Will a 3500 watt generator run an air conditioner?

A 3500 watt generator will be able to run an air conditioner if the air conditioner requires less than 3500 watts to start up and run.

Generators can be useful in a variety of situations, besides just providing backup power during an emergency or power outage.

Your generator may even be able to power your air conditioner. If you have a 3500 watt generator, you will be able to use your air conditioner if it uses less than 3500 watts to start and run, as most types of air conditioners do.

The benefits of having a generator

Regardless of whether you have a small portable generator or you have a large backup generator that is capable of powering your whole house’s electrical needs, backup power generators can be a really convenient solution when you do not have access to the city’s power grid.

However, there are also other benefits to having a generator, including that it allows you to use tools and appliances in remote locations and prevents damages and losses during periods when you are not home, or you have no power.

Will a 3500 watt generator run an air conditioner?

If you want to run an air conditioner with a generator, you need to ensure that the generator can produce the energy that the air conditioner needs to function. Wattage is a unit that measures the quantity of energy that an air conditioner uses to function.

You can find the wattage of a specific air conditioner in the owner’s manual or on the side of the unit on the manufacturer’s label that lists all of the other electrical information about the unit.

You can also use an electricity usage monitor, like this Poniie PN2000 one which is available for $49.99 to determine how many watts your air conditioner uses per hour if you are still uncertain.

Buy this Electricity Usage Monitor on Amazon

To bring all of this together, a 3500 watt generator will be able to run your air conditioner if it uses less than 3500 watts to start and function.

It is also important to bear in mind that air conditioners use a higher wattage to start initially than they do to run, and your generator needs to be able to compensate for this higher power draw.

Since there are so many variables involved, it can be helpful to look at the average wattages of different kinds of air conditioners and various options for 3500 watt generators.

It is also important to understand why your generator should not be too large or too small for your air conditioner.

How many watts do air conditioners use?

Although wattage can vary from one air conditioner to the next, it can be helpful to look at the average wattages of different kinds of air conditioners to give you an idea of whether a 3500 watt generator can adequately power your type of air conditioner, as follows:

Type of air conditioner Average wattage Will a 3500 watt generator be able to power this air conditioner?
Window Between 900 and 2200 watts per hour Yes
Portable Between 2900 and 4100 watts per hour Possibly, you need to make sure that your specific unit uses less than 3500 watts to start and run
Mini-split Between 700 and 2000 watts per hour Yes
Central air Between 3000 and 3500 watts per hour Possibly, you need to make sure that your specific unit uses less than 3500 watts to start and run

Different options for 3500 watt generators

When you are shopping around for 3500 watt generators to power your air conditioner, it is crucial to distinguish between surge wattage and continuous wattage.

Surge wattage is a higher wattage that a generator can only sustain for a short amount of time, like this Champion Power Equipment 200965l Portable Generator that has a starting wattage of 4375 watt, but that then reduces to a running wattage of 3500 watt.

Continuous wattage, on the other hand, is the power that the generator can manage for hours, like this Generac 7127 Inverter Generator, which has a continuous wattage of 3000 watts.

These two generators are available for purchase on Amazon

Why it is important to size your generator correctly

It is important to size your generator according to what you plan on using it for to ensure that it will work as it was designed to do.

When your generator has a wattage that is too low for your air conditioner, this can increase the risk that you start a fire, but a generator with a wattage that is too high will waste a lot of energy and fuel to power your air conditioner.

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