What Generator Size To Run an Air Conditioner?

The typical households experience power outages on some occasions and for some period. But, blackouts triggered by severe weather may go on for many days or weeks. And, whenever this happens, homeowners face several inconveniences and losses.

Generators, however, are the most convenient backup plans.

Again, not all generators are made the same. Some models can run limited appliances while some an entire house.

And it makes you wonder what generator size to run an air conditioner? How do you go about selecting the model suited to your needs?

Now, the good news is, our work here is to lighten your burden. This article offers help on how to decide on the right generator that will enable run your air conditioners smoothly.

Top Generators to Run an Air Conditioner

How To Tell the Size of Generator Needed

The truth is, it is tiring to remain stuck without an AC in the course of extended blackouts. If you are, then you need to look for a standby generator to provide power in a future failure. Do you experience power loss during hot weather? Then you’ll need to have essential things like the air conditioner running. For you to be safe on your generator selection, then you need to:

1) Know the Available Generator Types: You have to know that the market offers two categories of generators. The ones you can move from one point to another are portable generator units and standby types that you must install outdoors while connected to the power line.

Portable generators are the most popular because they are smaller and lighter. They are also cheaper and more convenient to use, but stationary or standby generators are a good alternative if you’re a heavy user of electricity.

As expected, both have benefits and drawbacks which can help you decide as well.

Despite the fact that a portable generator can operate continuously for up to 10-20 hours (depending on the generator model), For you to avoid frustrations, the stationary or standby one is the best choice as a whole house generator.. With this, you will experience:

-The added power since the biggest portable generator has only 12,000 watts. The machine will not push its wattage limit even when large central ac units are working. Most smaller portable generator units are ruled out by this consideration alone.

-There is less maintenance needed, unlike the portable generators. Since the energy consumption never gets exceeded, you will be spending moderate resources. For instance, you refuel once in a while and have little time in maintenance.

2)  Understand How The Generators Get Sized

The current progress of technology in the engineering industry has gone to generators too. The units come in different sizes.

Many individuals think the term size refers to the physical dimensions, but instead, it denotes power output. The extent of the measurements comes in capacities of power like W, watts or kW, kilowatts.

But, does the generator scope matter? Yes, if you overwork the equipment, it can either shut down or overheat. In turn, the associated risks can spoil the generator and other household appliances. Also, if you buy a potent generator beyond your needs, it means you will be overpaying.

The unit and running costs can force you to break the piggy bank. Well, there is no harm in having an expert electrician help with the inspection. You can read more about generator sizing here.

How to Decide the Right Generator Size

generator size to run air conditioner

Walking to a generator dealer and ordering the best or low-cost type available without the right considerations is not an ideal tactic. Here are some things you need to consider:

1) Identify Your Requirements
The generator size you need depends on the make and the model of the air conditioner and the power requirements of each component in your system. To decide the size generator to run an ac unit, begin by calculating the starting & running wattage of your appliance you need to power. Getting the correct estimate is vital for knowing the exact power requirements.

You should also consider the length of time your appliance will be in use. The size of your generator will determine how much power you can use and how long you are able to power large appliances, so it’s important to get the right one for the job.

2) Calculate Size Of Generator You Need
Before you calculate what size generator you need, ask yourself what you want to run in the event of a power blackout. The good thing is that a generator can run anything, even large devices depending on the energy production.

To decide the size generator to run your air conditioners, you must know the entire possible consumption rate. The fact is you can power only your Central Air Conditioner or together with other appliances.

If it is only your ac unit, you need to get the appliance’s capacity. The device weight gets measured in tons or BTUs, and the label is available in the owner’s manual. To find the running wattage, you multiply the weight of the items by 3,500 since 1 ton = 3,500 watts.

The method, however, only gives you the starting or surge wattage. That means the value you get shows the total watts required to start up an appliance.

With this, you can estimate what size generator to run an air conditioning unit you will need. Nearly most ac unit models require about 2000 to 3000 watts to power on and run smoothly. So, get the accurately sized generator even to help you find out the total energy you will need.

Power Load Planning & Management
If you are powering other essential home appliances, then find that generator size that can startup several pieces of equipment. Add all the wattage, including the starting wattage of all your machines you should have running.

Then, get a generator that exceeds the joint wattage of the units. You will avoid power fluxes but enjoy a continuous and steady power supply for your home. With this, you as well have no possible damages to your ac unit and other appliances.

Yes, you can add the wattage of all the items that shall be working at the same time. Some things have higher startup ratings than the run ratings, so use the higher rating to conclude your energy necessities. You can calculate the power requirements by determining the number of devices that will get powered—remembering that inductively loading all these appliances with tools like the washers, refrigerators, and power items will need extra wattage to start all the equipment.


How to Get The Power Details For Your Equipment
Usually, the information is available in the documentation plate or owner’s guide in the purchaser’s kit of your device. Find out the running and starting required by every appliance. In some cases, both are the same, but where necessary, obtaining the peak wattage is vital.

You need this because if your devices consume added power during surging than what the generator produces, you will not manage to run your machines.

An alternative way to solve the problem of what size generator to run an air conditioner is by totaling the wattage of all you need to stay on during blackouts.

Before bringing in the calculator, remember that some machines draw extra wattage for a moment while running. The surge watts can interfere with the calculations if not included. Read more about surge watts on Quora.


What’s the Average Air Conditioner Wattage?
The wattage of an air conditioner is the maximum amount of electrical power it is capable of producing at a given moment. The higher the wattage, the faster it can cool your home.

You will find a vast range of watts for Air Conditioner units. The energy-efficient types, like the large ones, could require as low as 2,000 wattages.

The larger and older ones are less efficient and may need about 10,000 watts. You might not find a specific answer here for the question, what size generator to run the air conditioner?

Never rely on the size your friend uses or what the internet says as the average. The total that matters is the accurate calculation from your unit.

Kitchen Electronic applianceRunning (Contiguous Watts)Additional Starting (Surge Watts)
Coffee Maker10000
Electric Can Opener1700
Deep Freezer5001500
Food Processor4000
Electric Stove (8" Element)21000
EntertainmentRunning (Rated Watts)Additional Starting (Surge Watts)
Video Game System400
VCR/DVD player1000
Security System5000
Heating/Cooling Appliances Running (Rated Watts) Additional Starting (Surge Watts)
Light Bulb 60 Watt600
Space heater18000
Furnace Fan Blower 1/2 HP8002350
Furnace Fan Blower 1/3 HP7001400
Window AC 10,000 BTU1200 3600
Window AC 12,000 BTU 32509750
Central AC 10,000 BTU15004500
Central AC 24,000 BTU380011400
Central AC 40,000 BTU 600018000
Heat Pump45004700
Well Water Pump 1/2 HP 1000 2100
Garage Door Opener (1/2 HP) 875 2350
Laundry Appliance(s)Running (Continuous Watts)Additional Starting (Surge Watts)
Iron 12000
Curling Iron 1500 0
Washing Machine 1150 2250

Consider the Outside Temperature
When temperature and humidity increase outside, the power needed to start your ac unit increases, and the generator’s output decreases.

Unluckily, that means when you will require high power to get your ac unit operating. The generator will, in turn, be producing a low energy rating because of the high temperature.

The input of every air conditioner is steady and usually measured to be 35C outdoors and 27C indoors with 50% humidity.

An increase in temperature raises the electrical energy necessity of the device. You can choose a popular generator size that is trendy for dimensions and fuel efficiency.

Considering aspects like temperatures that often affect the device’s working, some models will suit a central ac unit

Advantages Of Selecting The Right Generator Size
A generator’s size should match the needs of your home. It should be powerful enough to keep your appliances running for several hours in the event of a power outage, while small enough to fit in your home. With the idea about how to pick up the suitable size of your generator that fit your needs, here are some apparent benefits gained by undertaking that process:

– No sudden system-failure

– No blackouts due to size overload

– Better durability of your generator

– Assured performance

– Smooth and hassle-free repairs

– Improved power systems life duration

– Guaranteed personal safety

– Lower likelihood of asset destruction


Where Should You Buy Your Generator?
Not only will you be buying a vital company or home asset but also an appliance you will depend on for primary or backup electrical power in the future. The time may be during a disaster, so determining where you need to get a good deal is a fundamental concern not worth overlooking. Some of the factors that play a role in where to close the generator deal include:

– Years of operational experience

– Provide full-service when needed

– Certification of the technicians

– High-quality equipment and installation machines

– Supportive and knowledgeable support or office staff

– Tested products before deliveries

– Competitive prices and quotes always

Regularly Maintaining Your Generator
By now, you know that the right size of generators is a great way to cut your energy bills and keep all your appliances powered efficiently. However, To keep your generator in good working order, you need to keep it cleaned and well-maintained.

It’s essential to make sure your generator is always in good condition, or you can end up with an expensive breakdown or having to replace it. Here are some easy maintenance tips that will keep your generator running at its peak performance for years to come.

-Regularly check the oil

-Keep all of the moving parts lubricated

-Clean any areas of your generator that are caked with dust

-Change the spark plugs

-Clean the air filter

-Store it in a safe place


To recap, our top recommendations for generators to run air conditioners are the following:

  1. DuroMax XP13000EH Portable Generator
  2. Westinghouse WGen9500DF
  3. Durostar DS10000E Portable Generator
  4. Champion 100573 Inverter Generator 


All things considered, our top recommendation for a generator that can run an air conditioner would be the DuroMax XP13000EH. Finally, these days demands for extra power are increasing. And, so generators large enough are necessary to run large appliances like the central ac unit.

The devices are, at times, not portable because of their size and heaviness. Of course, there are many considerations that you’ll need to be accountable for what size of your generator to run an air conditioner.

Besides, consulting a professional technician will ease any difficulties that you may find. Remember, economic generators over-quote the rated outputs and may get damaged, calling for high maintenance costs. It is better to choose well-known brands having established agent networks.

We hope this has answered your question on the best size of generator to run the air conditioner in your homes.


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