09:08AM | 05/21/07
Member Since: 03/13/07
3 lifetime posts
I live in So. Florida and hurricane season is around the corner. I want to buy a portable generator to power my central A/C only, my concern is sizing it properly so it will handle startup amps. I've contacted several local electricians, all of them have given me different size recommendations anywhere from 6000 to 12000 watts (pretty wide spread). Looking for an opinion from someone in the field or someone who has done this in their home already. I don't know the exact size of the a/c it's only a 1450sq.ft. house, probably no more than 3 tons. It's on a 25 amp breaker and amp draws are the following, compressor-14.1 amps, outdoor fan-.75 amps, indoor fan 1.5 amps. This is a brand new house also. Thanks in advance.

Tom O

12:20PM | 05/21/07
Member Since: 09/17/02
477 lifetime posts
Well, there is no simple answer.

Judging by the load amps for the compressor, your're looking at a 2 hp motor which would put your AC at about 2 to 2 1/2 tons.

You could run this on a 4 kw generator but, and there is always one of those, you need to allow for the large inrush current when the compressor & indoor fan starts up. This is sometimes called "surge watts" by the generator manufacturers and in your case it could approach 15,000 watts.

Some newer AC units have been designed with lower inrush currents. You should go to the manufacturers (of your A/c) website armed with the model number so you could find out more information. You may be able to request some technical assistance from them regarding inrush current.

Many of the generators being sold at home centers do have a "surge" rating and many of them also list how many tons of AC they can start.

You might try visiting the following site for Generac, Make sure you pay attention to the asterisks.


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