What Size Generator Do I Need To Run A Refrigerator?

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The power outages are becoming more frequent as days go by, making it increasingly hard to keep your food fresh. You are going to buy a generator to deal with this situation, but now you’re wondering, what size generator do I need to run a refrigerator? 

Generally, there are many generators on the market, each with different power output and size. Which generator is suitable in size for your refrigerator?

Choose the right size generator for your refrigerator

There is no need to worry. I will tell you exactly which size generator is ideal for your refrigerator in this article, along with valuable information.

Let’s jump right in:

How To Calculate: What Size Of A Generator Do I Need?

You must first determine its power output. The generator’s power output is of utmost importance.

Watts (W) is used to measure power. Between 1000 and 3,000 watts can be produced by a small camping generator. In addition to being powerful enough to run at home or on a construction site, heavy-duty generators can even produce more than 10,000 watts of power. Electric tools and essential household appliances can be powered by this emergency power outage supply.

You must now calculate the total amount of power you require based on your energy requirements.

1. List the Devices You Want to Run

During a power outage, list all the appliances you’ll need to use. There should be circuits for air conditioning, refrigeration, and lighting on this list.

2. Calculate the Total Power Requirements 

We should pay attention to these two figures:

  • Electric appliances require a certain amount of power to turn on, called start watts.
  • Starting up motor-driven appliances requires more power. Windows air conditioners are a good example.
  • The running watts of an appliance is the watts of energy it requires after it has been turned on.
  • An air conditioner powered by a 10,000-watt generator consumes 2200 watts. Just a few seconds of booting will consume this much energy. After that, the AC’s power consumption falls. A steady supply of 1,500 watts is needed for the AC to function.

When choosing a house generator, it is important to pay attention to both numbers.

With a starting power of 2,200 watts (such as the Honda EU2200i), an inverter generator can power a 10,000 BTU air conditioner.

Insufficient running wattage from a generator with 2,000 starting watts will not be enough to maintain the generator during outages, regardless of its starting power. The generator’s starting wattage is not adequate in this situation.

3. Select A Generator That is Slightly Larger Than What You Need

The more wattage the generator has, the better investment it is. There are several reasons for this.

  • Always make sure you have a large generator instead of a small one. To run out of power is far worse than having an insufficient generator.
  • Another factor that can dramatically reduce a generator’s lifespan is running it at maximum capacity.
  • When a generator runs at 100%, it can generate excessive noise. If you are using the generator for RV or camping, it can make a lot of noise.

A generator with at least 1,800 rated Watts is necessary if you need 1600 running watts per hour. Buying a generator whose starting power can be 7,500 or 9,500 should be your best option if your appliances are rated for a running wattage of 6800 and a starting wattage of 8200.

What Is The Power Consumption Of A Refrigerator?

There are different wattage requirements for refrigerators and freezers. Owner’s manuals provide detailed information on this. Manufacturers’ tags usually provide this information.

Two numbers, in particular, should be noted: running watts and starting watts.

Starting wattage also known as surge wattage and is equal to the amount of energy required to start your mini-fridge and freezer.

The running wattage of an appliance, which is also known as its rated wattage, measures how much energy it consumes after it has been started up.

The size and power requirements of home refrigerators vary from 1000 to 2000 watts.

In order to power both the fridge and freezer more efficiently, a generator with a starting power consumption of at least 2000 watts is required.

In order to ensure your safety, a larger generator is recommended. If you purchase a large unit, it will also consume more energy to run other household items such as televisions or lighting circuits.

Tips for Selecting The Right Generator Size For Your Refrigerator

These are all important considerations to keep in mind when selecting a generator.

1. Generator sizing for refrigerators

The first thing to do is to figure out how much energy the fridge or freezer uses. Fridges and freezers require a lot of energy. The older the appliance, the more energy it requires.

As a starting point, let’s consider the size of the generator you’ll need. An inside sticker with the refrigerator’s power requirements will be attached to the door. 

6.5 amps is the rating for this one. In order to calculate the average operating watt generator, multiply the 6.5 amps by 120 volts. 780 watts is the result.

The compressor motor of a refrigerator or freezer adds a power surge when it starts. This power surge can be between two and three times the average running wattage. Generators with a power output of 1,560 watts are required for this appliance.

2. Identifying the generator type

Choose the type of generator that will provide the right power for your needs. Diesel, gasoline, propane, natural gas, and even solar energy are options to consider.

The type of installation you want, the type of equipment it will power, and whether it will be outside or inside should also be considered. 

2.1 Gasoline

Gasoline is easy to obtain and easy to use, which makes it an attractive option for portable generators. Noise is reduced by regulating engine speed with the inverter generator. The amount of noise reduction depends on the load.

2.2 Propane

For portable and installed generators, propane is a popular fuel. Fuel cells are cleaner and quieter than gasoline, which makes them a better choice. Inverter generators for propane are also available. Gasoline and propane models are available.

2.3 Natural Gas

Natural gas can be an optimal choice for permanent installations when it is readily available. Their use is simple and quiet. There is one problem, though: there must be a gas line running through your house or building. The gas lines usually power more than just the fridge. Air conditioning and lighting are also typically powered by them.

2.4 Diesel

There is no gas line in rural areas, so diesel is an excellent choice. The power and size of diesel motors make them ideal for supporting large loads such as hospitals. However, they are also very noisy, so they are not suitable for use in residential areas.

2.5 Batteries

Batteries can be used indoors, which is an advantage. Installing the generators is easy, and the generators can be recharged by solar or electricity. Battery replacement should take place every four years.

3. Installation of a generator

3.1 The installation of fuel-powered generators

It is important to discuss installing the portable generator as well. Directly outside through a door or window, an extension cord can be connected to the refrigerator-freezer. Portable generators can be connected directly to the panel for emergency or long-term use.

3.2 Battery-powered generator installations

Batteries-powered generators, which are typically installed indoors, can be used to power the refrigerator and freezer directly. Rather than running expensive electrical lines and extension cords, this system can be attached to an appliance directly.

It is also easy to hardwire the battery power system into multiple outlets for powering two or three refrigerators at the same time.

How Big Should My Generator Be For My House – Chart?

Family MemberWattageRecommended Generator
2-3 Members3000Generac 3000 Running Watts Generator
4-6 Members4500WEN 4500 Running Watts Generator
6+ Members6000Pulsar 6000 Running Watts Generator



By calculating the generator’s power output, it will be easier for you to choose the right size refrigerator. Generators use different amounts of power, just as refrigerators do. 

If you found this article informative about What size generator do I need to run a refrigerator? Then share it with your friends, family, and especially those experiencing similar problems. We would appreciate it if you commented below with your thoughts.

MyGeneratorLab was founded and is headed by Kaif Rai. As a long-time outdoorsman, I've always been fascinated by generators. I founded MyGeneratorLab to share my knowledge of the best generators on the market with others. I provide reviews on generators with in-depth guides. I will help you learn how to maintain generators properly so they will last longer by using my guides! I started my generator reviews in 2021. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing and testing generators of all shapes and sizes.

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