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So I am getting a bonus at work in "points". A vendor has a catalog with a bunch of products in it, There are 2 generators in it. One is a Champion 3500 and the other is Porter Cable 5500. In normal times I would be using the generator when the power is out, to see and cool the house. My house is a little less than 1600 sq.ft. Would either of the generators be able to cool the entire house or would I need to get a window/room AC unit? I live in the desert, so no AC really really sucks. During a SHTF scenario, I would be using it to cool a room, power a fridge and/or chest freezer, and radio (maybe lights, depending on how bad it is). Will either of these be up to the task? I can also trade the point in for Home Depot gift cards if there is a better generator out there (Not enought ot buy a EU2000i). I Know nothing about generators or what take how much energy, so thanks for the help.
 

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well it depends on what the wattage of your ac unit. If its a window unit look at the top or bottom of it to find the wattage or amps. If you can only find amps times that by the line voltage which is usally 120 to find the wattage. Then get the wattage of all the other things you want to run and add them all together and that will give you the wattage geneator that you need. To find the best bang for your buck once you know what size you need find the one with the longest run time on the least amount of fuel.

Sorry if that dosen't make much sense I'm an electrician and I have a hard time explaining things in laymens terms but I hope it helped you out a little
 

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I can also trade the point in for Home Depot gift cards if there is a better generator out there (Not enought ot buy a EU2000i). I Know nothing about generators or what take how much energy, so thanks for the help.
Maybe you can supplement your points with $$? I have a Honda EU3000i and I am very impressed with it. I have it in my 38ft motorhome. This is 1KVA bigger than you're talking about, but.... It can simultaneously run all the following without hardly getting off eco-throttle:

  1. 1.5HP reverse cycle , split system air-con
  2. All my 240V lighting
  3. 1200W electric jug
  4. TV
  5. Stereo
  6. Microwave
  7. Pedestal fan
  8. Battery charger
  9. DVD
  10. 240ltr fridge
I did this as a test to show a friend. It is excellent on fuel, has electric and recoil start. Another mate also runs this generator in his mobile home and is happy with it.

I guess my point is that, if you can afford it, something like the EU2000i or EU3000i might just suit you and give you some room for expansion of the electrical load. The eco-throttle is great for saving fuel.

There are Excel spreadsheets available to help you calculate your power loading, which then helps selecting a generator. Will try to locate one for you.
 

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Go with the Porter Cable Unit if you can. It has OHVs and steel sleeve and the 5500 is the run capacity. Peak for this unit is over 8000. The other one is a nice unit but more for camping. Look for overhead valves and steel sleeves. Good deal for you.

When using any generator be sure you don't connect directly to your house unless you have the proper set up to bypass the regular circuit box. You can get the set up from places like Northern tool. Hook appliances up directly to unit if you don't want the expense. Never put the unit inside the dwelling. The garage is really bad. keep it outside when running.

Congrats on the good deal.
 

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Load calculation spreadsheet

Here ya go caduckgunner:

http://www.homepower.com/files/webextras/loadcalc.xls
http://www.homepower.com/files/webextras/loadcalc.pdf

I am also just uploading these domestic power load calculation Excel spreadsheets and articles to the Survival files section. It has examples and some how-to articles as well.

If you don't have MS Excel you can download OpenOffice for free from here http://download.openoffice.org/

Once you list all the appliances you need to run, their wattages and the hours per day you will run them - the spreadsheet will give you your power load, and therefore a rough sizing for your generator requirements. Give me a call if I can help.

Source: from http://www.homepower.com/webextras/
 

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I have the Honda 3000i generator I bought for my business. I have a conector mounted on the outside of my house which feeds a small breaker box. I just installed extra outlets next to the ones powering the appliances I need to keep running ex. furnace, fridge. When the generator is running all I have to do is unplug the furnace and plug it into the generator outlet. Quick and simple.
 
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