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How Many Watts Does it Take To Run a House?

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These days, electrical power is required for almost every activity. Nothing gets done when the electricity goes off.

The typical American home experiences a power outage once or twice a year, lasting between three and six hours each time. It doesn't seem common enough for a typical household. However, power outages can last for days or weeks in areas where severe weather is common.

The occasional power outage of a few hours is to be expected, but can you imagine going without electricity for days, weeks, or even longer? 

There will be spoilage in the fridge, no heating, no electricity, no TV, no phone charging, possibly frozen pipes, and moldy walls. 

It will be quite troublesome for you. As a result, it is crucial for residents in these areas to have a reliable source of backup power in the case of a blackout. It's also obligatory in households that handle medical devices or livestock. A backup generator is useful to have on hand in case of an unexpected power outage.

Several different kinds of generators are available nowadays. They come in a wide range of styles, price points, and physical dimensions. They serve a wide range of purposes as well.

Knowledge is power when it comes to buying a generator since it allows you to choose the one that best suits your home's demands without breaking the bank. Consider all of your options carefully so that you can save money without sacrificing quality.

Things to consider

The regularity of power cuts

Long-term power outages are more common in areas prone to severe weather, such as those that encounter hurricanes, blizzards, and ice storms. Even homes that experience power outages seldom, if ever, may want a generator for peace of mind. 

These two groups do not need to buy the same type of generator. Spending thousands of dollars on a generator set that won't be used regularly is a waste of money for people who rarely experience power outages. A portable, medium-sized, or recreational generator would be ideal for their needs. 

If you live in an area where power outages are often, you should invest in a quality generator that can be wired into your home's electrical system. They might have a professional electrician build a transfer switch and have a sizable inverter generator or a home standby generator.


Each type of generator has a maximum wattage at which it can safely operate. The wattage requirements of one's equipment should be determined before shopping for a generator to ensure adequate power. 

If you want to know how big of a generator you need in the event of a blackout, just add up the total wattage of all the devices you plan to use. Because it's unlikely that you'll need every appliance running at once, you can get away with just naming the ones you anticipate using most often. 

But remember to account for the power surges that appliances like the refrigerator, air conditioner, sump pump, and others like them require when they are turned on. Starting watts are usually higher than operating watts.

The wattage listed on the back of your appliances or in their user manuals usually corresponds to the amount of power they consume when in operation. 

Keep in mind that the generator's wattage ought to exceed the initial demand. For an accurate assessment of your wattage needs, it is recommended that you see a professional electrician. 

Heavy-duty generators that can output more than 10,000 watts exist on the market, and they may be used to power the majority of your home's appliances. Medium-sized generators are a good option if you need to power a few essentials but not an entire house.

Tips on sizing a home's backup generator

Watts are the starting point for our measurements (W). Take into account that while light-duty generators can output over 10,000W, modest camping generators can produce anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000W.

The size of the generator needed to power a home is dependent on the household's energy demands.

One, decide what you'll need to power.

If you're thinking about getting a generator for your home, it's a good idea to establish a list of all the appliances and systems that must remain operational in the event of a power loss.

Make use of an online power calculator and establish what you need in terms of running watts and starting watts. Go with a generator that's a tad bigger than what you'll actually need.

Reasons to go slightly bigger:

  • There is no appreciable loss of life expectancy (as it is not run at full load)
  • Reduce background noise (running at full load makes more noisy)

If your running wattage requirements are 1600, you'll need a generator with at least 1800 rated watts; if they're 6800 and 8200, respectively, you'll need one with 7500 rated and 9500 starting watts.

What size generator does a house need

Generac 7043 22kW Air Cooled Guardian Series Home Standby Generator - 200-Amp Transfer Switch - Comprehensive Protection - Smart Controls - Versatile Power - Real-Time Updates

Every home has different electricity needs. Some people may need to use more appliances than usual in the event of a power outage, while others may be fine with fewer gadgets running. 

However, a home could normally be powered by a generator that produces between 5,000 and 7,500 watts. 

There was enough space for a fridge, laptop, TV, sump pump, air conditioner, and a few light bulbs. So, before power is restored, this could make the situation more bearable.

Difference in watts, amps, and volts

Watts (W) and amperes (Amps) are the units of measurement for electrical power, which account for the entire amount of energy produced or consumed by electrical devices. 

In the United States, 120-volt appliances and gadgets are the norm (V). It's important to note that some electrical appliances, like 220V TIG or MIG welders, operate at higher voltages.

The required amps for your tool or appliance can be easily calculated using the formula below.

Electrical power in watts is calculated as follows:

One such example is a MIG welder that requires 70 Amps yet only operates on 120V.

70A x 120V = 8400W

A generator of at least 8,400 working watts is needed to power your welder in this setting.

The following formula can be used in conjunction with watts to determine the amperage of portable appliances:

Amps = Watts * Volts

What about sensitive electronics

Can you also run sensitive electronics on a generator designed to run a house? 

Probably, no. 

Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) is often higher in conventional heavy-duty generators; a THD of 3% is considered the maximum safe for modern electronics.

While standard, heavy-duty portable generators can't handle THD so low, somebackup and grid-connected options can. It's possible that using a modern technology like a laptop or flat-screen TV for too long could damage it.

Thankfully, portable inverter generators don't have this problem, so they can be utilized to power these devices without risk. While most inverters aren't powerful enough to run a complete home on their own, they do include a parallel capability that allows you to connect two inverter generators together to boost their power output.

Why is it important to pick the right generator size

If you get a big enough generator, you won't have to worry about losing power if the grid goes down. You also won't have to worry about power shortages, which may be disastrous for electronic devices. 

Further, the longevity of your generator ensures a return on investment. It will be quite some time before you need to purchase a replacement. Choosing a suitable generator size is crucial for your protection. 

There won't be any short circuits or fire hazards. The appliances in your home will be protected from danger as well.

On top of that, we're talking about how you feel mentally and physically. With its help, you can avoid being overheated and keep comfortable. Because of this, it is essential that you choose a generator of adequate size for your home.

Best 7000W Generators

These generators should be enough to power your home. 

Honda EU7000iS

Honda Generator EU7000iS

When it comes to noise levels, the first generator on this list might be the best option. The Honda generator is a great option for those who value silence. Noise levels aside, it also happens to be a fantastic generator. It comes highly recommended from both customers and merchants alike.

First, let's have a look at how loud this generator is. At a 25% load, people should expect to hear noise levels of roughly 50 dB. Put another way, nothing like this has ever been seen before with a generator of this size. If you want to minimize your noise output without resorting to extreme measures, this is your best bet.

Even though its power lacks a little, its silent operation is remarkable. The Honda generator engine it contains is among the most cutting-edge and efficient on the market today. The fact that it may be used for a wide variety of purposes means it is highly convenient for both private and professional settings.

Assuming Honda's claim that their generators use "electronic fuel injection technology" is accurate, gas efficiency shouldn't be an issue. It not only makes the generator more effective, but it also mitigates some extra issues that are fuel-related like cost.

If something does go wrong with your Honda, you can rely on Honda's exceptional customer service and generous warranty coverage.

These generators have a standard three-year warranty and the manufacturers are willing to address any issues promptly. This generator may be a bit pricey, but it is highly recommended for those concerned with emergency preparedness.

Westinghouse WGEN7500

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment 9500 Peak Watt Home Backup Portable Generator, Remote Electric Start with Auto Choke, Transfer Switch Ready 30A Outlet, Gas Powered, CARB Compliant

Although this option is slightly stronger than what some people need, it is still a workable option.

Among its many lauded features are its small size, long battery life, and ease of usage with a remote. In contrast to other choices, this one doesn't need the user to get on all fours at any point haha.

A user can plug in their electronics to the generator in a variety of methods, such as through the transfer switch, the ready twist-lock outlet, or the 120 volt outlets on the unit itself. There are excellent safeguards built into the generator so that parents may feel at ease about their children of any age using it.

If the generator is treated with the care it normally receives, it should last for many years. It was built to take a beating, so long as regular maintenance is conducted. It comes with oil and a toolkit, so you can easily undertake basic maintenance without paying a mechanic.

Is this generator as quiet as I've heard it to be? Well, its normal decibel level is at 73, which is about the same as a normal two-person conversation. While not completely silent, anything within this range should be relatively inaudible in a well-chosen environment.

Champion Power Equipment 100538

This Champion model is often regarded as the best portable generator on the market. Moving it around isn't too taxing because of how much smaller and lighter it is. As opposed to relying on costly upgrades, this machine was built to maximize productivity in its current state.

The engine is one of the reasons why this machine is lighter than others of its kind. It is a 420 mL Champion engine with a cold start function, making it suitable for use in colder locations. As a secondary safety measure, it constantly monitors the power supply to rule out any potential problems.

Those who are always on the go may find it difficult to transport a generator without risking damage to the generator itself through careless handling.

But a steel framework surrounds the entire structure, providing protection from the elements on both the inside and the exterior. If it were to fall over for whatever reason, it would be easy to prevent any vital parts from being damaged.

The choice's only real downside is its comparatively little petrol tank, which can only hold 5.7 gallons of fuel. This means that several of the other options will have maximum runtimes better than this one. Noise levels are typically better than the competition, however they are not as low as some of the premium ones.


If you live in a hurricane or tornado zone, for example, investing in a home standby generator, large inverter, or portable generator will ensure that you always have power. These generators can provide the necessary electricity to keep your essential devices running in the event of a power outage.

About Tom Bell

Hey, I’m Tom, the owner of Generator Reviews! I built this website to help you get the very most out of your generator and select the correct one for your personal circumstances. This site contains reviews of virtually every generator, detailed buying guides, as well as maintenance advice to help you keep yours in tip-top shape!


Generator.Reviews is an independent review business. I am not affiliated with any manufacturers and do not accept paid reviews. When you buy through my links, I may earn a commission which helps me to maintain this website and keep the reviews coming your way!

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