Does a 12,000 watt generator power a house? (2023)

Does a 12,000 watt generator power a house?This is a question many people ask when considering buying a generator. Living in an area with frequent power outages is certainly annoying. Therefore, most people choose generators to solve this problem once and for all.

However, a generator is a device that you should research well before purchasing. You don't want to end up buying a generator that can't provide enough power to meet your needs. So read on to find out all about buying a 12,000 watt generator.

Watts at start vs. moving watts

Let's introduce you to some of the basic terms to understand how many watts you need.

So what are running watts and starting watts? Simply put, running watt is the mileage required for an electronic device to function. It is usually a constant flow of current.

On the other hand, a starting watt is the high flow of energy required to electrically start a device. The initial watt is needed only in the first few seconds for the machine to work.

However, the two types of watts differ significantly from each other. The approximate power of a freezer, for example, is 1200 watts. However, the mileage drops to 132-192 watts after the first few seconds.

You might be thinking why in this article we are talking about the power of household appliances, you will find out in the following paragraphs.

(Video) What will a 10000 watt generator run in a house?

How to calculate your watts

Now that you know the two types of watts, it's time to talk about how to calculate your total energy needs. Why do you need to know how many watts you need?

Well, a generator's wattage is calculated in watts, and one way to quickly determine the size of your generators is to calculate the total power requirements of your appliances. So you can choose how many watts you want to run during a power outage.

Step 1: Write down device names

First, you should write down the names of all the devices, large and small, that you plan to use with a generator during a power outage. You can add your washing machine, air conditioner, sump pump, space heater and other essential household items.

Step 2: Find the power

The next step is to discover the power of each of these devices. The total wattage required for each item can be found on the decals included with the units. Record run-off and take-off power to make your work easier.

Step 3: Add the numbers

And finally, you have to add up all the watts and the total number you get is the estimated generator size you need for your home. However, keep in mind that in order to get the perfect sized generator that can handle your initial power load, you need to factor in the initial watts when doing the calculation.

How long does a 12,000 watt generator last?

The runtime greatly depends on several factors such as the brand, type of generator and whatever equipment you intend to use. If you are using a 12,000 watt portable generator, the tank ranges from 7 to 8.5 gallons. With that tank size, you can easily run the machine at 50% load for nine and a half hours.

If you only use small appliances like a coffee maker or electric stove, it will last longer. However, you can run out of power more quickly if you add energy-hungry appliances like air conditioners and heaters.

(Video) DuroMax XP12000EH start up test. Will it start my 3 ton AC...and power rest of house???

However, with a 12,000-watt whole-house backup generator, the power will last longer, allowing you to run large appliances while powering the house. You can connect your device directly to the natural gas line and avoid the hassle of running out of gas.

What can a 12,000 watt generator do?

So let's get down to business. Can you really run your entire house and all of your appliances on a 12,000 watt generator? Well, as we mentioned above, it depends on the type of generator you are using and many other things.

However, we can give you a rough estimate of the things you can do. With a 12,000 watt generator, you can use 4-5 items at a time. So let's take a look at some of the items you can use:

household items

A 12,000 watt generator is perfect if you have a medium sized home. You can use it to power your air conditioners, heaters, coolers and more. A window air conditioner has an initial output of approximately 2,200 units.

Additionally, other household items such as coffee makers, electric ranges, and microwave ovens are rated at 1000 watts, 3000 watts, and 1000 watts, respectively.

Adding it all up, the number sits at 7,200 watts, meaning there's still plenty of room for more devices. You can add your sump pump or sump pump with an initial wattage of 2150 and your LED bulbs that require 25 watts.

construction site use

Now let's take a look at the jobsite items you can use with a 12,000 watt generator. You can conveniently use items like a circular saw, hand drill and air compressor with a 12,000 watt portable generator. In addition, you can also add reflectors for construction sites.

(Video) ✅ Best 12000 Watt Portable Generator in 2023 ✨ Top 5 Tested & Buying Guide

types of generators

Different generators serve different purposes and each has unique features to meet the user's specific needs.

portable generator

A portable generator comes with sturdy wheels that make it easy to move. This device can power your sump pump, electric water heater, washing machine, microwave oven and much more.

All you need is fuel and extension cords and you're good to go. These devices are also perfect for construction sites.

standby generator

This is also known as a whole house generator. Unlike a portable generator, you cannot move these devices once installed. It has a powerful system and can support charging for many devices.

Another great feature is that it can automatically restore power with its transfer switch feature. A 12,000-watt backup generator is perfect for large homes; You can even power your home office with these machines.

gasoline generator

A gasoline generator is popular among people because of its affordable price. A 12,000-watt gasoline generator is enough to comfortably power all your household devices. However, one downside of this generator is that it makes loud noises when running.


An inverter generator is a good choice for people who don't like noisy appliances. This generator automatically adjusts its speed to meet electrical demand, reducing additional fuel consumption and noise.

(Video) Pulsar (G12KBN) Dual Fuel 12000 Watt Generator [part 1] Set-up, Test and Review.

However, if you plan on powering your air conditioner, sump pump, or other large appliances, an inverter generator may not be a good choice. These devices generally have low power capacity, are only useful for lighter loads, and are practical on a light jobsite.

natural gas generator

A natural gas generator works like any other generator; The only difference is that natural gas is used to generate electricity. This is becoming more and more popular among people due to the low cost and maintenance of natural gas. Another advantage is that this generator runs silently and produces less waste.

With a 12,000 watt generator that runs on natural gas, you can easily power your window air conditioner, coffee maker, microwave and many other appliances.

Common questions

1. Can a portable generator power a home?

If you buy a portable generator that's the right size for your needs, it can power an entire house. In general, a generator of 5000 to 7000 watts is suitable for a three-room apartment.

2. Can a 12,000 watt generator power appliances?

You can power your air conditioner, refrigerator, microwave, washing machine, and more with a 12,000-watt generator with a basic system. In addition, you can also use a portable generator of this size on a construction site that requires a tool such as a spotlight, saw drill, etc.

3. How many watts does it take to turn on a TV?

Total wattage varies from brand to brand, but modern 40-inch LED or LCD TVs typically require between 150 and 300 watts to run. Also, a TV doesn't come with a full starting watt.

4. What size generator can you use to run a freezer and a refrigerator?

The power of refrigerators is between 800 and 1200, and the total power of a freezer is around 1000. Therefore, if you want the freezer and refrigerator to work at the same time in case of a power failure, you need an alternator of 7200 watts. . .

(Video) Champion generator 12000w vs 4 tons AC

5. What is the total power of a house?

A small house with an average temperature requires about 200 kilowatts per month. On the other hand, a large house in a hot temperature environment may need to consume 1000 kilowatts per month or more. Due to the need for continuous air conditioning, prices are increasing.

last words

We hope we have answered your question.Does a 12,000 watt generator power a house?Successful. I hope by now you are no longer confused about purchasing an entire home generator.


Will a 12kW generator run my house? ›

Though the 10kW – 12kW home standby generator likely won't power your whole home depending on its size, it's certainly enough to handle “the essentials” such as well pumps, appliances, etc., plus a little more in the event of a power outage.

Will a 12 000 watt generator run central air? ›

The largest portable generator can only power 12,000 watts, which pushes the wattage limit on larger AC units (2.5 tons or more). If you have an AC that's 2 tons (7,000 watts) or fewer, you might be okay with a portable generator, as long as you don't use it to power any other appliances.

How much will a 12 000 watt generator run? ›

Our powerful 12,000-watt generator provides up to 9 hours of run time on a full tank of gasoline.

How many watt generator is needed to run a whole house? ›

Some may need to use more appliances during a power outage while some may be enough with having just a few of them running. But in general, a generator that can provide between 5,000 and 7,500 watts would be enough to power a house.

What generator do I need for a 3 ton AC? ›

If you have a 3-ton (30-Amp, 36,000 BTUs) air conditioner, you need at least a 14 KW generator. If you have a 4-ton (40-Amp, 48,000 BTUs) air conditioner, you need at least a 17 KW generator. If you have a 5-ton (50-Amp, 60,000 BTUs) air conditioner, you need at least a 20 KW generator.

What size generator do I need to run my house during a power outage? ›

Most homeowners, however, will use a generator somewhere between 3,000 and 6,500 watts. You might also consider how prone your home is to power outages. If you live in an area extra susceptible to power loss, you should be more conservative with your estimate.

What can I run at my house with a 12000 watt generator? ›

Whole House: Starting at about 12,000 watts, these generators can generally keep a home running without missing a beat. You'll be able to run lights, fans, TVs, refrigerators, computers, space heaters and pretty much anything else you plug into an outlet.

What size generator do you need for a house? ›

A 7,500-watt generator is generally a good size, unless you have a very large home or want to run every appliance you have on the generator. It can handle most of your household appliances, although it's a good idea to balance what you run at the same time.

How many watts does a 3.5-ton AC unit use? ›

A typical 2,000-square-foot house has a 3.5-ton air conditioner. This size of AC unit uses about 3,500 watts per hour when it's in cooling mode. When a central air conditioner is running in the fan-only mode, it uses approximately 750 watts per hour.

How big of a generator do I need to run a 2500 square foot house? ›

If your home is 2500 square feet or less, a 20kW generator should suit your needs well, particularly if you have gas heat and hot water. If the range top is also gas, all the better. A 20kW generator will run most house receptacles, lights, and up to a 5-ton central air conditioner.

What size generator do I need for a 1500 square foot house? ›

If a home is 1500 square feet but only runs on electric, it could need 38 kilowatts-48 kilowatts worth of power from a generator. Compared to a home twice its size, 3000 square feet, if it's entirely run-on natural gas it could run on a generator that powers 20 kilowatts.

What size generator do I need to run a 3000 square foot house? ›

Then there's whole-house power. A 3,000-square-foot house with two central air conditioners, an electric range, and a whirlpool tub might require as much as 25kW to 30kW. A newer option is a "load-management system," a generator that can power everything in your house, just not all at once.

What can 12kva generator carry? ›

5 to 12 KVA Big size Generators

This set of generators is sure to work for the house, flat, or small to medium businesses. They can carry your television no matter the size, Air conditioner, Refridgerator, Laptop, Dispenser, and more. A/C output 220V-240V.

What size generator do I need to run central air? ›

Standby generators have the strength to power central air conditioners, so you can return to a cool home. A 14-kilowatt standby generator could power a 4-ton central air conditioner. A 17-kilowatt model could run a 5-ton central air conditioner.

Can a whole house generator run for days? ›

On average, a standby generator can run for up to 3,000 hours powering a medium-sized home, though it is recommended you do not run a generator for longer than 500 hours continuously.

Will a 12000 watt generator run a 3 ton heat pump? ›

A 12,000 watt generator is recommended for a 3 ton heat pump. That's 12kW. A generator as small as 8,000 watts (8kW) might be enough to start and run a 3 ton heat pump, but you would have very little power left to run anything else.

How many solar panels do I need to run a 3 ton air conditioner? ›

How Many Solar Panels To Run 3 Ton Air Conditioner? It would require around 15, 325 Watt solar panels to run a 3-ton air conditioner for 8 hours a day and around 22, 325 Watt, solar panels to run the AC for 12 hours a day.

Can a generator be too big for a house? ›

You, however, need to ensure that you choose the right generator size that meets your household needs. If you buy an undersized unit, it will strain to meet your power demands, shortening its lifespan. An oversized unit will result in unnecessary power loss and can damage your appliances.

Can a home generator be too powerful? ›

Too small, you'll overload the generator, or force it to supply more power than it can handle. If this happens, the generator will either automatically turn off or overheat, which will fry not only the generator, but also your costly appliances. Too large, you'll overpay for both the unit and the cost to operate it.

Do you have to turn off your main house breaker when using a generator? ›

For an extra measure of safety, switch your main fuses or circuit breakers to the “OFF” position. Be sure you understand them before hooking up the generator. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to properly ground the generator. Generators emit carbon monoxide.

How many watts does the average house use? ›

How many watts does an average home use? According to the Energy Information Agency (EIA), the average American home uses an average of 10,715 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year. That's 29,360 watts (W) per day, which can be divided by 24 hours to get an average of 1,223 W to power a home throughout the day.

Is a 12000 watt generator good? ›

With a 12000 watt peak capacity, this generator is powerful enough to run most appliances throughout the entire house. It has a large fuel tank, so you don't have to worry about running out of gas. Best of all, our generator is offered at one of the best prices available without skimping on quality.

How big of a generator do I need to run a 12000 BTU air conditioner? ›

The 12,000 BTU window air conditioner has a running wattage of 1700 watts and a starting wattage of 5,100. To work effectively, you will need a generator with an average of 6,800 watts.

What size generator do I need for a 2000 square foot house? ›

ft.: 6 kW – 8.5 kW Residential Generator. 1,500-2,000 sq. ft.: 8.5 kW – 10 kW Residential Generator. 2,000-2,500 sq.

What size whole house generator do I need for a 100 amp service? ›

If you have 100 Amp service panel, use a 8-12 kW GenSet (use larger if you have air conditioning).

Will a generator damage my furnace? ›

Many of today's home HVAC systems and appliances have sensitive electronic controls that are vulnerable to the fluctuations and “dirty” power supplied by a typical portable generator. Some electronics may function for a while but suffer incremental damage over time. And some may simply refuse to work at all.

How big of a generator do I need to run a 3.5 ton AC unit? ›

what size generator to run 2 – 5 ton ac unit
AC Unit Size (Ton)Generator Size (kw)
2.5 ton10kW
3 ton12kW
3.5 ton14kW
4 ton15kW
3 more rows
Jul 22, 2022

How many watts is a residential AC? ›

Central air conditioners use 1,000 watts per one ton of cooling capacity. For a 2,000 square foot home with standard-height ceilings, you'll need about 3.5 tons of cooling power. This capacity of air conditioner will use about 3,500 watts per hour.

What size house will a 3.5 ton AC unit cool? ›

Choose a unit that is 3.5 tons if your home measures more than 1,800 but not more than 2,100 square feet. A four-ton unit is suitable for homes that are more than 2,100 square feet up to 2,400 SF.

How much does it cost to run a whole house generator for 24 hours? ›

On average, a small portable generator costs about $30 to $70 per day to run, while a 15- to 20-kilowatt generator that powers the entire home will cost about $50 to $150 per day. You'll need to factor in fuel costs, which are dependent on the type of fuel, which could be as much as $30 per day in gasoline alone.

Will a 15000 watt generator run a house? ›

With 15,000 watts of power, the XP15000EH Dual Fuel generator will keep your entire home running during a storm or power outage.

How many watts does a 2000 square foot house use? ›

On average, a 2000 sq ft home would need a 4kW system which means 10 400-watt panels.

How much is a generator for a 1500 square foot house? ›

Generator Cost by Size
Generator SizePrice RangeCoverage Area
13 to 16 kW$3,500 - $4,500Up to 1,500 sq ft home
17 to 20 kW$4,000 - $6,0001,500 to 3,000 sq ft home
22 to 25 kW$4,500 - $12,0003,000 to 5,000 sq ft home
30 to 48 kW$10,000 - $16,000Large luxury home or commercial applications
2 more rows
Nov 28, 2022

Will a 13000 watt generator run my house? ›

Will a 13000-watt generator run a house? Yes, it should be able to run an entire house for that wattage.

How do I hook my generator up to my house? ›

You simply plug the gen cord into the 20- or 30-amp outlet on your generator. The opposite end splits into several household outlets, where you can start connecting additional extension cords safely indoors.

How much generator do I need for 1.5 ton AC? ›

For an Air conditioner of 1.5 ton ,the power consumption is 1438 wattt and cooling capacity is 5,050 W.

How big is a 12kva generator? ›

Dimensions: 2055mm X 930mm X 1130mm.

What capacity of generator can carry fridge? ›

3,000W generator for all standard refrigerators and freezers. The 3,000W generator is the most common generator used to power a fridge.

How many watts does a 2.5 ton AC use? ›

2.5-ton AC unit produces 30,000 BTU of cooling output. As you can see, 2.5-ton central and mini-split air conditioners use anywhere between 1,200 watts and 2,143 watts. Namely, the least energy-efficient 14 SEER 2.5-ton AC unit uses 2,143 watts to run. Its maximum wattage at 100% output is 3,695 watts.

How do I run my central air conditioner off my generator? ›

How to Install a Generator to Power Your HVAC System
  1. Check the Transfer Switch. In most homes, the furnace is directly attached to the circuit. ...
  2. Prepare the Space. Before doing anything else, you need to shut off the circuit breaker to your furnace. ...
  3. Rewire the System. ...
  4. Install the Plug. ...
  5. Plug in the Generator.

What size generator do I need to run an AC and travel trailer? ›

A 2,500-2,800-watt generator is often a good minimum threshold for 30-amp RVs that have AC units.

Is it OK to run generator all night? ›

Carbon Monoxide Hazard

The most serious risk of running a generator all night is carbon monoxide poisoning. Because of its nature, a portable generator emits carbon monoxide when its engine is turned on.

Do generators need to rest? ›

Typically, it's recommended that you limit continuous usage when able and give the unit rest and a cool down. You can run the generator for a week if necessary, but if you can shut it down daily, allow it to cool and check the oil it is the recommended practice.

What happens if power comes on while generator is running? ›

Feeding power back into the electrical system during an outage will energise the transformer serving your house. This is an electrocution hazard for Energex or Ergon Energy line crews and for your neighbours. If power is restored while your generator is backfeeding, it may severely damage the generator.

How much fuel does a 12kw generator use? ›

EPS 12kW Tier 4 Final Diesel Mobile Generator Specifications
Fuel Consumption (US Gal./hr.) @ 25% / 50% / 100% Load.46 / .73 / 1.19.46 / .73 / 1.19
Length (inches)45.1245.33
Width (inches)24.0024.00
Height (inches)24.5324.53
6 more rows
Mar 18, 2020

Will a 13000 watt generator run a whole house? ›

Power Your Entire Home

With 13,000 watts of power, the XP13000E gasoline generator will keep your whole home running during a storm or power outage. DuroMax generators feature an extra large fuel tank for maximum runtime.

How long will a 250 gallon propane tank run a whole house generator? ›

You will have to install a tank that is generally between 250 and 1000 gallons. A typical whole house generator burns about 36 gallons of propane a day. That means even the small tank will run the generator for a full week.

Is it cheaper to run a generator on propane or gasoline? ›

While gas-powered generators may be more cost-effective up front, propane-powered generators can save you money in the long run. You probably won't be using your generator every day, which means you'll be storing it for the majority of the time. When it comes to shelf life, propane is a far superior fuel supply.

How long will a 20lb propane tank run a 12000 watt generator? ›

A 20-pound propane tank will run a generator for a total of about five hours. A propane tank of this size can usually carry around 4.6 gallons of propane.

What happens if you oversize a generator? ›

"A generator that is too large for the load will eventually result in 'wet stacking', or a carbon buildup in the engine, causing a power loss. Subsequent loss in the generator's capability will follow."

How big of a generator do I need for a 3000 sq ft house? ›

Then there's whole-house power. A 3,000-square-foot house with two central air conditioners, an electric range, and a whirlpool tub might require as much as 25kW to 30kW. A newer option is a "load-management system," a generator that can power everything in your house, just not all at once.

What size generator do I need to run a 2500 square foot house? ›

If your home is 2500 square feet or less, a 20kW generator should suit your needs well, particularly if you have gas heat and hot water. If the range top is also gas, all the better. A 20kW generator will run most house receptacles, lights, and up to a 5-ton central air conditioner.


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