How big of a generator do I need to run a 8,000 BTU air conditioner? (Is your generator capable of running AC)

The one thing that almost every homeowner constantly asks themselves is how big of a generator do I need to run an 8000 BTU air conditioner.

Why do you need a generator for your air conditioner in the first place?

This is an important question because you’ll never know when the power will be out or you’re maybe on a camping trip and decided to bring your portable air conditioner to make sure you and your kids will remain comfortable throughout the trip. However, you’re unsure how much of a generator you need to power your 8,000 BTU air conditioner.

What size of a generator to run an 8,000 BTU air conditioner?

Did you know that in 2016, 40.5 million or 13.7% of Americans ages 6 and above went camping at least once?

That is a huge number of people who spent their time outside and off the grid. Now think about how many people have portable generators and portable air conditioners with them to keep them comfortable.

When deciding how big of a generator you need to run an air conditioner, there are several factors to consider.

You will need to know things like:

  • The size and wattage of the air conditioner unit you wish to run.
  • How many hours a day will be used
  • The climate where you live or you’re going into.

Check out this portable generator that can power your 8,000 BTU AC

This will determine the size of the generator you need, how often you need to run it, or if you even need one.

Size and wattage of the air conditioner unit

Here is an example to help you figure out how big of a generator you need to run a 8,000 BTU air conditioner.

The lowest EER of an air conditioner is 7 and the highest is more or less 12 EER. Remember, the higher the EER rating, the more efficient your air conditioner is.

To get the wattage of your air conditioner, use this formula: BTU / EER = Watts

Example 1: 8,000 BTU / 7 = 1143 Watts, then you need an 1200-watt generator and above.

Example 2: 8,000 BTU / 12 = 667 Watts, then you need a 700-watt generator and above.

Refer to the table below:

EER (8,000 BTU AC) How many watts of generator needed
7 1200-watt generator and above
8 1000-watt generator and above
9 900-watt generator and above
10 800-watt generator and above
11 800-watt generator and above
12 700-watt generator and above

This is in theory only. This table is to give you an idea of how a 8,000 BTU air conditioner wattage is computed with regards to the unit’s EER.

A 8,000 BTU air conditioner is can consume 417 up to 714 Watts when running. Check out How Many Watts Does 5,000 – 18,000 BTU Air Conditioner Use? (Calculator & Table Below) for more information.

How many hours a day will be used?

Aside from power consumption, another important factor is time. You need to know how long you’re going to use your AC off the grid.

Every portable generator has different charging capacity so make sure you optimize your AC usage.

Determine the climate on where you are using the generator

Whether a storm just passed by or you’re camping on a very hot terrain, the climate is also a factor that affects both your generator and air conditioner.

Keep an eye for the AC power surge

Always take into account an additional 20% on top of the rated power of the air conditioner. This is to avoid inefficient use of generators when a startup wattage surge from AC kicks in. This surge is due to the compressor kicking in or whenever the AC is first used.

Using a 5,000 BTU AC? Check this article: How Many Watts Does A 5000 BTU AC Use? (Can Your Generator Run It)

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