Mastering the Art of Generator Sizing: A Strategic Guide for Winter Power Preparedness
In your pursuit of the ideal backup portable generator to navigate your family through winter, envision a strategic journey akin to a seasoned chef crafting the perfect recipe. Similar to a culinary expert seeking the right blend of ingredients, sizing your generator becomes a delicate art. Unlike the chef, however, miscalculating the generator's size may not just alter the flavor; it could result in enduring expenses or, worse, leave you without power when it matters most.
A generator too large may burden you with unnecessary expenses, both upfront and in ongoing operation, while one too small could result in inconvenient outages and a shortened lifespan.
How Big is My Home?
Estimate your standby generator size based on your home's square footage:
- Up to 1,500 sq. ft. : 9 kW
- 1,500 – 3,000 sq. ft. : 12 kW
- 3,000 – 4,000 sq. ft. : 15 kW
Every household is unique, so double-check this estimate for your specific needs.
What Do I Want My Generator to Power?
Decide if your generator should power everything or just the essentials. Consider peak load wattage or the highest monthly wattage used in your home. Essentials typically include:
- Central A/C
- Main lighting circuits
- Fridge + freezer
- 1 laptop per family member
- Garage Door
- Washing Machine
How Much Power Do They Need To Start?
Determine the surge wattage (power needed to start) for your chosen appliances. Use online resources or check manufacturing labels for accurate information.
To prevent overloading, add 15-25% to your estimated power needs. This ensures a safety buffer and accommodates future household additions.
Armed with your final wattage number, confidently choose a generator that keeps your family warm and comfortable throughout the winter without breaking the bank.