How To Choose a Generator

Keep your home running smoothly during power outages with a backup generator

HOW TO CHOOSE A GENERATOR

There are 3 main types of generators available, with each type serving various functions:

Generator Type: Home Standby Generators Portable Generators Inverter Generators

Location Considerations:

Standby power for your home

Portable power for outdoor power equipment & tools at job site

Quiet power for tailgating, camping & boating

Power Usage Considerations:

Power vital appliances and HVAC systems

Power air compressors, nailers, saws, hammer drills and more

Power lights, heaters, fans, radios & smart phones


This buying guide highlights the different types of generators available and the power requirements and wattages necessary to run specific types of appliances and power tools.

Home Standby Generators

Standby generators provide 24/7 blackout protection to power vital home appliances

  • Automatically supplies power within seconds of a power outage.
  • Permanently installed and operate on existing fuel supply, usually natural or liquid propane gas.
  • Can power entire house or only a few designated circuits.
  • Some models have advanced technology that runs the unit at reduced noise levels, and conducts weekly self-diagnostic tests.

Home Appliance Wattage* Home Appliance Wattage*

Broiler

1,400

Central Air Conditioning

2,000-4,000

Refrigerator / Freezer

600-800

Coffeemaker

400-800

Electric Furnace

5,000-25,000

Electric Range (oven only)

5,000

Electric Range (one element)

2,500

Hair Dryer

1,200-1,500

Table Lamp (tri-lite)

150

Sump Pump

1,500

Television

100-350

Vacuum

700-1,400

Heater (radiant)

1,300

Space Heater

1,250

Toaster

1,100-1,700

Water Heater

3,000-4,500

Microwave

1,200

Water Pump

1,000-2,000

Hot Plate

1,250

Window Air Conditioner

600-1,500

Outdoor Lighting

500-1,000

Personal Computer

500-2,000


This is approximate wattage only. Please refer to your appliance's owner's manual for exact wattage.

Total Your Power Requirements

  • Total your equipment's wattage requirements from the chart above
  • Multiply the total wattage requirements by two** to determine the wattage necessary to start equipment with motors.
  • Select the generator that fits your needs

Start-up requirements may be as high as three or four times the running requirements, so it's best to check owner's manuals for exact wattages; portable generators offer a higher surge wattage to help accommodate start-up requirements.

Portable Generators

Most portable generators run on unleaded gas for limited power at home, job site or recreational activities

  • Electric-start generators power up with the touch of a button with a fully charged battery
  • Auto idle control idles the engine down when not in use for greater efficiency and extended run times.
  • 12 Volt outlets enable portable charging for smart phones and other wireless devices.

Outdoor Power Equipment/Tools Wattage* Outdoor Power Equipment/Tools Wattage*

Chain Saw

1,000-1,800

Planer

300-900

Circular Saw

1,200-1,600

Sanders (belt, disc, orbital)

250-1,500

Drill (depends on size)

250-1,200

Router

100-1,300

String Trimmer

600-1,100

Shop Vacuum

700-1,400

Hedge Clippers

300-1,000

¾ HP Paint Sprayer

1,800

Leaf Blower

1,000-1,400

Miter Saw

500-1,000


This is approximate wattage only. Please refer to your appliance's owner's manual for exact wattage.

Inverter Generators

Inverter generators are perfect for tailgating, camping, boating or RV’ing

  • Inverter generators are also good for small businesses and job sites because of its clean power, low noise levels, fuel efficiency and lightweight design.
  • If more power is needed, consider units that are parallel kit compatible, allowing a connection between two inverter generators for twice the power.

Tailgating/Camping/Boating/Recreation Gear Wattage* Tailgating/Camping/Boating/Recreation Gear Wattage*

Lights

250

Radio

Wattage*

Fan

100

100 Smart Phone

Wattage*

Space Heater

1500

Crock Pot

1200

Hot Plate

1200

Television

250


This is approximate wattage only. Please refer to your appliance's owner's manual for exact wattage.