AnitaKay
Research Ninja!

How To Determine Your Power Needs

The following will help determine your electrical needs when using a generator, inverter generator, solar panel, or batteries.

What are running watts?

Running watts is the continuous, maximum power a device needs to operate.

What are surge watts?

Surge watts is the momentary increase of power needed to start a motor within a device.

What is a ghost load?

Also called vampire power, vampire draw, phantom load, or leaking electricity. This refers to the way electric power is consumed by electrical appliances while they are switched off (but are designed to draw some power) or in a standby mode.

Some items turned off but left plugged in may still use some electrical power. One solution could be to plug the items into a power outlet and switch off the power outlet when not in use.

How do I determine the amount of watts needed for a device to operate?



How To Calculate Your Wattage Needs

Instructions:
  1. Select the items you wish to power AT THE SAME TIME. The search table below may help with some of the more popular items and their watt ratings. Most items have their Watts list on the product. This is the running watts of the product.
  2. Create a list of items with their running and surge watts.
  3. Add up ALL the running watts and that will be your TOTAL RUNNING WATTS.
  4. Add up all the surge watt items in your list that may potentially load AT THE SAME TIME and that will be your TOTAL SURGE WATTS.
An example wattage calculation worksheet:
Device Running
Watts
Surge
Watts
Refrigerator/Freezer 700 2200
Television 500 0
Microwave 600 0
     
TOTAL RUNNING WATTS 1800
TOTAL SURGE WATTS: 2200

Got Your Watts?

After you know you power needs, you can then hop on over to choose an inverter generator.

Watts Search Table

How To Use the Search Table Features
1. Click on the column titles to sort the columns ascending or descending.
2. Example Filters:
Item Name: box fan
Item Name: medium
Running Watts: > 900
Surge Watts: <200

Note: Each product detail cannot be guaranteed to be correct. Please make sure to verify product specifications.

Item Name Running Watts Surge Watts
Light Bulb - 60 Watt 60 0
Light bulb - 75 Watt 75 0
Deep Freezer 500 1500
Space Heater 1800 0
Humidifer - 13 Gal. 175 0
Window AC - 10,000 BTU 1200 3600
Air Conditioner - 7,000 BTU 600 1700
Air Conditioner - 12,000 BTU 2800 9750
Air Conditioner - 24,000 BTU 4200 10,500
Air Conditoner - 32,000 BTU 5000 12,500
Iron 1200 0
Washing Machine 1150 2250
Clothes Dryer - Electric 5400 6750
Microwave Oven - 625 Watts 625 0
Microwave Oven - 1000 Watts 1000 - 1500 0
Slow cooker 170-270 170-270
Coffee Machine 500 - 1000 0
Ice Maker
Food Processor 400 0
Toaster Oven 1200 0
Toaster 850 0
Electric Can Opener 168 0
Color TV - 27 In. 500 0
LCD TV - on 90 to 250/td>
LCD TV - off (in sleep mode) 3 0
LED TV - on 20 to 60
LED TV - off (in sleep mode) 0.3 0
Hair Dryer - 1250 Watts 1250 0
Hair Dryer - 1857 Watts 1875 0
Curling Iron 1500 0
Computer w/17 in. monitor 800 0
Laser Printer 950 0
Electric Grill 1650 0
AM/FM Radio 100 0
Lasko 3720 20" Box Fan - low setting 75 0
Lasko 3720 20" Box Fan - medium setting 93 0
Lasko 3720 20" Box Fan - high setting 112 0
Lasko 3733 Box Fan - low setting 58.6 0
Lasko 3733 Box Fan - medium setting 75.7 0
Lasko 3733 Box Fan - high setting 102 0
Aerospeed BX100 20" 3-Speed Box Fan - low setting 51 0
Aerospeed BX100 20" 3-Speed Box Fan - medium setting 65 0
Aerospeed BX100 20" 3-Speed Box Fan - high setting 80 0
Roof Top AC - 13,500 BTU 1600
Roof top AC - 15,000 BTU 1700
Blender 300
Clock Radio 7
Laptop 50-75
Crockpot 250
Electric blanket 500
Electric Fry Pan 1200
Electric Water Heater (6 gal.) 1440
Hot Plate 1200
Satellite Dish & Receiver 200-250
Electric Shaver 8 - 12
Vacuum 200-1100
LED Bulb - 40W Equivalent 10 0
LED Bulb - 60W Equivalent 13 0
LED Bulb - 75W Equivalent 18 0
Incandescent 50 Watt 50
Incandescent 100 Watt 100
Ceiling Fan 120
LCD monitor 100
Tablet - Recharge 8
Smart Phone - Recharge 6
Blu Ray DVD Player 15
Standard DVD Player 15
Cable Box 35
Plasma TV 200
Sewing Machine 100
Dehumidifier 280
Humidifier 200
Furnace: 40,000 BTU
Typical RV refrigerator 180 600
Radiant heater 1300 1300

Resources:
1 https://www.lowes.com/projects/pdfs/portable-generator-wattage-chart.pdf
2 https://mwands.com/appliance-wattage/
3 https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-differences-between-starting-watts-and-running-watts
4 https://www.energuide.be/en/questions-answers/how-much-energy-do-my-household-appliances-use/71/
5 https://powerequipment.honda.com/generators/generator-how-much-power#Starting
6 http://www.unclebobstips.com/generators/Generator_Buying_Guide.asp
7 https://www.lcec.net/pdf/Wattage%20Worksheet.pdf

Questions? Comments? Concerns?
Do you see a item missing? An item that should be added? Item information incorrect? Shoot me a message via the Contact Me link below and I'll do my best to update.

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