Portable Generator: How many watts?

How many watts needed generator

Portable Generators // How many watts for items

Can you guess how many watts you need to run a refrigerator + microwave?

Portable generators can be expensive — they range from $150 to $5500.

Before you decide which to buy, try to narrow down which items you’ll need to power. Once you have your list ready, add up the watts needed.

Here are 3 charts for approx. power wattage:

#1.) Household Items – storms and power outages

#2.) Entertainment Items – powering electronics

#3.) Camping/RV Items – items for outdoor living

Household Items:

 Watts (running)Watts (start)
Fridge (Energy Star)4001200
Microwave1000 - 2000
Coffee Machine (2 cups)400 - 600
Washing Machine11502300
Air Conditioner (12k BTU)1200
Split Heater (12k BTU)1150
Space Heater1000
Hot Water Heater4500
Tower Fan (High)100
Air Purifier (HEPA)50 - 200
Vacuum (Corded)1200 - 1800
MacBook (15-inch)80
iPhone Charger5 - 12
Hair Dryer800 - 1800


 Watts (running)Watts (start)
LCD TV (46-inch)180 - 250
Desktop Computer800
MacBook (15-inch)80
Playstation 4165
Xbox One128
iPhone Charger5 - 12
Smart Light Bulb60

RVs and Camping:

 Watts (running)Watts (start)
RV Air Conditioner8001500
RV Space Heater1000
Slow Cooker250
TV (19-inch)125
MacBook (13-inch)60
Laptop (PC)80


Whether you’re looking to keep a backup power supply in case of a power outage, need it for a construction job, or for a camping trip — modern portable generators can be a good investment.

A good, durable generator should be able to last 4+ years.

Generator Related Posts:

Top 10 Generac Portable Generators
Top 6 Best Honda Generators

About the Author: Sarah Matheson

Hi I'm Sarah and I help manage much of the content on HelpAdvisors. If you have a product or recommendation, please put it in the comments and I'll be sure to get back to you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *