Portable Generators-17 Things You Need to Know

What is a Portable Generator?

A portable generator is a mobile machine that utilizes fuel to turn into electrical power used for appliances and other devices. Portable generators typically come equipped with a grip handle and a wheel kit.


Can a Portable Generator Run Central Air?

Yes. You can use a portable generator to run central air. The size of the generator you need depends on your air conditioner unit. You want to check the specification sheet of your air conditioner to confirm its wattage needs. Usually, for every 1 ton the A/C weighs it will require 3,500 Watts.



Can a Portable Generator Run a Whole House?

Yes, a portable generator can power a whole house. Typically generators above 7,500 running Watts are powerful enough to supply a small to medium size home with enough power for most household appliances.



How Does a Portable Generator Work?

Portable generators work by fueling the machine with gasoline, propane or natural gas, then starting the generator through electric start, recoil, or automatic start, and then plugging up your appliances or devices into the generator for power.



Can a Portable Generator Run a Furnace?

Yes, a portable generator can power a furnace as long as the generator produces at least 1,600 Peak Watts and 600 running Watts of power.

ApplianceStarting WattsRunning Watts
Furnace (1/4 HP)1000600
Sump Pump (1/3 HP)1300800
Washing Machine22501150
Window AC 13K BTU28001800
Well Pump21001000



Can a Portable Generator Start Automatically?

Yes, you can buy an automatic generator starter (AGS) and connect it to your portable generator. Once connected, you can program the AGS to automatically start your generator based on low battery voltage, temperature conditions or by timing. The Magnum automatic generator start is an example.



What Portable Generator is Made in the USA?

Here are a list of portable generators made in the USA:


  • All Power America G12000EGL 12000 Watt Portable Generator


  • Generac GP3600 3600 Watt Portable Generator


  • Pulsar G2319N 2,300 Watt Portable Generator



What Portable Generator Has the Lowest THD?

Total harmonic distortion (THD) is the amount that a voltage waveform or current is distorted. High THD reduces the efficiency of a portable generator. For sensitive electronics, look for inverter generators as they have lower THD levels. The Champion 2000W Inverter generator has a THD below 3%.



Where to Set up a Portable Generator?

You can set up a gasoline, propane, or natural gas powered portable generator outside at least 20 feet away from any house with the exhaust pointed away from windows and doors of any house.. You can set up portable solar generators safely indoors or outdoors as they give off no fumes or exhaust.



Why Ground a Portable Generator?

The electricity that flows in a generators wires naturally seeks to flow into the ground. If there’s an issue in the electrical circuit and the generator is not grounded, it could spark a fire or cause electrocution. Grounding a portable generator lets its electricity to flow safely into the ground.


Many modern generators are constructed as a single system, so that grounding is not required. In this case, the metal frames on these portable generators act as an internal grounding system where traditional grounding practices are not needed. Check your generator’s owner’s manual to confirm whether or not grounding is required.



What’s the Easiest Portable Generator?

The Champion 2000 Watt generator is one of the easiest portable generators to use. Under 40 lbs, its easily portable. No assembly required so it works right out of the box..Simple recoil start allows you to start using it quickly. At 53 dB its easy on the ears and under $500 is easy on the wallet.



Will a Portable Generator Run my AC?

Yes. A portable generator can run an AC as long as the generator produces the minimum wattage demands of the air conditioner. You want to check the specification sheet for your air conditioner to confirm its wattage demands. Usually, for every 1 ton the A/C weighs it will require 3,500 Watts.



Will a Portable Generator Damage Electronics?

A portable generator can damage sensitive electronics through power surges. For sensitive electronics such as laptops, smart phones and similar devices, you want to be sure to buy an inverter generator. These come with built-in surge protection that provides clean power for sensitive electronics.



Will a Portable Generator Run a Furnace?

Yes, a portable generator can run a furnace. Most furnaces (1/4 hp fan) require at least 1,600 starting Watts and 600 running Watts of power. Check your furnace’s specification sheet to determine how much wattage it uses before selecting your generator.


Also Read: Best Portable Generators [2022]

Will a Portable Generator Run a Well Pump?

Yes, you can run a well pump with a portable generator as long as the generator meets the well pump’s power demands. A 1 HP submersible well pump requires between 2,500-4,000 Watts to operate. You can learn how to use a portable generator for a well pump here.



What Accessories Are Needed For a Portable Generator?

Here is a list of 12 accessories you may need for your portable generator:



Who Makes the Best Dual Fuel 10000 Watt Portable Generator?

The DuroMax XP10000EH is the best dual fuel 10000 Watt generator. With 10,000 peak Watts, it has a run time up to 10 hours at 50% load. Somewhat heavy at 220 lbs, it comes with a wheel kit and grip handle to improve portability. Noise level at 72 dB which is reasonable.

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