Choosing the right generators for home use

In recent years there has been an increase in severe weather events — typhoons, Hurricanes, Storms, wildfires, and flooding. Global warming is having an impact, and it is predicted to get worse. It is more likely that you will have a power outage during these critical times, so the investment in a generator is a practical move. Some outages in major events can last for more than a week.

When choosing to Buy Generators, many people get perplexed with all the ratings and numbers they see describing the generator. In this article, I hope to make this much more straightforward. First off, the very basics. A Kilowatt is 1,000 watts. So, a 7.5 kW generator is 7500 watts. Make sure that you keep adequate supplies of fuel. In a real emergency, fuel may become unavailable, and sitting there with a generator you cannot use would be more than frustrating.

There are various sizes of generators, and the decision to buy a specific wattage is something you should consider carefully. The best way to decide is to look at our rough guide further down the page and add up what you feel you need to power in a grid power outage.

A good generator for home back up supply is 7500-watts. With a generator of this size, you can run quite a few smaller appliances, or you can choose to use just a few larger ones. You need to decide what appliances are the most important to power during a power outage from the grid, but generally speaking, a 7,500-watt generator should keep you going well enough. You will not be able to carelessly leave unwanted items running as we so often usually do. By unplugging appliances that are not needed, you should be fine, though.

In an emergency, you have to learn to distinguish between wants and needs when deciding what appliances to run. You may “want” to watch TV but you “need” heat. You will have to learn to keep making choices about what is NEEDED at any given moment. This will change during the day.

Here is a rough guide to what you need. These are “Running Wattages” and are not the same as you may see on a product label. You mustn’t overload your generator by trying to run too much. It will reduce its lifespan and risk failure.

  • Hot Water Supply – 4000 watts
  • Coffee Maker – 1200 watts
  • Washing Machine – 1150 running wattage and 1200 starting wattage
  • Air Source Heat Pump – 5400 running wattage and 7200 starting wattage
  • Deep Freeze – 2610 watts
  • Refrigerator – 500 running wattage and 750 starting wattage
  • Television – 400 watts
  • Computer – 300 watts
  • Slow Cooker – 250 watts
  • Radio – 125 watts
  • Microwave – 100 watts
  • Light Bulb – 50 watts

(These are only rough guides. You need to check your product manual for exact figures)

The decision you make now on purchasing a generator could make a massive difference to the safety and comfort of your family in a significant power outage during either extremely hot or cold weather so choose carefully and do not put off your decision.