Power outages during extreme whether can last for days, and in some cases weeks. To avoid the prospect of shivering in cold during a power outage, you should purchase a Decatur generator.
However, you need to buy the right size generator. Overloading a generator could damage both the generator and the appliance. Buying too big a generator is also not advisable as you will end up overpaying both in terms of price and the maintenance costs.
So, what is the right-sized generator for a home?
Here, we will inform you about how to calculate the right generator size that will power your home without any problem.
Generator Buying Advice
To know the right size of the generator, you should first know your exact power requirements. Consider making a list of all the items in your house that need to be powered in the event of an outage.
Next, you should determine the running and starting wattages of each appliance. The running wattage represents the power used when a device is in operation, while the starting wattage is the power used to start up the device. The starting wattage is typically about three times greater than the running wattage.
You should then add up the total wattage to determine the right Decatur generator size to power your home.
How to Know the Wattage of Appliances?
The wattage requirements are normally listed at the back or underside of an appliance. The wattage sticker shows how many watts the device uses when running. For instance, a half hp water motor uses about 1,050 watts power and a refrigerator uses about 700 watts. You should add up the running wattage to determine how many watts both devices use when running.
Note that older appliances use greater power as compared to newer devices. Appliances become less efficient over time due to which they draw more power. So the power listed on the back of the appliance may not reflect the true power of an appliance. To accurately know the correct wattage, you should use a load tester.
A load tester can tell the actual wattage used by a device. They are used by technicians to troubleshoot electrical and electronic devices. Using the load tester will allow you to know the power consumption of different devices that will help in buying the right sized generator.
Startup and Running Wattage
Many devices such as a sump pump, heater furnace, freezer, and refrigerator use twice to thrice the running wattage at startup. A half HP motor that requires 1050 watts when running will take nearly 2000 watts at start up. You should take account of this startup wattage when buying a Decatur generator.
When using a generator, you should always run appliances that draw a large startup power first. For example, suppose that the net running wattage of all the appliances is 3,000 watts, while your generator is 4,000 watts. If an appliance requires 2,500 watts at startup, you need to unplug rest of the appliances and start this appliance before plugging other appliances.
The right size generator depends on your exact power requirements. Once you know the power requirements – running and startup – you can decide the right size generator for your home.