Will a portable generator run a heat pump?

A portable generator will be able to run a heat pump if you can find a generator with the right specifications to match with your heat pump.

Heat pumps have many benefits, like heating and cooling your home and also some drawbacks, such as the cost and complicated installation.

However, one of the great things about heat pumps is that you can use a generator to power them if you can find a generator that is the right size and capacity to match your heat pump.

The pros and cons of heat pumps

Although a gas furnace is still the most popular choice to heat homes, heat pumps are gaining popularity quickly.

Heat pumps may be expensive and complicated to install, but the added comfort and convenience of having heat moved out of your space during the warmer months and into your space in the cooler months is well worth it to most consumers.

Electric heat pumps can also help you to control the humidity in your space and are fairly quiet to operate, even though they are not very energy-efficient and require some maintenance over time.

Will a portable generator run a heat pump?

When you get used to powering some of your most necessary appliances through a generator, you may start to wonder about the other everyday appliances, like heat pumps and how you may go about powering this kind of appliance through a generator.

Although it will not damage your heat pump system to power it through a generator instead of plugging it directly into the outlet, the trick is to find a generator, which can comfortably manage to generate the amperage, voltage and wattage needed for your heat pump to function properly.

Heat pumps work similarly to air conditioners in that they require a lot of power to start up initially. Heat pumps also require a lot of power to run when compared to other appliances, but this initial start-up wattage is what is really important.

Therefore, if you can find a generator with the right amperage and wattage, you will be able to run your heat pump with a generator.

What is really important then is to know how to calculate the wattage that you will need for your specific heat pump.

Then you need to look at specific examples of generators that will be able to power the average heat pump and alternatives in terms of whole-house generators that will be able to power a heat pump and your other appliances all at once.

How to calculate the wattage for our heat pump

In order to find a generator which can power your heat pump, you will first need to find specifics about your heat pump. You can estimate the wattage that your heat pump requires, by multiplying the voltage and amperage of your heat pump.

This information can usually be found by looking at the manufacturer label on the side of your heat pump unit or in the owner’s manual.

In the case of the DAIKIN 9,000 BTU 17 SEER Wall-Mounted Ductless Mini-Split Inverter Air Conditioner Heat Pump System, this will mean that you can multiply the 208V to 230V by the 15A, which would give you a wattage of 3120W to 3450W.

This will give you an idea of the size generator that you would need, but you also need to take into account the higher initial power draw of your heat pump. If you want a more accurate calculation, you will need to call a professional to help you.

The best portable generators for heat pumps

As explained above, you will need to match your heat pump’s wattage and amperage to the generator that you want to buy. Fortunately, there are portable generator options in different sizes and capacities, such as:

Heat pump size Generator options Specifications Where to buy
Small (3000W to 5000W) Generac 7127 iQ3500 Portable Inverter Generator 3500 Watt, 120 Volts Running an RV air conditioner on a generator
Buy it on Amazon
Medium (5000W to 8000W) DuroMax XP5500HX Dual Fuel Portable Generator 5500 Watt, 240 Volts Will a portable generator run a heat pump?
Buy it on Amazon
Large (15 000W and over) Generac 5734 GP15000E Electric Start Gas Powered Portable Generator 15000 Running Watts with 22500 Starting Watts, 120 Volts Will a portable generator run a heat pump?
Buy it on Amazon

Considering whole-house generators

If you have a large heat pump or you have other appliances that you would also like to power with your generator besides just your heat pump, you may need to consider a whole-house generator, like this Generac 70432 Home Standby Generator Guardian Series.

This particular generator has over 19 000W and will be able to power many different appliances at once.

This way, you can be assured that your generator will be able to run our heat pump safely and you will not need multiple generators for multiple appliances.

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