This generator calculator is designed to provide you with a solid starting point for calculating your backup power requirements. It gives you the starting and operating watts you'll need to run your appliances and electronics. We recommend purchasing a generator with a power rating large enough to run all the necessary elements at 50 percent of the total generator capacity. A mid-size inverter generator is a great option for those looking for a backup power solution in a home that rarely suffers power outages.
However, if you plan to run it only a couple of times a year in the event of an emergency, a smaller generator that runs essential equipment will be the best option. Generators range from 800 watts to more than 500,000 watts, and there are different types of generators for every need. Keep in mind that higher-priced recreational inverter generators cost as much as a portable generator, which can power many more devices. Make a list of all the essential appliances you should use during an emergency power outage if you need a generator for your home, such as the air conditioner, refrigerator, and lighting circuits.
However, to know what size generator is needed to power a home, you need to check the exact power of your appliances to be 100% sure. These generators don't run on natural gas or propane, so you'll need stabilized gasoline to prepare for a power outage. A generator specialist also usually performs regular maintenance checks to ensure that the generator is working properly. This is also not the option for you if you live in a flood-prone area, as in-home backup generators cannot be installed in damp areas or moved during a flood.
Most homes will struggle to find a portable generator large enough to power all appliances and electronic devices. The maximum consumption of the generator at this point will be 1,400 watts (200 operating watts for the refrigerator plus 1,200 starting watts for the freezer). You need to make sure that the generator you buy is powerful enough to run your essential appliances AND be able to start them. If you live in a ground floor apartment with a garden, you might be able to use a generator to power your apartment (although your neighbors might not be too happy that you do), but this isn't a realistic option for most apartment dwellers.
The total power you need to run a small refrigerator would be 1400 watts, so you would need a generator that would provide at least that many watts.