What Size of Generator Do I Need to Run a Refrigerator or Freezer?

Updated On: May 25, 2021

It’s a frequently asked question from the average buyers, also a common concern. Can my generator run a fridge or a freezer without causing any issue? If not, what kind of generator should I get? For the new buyers, they tend to emphasize the matter. A power calculator is always handy at times like these, but the general mass does not understand the concept of starting watts and running watts requirement, which can cause misunderstandings among them.

Main Factors to Consider

Whether you are in the lookout for a generator that is suitable to run your freezer and fridge or already own a generator, but you are unsure whether it’s capable enough to operate them, the most crucial factors to account for are starting power and running power. These two main factors, the starting watts, and running watts will essentially decide whether your generator is able to handle a fridge and a freezer or not. To learn about beginning watts and running watts, read this article.

How to Find the Watt requirements

Refrigerators have a starting watt requirement that must be met before you can safely run them, utilizing a generator. Starting watts alludes to the wattage request expected to begin your fridge. This requirement is generally a lot higher than the genuine wattage requirement to keep it running, known as running watts. The average buyer has no clue about their refrigerator’s wattage requests, yet the data is anything but difficult to figure out. You can check the producer’s tag or proprietor’s manual to discover this data. With the numerous refrigerators available, wattage requirement may vary from model to model. Still, it can easily be found in the fridge manual while most of the refrigerators also have tags attached to them that say the requirement for the starting watts and running watts. EdgeStar explains one of their article about this calculation.

As a rule of thumb, standard family unit fridges need in the scope of 2,000-2,500 starting watts. It is significant that your generator can bolster this need as a high-power spike has the proclivity to harm your generator permanently. No one generator fits all scenarios, but there are ways to search for the generator that will meet your expectations easily. Without much of a stretch, you can find the wattage requirement of your fridge or freezer. You can check the manual or the power label that is commonly found in most electric devices.

What kind of Generators Can Handle a Refrigerator or a Freezer?

Now, in order to power an average fridge, you will need a generator that falls somewhere around the mid-range power output level. While there are many different fridges, each with their own specific power requirements, for the most part, they will need around 1000-2000 starting watt. So, your target would be to find a generator with a minimum of 3000 starting watts, and it should be enough.

To be exact, any generator with a starting watt output of 2000 watt should suffice, but it leaves no headroom for other motor-driven devices if you choose to run any simultaneously. It is why we suggest getting a more powerful generator that will allow you to have some extra breathing room in terms of power output and what kind of appliances and electric devices you can run at any given time. A bigger unit would likewise give you some more extra capacity to run a couple of different things in your family units, such as lighting circuits or a TV. It also avails you to run multiple appliances at the same time.

Best Portable Generator to Run Your Refrigerator and Freezer?

Any decent branded generator that can create 3000 running-watts would be a perfect decision to power a refrigerator, freezer, and other family devices. You should also check out the dual fuel generators that have added benefits of utilizing both gasoline and propane. Since propane is less expensive than gas, it would help in the long run to save on cost. For the best option, you ought to get an inverter generator, as these are a lot calmer, more compact, and 100% safe to use with sensitive electric gadgets. They can produce clean energy, assisting in keeping your appliances from being affected by power surges that occur frequently. Electronic devices like the home sound system, PCs, and TVs are very sensitive to inconsistent power delivery and may be permanently harmed by unclean power.

Here are some generators that are suitable to run freezers and refrigerators along with other things.

Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator

Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator
Gasoline Output
Propane Output
Starting: 3400 Watt / Running: 3100 Watt
Starting: 3060 Watt / Running: 2790 Watt
Noise Level59db (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time7.5 hours / 25% Load (Gas)
7.5 hours / 25% Load (Propane)
Fuel Tank Size1.6 Gallon
Starting MethodElectric / Recoil Start

It is another inverter generator with the added advantage of dual-fuel utilization. It means that you can run a generator like this on either gasoline or propane. With dual fuel generators, you get the advantage of running it using one fuel or the other, alternating between them or using both fuel types. They are more eco-friendly and burn cleaner than standard gasoline.

You can run Champion 3400 for about 8 hours on gas or 14 hours on a propane tank (20lbs). It has the essential starting watts output to help run your freezer and refrigerator without any issue. It is great for small houses and RVs. It’s important to note that dual-fuel generators’ starting power and running power output will differ when propane is used. Like with this specific model, you will get 3400watt starting power and 3100 watts running watt output when you will use gasoline and 3060-watt starting power, 2790 watt running power, when using propane. It should not matter much unless you are pushing your inverter generator to the maximum limit.

It has a noise level of 59db (from 23 feet distance), a fuel tank size of 1.6 gallons, and weighs 95lbs. The starting method for this generator is the recoil pull-start type.

Powerhouse LC3500i Inverter Generator

Powerhorse Inverter Generator - 3500 Surge Watts
Output PowerStarting: 3500 Watt / Running: 3000 Watt
Noise Level57db (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time11 hours / 25% Load
Fuel Tank Size2.6 Gallon
Starting MethodElectric / Recoil Pull Start

This is an inverter generator. The advantage of the inverter generator lies in its efficiency, safety, and noise department. An inverter generator is famous for its quiet operation compared to basic portable generators. Inverter generator also provides clean energy, which negates any possibility of a power surge that happens from inconsistent power delivery. This surge is not the same as starting watts, which is a surge of power necessary to start motor-driven devices. Inverter generators are basically upgraded portable generators, but the output is generally lower than the typical generator, and they are priced higher for their advantages.

If you require a powerful portable inverter generator that offers reliable backup power for your house, then the powerhouse LC3500i is a good one to take a glance at. This generator has an output power of 3000 running watts and 3500 starting watts. It’s an excellent solution for people looking to power their freezer and refrigerator without caring about the power line conditioner or any other extension when a power cut happens.

It has a full tank size of 2.6 gallons, an operating time of 11 hours at 25% load, and weighs 99lbs. This generator’s starting method is electric, recoil pull-start, and produces around 57 dB noise at 25%, a comparatively lower noise emission than a typical portable generator. It’s comparable to 2 people having a friendly conversation. It is also a great generator if you are looking to power your RVs and camping sites.

DuroMax XP4000S Portable RV Generator

DuroMax XP4000S Portable RV Generator
Output PowerStarting: 4000 Watt / Running: 3300 Watt
Noise Level69db (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time12.3 hours / 50% Load
Fuel Tank Size3.96 Gallon
Starting MethodRecoil Pull Start

It is a typical portable generator that hints that it will be much noisier than the inverter generators mentioned above, It will have a higher output for a lower price, and there will be an inconsistency in the power delivery bad for sensitive electric devices like TVs, PCs, and laptops.

The low price is its main attraction, along with the extra power output. Having a starting power of 4000 watts and running power of 3300 watts, this is an excellent portable generator that you can use to power most of your house’s appliances without having to compromise on power. It’s important to have a power line conditioner or any valid alternative solutions that will protect your devices from the dirty power that portable generators sometimes tend to deliver. From 23 feet, this generator emits 69db of noise and can run for 12hours at around 50% load.

It has a tank size of 3.96 gallons and weighs 105lbs. It is a gasoline-based generator with a durable body targeted for people who want a heavy-duty generator. The open steel frame that houses this generator adds to the durability. Also, the motor mounts come with full isolation allowing for relatively smoother operation.

About Steven Smith

For the last 20 years, I have been working as a professional contractor in many construction projects. From my childhood, I love to work with different kinds of power tools. In my spare time, I love to do a different kind of DIY project. It gives me a kind of inner satisfaction.

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