You’ve heard about portable generators, but you don’t really know what they are or how much power they produce. How big should I get? What are some things to consider?
Portable generators are compact units that run off gasoline, diesel fuel, propane, natural gas, or electricity. They are designed to provide emergency backup power to homes and businesses during power outages.
Portable generators come in various sizes and configurations, but they usually fall into three categories: stand alone generators, truck mounted generators and generator carts.
Generators are great tools to have around because they can save lives and property during emergencies. If you are thinking about buying a new generator, you’ll want to choose something that has enough power to meet your home or business needs.
The best way to determine the right size is by calculating the square footage of each room where you plan on using it.
How to calculate what size of a generator is best for my needs?
The first step is to figure out the total number of rooms in your house. This will help you decide which model of generator would be most appropriate. For example, if you live in a one-bedroom apartment, you probably won’t need a large generator. On the other hand, if you live in an eight-bedroom house with four bathrooms, you might need a larger generator than someone living in a two-bedroom house.
To find the square footage of each bedroom, simply multiply the length times width times height. In this case, the dimensions are 4′ x 8′ x 10′. Therefore, the square footage of each of the bedrooms is 1,728 sq ft. Multiply this by 3 (for the kitchen) and add them together to give the total square footage of all the rooms in the house.
Now, you can use these numbers to determine which type of generator is best suited for your specific situation. Keep in mind that the more horsepower your generator has, the more energy it will generate. However, there is no reason to spend thousands of dollars on a generator when a smaller model will suffice.
What’s the difference between portable generators and standby generators?
A portable generator is also known as a portable engine, while a standby generator is a stationary unit that provides continuous electrical power.
Standby generators are typically used at commercial properties such as office buildings, hotels, schools, and hospitals. Standby generators are also popular among homeowners who live near high-tension lines.
Standby generators are usually connected to utility poles via underground cables. When power goes out, the generator automatically starts up and begins producing electricity.
Because the generator runs constantly, the batteries never need to be charged. These types of generators are commonly found at industrial complexes, shopping malls, and airports.
A portable generator is ideal for those who live in remote areas, like cabins or vacation homes. It is highly recommended to buy a portable generator if you go camping or fishing often. You don’t want to get stranded without any means of generating electricity.
What size generator do I need to run the whole house?
If you’re planning on running appliances throughout the entire house, then you should purchase a generator capable of supplying 100% of the power needed to operate the house.
A standard home generator is not able to provide this much power. To avoid overloading the generator, make sure that it doesn’t exceed its maximum output capacity.
Watts vs. Amps vs. Volts – What is the Difference?
When purchasing a generator, you may come across terms such as watts, amps, volts, and amperes. Despite sounding similar, they have different meanings. How do they work? Let’s find out:
Amperage – The amount of current flowing through a circuit. If the current exceeds the rated limit of the circuit, the circuit could burn out.
Volts – Voltage refers to the potential difference between two points. The higher the voltage, the greater the force pushing electrons back toward their source.
Watts – Wattage measures the rate at which energy flows into a device.
Watts are used to measuring the power of a generator. The amp rating is the maximum amount of amps that the generator can deliver continuously.
Most household generators only produce around 20 amps, but some larger models are capable of delivering 30 amps.
How long does a generator last?
Generators are durable machines that are built to withstand the elements. They are designed to keep working even after years of heavy usage. But just because a generator is made with quality materials doesn’t mean it lasts forever. As time passes, the parts inside the generator start wearing down, causing them to break apart. Eventually, the generator will stop working altogether.
To extend the life of your generator, follow these tips:
- Keep the air filter clean by removing dust particles from the intake vents.
- Use an oil change kit every 3 months.
- Oil coolers require periodic maintenance. Check the oil level regularly.
- Never overload the generator. Make sure that the generator isn’t operating when there is no load attached.
How Much Generator Power Do You Need?
You’ll find many different sizes of generators available today. Some are small enough to fit in a backpack while others weigh hundreds of pounds.
Generators are categorized by their horsepower (HP) ratings. HP stands for Horsepower and indicates how much power the engine produces. The more horsepower, the more power the generator generates.
There are three main categories of generator horsepower: 1/2-hp, 1-hp, and 2-hp. Here are some examples of each category:
- 1/2-hp less than 50 watts
- 1-hp 50-100 watts
- 2-hp 100-150 watts
Are Portable Generators Safe?
Yes! Many manufacturers use high-quality components and safety features to ensure that portable generators are safe. For example, most generators include carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon Monoxide is a colorless gas produced by burning fuels like gasoline or propane.
When used indoors, it can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, weakness, unconsciousness, and death. It’s important to be aware of where the generator is located so that you don’t accidentally inhale dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
How to Choose the Right Size Generator?
When choosing a generator, consider the following factors:
Amps – This determines how powerful the generator will be. A smaller model might not have as much amperage as a large one.
Horsepower – Higher horsepower means more power output.
Fuel Type – Diesel engines run on diesel fuel, whereas gasoline engines run on unleaded gas.
Portability – Is this generator light enough to carry around? Or would you prefer something heavier?
What Kinds of Fuel Are Available?
Today’s portable generators come in several types of fuel including natural gas, propane, liquid petroleum gas (LPG), and diesel. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Natural gas is generally considered to be the safest fuel to use.
Propane and LPG are also relatively safe to use, but they’re often more expensive than other options. Diesel is the least expensive option, but it’s also the riskiest. If you plan on using your generator outdoors, make sure that it runs on diesel fuel.
What size generator to run a 2,000 sq ft house?
The answer depends on how long you expect the generator to last and what kind of fuel you choose. Most people who buy a generator for home use usually go with a 2-horsepower unit. These units typically produce about 200 watts per hour. They’re great for powering lights, refrigerators, fans, and other appliances.
Other popular choices for home use include 4- and 5-horsepower models. These larger generators produce up to 400 watts per hour. Since they generate more electricity, they’re better suited for longer term needs such as running an air conditioner or water pump.
What size generator will run a 3 bedroom house?
If you want to run a 3 bedroom house, you should purchase a generator with at least 300 watts per hour. This is roughly equivalent to a 3-horsepower generator.
However, if you’re planning on keeping your generator plugged into a wall outlet all night, you may want to invest in a higher wattage generator.
How many appliances can you run on a 5500 watt generator?
Appliances vary from person to person, but most people can run between 10 to 15 items off a 5,500 watt generator. You’ll need to check the manufacturer’s specifications to determine exactly what you can use.
What generator size does camping need for you?
Camping requires different requirements than those needed at home. For starters, camping generators must be able to run for extended periods of time without refueling. Camping generators also require a lot more power because they’re used outside.
So when you head out camping, you’ll probably need a bigger generator. The best way to find out what size generator you need is to contact a local store or visit a website that sells generators.
Can I Use a Generator in an Apartment?
Most apartment complexes have their own electrical system. Some apartments even provide electric service to residents who don’t live there. In these cases, you won’t need a generator. However, if your apartment complex doesn’t offer electricity, or if you live somewhere where there isn’t any, then you’ll need one.
What a Generator Can Power
Some common things you can power with a generator are:
Air Conditioners – Generators can help keep air conditioning units operating during power outages.
Heaters – If you live in cold climates, it may not be possible to heat your home without a backup source of heating. Generators can help make sure your heater stays on.
Water Heaters – Many homes rely on water heaters to supply hot water for bathing and cleaning. When the power goes out, a generator can help keep the water flowing.
Cooktops – Even though you can cook with gas stoves, you still need electricity to operate them properly. Generators can provide enough electricity to keep your stovetop running.
Lighting – Lights are essential for safety and convenience. They allow us to see our surroundings and let us see how we look in the mirror. Without lights, we would be unable to read, watch TV, or perform other activities. Generators can provide light for up to 50 days.
Security Systems – Security systems are vital for protecting your property and loved ones. These systems often include motion sensors, cameras, and alarms. When the power goes out due to storms or other events, security systems can alert you to potential threats.
Does my generator need a permit?
Generators aren’t required by law to get a permit. However, some cities and towns require permits for certain kinds of equipment. Check with your local building department to see whether this applies to you.
How do portable generators work?
A generator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. A gasoline engine runs a turbine inside the generator. As the turbine spins, it turns a shaft connected to the generator’s alternator. The alternator generates electricity as it rotates.
How much does a generator cost?
You can find generators ranging from $100 to over $10,000. Prices depend on several factors, including the type of generator, the size of the generator, the number of hours it will run each day, and the amount of power it produces. It’s important to know what you’re buying before making a purchase.
Is a Generator Needed for All Outages?
No, but having one available may save your life. Having an emergency plan is always a good idea. This means preparing for emergencies like hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes. By doing so, you can stay safe and avoid expensive damage to your home and possessions.
How many kVA generators are required for a 5 HP motor?
A generator is rated based on its output capacity (kW) at full load. To determine the kVA rating needed for your generator, multiply the kW rating of your generator times 3.2. For example, if your generator has a 300 Watt output, you’d multiply 300 x.32 10.4. That equals 10.4 kVA.
Resistive vs. Reactive Loads
When working with generators, resistive loads are those that draw current when they are turned on. Examples of resistive loads include lights, fans, TVs, and radios. Reactive loads are those that draw no current until they are energized, such as appliances like microwaves and ovens. When using a generator, resistive loads must be turned off first while reactive loads can continue to operate.
What Is an Inverter?
An inverter converts DC power into AC power. The most commonly used type of inverters is three-phase inverters because they can generate more power than single-phase inverters. A typical residential three-phase system requires two three-phase circuits. One circuit supplies power to the main breaker panel, and the second provides power to the outlets. Three-phase generators typically produce about twice as much power as single-phase generators.
Can a Generator Power a Whole House?
Yes, a generator can power a whole house. However, this is only true if all rooms are equipped with their own dedicated electrical service. While some people believe that a generator will never run out of fuel, this is untrue. Fuel tanks cannot hold infinite amounts of fuel. Eventually, the tank will empty. As a result, a generator must be fueled regularly.