Can My Generator Power That? Your Fool-Proof Size Guide For Buying a New Generator

With all these storms and power outages that Michigan homeowners have been experiencing this year, more people are in the market to buy a new generator than ever before. The question then becomes, what’s the right sized generator for your home? This size guide for buying a new generator should help shed some light on the situation.

When It Comes To Generators, Does Size Really Matter?

The truth is that when it comes to buying a new generator in Michigan, size absolutely matters. Having the right sized generator ensures you and your family stay safe and comfortable while protecting your home and property from damage, no matter how long the power stays out.

Smaller generators won’t be able to handle all of the appliances in your home. For the short-term this might not be an issue, but power outages that last longer than 24 hours become problematic.

    Problems From Michigan Power Outages Include:

    Rotten food, like this head of lettuce, is just one of the many unexpected power outage problems facing Michigan homeowners.

  • Frozen and Burst Pipes
  • Damage From Flooding
  • Mold Damage
  • Appliances Like Refrigerators, Air Conditioners, and Heaters Go Down
  • Spoiled Food
  • Loss of Refrigeration for Medical Supplies, Like Insulin
  • No Running Water
  • No Hot Water
  • And a Lot More

What Are The Main Types Of Generators?

When it comes to buying a new generator, there are two main types to be aware of: portable and whole house generators. A portable generator is exactly what it sounds like: portable. These smaller generators provide enough power to turn the lights back on and power a couple smaller appliances.

Whole house generators, sometimes referred to as standby generators, power the entire home during a power outage. They automatically turn on when the power goes out and they automatically turn off when the power switches back on. You don’t even have to worry about refueling these bad boys because they’re hooked right into your natural gas line. As long as they’re professionally installed and maintained, standby generators continue working for decades.

Size Guide For Buying a New Generator

How To Choose the Right Size Generator

The first step to choosing the right size generator for your Michigan home is to calculate your total power consumption on a daily basis. You can do this a couple different ways.

First, you can check your power bill. This should give you a pretty good idea of your average power consumption, helping you see exactly how much power you need.

The second way is to manually check all of your appliances to find out the exact power consumption of each device. This takes some time, but gives you the most accurate information. Most appliances have their wattage information written on them somewhere and you can find this information in the owner’s manual as well.

    Watt’s The Average Power Consumption?

    Keep your refrigerator running in your Michigan home with a professionally installed whole house generator from Mister Sparky Electrical.

  • Major Appliances and Necessities:
    • Refrigerator: 700W
    • Laptop: 200W
    • 5-10 Lights: 250W
    • Electronics Charger: 20W
    • Security System: 100W
    • 10K BTU Air Conditioner: 1,000W
    • Washing Machine: 1,200W
    • Well Pump: 1,250W
    • Sump Pump: 900W
    • Gas/Propane Furnace: 800W
    • Electric Range (8-Inch Burner): 2,000W
    • Dishwasher: 1,500W
  • Extras:
    • Hair Dryer: 1,200W
    • Coffee Maker: 1,000W
    • Space Heater: 1,500W
    • Toaster Oven: 1,200W

Keep in mind

When calculating your total power consumption, there are a couple things to keep in mind to make sure you get the right generator for your situation.

First, keep in mind that your bigger appliances require about three times their “running wattage” when they start up. This is especially true for the HVAC system, refrigerator, well pump, and sump pump. For these big appliances, multiply their total watts required by three to find out the wattage needed to start up. Getting this right is extremely important if you want to avoid power surges and other potential problems.

Second, it’s always better to have too much than too little when it comes to generator power. A general rule of thumb when calculating total watts required is to always add 25% to the final number. Doing this ensures you won’t short-change yourself when it comes to power.

Choosing the Right Generator

After calculating how many watts you need to power your home’s appliances, it’s time to choose the right generator. As I mentioned above, generators typically fall into two categories. Portable generators and whole house generators have very different ratings when it comes to power output. That’s why we did those calculations in the first place.

Portable generators a typical power rating between 1,000 – 7,500W. This output is not enough to power an entire home, even smaller homes. Portable generators are perfect for homes that rarely (if ever) lose power. They provide enough juice to power your refrigerator, lights, computer, air conditioner, and maybe the sump pump.

Whole house generators are the best option. Not only are they the “set it and forget it” type of generator, but they also have more than enough power to run your entire home. With power ratings between 10,000 – 25,000W (or more), standby generators are the key to comfort in a power-outage-prone home.

Consult the Professionals at Mister Sparky Electrical

If all of this is too much to think about (trust me I get it), then it’s time to consult the professionals. Here at Mister Sparky Electrical, we know a thing or two about generators. If you still have questions after reading our size guide for buying a new generator, just give us a call. With services for installing, repairing, and maintaining generators, Mister Sparky Electrical has everything you need to stay in the light.

You can call us today at 800-574-2470 or book an appointment with us online. For more electrical tips and tricks, check out our blog. You can also keep up with the latest and greatest deals and news by following us on Facebook and Twitter.