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How Much Power Does Your Backup Generator Produce?

Backup Generator
Reading Time: 3 minutes

With hurricane season fast approaching, there isn’t a better time to make sure you have backup power sorted for your home. But, with a lot of options on the market, how can you be sure you’re purchasing the right generator you need? We’re giving you the lowdown on how much power you can get from portable and home generators, and how to choose the right one for you.

Whats the Difference Between a Portable and a Home Generator? 

Portable generators come in a wide array of sizes, so it’s easy to find one that will fit your needs. Like the name suggests, they’re also handy if you and your family need to have power while on the move. They’ll usually run on diesel or gasoline, so filling up regularly is a necessity if you’re using the generator for extended periods of time. Smaller units like these tend to have a lower power output. 

Home generators are installed permanently outside your home, connecting to a natural gas line for power. These generators are much easier to use compared to their portable counterparts: once the installation is finished, you don’t have to connect any power strips or household appliances manually. A transfer switch allows you to easily shift between mains and backup power, and in the event of a power cut, it’ll automatically switch your generator on. 

What Can These Generators Power?

Before making any concrete decisions, you should draw up a list of your essential appliances and then calculate the energy you need to run them. Some products will have two values: one for the watts needed to start up the appliance, and another for the watts it needs to run. Give yourself a bit of room when estimating this number, as most generators won’t be able to run at full capacity for an extended amount of time. Having an idea of the power you need to keep your appliances on is going to help you a great deal in deciding which generator to go for. 

Many home appliances require quite a large number of watts to operate. Starting and running a refrigerator uses about 2400 watts, a washing machine can use around 2600 watts, and a dishwasher can use 3000. It’s easy to see that lower-output generators will struggle to provide adequate power to keep an entire home running. 

  • Portable Generators

    These generators will have a maximum output of around 15,000 watts. You’ll have to be selective when deciding which lights and devices you want to keep switched on, as this is a rather low power output, especially if you’re going to need power for more than a few days. Unfortunately, while you could use this to keep your refrigerator, chargers, lights, and maybe one or two household appliances operating, portable generators are not strong enough to provide power to your AC unit.

  • Home Generators

    With the right home generator, you can keep every appliance in your home in perfect running order, or at the very least, you can give yourself a bit of leeway to use the washing machine once in a while. More importantly, you can run your AC unit with a home generator. These generators act as a replacement for mains power, so even hardwired appliances will work as normal.

Be prepared for storms, and check your generator is ready to handle whatever the weather may throw at us this hurricane season. Whether you need maintenance to ensure your generator is in good working order or you’d like to install a new home generator, contact us today at Art Plumbing, AC & Electric so we can help you keep your lights on during the hurricane season.

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