: watts

The Whole House Generator Size Calculator helps you determine the appropriate size generator needed to power your entire home during an outage. By inputting the power requirements of your household appliances, the calculator provides an accurate recommendation for a generator that can handle your home’s total power demand, including a safety margin to account for unexpected loads.

Formula of Whole House Generator Size Calculator

To determine the appropriate size for a whole house generator, follow this detailed formula:

Convert Amps to Watts if Needed

If the power is given in amps, convert it to watts using this formula:

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Watts = Amps * Volts

Calculate the Total Running Power Requirement

Add the running watts of all the appliances you want to power at the same time.

Calculate the Total Starting Power Requirement

Add the starting watts of appliances with higher starting requirements like motors or compressors.

Consider the Higher of Running and Starting Power Requirements

Use the higher value between the total running and starting power requirements for your calculations.

Add a Safety Margin

Add a 20 to 25 percent safety margin to ensure the generator can handle unexpected loads.

Detailed Formula

Total Running Power = Sum of Running Watts of Each Appliance

Total Starting Power = Sum of Starting Watts of Each Appliance

Total Power Requirement = Higher of Total Running Power and Total Starting Power

Recommended Generator Size = Total Power Requirement * 1.25

Pre-Calculated Table for Common Household Needs

Here is a table with common power requirements for easy reference:

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ApplianceRunning WattsStarting WattsVolts
Refrigerator8001600120
Freezer6001200120
HVAC System20004000240
Lights300120
Electronics400120
Microwave1000120
Washing Machine5001500120
Electric Oven3000240
Dishwasher12001500120

Example of Whole House Generator Size Calculator

Let’s walk through an example to illustrate the process:

  1. List your appliances and their power requirements:
    • Refrigerator: 800 running watts, 1600 starting watts
    • Freezer: 600 running watts, 1200 starting watts
    • HVAC System: 2000 running watts, 4000 starting watts
    • Lights: 300 running watts
    • Electronics: 400 running watts
    • Microwave: 1000 running watts
    • Washing Machine: 500 running watts, 1500 starting watts
    • Electric Oven: 3000 running watts
    • Dishwasher: 1200 running watts, 1500 starting watts
  2. Calculate the total running power requirement:
    • Total Running Power = 800 + 600 + 2000 + 300 + 400 + 1000 + 500 + 3000 + 1200 = 9500 watts
  3. Calculate the total starting power requirement:
    • Total Starting Power = 1600 + 1200 + 4000 + 1500 + 1500 = 9800 watts
  4. Consider the higher of running and starting power requirements:
    • Total Power Requirement = 9800 watts
  5. Add a safety margin:
    • Recommended Generator Size = 9800 watts * 1.25 = 12250 watts
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Most Common FAQs

Q1: Can I use a portable generator for my whole house?

A: Portable generators can power essential appliances but may not be sufficient for the entire house. It’s important to calculate your total power needs and ensure the generator can handle them.

Q2: What happens if I use a generator that’s too small?

A: Using a generator that’s too small can result in overloaded circuits, which can damage the generator and connected appliances. It’s crucial to size your generator correctly.

Q3: How often should I perform maintenance on my whole house generator?

A: Regular maintenance is essential for reliable performance. It’s recommended to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, typically every 6 to 12 months.

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