# What size generator do I need for a 2 bedroom house?

When selecting a generator for a 2 bedroom house, the most important factors to consider are the essential appliances and devices you want to power, the starting and running wattages required, and choosing a generator with enough output capacity to handle the electrical load. With some key information about your home’s electrical system and power needs, you can determine the right size generator.

## How much power do I need for a 2 bedroom house?

As a general guideline, a 2 bedroom house will typically require a generator in the range of 5,000 to 8,500 running watts. However, the actual wattage depends on the specific appliances and equipment you want to run.

Some typical electrical loads in a 2 bedroom home include:

• Lights – 500-1500 watts
• Refrigerator – 500-2000 watts
• Electric stove/oven – 2500-5000 watts
• Microwave oven – 1000-1500 watts
• Well pump – 1000-3000 watts
• Sump pump – 800-1500 watts
• Furnace/AC blower – 600-1200 watts
• Electronics like TVs, computers, etc. – 100-800 watts

Adding up the running wattages of the critical items you want to power will provide an estimate of the required generator capacity. Be sure to include important appliances like fridges, freezers, well pumps and furnace blowers that need continuous power.

## How do I calculate generator wattage?

To determine the right size generator, you’ll need to calculate two values:

• Starting watts – The surge of power needed to initially turn on appliances and devices.
• Running watts – The continuous power draw needed to keep appliances running.

Add up the starting and running wattages for all electrical loads you plan to connect. This will tell you the generator wattage required to power your 2 bedroom home.

Refer to appliance manuals or data plates to find wattage specifications. If unsure, use the typical wattage estimates listed above. Remember that starting wattage can be 2-3x higher than running draw.

### Generator Wattage Calculation Example

Here is an example wattage calculation for a 2 bedroom home:

Appliance Starting Watts Running Watts
Refrigerator 1500 700
Freezer 500 200
Well Pump 2000 1000
Lights 0 1200
TV 0 300
Microwave 1500 1000
Totals: 5500 4400

Based on this electrical load estimate, this home would require a generator with about 5500 starting watts and 4400 running watts.

## What size generator is needed?

Once you’ve calculated your starting and running wattage requirements, you can select a properly sized generator using these guidelines:

• Choose a generator with more starting watts than your total calculated starting load. This ensures it can start all your appliances.
• Select a generator with running watts equal to or higher than your total running wattage. This allows it to power your essential loads continuously.
• Add up the wattages of everything you want to run at once, and pick a generator rated for at least that amount.
• Allow for future expansion by selecting a generator rated for 20-30% more capacity than your current calculated load.

In the example above, a 7500W generator would be an ideal choice, offering ample starting and running capacity with room for additional loads.

## What size generator for basic 2 bedroom needs?

If you want only basic power for lights, appliances and minimal extras in a 2 bedroom home, a 5000W generator is usually sufficient. Here are some typical essential items it can power:

• Lights
• Refrigerator and/or freezer
• Sump pump or well pump
• Gas furnace fan and blower
• TV and internet modem/router
• Phone/laptop charging

A 5000W portable generator provides enough electricity for minimal needs during shorter outages. But upgrading to a 7500-8500W model allows powering larger loads like electric stoves, more lighting, and central air.

## What to know about generator output

Besides the rated maximum wattage, generator output is described in a few key ways:

• Surge output – Maximum temporary startup power for 30 seconds or less.
• Peak output – Highest continuous power it can generate for up to 10 minutes before overheating.
• Continuous output – Normal running wattage it can sustain long-term, typically 70-80% of peak.

Continuous, or running, output is the crucial specification for powering appliances over extended outages. Surge and peak outputs provide the short-term power bursts needed for starting motors and compressors.

### Generator Power Source

The fuel source is another key factor determining runtime. Options include:

• Gasoline – Convenient fueling but shorter run times per tank. Best for shorter outages.
• Propane – Longer runtimes, easy hookup to existing propane tanks. No fuel stabilization needed.
• Diesel – Greatest runtimes per tank. Fuel needs stabilizing treatment for long-term storage.
• Natural Gas – Unlimited runtime when connected to home NG supply. Requires professional installation.

## Choosing a quiet generator

If running a generator frequently near your home, noise may be a concern. Look for these quiet features:

• A super-quiet inverter generator with noise ratings around 50-60 dBA. More expensive but very quiet.
• Sound damping materials – Acoustic enclosure panels absorb noise.
• Low-tone muffler – Reduces harsh exhaust tones.
• A larger enclosure offers more sound insulation. Look for high-quality materials.

Even standard portable models typically offer noise levels around 60-70 dBA, which is comparable to normal household conversations.

## Key generator features to look for

Here are some useful capabilities and convenience features to look for in your backup generator:

• Sufficient receptacles to plug in all required loads
• Powerful starting and running wattages
• Fuel gauge to monitor fuel level
• Outlet for charging starting battery
• Overload protection to prevent damage
• Low-oil auto shutoff prevents engine damage
• Wheel kit for mobility
• Enclosed cabinet for weather protection
• CARB compliant for California use

Choosing the right size generator with ample capacity and key features will provide worry-free emergency power to your 2 bedroom home when you need it most.

## Installation requirements

Properly installing your home backup generator is critical for safe, reliable performance. Here are some key requirements:

• Always consult your local permit office and comply with electrical codes.
• Hire a licensed electrician or contractor to size wiring and install all electrical components.
• The generator must have a transfer switch to safely isolate home circuits.
• Outdoor installation is required, with proper clearance from windows, doors, and air intakes.
• Weatherproof and sound attenuating enclosures may be required by codes.
• Generator and fuel tanks must be physically secured against movement or theft.

Improper generator installation can result in backfeed or electrocution hazards. Always follow local permit procedures and electrical codes when installing your home backup power system.

## How much does a whole house generator cost?

A permanently installed whole house generator typically costs \$5,000 to \$15,000 including professional installation. Exact pricing depends on these key factors:

• Generator size – More wattage means a higher cost. Prices range from \$2000 for smaller units up to \$6000+ for large models.
• Fuel type – Natural gas is most economical for fuel and maintenance. Diesel offers max runtimes but requires fuel treatment and more maintenance.
• Enclosure – Weather and soundproof enclosures add \$1000-2000 to the system cost.
• Additional accessories – Costs for things like extended warranties, maintenance packages, and monitoring systems.
• Professional installation – Expect to pay electricians \$1500-5000 for materials, hookup, permits, etc.

Get multiple quotes from qualified local electrical contractors to find the best value on your custom whole house generator system.

## Conclusion

Choosing adequate generator power is essential for keeping your 2 bedroom home comfortably powered through outages. First, take an appliance inventory and calculate your required running watts. Select a generator that provides at least that level of continuous power, while allowing for surges and future expansion. Also consider desired fuel type and noise level. Installing a suitable whole house or portable generator with help of professionals ensures your home backup power is online when you need it.