Generators are your best friend during a power outage. You should definitely keep a thorough knowledge about what your generator can and cannot run. If you’re concerned about running a heat pump with a generator, then you have landed on the right article.
In this article, we will have a thorough discussion about different kinds of generators and their ability to run heat pumps of various kinds. Read ahead to learn all about it.
Can a generator run a heat pump?
A generator can run a heat pump. But you will need to consider a few factors such as the specification of the generator, its wattage, and the type and tonnage of heat pump that you want to run. A whole-house generator of about 17 kW can run a standard heat pump.
Whether a generator will be able to run a heat pump mainly depends on the type of generator, its capacity, and the capacity of the heat pump. Let’s take a look at whether the following generators can run a heat pump:
Whole house generator:
Yes, a whole-house generator can run a heat pump. To run a standard heat pump, you will need a generator that has a capacity of at least 17 kW.
This wattage will enable the generator to run heat pumps of almost all sizes.
You can also run a heat pump of package unit with a whole house generator of 17 kW. This will suffice as long as the heat pump is running alone.
But if you plan on running multiple appliances at once with the generator, then you will have to pick one with higher wattage.
Note that your generator will need to have a wattage that’s higher than the system that it’s running. So, calculate the total wattage that you intend your generator to run and choose the right wattage for your whole house generator.
Yes, a portable generator can also run a heat pump. But it will not be able to support large heat pumps. The portable generators are designed to power heat pumps of small to mid-range.
However, note that the portable generator will not be able to run multiple appliances at once. So you will not be able to run any other electronics along with a heat pump when you’re operating it with a portable generator.
Since it does not allow multiple systems to run simultaneously, it proves to be rather inconvenient for a lot of people. If that is not a concern for you, then a portable generator will offer you great flexibility.
Will these generators run a heat pump?
There’s a wide range of generators available in the market. But it is quite difficult for the laymen to decide which generator will be a good one to run heat pumps. In the following section, we’ll discuss different types of generators and their ability to run heat pumps:
A 5000-watt generator can run almost any appliance in the house. But it will not be able to run a standard-sized heat pump. However, note that a 5000-watt generator can easily run a small heat pump.
5500-watt generators are very powerful. They are designed to run almost all kinds of electronics and appliances in the house. You can run a small to mid-sized heat pump with this generator without any trouble.
A 6500-watt generator can run a small to mid-sized heat pump in a small house. It will not be able to run larger heat pumps because of its inability to support higher power.
This generator is used to run small household appliances such as TV, dryer, water heater, and such.
With a 7500-watt generator, you can run a heat pump of small to mid-level capacity. It will also be able to run water pumps simultaneously. While it is not a very powerful generator, you can use it to cover emergency situations.
A 9000-watt generator can run a heat pump. It can also simultaneously run other appliances such as light, coffee makers, range, microwave, and more.
A 10000-watt generator can easily run a heat pump. It can run a standard-sized heat pump without any trouble.
A 12000-watt heat pump can run a heat pump as well. It will have no issues in running a heat pump, whether it is of small or standard size.
Will a 20kw generator run a heat pump?
Yes, a 20kW generator will definitely run a heat pump. A standard heat pump will need a generator of about 17 kW wattage, that may or may not run multiple appliances at once, depending on the type of the heat pump.
If you want to run multiple systems at once, along with an above-average sized heat pump, then you will need a generator of higher wattage than 17 kW. A 20 kW generator is sure to run a heat pump very comfortably.
How much power does a heat pump use?
The amount of power that a heat pump uses mainly depends on the type, size, and tonnage of the heat pump.
The amount of power can also vary from model to model created by the same manufacturer. So you will have to take several factors into account.
Heat pumps are generally considered one of the most cost-effective ways of heating up your home using electricity. Let’s say that you’re using a standard-sized heat lamp that requires about 160 liters a day.
It will heat between 10 to 50 degrees. And a heat pump such as this will need a power of 7.5 kW a day.
What size (watt) generator to run a heat pump?
As we’ve mentioned earlier, different kinds of heat pumps need generators of different sizes. Let’s take a look at the size of generator that you’ll need to run heat pumps of different sizes:
2-ton heat pump:
To run a 2-ton heat pump, you will need a generator of 6 kW. These heat pumps need about 2 kW to run.
And to start this generator, it will need a power of 6 kW. So a mid-range generator will be perfectly fine for this heat pump.
3-ton heat pump:
To run a 3-ton heat pump, you will need a generator that is designed to serve 9 k watts. These heat pumps do not need much power to run. Only 3 kW of running power will suffice. But it will need about 9 kW to start.
3.5-ton heat pump:
To run a 3.5-ton heat pump, you should consider a heat pump of 10 kW. It will run the heat pump very smoothly.
This heat pump will need only about 3.5 kW to run, and 9 to 10 kW to run. So a 10 kW generator will do the job perfectly fine.
4-ton heat pump:
A 4-ton heat pump will need a generator of size 12 kW. These heat pumps need about 4 kW to start running.
But to continue running, the generator will need to power it with 12 kW. So you should get a generator of that size.
5-ton heat pump:
A 5-ton heat pump will need a 15 kW generator. 5-ton generators need about 5 kW to run.
But to keep it running, the generator will need to have a capacity of 15 kW. This will operate the heat pump smoothly.
How to run a heat pump on a generator?
Running a heat pump on a generator is not very tricky. Let’s take a look at some tips that you can follow in order to run a heat pump on a generator:
Choose the right generator for your heat pump:
It is crucial that you pick the right generator for your heat pump. Check the specifications of your heat pump thoroughly and check whether the generator is compatible.
We have discussed the compatibility of generators with heat pumps in the article above. If you still face confusion, consult a professional electrician to further discuss the matter.
Run ductless heat pump with generator:
You can also run a ductless heat pump with a generator. Install the plug of the generator along the furnace’s wall.
Then plug in the furnace. Now it is time to reset the breaker. This will enable you to run a ductless heat pump with your generator.
You can run a heat pump with a generator without any trouble. But you will have to pay close attention to the compatibility of the heat pump and the generator. Check the tonnage and power demand of the heat pump and match it with an ideal generator to get the job done smoothly.