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How much power do I need?

Power management is a great way to maximize the efficiency of your generator. Using power management can help you to:

  • Use a smaller, less expensive generator to meet your needs
  • Use the generator more efficiently

Power management works because of one simple concept: it is not necessary to power everything at the same time. Switching from one appliance to another will help to minimize the amount of power needed.


  • What is most important to power?
  • Does it have to be run continuously?
  • Don't try to run everything at once.

For instance, let's say you are using a generator to power your home. You want to run some lights, a refrigerator, a furnace, a television, and a microwave.

Honda EU7000is on paved floor in a backyard
Appliance Starting Wattage Running Wattage
Refrigerator 1600 200
Furnace (1/4 hp fan) 1600 600
5 Lights 300 300
TV 300 300
Microwave 1500 1500
Total 5300 2900

If you only look at the total watts, you might think you need at 5300 watt generator to power your home. But that's not really the case.

  1. Start appliances with high starting wattage requirements at different times.

    In our example, if you start the refrigerator and the furnace at separate times, you don't need 3200 watts of power - only 1600.

  2. If an appliance is only being used occasionally for short periods, run it by itself.

    Turn off the fridge and furnace for a few minutes while you use the microwave - a small tradeoff like this saves you 1500 watts.

  3. Consider how willing you are to turn less important appliances off.

    If you don't mind turning off the lights and TV, you can use a smaller model. But if you don't want the hassle, opt for a larger generator.

Let's look at our example again.

Continuous Power Need

Running fridge 200
Running furnace 600
5 lights 300
TV 300
Total 1400

Occasional Power Need

Starting fridge 1600
Starting furnace 1600
Microwave 1500
Max 1600

In this case, a 3000 watt generator would be able to run everything easily. And you don't need to sacrifice a thing.

Of course, you can get away with as little as 1600 watts - if you are willing to run the furnace and fridge at separate times, and turn off the TV and lights when you start up one or both of these larger appliances.

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