If you love the outdoors or live in an area that experiences many blackouts, it would help if you had a generator. However, the primary question that most people end up asking themselves is, “what size generator will be suitable enough to power my household appliances and electronics?”
Unfortunately, the answer is not that simple since there are quite many generators available on the market today, and finding the right one that will serve your needs can be a little challenging. Don’t worry, though, because we’ll discuss the best generator that can be used to power both your refrigerator and your freezer. We will focus on these two because they are the most power-consuming home appliances.
Before buying a generator, you need to have some information on how your fridge or freezer consumes power.
How Many Watts Do Fridges and Freezers Use
The number of watts a refrigerator or a freezer uses will depend on several factors such as the model, size, age, etc. However, newer models tend to have lower wattage demands when compared to older models.
The size of the refrigerator also plays a significant role in determining the amount of power used. The bigger the appliance, the more the wattage. Suppose you have, according to Minnesota’s Otter Tail Company, a frost-free 16-18 cu. ft. then the wattage demand will be approximately 400 watts while a 10-15 cu. ft. refrigerator that is not frost-free will have a 300 watts demand.
15 cu. ft. frost-free freezers, on the other hand, have a 335 watts while a 20 cu. ft. freezer chest has a 350 watts. Most side by side freezer/refrigerator has a wattage consumption of more than 500 watts.
While these are rough estimations for most refrigerators and freezers, getting an accurate power consumption details is easy. If you want to know how much power your appliance consumes, according to the manufacture, then you have to check the compliance plate, usually located inside the fridge.
Knowing your refrigerator and freezer’s wattage usage per hour will help you calculate the amount of money you spend to keep them running throughout the year. Take your fridge’s wattage per hour (Eg 400w) and multiply it by the compressor’s active hours (~ 8h). Divide this by 1000 to get the kWh consumed in a day and multiply it by the number of days in the year (365), and you get 1168 kWh. Multiply by the cost of electricity, $0.15, and you will have to pay about $175 yearly.
This number doesn’t always remain constant because of a few variables that affect the wattage. Whether you’re using a generator or getting your electricity from the power company, knowing how these factors affect your refrigerator and freezer’s power consumption will be quite helpful in the long run.
Factors That Affect Power Consumption for Fridges and Freezers
Your fridge and freezer’s energy consumption depends on many factors, including the type of freezer, the size, season, and many others. Below, we will be more specific about these factors.
Commercial refrigerators tend to consume more power than most home fridges due to their size and usage. They, therefore, require bigger generators to run them as compared to standard household fridges.
Generally, the bigger the refrigerator or freezer, the higher the power consumption. This is because the fridge has a more significant volume and needs more power to keep all those contents cold.
It has been found that refrigerators and freezers often use more power in the summer than in the winter. This is because of the summer’s warmer temperatures that require the fridge to work harder to keep the contents cold as opposed to the winter.
Old and New
The older the refrigerator or freezer, the higher the energy consumption. Old fridges need to work more because they are less efficient, which leads to more energy consumption when you compare them to newer, more energy-efficient models.
The refrigerator or freezer’s condition is also essential with regard to its energy consumption. If the fridge’s seals are broken, for instance, then it means that the refrigerator or freezer uses more power to compensate for cold air lost through the gaps.
Refrigerators and freezers, located in warmer positions or places that are not adequately ventilated, tend to use more power than those placed in colder well-ventilated areas.
The Frequency of Opening Refrigerator and Freezer Doors
When you open a fridge or freezer door, cold air is lost into the surroundings and is replaced by warmer air, which causes the temperature in the fridge to rise. The refrigerator works extra hard, as compensation, to bring down the temperature to the desired range. Therefore, the higher the frequency of opening the fridge or freezer doors, the higher the energy consumption.
The temperature factory setting point may be lower than what you need, and if there is no way of readjusting it, then your fridge may end up using more power than is required.
How Do You Choose the Best Generator for Your Refrigerator and Freezer
The Wattages Produced by the Generator
The most important thing you should consider should be that your generator produces enough power to run your refrigerator and freezer. If your generator can’t make enough watts to start and run your appliances, it may cause start-up surges that happen when overloaded, which may damage it.
Refrigerators and freezers need additional starting power since they have an electric motor. They also have a defrost cycle and a set of internal fans that run irregularly and require power when the appliances are on. Before buying a generator, you need to consider all this by adding both the refrigerator and freezer’s starting watts to help you find a generator that produces enough electricity to power your appliances.
Most refrigerators and freezers have an average starting wattage of 1200 watts. For your generator to run your refrigerator and freezer, it needs to produce more than 2400 watts of power. To be on the safe side, you should look for a generator that makes a minimum of 3000 watts.
>> Related post: Choosing the Right Size Generator for Your House
The generator’s Run-time
It would be best if you chose a generator that has a longer run-time at half load because the longer it can run, the less you’ll have to refuel it, making it more convenient.
Automatic CO Shut-off
Your generator should have a CO sensor that detects Carbon Monoxide gas levels and shut itself off whenever the emissions rise close to dangerous levels, which is an essential feature that serves to keep you and your family safe. You can verify this by checking your package for ANSI/UL2201 Certified for Carbon Monoxide Safety or ANSI/PGMA G300 Certified Safety & Performance certifications.
Low Oil Shut-off
When the oil is low, the generator performance will be poor. Yoy should purchase generators that turn themselves off automatically whenever the oil gets too low. This feature helps you avoid engine damage and the extra expenses you might incur due to repairs.
Number of Outlets
Sometimes, you use generators not only for refrigerators and freezers but also for other electrical appliances. The generator should have enough outlets that let you spread out the load if you have many appliances that you might want to use, which helps the generator work more efficiently and reduces the risk of incurring damages.
3 Best Generators for Refrigerators and Freezers
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator
The champion 3400-watt generator operates on both propane and gasoline and has a low oil shut sensor. It has an Ultra-Quite operation at 59 dBA, which makes it perfect for RVs. The number of watts it produces, its portability, and various other uses makes this generator an excellent choice for running your refrigerator, freezer, and other appliances.
Generac 7129 GP3000i Inverter Generator
The Generac generator has a rated wattage of 2300 watts and a starting wattage of 3000 watts. It is portable, only weighs 59.5 lbs., and has little noise pollution. More importantly, it has enough power to start and run your refrigerator and freezer.
The WEN 56380i Inverter Generator
This 3800-watt inverter generator is compliant with both the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board emission standards. It produces clean, stable power so as not to damage delicate electronics like phones and laptops.
It has a fuel shut-off feature that utilizes the fuel that remains in the carburetor before shutdown to maximize its lifespan. Plus, the 3000-watt output should be able to run your refrigerator and freezer without a problem.
How Do You Connect a Generator to a Refrigerator and a Freezer
- It would be best if you placed the generator on a flat spot, about ten feet from your home with the exhaust outlet directed away from your house.
- Plugin a 14-gauge extension cord into the generator’s power outlet and run it to the house.
- Start the generator and make sure it’s running properly and has come up to operating speed.
- Plugin the refrigerator and freezer’s extension cord, and you are good to go!
Warning: Ensure that your extension cords are thick enough to handle the amount of electricity passing through them because, if they are too thin, they might overheat and cause some damages.
If you have an old model refrigerator or freezer or even a new model one and you are unsure about the number of wattages it uses, you should probably purchase a power meter. If you use this appliance, you’ll get to know the actual number of wattages your appliances need, which will help you choose the best generator to serve you better.