Home Improvement

What Size Generator to Run a 2000 sq ft House? An In-Depth Guide

Selecting an appropriate generator for your home is essential to ensure that power outages don’t leave you in the dark. While the size of your house, measured in square footage, provides some indication, the electrical consumption of the appliances you want to power is a more crucial determinant. Let’s dive deep into understanding the generator size required for a 2,000 sq ft house.

1. Understanding the Basics: What’s Watt with Generators?

Generators are rated based on the power they produce, measured in watts (W) or kilowatts (kW, where 1 kW = 1,000 W). The first step to choosing the right generator is estimating the total wattage of appliances and systems you intend to run during a power outage.

2. Key Appliances and Their Consumption

For a 2,000 sq ft house, here are some standard appliances and their average power consumption:

  • Refrigerator: 600-800W
  • Sump Pump: 750-1,500W
  • Central AC (3-ton unit): 3,000-5,000W
  • Electric Water Heater: 3,000-4,500W
  • Lights: 60-600W, depending on the type and number
  • Television: 50-400W
  • Computer: 60-300W

Adding up the wattages of all the appliances and devices you want to power provides a base wattage requirement. However, it’s worth noting that some appliances, like AC units and sump pumps, have higher starting watts than running watts. This needs to be factored in when selecting a generator.

3. Totaling the Wattage

Once you’ve listed all devices and their wattages, sum the running watts to find out the continuous power requirement. Then, identify the appliance with the highest starting wattage and add that to your total. This will give you your maximum wattage requirement.

4. Size Recommendations

For a 2,000 sq ft house that wants basic functionality during an outage – powering lights, a refrigerator, a sump pump, and a few other essentials – a generator with a capacity of 5,000 to 7,500W should suffice.

However, if you’re looking to run more energy-intensive appliances like a central AC or an electric water heater, you might need a generator with a capacity of 10,000W or more.

5. Factors Influencing the Choice

  • Outage Duration: If you live in an area where power outages are frequent and prolonged, you might want to invest in a larger generator to ensure comfort over longer durations.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Some generators are more fuel-efficient than others. Depending on the fuel type (gasoline, propane, diesel), you might opt for a generator that provides longer run times with less fuel.
  • Noise Levels: Generators can be noisy. If noise is a concern, look for models that advertise quiet operation or consider installing a sound barrier.
  • Budget: Generators range significantly in price. Determine what appliances are essential to you during an outage and select a generator that matches those needs without exceeding your budget.

6. Transfer Switches and Safety

Regardless of the generator size you choose, always consider installing a transfer switch. It allows for safe operation by preventing back-feeding electricity into the grid, which can be hazardous.

It’s also essential to place generators in well-ventilated areas, away from windows and doors, to prevent carbon monoxide from entering the home.


Choosing the right generator for a 2,000 sq ft house requires a comprehensive understanding of your power needs, based not just on the house size but on the devices you consider essential during an outage. It’s always advisable to consult with a professional when selecting and installing a generator to ensure safety and efficiency. With the right generator in place, you can be prepared for power outages, ensuring comfort and security for your household.

Nyla Rose

Say hello to Nyla Rose, a special person who helps people make their homes pretty and comfortable. Mary went to the University of Creativity to learn all about making spaces beautiful.

For more than 10 years, she’s been sharing her smart and fun ideas about home decorating with people all around the world. Mary loves to talk about cool DIY projects, how to decorate on a budget, and choosing the perfect items for your home. Her friendly tips and stories are loved by many because she makes home decorating easy and joyful!

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