In most cases, a 5,000 - 7,000 watt generator can power a home’s essential appliances. To determine the wattage you will need, make a list of all appliances you would run during a power outage. Next, check the user’s manual or data plate on the back of each appliance on your list. Add the wattage of all of these appliances.
Run vs. Surge Wattage: Many appliances might list a run and surge wattage. The run wattage is the amount of electricity needed to run the appliance, whereas the surge wattage is the amount of electricity needed to start the motor. When determining your wattage requirements, consider the appliance with the greatest difference between surge and run wattage. Add that difference to the total wattage of all appliances.
What You Can Power