One of the first questions people ask when considering a whole house generator is, “how many kw do I need?” The answer to this question varies depending on your home’s power requirements.
To find out how many watts you need, take a look at the wattage rating labels on your appliances and systems. Count on needing around 2,000 watts to keep your refrigerator running and most lights on; up to 7,500 watts for window air conditioners; and 20,000 watts to power the rest of your household.
How to calculate the wattage needed for a whole-house generator?
The wattage needed for a whole-house generator depends on the size of your home. Generally, larger homes have more appliances and devices that need power.
Start with the wattage on your appliances and systems, or consult their owner’s manuals. They should provide information on watts required to run the device, including starting watts and running watts.
For example, a fridge will require more watts to begin and run than a washing machine.
Once you’ve determined the wattage for your devices, use a generator calculator to determine what size generator you’ll need. The generator wattage calculator will also allow you to compare different generator models and determine which one best meets your needs.
A generator wattage calculator is an extremely useful tool that can save you time and money when choosing the right generator for your unique requirements. In addition, this calculator can be particularly helpful to those who don’t have a great deal of technical knowledge when it comes to generators.
Determine the devices you want to be powered across your home.
The best way to figure out exactly how much energy your home needs is to take a close look at what you are actually using. This will give you a clear picture of what your appliances and electronics are actually consuming.
One of the most effective ways to do this is to plug in a watt meter and measure how many watts are going into your breaker box at any given time. While that may seem like a daunting task, many modern power companies offer free or inexpensive watt meters that will send you hourly updates in the form of a meter reading.
Another is the Sense (or the Emporia-Vue as it is officially known), an electromagnetic power-flow estimator that uses machine learning to tell you just about everything you could want to know about the amount of energy your house is using at any given moment in time. While it takes a little patience and research to get the most out of this device, the long-term benefits are likely worth it.
Multiply the running wattage by three.
To figure out how many kw you need for a whole house generator, start by making a list of every appliance or device you want to be powered. Then, check the owner’s manual for each one’s starting and running wattage.
Once you have this information, you can multiply the running wattage by three. That’s because electric motors need a surge of power to start, and that’s typically three times higher than the wattage needed when they are running.
This is a good rule of thumb for most appliances, but not all. Some, like refrigerators, have separate starting and running wattage. The safest way to determine these numbers is to consult the owner’s manual for each appliance, but if you’re unsure, ask your top-rated local pro for an estimate. They’ll help you make sure you have enough wattage to power everything you need during an outage. This will save you money on your electricity bills in the long run, and keep your food fresh.
Add up all the devices’ wattage.
One of the most important steps in determining what size generator your home will need is to add up all the devices’ wattage. This includes things like light bulbs, coffee machines, and water heaters that draw a fixed amount of power each time they are turned on. On the other hand, things like your refrigerator or a security system may have separate starting and running wattage. To get the most accurate wattage estimate for your home, you should take the time to list the devices you want to be powered and then calculate the watts per device using a calculator.
The most important thing to remember about watts and the power of the generator is that you don’t want to oversize your unit. This will not only cost you more in the long run, but it can also put your home at risk from power surges and blackouts. To avoid that, the most accurate wattage calculator you can use is your local utility’s website.