Will a 12,000 Watt Generator Run a House

Will a 12,000 watt generator run a house? It is a common question many people ask when they consider purchasing a generator. Living in an area that faces frequent power outages is undoubtedly annoying. So, most people opt for generators to solve this issue once and for all.

However, a generator is a device that you should do proper research on before buying. You don’t want to end up buying a generator that won’t be able to provide enough power to meet your needs. So, keep reading this to know everything about buying a 12000-watt generator.

Starting Watts vs. Running 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? In simple words, running watts is the running power an electronic device needs to function. It is usually a steady flow of electricity.

On the other hand, a starting watt is the high power flow required to electrically start a device. The starting watt is only needed for the first few seconds to get the machine running.

Having said that, the two types of wattage significantly differ from each other. For example, the approximate starting watt of a deep freezer is 1200 watts. However, the running watt comes down to 132-192 watts after the first few seconds. 

You might be thinking, why we’re talking about the wattage of household appliances in this article, well you will find out in the following few sections.

How to Calculate Your Watt

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

Well, a generator’s capacity is calculated in watts, and one way of quickly determining the size of your generators is by calculating the total wattage requirement of your home appliances. So, here is how you can choose how many watts you want to run during a power outage.

Step 1: Jot Down the Names of the Appliances

First of all, you have to jot down the names of every big and small appliance you want to use with a generator during a power outage. You can add your washing machine, air conditioner, sump pump, space heater, and other essential home appliances.

Step 2: Find the Wattage

The next step is to find out the wattage of each of these appliances. You can find the total watts required for each item on the labels that come with the equipment. List down both the running and starting wattage to make your job easier.

Step 3: Sum up the Numbers

And lastly, you will have to add up all the watts, and the total number you get is the estimated size of the generator you will need for your house. However, keep in mind, you should consider the starting watt while calculating to get the perfect size generator that can handle the load of the starting watts.

How Long Does a 12,000-Watt Generator Run?

The run time highly depends on different factors like the brand, the type of generator, and all the appliances you plan to use. If you use a 12000-watt portable generator, the tank will range from 7 to 8.5 gallons. You can easily run the machine for nine and a half hours at 50% load with this tank size.

If you only use small appliances like a coffee maker or electric stove, it will last you longer. However, you might run out of energy faster by adding energy-hungry items like air conditioners and space heaters.

But for a whole-house standby 12000-watt generator, the power will last longer, allowing you to use big appliances and power the house at the same time. You can connect your device with the natural gas line directly and save yourself from the hassle of running out of gas.

What Can a 12000-Watt Generator Run?

So, let’s come to the point. Can you actually run your whole house and all your household appliances with a 12000-watt generator? Well, as we mentioned before, it will depend 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 run. You can use about 4 to 5 items at the same time using a 12000-watt generator. So, let’s take a look at some of the items you can use:

Household Items

A 12000-watt generator will be perfect if you have a medium-sized home. You can use it to run your air conditioners, space heaters, refrigerators, and more. A window ac has a starting watt of 2200 units approximately.

Moreover, other household items like coffee makers, electric stoves, and microwave ovens come with a wattage of 1000 watts, 3000 watts, and 1000 watts, respectively.

After adding up all these items, the number stands at 7200 watts, which means there is still a lot of room to add more equipment. You can add your sump pump or well pump with a starting wattage of 2150 and your LED light bulbs requiring 25 watts to work.

Job Site Use

Now let’s look at the construction site items you can use with a 12000 watts generator. You can conveniently use items including a circular saw, hand drill, and air compressor with a portable 12000-watt generator. Moreover, you can also add searchlights for job sites.

Types of Generators

Different generator serves different purposes, and each comes with some unique characteristic to meet the user’s specific requirements.

Portable Generator

A portable generator comes with sturdy wheels, making it easier to move around. Using this device, you can power your sump pump, electric water heater, washing machine, microwave oven, and more.

All you need is fuel and extension cords, and you are 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 comes with a powerful system and can take the load of many appliances.

Another great feature is that it can restore power automatically with its transfer switch feature. A standby 12000-watt generator is perfect for big homes; you can even power your home office with these machines.

Gasoline Generator

A Gasoline generator is popular among people for its affordability. A 12000-watt generator run by gasoline will be enough to conveniently power all the appliances at your home. However, one downside of this generator is it makes a loud noise while running. 

Inverter Generator

An inverter generator is a great choice for people who dislike noisy and loud devices. This generator automatically adjusts its speed with the electrical needs, which reduces extra fuel consumption and noise.

However, if you plan to power your air conditioner, well pump, or other big home appliance, an inverter generator may not be a great choice. These devices usually come with low power capacity, are only useful for less load, and come in handy in a light-duty construction site.

Natural Gas Generator

A natural gas generator works like any other generator; the only difference is it uses natural gas to provide power. This is becoming more popular among people for the low maintenance and cost of natural gas. Another advantage is this generator runs quietly and produces less waste.

With a 12000-watt generator run by natural gas, you can easily run your window air conditioner, coffee maker, microwave oven, and many other items.

Frequently Asked Question

1. Can a portable generator run a house?

If you buy the right size of a portable generator according to your need, you can run a whole house with it. Generally, a 5000-to-7000-watt generator is suitable for a three-bedroom apartment.

2. Can a 12000-watt generator run household appliances?

You can run the air conditioner, refrigerator, microwave oven, washing machine, and more equipment with a 12000-watt generator with a basic system. Moreover, you can also use a portable generator of this size in a construction site that requires a tool like a searchlight, saw drill, etc.

3. How many watts are required to run a television?

The total wattage varies from brand to brand, but modern 40 inches LED or LCD television generally requires 150 watts to 300 watts to run. Moreover, a TV does not come with a hefty starting watt.

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

The starting watt of refrigerators ranges from 800-1200, and the total wattage of a freezer is 1000 approximately. Therefore, if you want to run your freezer and refrigerator at the same time during a power outage, you will need a 7200-watt generator.

5. What is the total watts of a house?

A small size house with an average temperature needs around 200 kilowatts per month. On the other hand, a large house in a warm temperature environment may need to use 1000 kilowatts per month or more. Because of the need for continuous air conditioning, the rates go up.

Final Words

We hope we have answered your question. Will a 12,000-watt generator run a house? Successfully. Hopefully, now you won’t have any more confusion when it comes to buying a generator for your entire home.

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