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How to Size a Standby Generator

Sizing a Generator

Standby generators are typically rated by their kilowatt (kW) output.

1,000 Watts = 1 Kilowatts (kW)

10,000 Watts = 10 Kilowatts (kW)

If the wattage is not provided, you can calculate it easily by multiplying the amplitude by the voltage.

Amps x Volts = Watts

For example:

10 amps x 100 volts = 1,000 Watts = 1 Kilowatt

Although you should always consult a professional when selecting a generator, it is possible to estimate the approximate electrical load.

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1. Square footage

Larger homes with more square footage typically require larger generators as these homes have bigger HVAC units and more appliances.

2. Electrical load

While some generators are capable of powering the entire home, many only supply power to select circuits. For example, a typical standby generator will power the refrigerator, furnace, air-conditioner, water heater, and lights.

Bigger appliances will require more wattage. For instance, a coffeemaker or ceiling fan will use much less wattage than a water heater or refrigerator. Also, if you have any gas appliances, like a gas clothes dryer or gas furnace, this will lessen the electrical load.

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Typical Appliance Wattage Requirements

- Dishwasher: about 2,000 Watts

- Water Heater: about 4,000 Watts

- Coffeemaker: about 800 Watts

- Toaster: about 1,400 Watts

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About the Author

ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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