How Do You Determine What Generator Size You Need?


Quick Answer

Determining the correct generator size can be difficult, but there are steps to narrow down the options. Speaking with a sales associate can help. Generators are used as a power source when a person's original power source has failed.

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Full Answer

Consider several factors when determining what size generator to obtain.

  1. What type is needed
  2. The first step in selecting a generator size is to determine what type of generator will be needed. For example, determine whether this generator be used in the home, at work or for play items, such as an video game console or inkjet printer.
  3. Review the options
  4. Once the type has been determined, the next step is to look at the sizes of generator that are available: small portable, midsized portable or small stationary, large portable and large stationary.The small portable is between 3,000 to 4,000 watts and will power basic items such as the microwave, lights, sump pump and televisions. The midsized portable and small stationary is between 5,000 to 8,500 watts and will power the basics plus a computer, second pump, portable heater and heating system. The large portable powers all of the above plus the small water heater, central air conditioner and electric range. The large stationary generator will power larger items like an electric dryer or clothes washer.
  5. Review budget
  6. The budget increases drastically from the smaller models to the larger models and some people will need to review their budget before making a decision. Choose the generator that covers the most needs for the price that one can afford.
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