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Juan Nelson
  Jun 6, 2023 2:02 PM

It's time to decide to buy an electric generator to service your home. Similar to battery power generators and gas-powered generators, electric models also are a great way to ensure power during a power outage and help power your home's electrical appliances to avoid disruptions to daily life.

If you are doing home renovations and are considering a few things, then an electric generator would be a suitable piece of equipment to add. The question in your mind now is: what size and type of electric generator do you need? We will help you figure it out through this article.

1. Have You Understood All About Wattage Yet?

Electric Generator

Electric Generator

Source: Pinterest

Wattage is the first thing you will want to consider when choosing an electric generator. Add up the wattage of every appliance you want to power through your electric generator during a power outage or when there is limited or no electrical service, which includes lights, refrigerators, laptop chargers, smartphone chargers, coffee makers, toasters, washing machines, and more. This calculation will give you a rough idea of your desired generator size.

Air conditioners and refrigerators consume more energy when turned on than when turned off. Please take note if you'll want to consider those power spikes when calculating to get the most accurate estimate possible.

Understanding Starting, Running, and Surge Wattage

Regarding generators, regardless of type, there are some important specifications to understand, including the starting watt, running watt, and surge watt.

  • Starting watt describes the power the generator can momentarily provide to start the engine. This is also sometimes referred to as surge gain.

  • Running wattage describes the energy a generator can deliver at all times. This is also sometimes referred to as a continuous watt.

The Differences Between Watts, Amps, and Volts

The unit of measurement for power is Watts, which is created by multiplying amps by voltage. The power and output of the gadget increase with increasing wattage.

2. Types of Generators by Size

Below, we will introduce the 3 most common types of electric generators that are used widely.

Recreational Inverter Generator 

Offering up to 2,000 watts, priced between $400 and $1,000, and weighing about 60 pounds, it's the smallest electric start generator. 

The recreational inverter generator is quiet, requires no installation, and is designed for easy transport. Recreational inverters are typically user-friendly; many models even work with smartphone apps.

Remember that while recreational inverters can sometimes be as expensive as portable electric generators, they provide significantly more power, with the ability to power refrigerators, lights, home appliances, small electronic devices, and much else.

Recreational Inverter Generator

Recreational Inverter Generator

Source: Amazon

Portable Generator

This generator is the best value, delivering up to 7,500 watts and priced between $700 and $2,800. Most models are pretty light, which are the best portable generators for camping.

Many portable generator models provide enough power to meet the needs of an average household. They can even be connected to a circuit breaker panel to run hard-wired appliances like pumps. However, it should be noted that connecting a portable generator to your home's circuit breaker is often costly.

Portable generators are a good choice for homes with frequent power outages; these are reliable and will provide enough power without spending thousands of dollars.

Portable Generator

Portable Generator

Source: Pinterest

Note: It should also be noted that portable generators should only be used during snow or rain with proper protection.

Read more to learn more portable generators.

Home Standby Generators

A home standby generator is installed next to your home (usually, it will be permanently installed). Generating up to 20,000 watts, a standby generator is priced between $2,000 and $6,000 and weighs between 350 and 600 pounds. When the power goes out, they automatically turn on to provide a steady current to power all your devices. These generators can often run on natural gas or propane.

Although this may be the most convenient type of generator to use in the home, it is often the most expensive one. Installing a standby generator at home can be expensive, making this a costly option for some people.

This isn't a good option for you if your house is built in a flood-prone area, as it is impossible to install a standby generator at home in a wet area, or you cannot move it when floods are coming.

Unless you live in a flood-prone area and you live in an area that experiences frequent power outages or does not receive electrical service, a home backup generator is the most convenient option for your home.

Home Standby Generator

Home Standby Generator

Source: Pinterest

3. FAQs

Is a Portable Generator 30 Amp Enough to Power a House?

If you do not intend to run central air conditioning or do not have central air conditioning, then a 30-amp generator is the perfect choice to power your home.

How Many dB Is a Quiet Generator?

50-60 decibels are considered the quietest power generator when the manufacturer rates them at the specified distance in the 50-60 decibels (dB) range.

What Is The Best Portable Generator Brand on The Market?

Our top pick for the worth-buying portable generator brand is the Westinghouse iGen160s Portable Generator, which can run for up to 12 hours on a single gas tank and offers a 12,000-watt starter to power the engine of your essentials in the event of a power outage.


We hope the above article has given you an overview of how to choose the right size of an electric generator. At the same time, we also introduce information about several types of generators being sold on the market so that you can refer to choose the best one.

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