What Size Generator to Run Air Conditioner ?

Having the right size of the generator to power your home appliances including ACs and refrigerators is the most crucial part as it determines its maximum power output. Besides, there are a lot of factors that are involved in finding the best-suited generator for your electric system.

Typically, the number of starting watts of the largest appliance at home determines the generator size – as the wattage capacity of a generator ought to be higher than the starting watts of the largest machine.

What Size Generator to Run Air Conditioner

Sounds confusing, right? But don’t worry because we have got you covered! Below is a comprehensive guide on what size generator to run an air conditioner that can accommodate all your needs.

So without further ado, let’s get right into it:

Can You Run an Air Conditioner on a Generator?

While we are having a debate on what size generator suits the best to run an air conditioner, a lot of people out there might be wondering whether a backup power source is capable of running an AC unit or not. 

To quickly go over that, there are generators that are powerful enough to run a full-size AC, along with all the other basic sets of electrical appliances at home. Besides, you can find very basic power units as well that operate air conditioners pretty well. So for those who think that a backup generator won’t be able to handle an AC unit, you need to give them a try!

What Size Generator to Run Air Conditioner

Since ACs use a lot of power to start and keep running, it is rare that you can have any other big appliance operating simultaneously on the generator. Nevertheless, there are generators powerful enough that function quite smoothly with a few other things running in the background. 

The major size types that are available quite commonly are the ones that provide accommodation to the AC unit you’re having – alongside a few other necessities. With that said, let’s get started:

  • The first one that you can have for your basic electrical needs including a small-sized air conditioner is with generator watts of around 4000W. It is a perfect size for running a small and basic AC unit alongside a few lights. 
  • For home use, a generator is needed not only to power lights but also to run a few important appliances as well – such as a refrigerator. So a 6000-watt generator would be enough for handling a medium-sized generator, a refrigerator, and light bulbs as well. So all-in-all it would be able to provide electricity to almost all the necessities.
  • Lastly, in case you have a centralized cooling system or air conditioner of nearly any size, then a 10,000-watt generator would make up the most appropriate size for keeping up with that. Moreover, it is capable of powering up an air conditioner of nearly any size, a refrigerator, light bulbs, and all the other electric appliances.

What to Look for in a Generator to Run Air Conditioner

With the continuous advancements going on in the field of generators, there is always a new technology coming your way. In fact, there are a number of specifications that play a part in handling different situations.

Similar is the case here with finding a generator that is compatible with an AC unit. Considering this fact, we have compiled a list of the major things that you need to keep in mind while looking for a perfect-size generator to run the air conditioner. So without a second thought, let’s dive right into it:

1. Wattage Capacity: 

The wattage capacity of a generator matters the most as it tells about the size of the generator suitable for a particular AC unit. You might already know the watts of your power unit as it tells about the size of the generator suitable for a particular AC unit. If not, then there’s this simple formula that can help you in this regard: amperage x volts = wattage. 

Aside from that, you can find the starting watts and running watts capacity mentioned on the manufacturer’s label of the AC unit. This can help you find out what size generator you need to have in order to power all the other appliances as well as this unit.

Generally, ACs come with a BTU value of 13,500 – which pretty much equals 3800 watts of starting power. In case you have a generator with 1800 starting watts, then you can run a 10,000 BTU AC unit quite easily.

2. Fuel Type:

The second most important thing is the type of fuel that your generator uses. Among the three major types of fuel, the best with regards to running a full-sized air conditioner is diesel. 

However, a generator for home use gives a good average by running on gasoline as well. And it gets even better when your generator features a dual-fuel technology that gives you the advantage of switching between two fuel types – most commonly propane and gas.

Learn More: What Size Generator For 30 Amp RV Air Conditioner?
Learn More: What Size Generator For Rv With 2 Ac Units?

Summing Up

So it’s a wrap for what size generator to run an air conditioner you need to have. There are multiple factors involved in depicting the right size of a power unit for an AC unit. We have tried and covered all the important aspects in this regard. Make sure to keep in mind the points mentioned in the guide before you make any purchase.

Frequently-Asked Related Questions (FAQs)

1. Will a 7500-Watt Generator run my Air Conditioner?

Having a 7500-watt generator as a power source for your home can prove to be the best option – especially when you have to run the air conditioner on it as well. It is capable of generating enough power that you can easily have your big-sized AC working for hours.

2. What size Generator do I need to run my AC and Refrigerator?

In case you want to have a generator to run a standard refrigerator – alongside a few more appliances – then a 3000-watt power unit would do enough in this regard. Other than that in case the size of the refrigerator is large, then you can have a generator with almost 5000W+ of starting wattage capacity in order to work smoothly. Also, it can power an air conditioner side-by-side as well.  

3. Will a 7000-watt generator run Central Air Conditioner?

The central heating or cooling system always requires more power than any other standard air conditioning or heating system. With regards to that, a 7000-watt generator cannot be enough to generate ample power that can handle a central air system. So eventually, you need to have a more powerful generator in this regard.

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