What size generator to run 5 ton AC unit

The size generator you need for a 5 ton air conditioner will depend on the model in terms of starting wattage, running wattage, voltage, and amperage required.

Sizing your generator correctly for its intended use will help you get the most out of the generator and the appliances that you want to power with it.

This is why it is important to find the right size generator that can handle the starting wattage, running wattage, voltage, and amperage that your 5 ton air conditioner (AC) requires.

Why it is important to size your generator properly

Having a generator that can power some of your appliances when you do not have access to other sources of power can be quite convenient.

However, it is imperative that you size your generator suitably for how you intend to use it, as this can help you prevent damage to your appliances and to the generator in the future.

Sizing your generator appropriately for its intended use ensures that it can function the way that it is supposed to and that it works effectively for a long time. It is also safer, as this reduces the chances that you are overloading your system.

What size generator to run 5 ton AC unit

As far as the appliances in your home go, air conditioners are among the appliances that use the most power to start and run. Therefore, you need to ensure that your generator is properly sized to handle the power draw of your air conditioner.

Large air conditioners’ capacity is measured in terms of the tonnage of air that they can cool. Smaller air conditioners use BTU (British Thermal Unit) as a way of measuring their capacity.

However, this does not really matter as much if you know that every ton is equal to 1200 BTU and, thus, 5 ton air conditioners are equal to 60 000 BTU.

In general, 5 ton or 60 000 BTU air conditioners, on average, draw about 4000W to 8000W of power. This means that your generator needs to be able to handle at least this amount of power draw in order to power your 5 ton air conditioner safely.

However, in this case it is important to take into account that air conditioners use more power when they first start up than when they are running normally.

This means that a regular 4000W to 8000W generator will not be able to handle the initial power draw of your 5 ton air conditioner and this is why a 14 to 18 kW generator is the common choice for larger air conditioners.

5 ton air conditioners also usually require about 120 or 240 Volts and between 15 and 60 Amps to operate, but this is specific to each individual unit.

This way, you can also power some other appliances with the same generator once the initial draw for your air conditioner has evened out to its running wattage.

Why air conditioners use more power when they first start up

Air conditioners draw a lot of power in general, but all air conditioners, especially larger models like 5 ton air conditioning units, have a higher initial power draw when they first start up.

This is because it takes a lot of power to get the motors and compressors running again once they have stood still for a long time.

This high start-up power draw only lasts for a short amount of time, but your generator still needs to be able to supply your AC with this power, or the unit will not start up.

Generator options for 5 ton AC units

It is important that you choose a generator for your 5 ton AC based on the manufacturer’s specifications for the wattage, amperage, and voltage of your specific unit, but some of the most popular larger generator options include the following:

Generator model Type of generator Wattage capability Voltage Where to buy
DuroMax XP13000HX Dual Fuel Generator Portable generator 13 000 W 240 V

Buy it on Amazon
Generac 70432 Home Generator Guardian Series Standby generator 22 000 running watts and 19500 starting watts 240 V

Buy it on Amazon

Powering other appliances with your generator

As explained above, your generator needs to be capable of powering your 5 ton air conditioner during its initial power draw and there are many different generator options that are able to do this.

However, it is important to keep in mind that you may also want to power other appliances while your air conditioner is running, and it may be worthwhile and more cost-effective to purchase one very large generator instead of multiple smaller generators.

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