- Make a list of the appliances and lights you want to run off the generator.
- Add up the wattage requirements of each of these to determine the wattage of the generator you need. Note that some items have a higher wattage requirement for startup than for sustained usage.
- Shop for generators, comparing prices within your wattage requirement.
- Expect to pay anywhere from under $500 to several thousand dollars or more for a generator, depending on wattage requirements and other features.
- Purchase the unit you have selected.
- Hire a qualified electrician to install a transfer switch if you intend to connect the generator directly to your home's electrical system.
Things You Will Need
- Wattage requirements for typical items: refrigerator ' 2,200 W to start up, 700 W to operate; light - as per bulb wattage; microwave oven - 800 W to start up, 625 W to operate; radio - 50 W to 200 W; ½-hp well pump ' 2,100 W to start up, 1,000 W to operate; television - 300 W.
- Generators can be purchased through qualified dealers, electricians or large home centers such as Home Depot.