Required Wattage for a Generator for an Average House

Deciding how powerful a home generator you need for your house depends on when and for how long you plan to use your generator, and what electrical services and appliances you will want to run when using it.

Emergency or Longer Term Use

The wattage needed to run a average house can vary according to the house's electricity needs.

If you only plan on using your home generator during emergency power cuts you will probably not need as high a wattage as if you plan to use it for longer periods and want to run more appliances.  If you just want to run basic services, such as the lights, refrigerator, freezer and small appliances, then a portable generator of 4 kilowatts will suffice.

Larger Systems

If you want to keep running central heating, central air conditioning, water heating or other major appliances, such as a washer and dryer, then you may need a generator of up to 20 kilowatts. 

Normal Running of the House

If you want to run your house normally, with all possible appliances able to function correctly, including major systems and appliances that require high wattage, such as the toaster and hairdryer, then you will need a generator that produces at least 35 kilowatts. 

About the Author

Carl Mathie began working as a translator, editor and writer in 2004 at two independent literary publishers in London. His work has been published in the "Financial Times" and online at Readysteadybook and Vulpes Libris. He has translated for several important international publishers including Grupo Planeta and Oxygen Books. He has a Bachelor of Arts in comparative American studies from the University of Warwick.

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