What Size Generator Do I Need To Run A Refrigerator?

A generator can provide essential backup power during power outages, but it’s important to make sure you choose the right size generator to run your refrigerator. The wattage required by your refrigerator will determine the size of the generator needed to keep it running efficiently. When choosing a generator,

Choose the right size generator for your refrigerator

 it’s important to consider not only the wattage but also the fuel type and other factors that can affect the generator’s performance. This article will guide you through the process of determining the right size generator to run your refrigerator, so you can keep your food fresh and avoid wasting money on a generator that’s too small or too large.

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

Calculating the size of the generator you need to run your appliances can seem like a daunting task, but it’s crucial to ensure that the generator can provide the power needed to keep everything running smoothly.

Whether it’s your refrigerator, lighting, or any other appliance, it’s important to know the correct generator size to avoid overloading or under-powering the generator. In this article, you will learn the simple steps to determine the size of the generator you need to run your appliances and ensure that you have the right backup power solution for your needs.

1. List the Devices You Want to Run

When facing a power outage, it’s important to prioritize which appliances you need to keep running. To ensure that you have enough power, make a list of all the appliances that are essential for your comfort and safety.

This list should include circuits for air conditioning, refrigeration, and lighting, as these appliances play a crucial role in maintaining a comfortable environment in your home. By having a clear understanding of your power needs, you can make informed decisions when choosing a generator to keep your essential appliances running during a power outage.

2. Calculate the Total Power Requirements 

When selecting a generator for your home, it’s crucial to pay attention to two key figures: start watts and running watts. Start watts refer to the amount of power needed to turn on an appliance, while running watts are the amount of energy an appliance requires to operate continuously.

Motor-driven appliances, such as air conditioners, require more power to start up than other appliances. For example, a 10,000 BTU air conditioner may require 2,200 watts just to start, but only 1,500 watts to run continuously.

To ensure that your generator can provide the power you need, it’s important to consider both the start watts and running watts of the appliances you want to power during an outage.

An inverter generator with a starting power of 2,200 watts (such as the Honda EU2200i) can power a 10,000 BTU air conditioner, but a generator with only 2,000 starting watts may not provide enough power to maintain the air conditioner during an outage.

In conclusion, it’s important to pay attention to both start watts and running watts when choosing a house generator to ensure that your essential appliances have a steady supply of power during an outage.

3. “Choose a Generator That is Slightly Bigger Than Your Required Power Output”

“Investing in a generator with high wattage is a smart choice for several reasons. A larger generator is more reliable and less prone to running out of power compared to a smaller one.

Overworking a generator by running it at maximum capacity can shorten its lifespan and lead to excessive noise. To power appliances with a running wattage of 680,

Consider purchasing a generator with at least 1,800 rated Watts. Opting for a generator with a starting power of 7,500 or 9,500 would be the best option to ensure seamless operation.”

What Is The Power Consumption Of A Refrigerator?

“When selecting a generator to power your refrigerator and freezer, it is important to consider the wattage requirements.

The owner’s manual and manufacturers’ tags will provide information on the running and starting wattage of your appliances. The starting wattage, also known as surge wattage, refers to the energy needed to start the appliances, while the running wattage, also called the rated wattage, indicates the energy consumed after startup.

Home refrigerators typically require 1000 to 2000 watts. For efficient power supply, choose a generator with a starting wattage of at least 2000 watts. For added safety, a larger generator is recommended, which can also handle the energy needs of other household items such as televisions and lights.”

Tips for Selecting The Right Generator Size For Your Refrigerator

“It is crucial to take these factors into account when choosing a generator.”

1. Generator sizing for refrigerators

“Determining the energy consumption of your fridge or freezer is crucial in selecting the appropriate generator. Fridges and freezers tend to consume a large amount of energy, with older appliances requiring even more.

The power requirements for the refrigerator can be found on a sticker inside the door. A 6.5-amp rating for the fridge means a generator with an average operating wattage of 780 watts (6.5 amps x 120 volts) is needed. Keep in mind that the compressor motor of refrigerators and freezers may cause a power surge of two to three times the average running wattage during start-up, so a generator with a power output of 1,560 watts is recommended.”

2. Identifying the generator type

“When selecting a generator, it’s important to consider the type that best suits your energy needs. You can choose from diesel, gasoline, propane, natural gas, and even solar energy. 

Other factors to keep in mind include the type of installation you prefer, the equipment it will power, and the location of the generator (outside or inside).”

2.1 Gasoline

“Gasoline is a popular choice for portable generators due to its ease of access and use. One advantage of gasoline-powered generators is the noise reduction they offer through regulating engine speed with an inverter generator. The level of noise reduction will vary based on the load being placed on the generator.”

2.2 Propane

“Both portable and installed generators can run on propane, which is a widely used fuel source. Propane-powered generators are known for being cleaner and quieter than gasoline models, making them a more desirable option.

 Additionally, inverter generators that run on propane are also available. The market offers a range of options, including gasoline and propane models.”

2.3 Natural Gas

“For permanent installations, natural gas can be an excellent option if it is easily accessible. It is known for being user-friendly and silent.

However, there is a key requirement – a gas line must be present in the house or building. This line often provides energy not just to the fridge, but also to other necessities like air conditioning and lighting.”

2.4 Diesel

“For rural areas without access to a gas line, diesel generators can be a great solution. The high power and large size of diesel motors make them ideal for handling heavy loads, such as in hospitals. However, they can be very loud, so they may not be suitable for residential areas where noise may be a concern.”

2.5 Batteries

“Battery-powered generators have the advantage of being suitable for indoor use.

They are also simple to install and can be recharged through either solar energy or electricity. It is recommended to replace the batteries every four years to ensure efficient operation.”

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


How many watts to run a refrigerator?

“The power consumption of a home refrigerator varies, typically ranging from 350 to 780 watts on average. The specific usage of a refrigerator can be impacted by a variety of factors, including its type and size, age, the temperature in the room, and its location.”

To run a refrigerator, what size solar generator should I use?

“Going completely solar-powered requires a substantial amount of energy, with an average home needing approximately 6,000 watts.

However, the specific power needs may vary based on the type and number of appliances being powered, as well as the quality of the inverter and number of solar panels and batteries available.

With the right setup, even 1,500 watts of solar power could potentially be enough to keep a refrigerator and possibly a freezer running, along with powering a few lights.”

What size generator is suitable for a mini-fridge?

“The wattage requirement of a refrigerator or freezer can vary greatly depending on its size and type.

While mini-fridges and Energy Star-rated appliances typically need a 1000W generator, standard refrigerators and freezers generally require a more powerful 3,000W generator. It’s important to consider the specific power needs of your appliance when choosing a generator.”

Is it possible for a generator to damage a refrigerator?

“Using the wrong generator can have serious consequences for your refrigerator. If the generator’s voltage range doesn’t match the fridge’s

It can cause permanent damage. Also, using an improper power cord can result in the refrigerator shutting down, potentially causing food spoilage and other issues.”


“Determining the right generator size for your refrigerator is crucial. Consider the power output of the generator and compare it to the energy needs of your fridge. A generator with insufficient power output can damage your refrigerator and cause it to shut down.

Take advantage of the information provided in this article to make an informed decision. Share it with others who might find it useful and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.”

Calculating Generator Wattage

The first step in determining the right generator size is to calculate the wattage that your refrigerator requires. The wattage of an appliance can be found on its label or in its manual, but if it’s not available, you can use the following formula to calculate it:

Wattage = Volts x Amps

In most cases, refrigerators run on 120V. Next, determine the number of amps the refrigerator requires by checking its label or manual, or by using a device called a clamp meter that measures the current flowing through the appliance’s cord.

Once you have the number of amps, multiply it by the voltage to determine the wattage required to run your refrigerator. For example, if your refrigerator requires 4 amps, the wattage would be 4 x 120 = 480 watts.

Generator Size

The next step is to choose a generator that can provide enough power to run your refrigerator. A general rule of thumb is to choose a generator with a maximum output of 25% more than the wattage required by your refrigerator.

In our example, the refrigerator requires 480 watts, so you would want to choose a generator with an output of at least 600 watts to ensure it runs efficiently. Keep in mind that some generators have a rated output and a surge output, which is the extra power the generator can provide for a short time when the appliance is first turned on.

Fuel Type

Another important factor to consider when choosing a generator is the fuel type. There are two main types of generators: gasoline and diesel. Gasoline generators are usually smaller and more portable, while diesel generators are larger and more fuel-efficient.

If you’re planning to use the generator for short-term power outages, a gasoline generator may be the best choice. If you’re planning to use it for long-term power outages, a diesel generator may be a better option.


“Determining the right generator size for your refrigerator is crucial. Consider the power output of the generator and compare it to the energy needs of your fridge. A generator with insufficient power output can damage your refrigerator and cause it to shut down.

Take advantage of the information provided in this article to make an informed decision. Share it with others who might find it useful and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.”

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