How to Pick the Right Size Generator


Thinking of buying a generator in case of emergencies? Don’t let yourself buy the wrong one for your household’s needs. Let us help you as we give tips on how to pick the right size generator.

According to an expert’s guide on Consumer Reports, each size represents wattage which leads to compatibility with different appliances and devices. Small, medium and large are the major types of generators when it comes to size. Learn more about them below:

Small generators have at least 3,000 watts.

Small generators are portable for your convenience. They typically have 3,000 to 4,000 watts. They can provide power to the following:

  • Television = 200 watts
  • Lights = 400 watts
  • Refrigerator = 600 watts
  • Sump pump = 600 watts
  • Countertop microwave = 1,500 watts

Medium generators can reach 8,500 watts.

All medium generators – portable or stationary – typically have 5,000 to 8,500 watts. They can give power to these essential household items:

  • Computer = 250 watts
  • Lights = 400 watts
  • Heating system = 500 watts
  • Pump = 600 watts
  • Small heater = 1,300 watts

Large generators have a range of 10,000 to 15,000 watts.

When we talk about large generators, portable and stationary options have different wattage and range of compatibility. That’s why we’ll break it down below:

Large Portable Generators

Just imagine how massive 10,000 watts is. That’s how powerful huge portable generators are. They can power these machines:

  • Small water heater = 3,000 watts
  • Electric range = 5,000 watts
  • Central air conditioner = 5,000 watts

Large Stationary Generators

Aside from its ability to provide power like large portable generators, a stationary one can also support the following machines:

  • Clothes washer = 1,200 watts
  • Electric dryer = 5,000 watts


Learning how to pick the right size generator is so easy. Just consider the most essential appliances or devices you have at home and you’re ready to pick one. However, don’t forget to consider the size of your property as well.

To give you some choices, we’re providing you lists of the best portable generators for boating as well as camping for several days. These generators are guaranteed to be compact and lightweight.