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What Size Generator to Run a Fridge & Freezer? (With Comparison Table)

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When it comes to generators, size matters. If you don’t have a large enough generator, you won’t have enough power to run your appliances. As such, it’s important that you select a generator based on your appliances and their energy requirements.

Knowing what generator size you need to run a refrigerator and freezer can be difficult. The energy requirements vary a lot based on the size of the appliances and their model. It’s important to take a close look at generator size requirements for fridges and freezers as a result.

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Why Generator Size Matters

Before we dive into what size generator you need for your refrigerator and freezer specifically, let’s talk about why generator size matters in the first place. You do not want the generator to be too small, but you don’t want it to be too large either.

If the generator you select is not large enough, it won’t provide adequate energy for your appliances. Additionally, there are safety issues associated with using a generator that is too low in power or only provides just the right amount for your needs. At the same time, you don’t want to go overboard with the generator size. Selecting a generator that is very large results in a lot of waste.

Instead, you want to select a generator that is just right based on the needs of your appliances. To run efficiently, you want the generator to work at 40%–80% of its capacity.

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Figuring Out What Size Generator You Need to Run a Refrigerator and Freezer

In order to select the right size generator, you have to look at the individual appliances. Large appliances, such as refrigerators and freezers, make it easy to figure out what size generator you need. Just check the wattage.

More specifically, check both the running wattage and the starting wattage of your refrigerator and freezer and add the two numbers together. That number you get, or their total starting wattage, tells you the minimum size of the generator you need to get. It’s best to select a generator with wattage slightly above the calculated total starting wattage.

Running wattage + starting wattage = total starting wattage

For example, let’s say that your refrigerator freezer duo has a 2,200-watt starting wattage and 700-watt running wattage. Add these two numbers together, and you will have a total starting wattage of 2,900 watts. You simply need to get a generator with a wattage of over 2,900. A generator between 3,000–3,500 watts will work perfectly for this refrigerator.

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Common Sized Refrigerators and Freezers

The running wattage of most models is between 50 watts and 1500 watts, whereas the starting wattage is between 200–6,000 watts. Still, it’s important to look at your specific refrigerator and freezer to determine the generator’s recommendations.

Here are some examples of wattages based on refrigerator style:

Refrigerator And Freezer Type: Running Watts: Starting Watts: Total Starting Watts: Ideal Generator Size:
Mini Fridge (Small) 50 watts 200 watts 250 watts 275 watts +
Mini Fridge (Standard) 75 watts 300 watts 375 watts 400 watts +
Mini Fridge (Big) 100 watts 400 watts 500 watts 550 watts +
Energy Star Fridge (Small) 132 watts 528 watts 660 watts 700 watts +
Energy Star Fridge (Standard) 192 watts 768 watts 954 watts 1,000 watts +
Energy Star Fridge (Big) 250 watts 1,000 watts 1,250 watts 1,300 watts +
Standard Fridge 700 watts 2,900 watts 3,600 watts 4,000 watts +
refrigerator in the kitchen
Photo Credit By: Solomon Rodgers, Pixabay

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Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to what size generator you should get for your freezer and refrigerator. Instead, you want to select a generator size based on the size of the refrigerator and freezer combo. You can easily figure out the needed wattage by calculating the total starting watts.

Once you know the total starting watts, select a generator that has a wattage slightly above that number.

Featured Image Credit: canoniroff, Shutterstock


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