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What Size Generator Do I Need For My Home?

July 16, 2022

Picking the right generator is a delicate process. Follow this guide if you have ever asked yourself, what size generator do I need for my home?

What Size Generator Do I Need For My Home?

In recent years, power outages have become commonplace in the United States, with the average American home experiencing over eight hours without electricity each year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). However, although this figure may seem insignificant, the impact of a power loss often has detrimental effects on our quality of life.

Once the power industry restores electricity to our homes, most homeowners begin drowning in an extensive list of expenses due to the outage. In most cases, these costs include replacing all the food that may have spoiled, but if you live in an area that regularly deals with storms, it may also likely include draining a flooded basement and replacing frozen pipes.

At Osburn Services, we believe that nobody should go through the stress and troubles that a power outage introduces into our lives. By securing a backup generator, you can kickstart it whenever you are in need, ensuring that your power remains constant. Unfortunately, if you are unfamiliar with generators, you may be confused about the first place to start. So, in this post, we will guide you through the steps to help you determine which generator is best for your home.

What Size Generator Do I Need For My Home?

In The World of Generators, Wattage is King

If you have already kickstarted your generator purchase journey, you would have likely come across various wattages plastered across these machines. In most cases, picking the correct wattage is the most crucial aspect of selecting the best generator for your home. If you choose a generator with a wattage that is too small, the various appliances in your home will overload it, which may cause your generator to break down and also fry any device that you have plugged in.

On the other hand, if you pick a generator with a wattage that is too large, all your appliances will tend to be fine, but you will likely overpay for any fueling costs. So, you can expect to walk away with a lighter wallet if you choose an excessively large unit.

Starting/Surge vs Running Wattage

One of the core things to understand when planning to fix a generator is that not all watts are created equal. Each appliance in your home likely has a starting (surge) wattage, which generally indicates the quantity of extra energy required to kickstart a device. This value is generally much higher than the running wattage, which is the amount of power the appliance requires while running.

So, a device such as a hairdryer may have a running wattage of 1400W but may still require about 1800W to supply that initial burst of heat. On the other hand, refrigerators have a bad reputation for having a considerable disparity between running and surge wattage. These devices typically need about 100W to run but may never start if your generator does not supply at least 1200W.

When picking a generator, understanding the various listed power values is crucial to making the best decision. Fortunately, most manufacturers often list the running wattage separately from the starting watts a generator can supply.

What Size Generator Do I Need For My Home?

How to Determine the Correct Generator Size for Your Home

If you have been asking yourself, what size generator do I need for my home but have been unsure how to determine this value, you can follow these three core steps:

List Out All Appliances You Want to Power

The number of appliances you want to power while running your generator will always be the most crucial factor to consider when making a choice. In some cases, you may choose to leave out a couple of air conditioners or washing machines, especially if you believe that the odds of you running those appliances while your generator is on will be low.

Get the Running and Surge Wattage for All These Appliances

Next, you will want to dive through the information on each device to figure out its running and surge wattage. Fortunately, most manufacturers list these on the device specification, so they should be easy to find by studying its casing or conducting a quick online search. On the other hand, if you can’t find these wattage values, you can always use an estimation tool to land at a ballpark figure.

Tally it Up to See Your Final Requirements

Once you have the running and surge (starting) wattage for all the appliances you plan to use with your generator, grab a calculator and begin tallying these figures up. Your final value should be a fantastic indicator of the generator size to purchase for your home.
Alternatively, if you are unsure of your final figure and would like a helping hand, don’t hesitate to contact us at Osburn Services. We are an authorized generator specialist with expertise in installing generators for commercial and residential uses and will be glad to answer any questions you may have.

Osburn Services is Here For You

At Osburn Services, we understand that being stranded without power is one of the worst situations you can face. Being stuck in this situation often has a tremendous cost and can lead to losing several items. To ensure this does not happen, Osburn has remained committed to offering the installation of Cummins and Generac Generators and maintenance for all generator brands throughout the lower peninsula of Michigan.

On the other hand, if you want a generator but are not committed to paying immediately, we also offer flexible financing plans for all our customers. Please call or drop us a message to learn more about why generators are a fantastic option for your home, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


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