Can a Generator Power Your Home?

When the power goes out, having a generator can be a lifesaver. But can a generator power your entire home? The answer is yes, but it depends on the size of the generator and the type of appliances you need to power. Small generators can power one or two appliances, while a whole-house generator (sometimes called a home backup generator) can power the entire house. The size of the generator you buy will depend on how you plan to use it.

A typical recreational generator produces between 1600 and 2000 watts (compared to the 5000 watts or more produced by a larger portable generator). That's enough for some lights or to charge the phone, but even a single heater requires about 1500 watts. Generac portable generators can power important items in your home, such as refrigerators and freezers, sump pumps, lights, air conditioning units and more. You can connect the generator using a transfer switch or an interlock device through which you can power the entire circuit in your home.

A portable generator can provide emergency electrical power to a home when the main power source is turned off. You don't have to supply power to all household appliances, but only to essential services such as lighting, television, refrigerator, etc. Stoves, air conditioners and dryers, among others, consume too much energy to be supplied by a typical portable generator. Just keep in mind that if you decide to use a portable generator, whether it's an inverter or a conventional generator, never operate it without a transfer switch. Before connecting a portable generator to your home, place it as far away from your home as possible to prevent fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. Many newer generator models use inverter technology, making even modest-sized recreational generators more powerful and, in turn, more versatile than the low-power camping generators of yesteryear.

If you have a well-ventilated shed 20 feet from your house, you can place the generator there to ensure your safety. Even though most inverters are too small to operate an entire house, they come with parallel capacity, which means you can double the total power output by using two parallel inverter generators. To find out what size generator is needed to power a home, you must check the exact wattage of your appliances to be 100% sure. That means that running a wired water heater, without a plug, is out of the question, even if the generator produces more power than the heater consumes. That's a lot of energy, so instead of using the estimated numbers, use your list of priority appliances to determine the size of the generator you need. The best part about using a transfer switch or locking device to power your home is that you can use the portable generator efficiently during a power outage and also disconnect it for use in other outdoor activities when needed.

A transfer switch is like a panel of mini-circuit breakers that allows you to draw electricity from your generator instead of the power company. This will help you connect to the generator easily since it will also be located in an isolated area. However, if you plan to run it only a couple of times a year in the event of an emergency, the best option will be a smaller generator that works with essential equipment. In conclusion, yes - generators can power your entire house - but it depends on their size and what type of appliances you need them for.