What Size Generator Do I Need To Run A Refrigerator
There are several reasons why you may no longer have access to power or be experiencing a blackout. Often, the weather can cause blackouts, which can mean that you do not have power for hours or even days. Although this may be something you are used to when living in a location that experiences a lot of storms, there is no denying that a power outage is always something you could do without.
If you want to be prepared for any issues, then portable generators are the best thing you can buy. At Best Of Machinery, we are going to help you find the right portable generator that can keep your refrigerator running even in power outages, keeping you safe, and saving food.
What Size Is Best For Portable Generators?
For those who experience regular power outages, investing in a portable generator is one of the best things you can do. These devices are used to keep all appliances that you want to power, like a refrigerator freezer, running even when there is no power available to you. Once you start shopping for a portable generator, you will see that there are a lot of options when it comes to their size and power outage. Although this is good news for those who want a generator, as it will ensure that there is going to be something for everything you want to power, it can also be overwhelming.
This is why you will want to consider your power needs before shopping, as this will determine what sized generator is the best option. Generators, portable or otherwise, are very expensive appliances, so you want to make sure that you are investing in one that you can use to save money and time.
The best size generator for a refrigerator, or other large appliances like an air conditioner, can depend on and will differ based on various factors. You will want to consider the devices you want to power when making use of this appliance as well as the total running wattage of the generator – but there is more to it than this.
What Is The Different Between Running And Surge Watts?
All devices require a different amount of running watts to be powered and run continuously. This is something you will have to consider when it comes to finding the best generator for your household appliances, as you will need to find one that can support the amount of running wattage for your refrigerator or air conditioner. However, some appliances may also require starting watts. The starting watts refers to an additional number of watts that is required for an appliance to start working through a generator or cycle on.
This is why it can be quite hard to find the right-sized portable generator for large appliances like a refrigerator, as these are the two factors you will have to consider. Luckily, portable generators are typically rated for both their running watts and their surge watts, allowing you to determine which is going to provide the necessary power to keep your appliances running during power outages. In most cases, the run wattage given for a generator is typically 90% of surge ones.
It is important to note that a generator should not be expected to run continuously on higher wattage than it can power, as this can cause damage to both the generator and the appliance you want to power. It can also be very dangerous, so make sure you understand exactly what wattage a generator can run continuously before using it to power several appliances at once.
Not all appliances that you may want to power require surge watts. For example, light bulbs, toasters, and coffee makers do not require an additional wattage to start their power. These are known as resistive type appliances, and it is generally heat-producing devices that do not require this additional wattage.
Devices and appliances that have an electric motor, however, typically do require this additional wattage to get them started. Based on the kind of generator you use, accessing this starting wattage, your power needs can be as simple as switching on a transfer switch.
Starting to run a refrigerator in this manner, however, is not the same process. This is because the running wattage of most refrigerators will start and stop repeatedly. This is something you can track to determine the power needs of your refrigerator by listening to it as you will be able to hear the continuous cycle of its fan, air compressor, or defrost cycle.
In some cases, the surge watts required by an appliance can be two or three times the necessary wattage to power the device and keep it in use.
What Sized Portable Generator Is Best For Me?
To calculate the best wattage of generator you want for a refrigerator or similar appliances, you must also consider this extra wattage required, as well as the standard run wattage. Taking a standard refrigerator-freezer as an example, 800 watts is required to continuously power the unit. This will increase when the compressor of this appliance kicks in and starts to run, which can require an additional 1000 watts to 1200. This means that, in total, it actually requires a wattage of up to 2000 to power this kind of device using a portable generator.
Once the fridge settles into it’s running wattage of 800, the additional 1000 watts can then be used to power something else. This makes this size of the device a great option for most homes or buildings as it can power a range of appliances at once after a fridge has settled into its standard run wattage.
This means that if you choose to invest in a mid-wattage generator, which is typically around 3500, then you can have your fridge freezer powered most of the time, relying on the fact that the doors are closed to keep it cool, and using the transfer switch to power anything else you require
It is important to check when considering the wattage of a generator, whether the information given by the brand is the running and surge wattage separately or together. Some brands include the running wattage in the surge column of their information tables, which can result in inaccurate estimations. With this in mind, to find the right-sized generator, you will need to consider what you use it for.
What Do You Need A Generator For?
A generator can be used for a range of different appliances and purposes. Considering the devices it will need to run and the overall purpose behind getting one of these devices can help you find the best one. Perhaps you require a generator for:
- Emergency use during a blackout
- To use on jobs in remote locations
- For camping, RV, and tailgating
- To use as a standby power source, connected to your home’s main supply
- Occasional use around the house
In some cases, all of these purposes may apply. No matter what your driving force is for buying a generator, you will also want to consider what kind of appliances you will be supplying the power to and how many devices will be using it at one time.
To find the best wattage of a generator based on what you will use to run through it, add up the running wattage of most of the appliances that will be needed at one given time. For example, a fridge, lamp, and heater all at once. Once you worked the combined wattage needed to run these appliances, add in the highest surge wattage for any of these appliances.
With this information, you will have the minimum wattage required. Considering that you may not have to run all of your exampled devices at once if you are well-timed and organized, then this amount should be more than enough power for everything you need.
If a generator does not offer enough wattage for all of the appliances you are trying to run, then you will need to unplug one or more devices at a time to have enough available wattage left. This is why it is recommended for you to go bigger when it comes to generators, as you will never worry about having too much power, but the same cannot be said for the opposite.
For example, if you have a generator that you want to use to keep your fridge running continuously (which is what you will need during a power outage), then you will need 800 to run it but also 1200 in surge watts. If you are also using this generator to run other devices at the same time, such as several lights, a TV, and a stereo to keep the family entertained, with a combined wattage of 2000, then you will be drawing very close to the peak wattage of your generator.
This means that when your fridge surges and starts the cycle again, you are very much at the risk of exceeding the wattage of your generator, which can trip the breaker and make you lose power all over again.
What You Need To Know About Watts And Amps
Almost every appliance that you buy will have their wattage requirement or amps printed somewhere so it is accessible to you. However, it is important to note that the watts you read on your device are not necessarily the total wattage it requires. For example, a 1000 watt hair dryer may produce 1,000 BTU of heat but may require more to power it and get it started in the first place.
The measurement of 1,000 BTU is used for thermal energy or heat energy transfer rate. This kind of measurement only applies to devices that create heat, like a hairdryer. This measurement of 1,000 BTU differs from the wattage of this appliance since 1,000 BUT refers to the measurement of the energy required to power this device, whereas the wattage measures the rate of transfer of energy, and this is always associated with a time factor.
BTU refers to British Thermal Unit, and it is not part of the International System of Units, so you may never come across it. However, it is a good idea to understand what this measurement means in case it does become relevant.
The BTU of an appliance, for example, the hairdryer with 1,000 BTU, refers to the amount of heat that should be transferred within one pound of water to raise the temperature by one degree of Fahrenheit. Since both the pound (lb) and Fahrenheit are international units of measurement, BTU can also be identified by Joules.
This kind of measurement is typically only found in appliances that generated heat, like air conditioning systems, ventilation, and hair dryers, so it is not always relevant. There is another simple formula that you can use to determine whether a generator is right for your needs. If you know the amp draw of your device, then you will be able to calculate the total wattage required using this formula:
Amps x Volts = Total Watts
The voltage of most appliances in the United States is 120. This means that if you know that your device requires 10 amps, then you can work out that it needs a total of 1200 watts to run (10 amps x 120 volts = 12000). Similarity, amps can also be just as simply calculated using the formula:
Watts/Volts = Amps
As you know that the volt of an appliance is 120, and it has a wattage of 1200, then you can easily determine that the amps equal 10 (1200/120 = 10). These formulas may seem too simple to require an explanation, but at Best Of Machinery, we want to make sure that we are providing our readers with the best information possible. We understand that learning about wattages and electronics, in general, can be confusing at times, which is why we aim to make everything reader-friendly wherever possible.
What Else Do I Need To Consider?
Determining the power an appliance needs and how much of this a generator can provide is one of the most important things to consider when shopping for a generator to use with a large appliance like a fridge. This includes considerations regarding noise, as you will probably want to find a generator that has a quiet operation when in use. The noise can be determined by the fuel type of a generator, and there are several options here.
You will need to choose whether you want to fuel this appliance with gas, propane, diesel, or a combination. If you are looking to use generators for sensitive appliances, then something purely electrical may be the best option. Considering that generators can be used as a backup power source for your home during an emergency, you may also want to consider whether it comes with a sump pump or well pump attachment.
This kind of pump is typically found in basements and is made to send water away to a safer place if there is too much. These pumps can connect to an outside well or drain, for example. In an emergency or as a precaution, attaching generators to this pump can be a great way to prevent major water damage when the power has been cut out due to weather or other issues.
If this is something you are concerned about, then you will need to consider the support attachments that come with generators. The price of these appliances can also be a big concern for shoppers. This is why it is so important to consider what you actually need before shopping, as there can be a large price difference between brands and their supported wattage.
If you want to save hundreds of dollars, then make sure you understand the kind of power you need before shopping! There are other types of generators that you may also want to consider once you have figured out which is the best size for your needs. This includes an inverter and standard generators, as each comes with their own set of advantages and disadvantages depending on your needs.
When it comes to finding the right-sized generator for your fridge, or any appliance for that matter, it is always a good idea to go for more rather than less in terms of wattage. You will never be stuck in a power blackout or on a camping trip wishing that you have less power available! With more wattage, you can use generators to continuously run large appliances like your fridge and also use it for other devices at the same time.
With a large wattage, generators can support both the running and surge power required by appliances. This means that no matter what part of the cycle they are on, a generator will be able to start your fridge, and you can use it to provide power continuously even as it surges and transfers without cutting out and causing more issues with your power.