Just when you lay at your favorite spot at home after a long day, a power outage occurs. What you thought would be a relaxing afternoon catching up on your favorite show is ruined. The thought of an extended power outage is unfathomable. All appliances stop running, including your AC. So much food might go to waste, not to forget the inconvenience of basic stuff such as a hot shower. And you can only wish you had a generator to keep the AC unit running.
Powering the A/C with a generator is a viable option to keep the home cool even when power outages occur. However, most homeowners make the mistake of purchasing the wrong generator size. While generators provide power to devices and even spaces with no electricity, installing the wrong size may not benefit your home.
How to get the right generator size for your AC
There are lots of factors that you must consider before purchasing a generator to run your AC. But first, you must understand how generators are sized. Generators are available in different types and sizes. For example, there are battery generators, solar generators, and even those that run on different fuel types such as natural gas, propane, and diesel.
Generators are rated according to the amount of wattage or electrical power that they can handle. Depending on the AC needs in your home, a portable generator with a watt rating of 5,000- 8,000 watts may generate enough power to run your AC and even other appliances.
Now that we understand how generators run let’s explore factors that a homeowner should consider before purchasing a window AC generator.
1. The power output rating
This is the most crucial factor that a homeowner must get right before purchasing and installing a generator. The right generator should handle the power requirements needed in case an outage occurs. If you buy a generator to run your AC, ensure you get the starting and running wattage for the AC and calculate the power required to run it. If you plan on using the generator to run other appliances, ensure it is properly sized to keep all essential machinery and equipment running when needed.
For basic home applications, you would need a generator with a sufficient power output rating, of course, depending on the number of appliances that it will be used to run. Unfortunately, most people often make the mistake of purchasing a small and low-capacity unit. And when the generator fails, disappointment is evident. Choosing a low-capacity generator can cause machines connected to the generator to become underpowered, causing intermittent failure of the appliances’ systems. Even worse, these appliances can fail, including the small generator.
You must calculate the total wattage consumed in the homestead. This ensures that the power needs of the machinery do not exceed the limits of the generator. To get the total wattage required, calculate the number of watts required to power each machine or tool and the power needed to keep the devices running during the power outage. For instance, if you want to use the generator to run appliances including the AC, refrigerator, freezer, electric water heater, and washing machine, calculate the watts needed to run each appliance and process and use the guide to get the right generator size. Sounds simple, right? However, to get the generator requirements right, you can request a specialist to assist you in calculating the running and starting watts, just to make sure you get it right.
2. Perfomance indicators
Generators have varying performance indicators such as fuel tank size and runtime. For a more efficient runtime, consider purchasing an inverter generator as opposed to a conventional one. Also, each fuel type has pros and cons, so you need to have a keen look at these before making that purchase.
3. Look out for additional features on the generator
It is typical to think that same-sized generators will have the same performance. However, additional features can improve the performance of the generator. Be on the lookout for additional generator features such as detachable console, ground-fault circuitry, multiple outlets, fuel gauge, and remote access.
4. Noise level
Generators can be noisy. And since you are buying one that will run in your home, you need to ensure that the sound quality is good. Check the decibel levels and also ensure that you purchase one with a good quality muffler. Despite the high cost, inverter generators are the quietest, making them an excellent choice for a home generator.
What is the importance of purchasing the right generator size for your AC?
- Avert random AC failures– Once you purchase and install the right generator to run the AC, you no longer have to worry about those annoying power outages during the summer. And if connected to your other appliances in your home, your home gets to run normally, even in the event of power outages.
- Avoid sporadic shut down due to system overload– As we mentioned, getting an appropriate-sized generator based on the AC wattage helps you avoid system overload, which can cause sporadic shutdowns.
- Get a longer lifespan out of the generator– When you purchase the optimal generator to power your AC, you get to enjoy a longer lifespan. When properly sized, the wear and tear in a generator are reduced. This also translates to fewer costs associated with repairs and other maintenance needs. With the right sizing, generators require little to no maintenance.
- Assured safety– Getting the right size generator ensures the safety of everyone by preventing overheating, overloads, and short circuits.
- Enjoy a smooth performance at all times– It can be so annoying to keep re-starting the generator when you desperately need it to power your AC. To avoid this, ensure you get the right sizing.
A generator is one vital tool to ensure you never run out of power in your home. However, they can also cause accidents if mishandled. Here are some safety tips when using a generator.
- Do not exceed the generator’s rated capacity– If purchasing the generator to power the AC specifically, you want to start with the AC followed by other items, more so if the AC is the largest appliance. This ensures that you power the AC without exceeding the rated capacity.
- Avoid risky electrical back-feeding– Installing a generator transfer switch at the meter base is always recommended to avert electrocution and electrical shock. However, this necessitates the need to have your AC professionally installed and regularly inspected.
- Ensure the generator is operated on a dry surface. Also, you should dry your hands before touching a generator.
- Purchase a permanently installed generator as opposed to a portable generator if using it as a power backup.