what can a 3500 watts generator run

What can a 3500 Watt Generator Run ?

Generators are power-packed machines that supply electricity to power sensitive equipment. A generator will serve as an emergency backup in terms of hazards, on the construction site, home, and about anywhere. I guess you know that already.

 But the question begs, what can a 3500-watt generator run in your home?

There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to answering this question. A 3500 watt can run many sensitive electronics, however, this depends on the wattage of the appliances you are trying to power.

It important you pick the right generator to avoid overloading the generator as it could break the machine.

This would lead us to understand the generator wattage and how to size your generator.

What is Generator sizing

Most people think sizing your generator denotes its physical appearance. However, they couldn’t be farther from the truth. Size means electrical output which is measured in capacities of power like Watts and kilowatts.

Knowing the size of your generator ensures you know the possible consumption rate of the machine. 

To perfectly ascertain the power required to power your electronics, you should understand the starting and running watts.

Starting Watts and Running Watts 

Starting watts also known as (surge watts) is the amount of power required by an appliance to start up.

The starting watt often brief and require substantial power for demanding appliances such as air conditioners, furnaces, refrigerators, etc.

The Running watt as the name implies is simply the power required to keep the generator/appliance running.

Appliances a 3500 Watt Generator Can Power For Different Purposes 

At this point, we will list different appliances that a 3,500-watt generator can power sufficiently. Considering the running and starting watts deemed safe to use.


Unless you live in a mansion at the heart of Beverly hill where a fridge would require a generator of its own to run (Pun intended). Then a 3,500-watt generator can safely run a lot of sensitive electronics. Yes, it can power your toaster, refrigerator, coffee maker, television

Below is a table that contains a roughly estimated watt for home appliances. 

Warning; This could be more or less depending on the type of brand. You should make sure to check the wattage of your appliances before using a generator to run it.


I’ve worked on a site small sites before and in that time a 3,500-watt generator can be used to powerless demanding power tools. However, remember that knowing the watt rating of the equipment you are trying to run is important.

Some of these power tools demand high watts, running them at once could be shooting yourself in the foot.

Check out some of the power tool estimated wattage for a small worksite.


When you are setting out for a tailgate or camping trip, most of the equipment your basic amenities like food, cooler, water, shelter, and some electronics like your phone and Pc. These appliances usually consume less power and carrying a 3,500-watt generator on a short tailgate trip is like bringing a katana blade to a fork fight.

Even if you are traveling with an RV, a 3500-watt generator would ppwer your freezer, some lights, and even an air conditioner. Starting them would require at least 3,000 watts and 1,500 watts to keep running.


What can a 3500-watt generator power? 

A 3500-watt generator can power almost any appliance found in our homes, worksite, camping, and Rving.

As I have mentioned in the article, there is not one fit explanation. You must do your homework to know the running watt of an appliance and compare it to the generator power. If the total of all the devices is close to the running watt of the generator, then you will need something bigger.

Always remember to pick a generator with the factor of safety in mind. Meaning If your Laptop, TV, Pc total watts is 1500 watt, then you should pick a generator that has 2000 watt as running watts.

Can I run Multiple Appliances Simultaneously?

 Of course, you can. This however depends on the watt capacity of your generator and the electronics you want to run. A 3500-watt generator can run sump pumps, lights, refrigerators, Tv, Laptop, etc.

But confirm the running watts of the electronics before you use the generator to power them.

Will 3,500 Watt Suffice? 

For the average home, where there are a couple of electronics, not power-consuming ones. Even during outages, a 3,500 watts is versatile to run your home appliances and even when going camping or RVing.

The most important thing is to ensure the starting and running watts of the electronics can be contained by the generator. Do your due diligence before you buy a generator.


Estimated Wattage

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


Wattage Estimate

Tailgating/Camping ApliancesRunning (Surge Watts)Additional Starting (Surge watts)
Electric Grill 1650 0
AM/FM Radio 100 0
CD/DVD Player 100 0
Box Fan - 20" 200 0


Wattage Estimate

Office AppliancesRunning (Continuous Watts)Additional Starting (Surge Watts)
Personal Computer w/17" Monitor 800 0
Fax Machine 65 0
Laser Printer 950 0
Inkjet Printer 80 0
Copy Machine 1600 0


What Electrical Appliance Can a 7500 Watt Generator Run?

What Can a 5500 Watt Generator Power In House?

What Can a 4000 Watts Generator Power In a Home?

What Can a 10,000 Watts Generator Run FAQ?

What Electrical Appliances Can a 2000 Watt Generator Run?