What is the Correct Size Generator for My Home?

Thursday, October 24, 2019
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According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a typical home in the United States loses its power only a couple of times per year for about three hours on average. Though, it isn’t uncommon to lose power for days, if not weeks, especially during harsh, inclement weather or other electrical complications. When these issues arise, it can be troublesome – and costly – for many homeowners. Therefore, Lakepointe Electric is here to help you choose a generator to install in your home so you can help combat some of those inevitable occurrences.

Studies have shown that on average, there are more than 3,000 power outages a year in the United States alone. By having a backup generator for your home, you could save your food from spoiling during a power outage, protect your electronics from a power surge when the power comes back on, be able to heat your home if your power goes out in the winter, and much more.

But how can you choose which generator to buy when there three types: home standby, large inverters, and portable generators? We’ll help you make that decision.

Home Standby Generators

Home standby generators are installed along the outside of your home. Once the power goes out, or a fuse is blown, home standby generators react automatically to prevent the disruption of electrical currents. They’ll also save your refrigerator, freezer, sump pump, and other appliances from causing you additional issues aside from your current electrical issues. Once one of our trusted installation professionals connects the home standby generator, it’s virtually hassle-free.  There are no switches, gauges, energy conservation worries, etc. It is the most convenient option for power outages. They can run on natural gas or propane.


Large inverters typically produce enough energy to run your refrigerator, lights, and other essentials like your furnace or a small central air conditioning unit. They are quiet and can be connected to your breaker panel or hardwired equipment like a well pump. They cannot run on propane or natural gas, only stabilized gasoline. With very few exceptions, the large inverter generators weigh around 250 pounds or more with the wheels included. It might be a little too big to bring on a camping trip, but it’s big enough to provide power to your home. They generate 5,000 watts of power or more (at 220 volts).

Midsized inverters weigh anywhere from 50-100 pounds with wheels as an optional feature. While they can produce anywhere from 2,500-4,500 watts, most models are unable to connect to your electrical panel with a transfer switch. This size is well-suited for users of recreational vehicles. They will certainly give you enough power to generate your refrigerator, coffeemaker, microwave oven, and other appliances should there be a power outage. They’re smaller than large inverters, but maybe a little bit big to bring tailgating or while camping.

Recreational inverters weigh anywhere from 40-60 pounds and are designed to be easily transported by hand. With a standard maximum wattage of around 2,000, recreational inverters are perfect for day trips, camping, tailgates, parties, DJ and vendor booths, and other instances that might require additional power backup. These kinds of inverters are less expensive and the best option for portability. However, they are not often used to handle larger power supplies, like for a home or business, or for large appliances, like a refrigerator or sump pump.

Portable Generators

As explained in the recreational inverters section above, portable generators typically cost the least in comparison to home standby generators and inverters. Except, they can be the loudest of the bunch. Various portable generators provide just enough power to supply a home or business, but it isn’t exactly the most wattage compared to a home standby generator or large inverter. They connect through your breaker panel and can connect to hardwired equipment through a transfer switch. Portable generators need to be protected from inclement weather should you be using it during this time. Hide it under a dry area away from rainwater or snow.

Home generators come in a variety of types and sizes that would fit your needs. Having a reliable power supply, whether it’s for emergencies or not, can be very helpful. Contact Lakepointe Electric today to discuss which generator is right for you at (586) 204-8121 or by filling out our online contact form.

Source: How to Choose the Right Size Generator (Consumer Reports)