By Erik Watkins

What Size Generator To Run Refrigerator And Freezer?

Last updated: Apr 12, 2023
Refrigenerator to face a blank black wall

Since a fridge normally has to be powered constantly, many people ask what size generator to run the refrigerator and freezer. It is simple to check the information. You can look at the wattage on the label and get a house generator with the same specification. 

However, if you want to adequately measure the size of a generator to power the fridge and freezer, things are now more difficult. Because the fridge requires some starting minutes, you must calculate the starting power.

In fact, most standard generator types offer portable models, but you need to care about running watts and starting watts. Based on these power requirements, you will know your generator size. For example, you can run a mini Fridge with a 300-watt FlashFish Portable Station.

What Size Generator To Run Refrigerator?

Are you just looking for a type of generator to run the refrigerator? Then, you can consider those with a maximum power of 1200 watts. You may need some technical knowledge to ensure the right backup power for your fridge. 

First, you should check the running wattage of your refrigerator by looking at the label. Normally, the manufacturer puts it behind the fridge. Just move your device a bit, and you will see the specification.

If you cannot find the start-up watts, follow the rule below, and you will find the required initial power.

Starting Watts = 4 × Running Watts

That means a Small Mini Fridge with a running wattage of 50 will likely have a 200 starting wattage. Now you will need a 250W generator to run such a fridge. Using this logic, most mini-fridges will be suitable with a 1,200W generator.

One recommendation for you is the Honda EU1000I. It is one of the quietest inverter generators for small refrigerators used by many people. The product’s top features are multipurpose and quiet, and it possesses an inverter motor. Therefore, it is good for sensitive electronics such as laptops and home audio systems. 

The item is more expensive than conventional generators for its advanced functions. For a more reasonable price, you can consider lower quality, such as a 1,000W PowerSmart generator.

You can also opt for eco-friendly solar generators. A solar panel usually provides 80 Watts of power; you will need 250-500w of solar panels to run a mini refrigerator. One recommendation for these types of generators is the FlashFish Portable Station which offers 300 watts of power output.

See also: how many watts does a refrigerator use?

Size of Generator to Run Freezer

Size of Generator to Run Freezer

When it comes to freezers, they will certainly need a more powerful refrigerator watts generator. All standard freezers may need at least 3,000W inverter generators. Just use the previous rule of thumb, and you will find the right generator.

If you need advice for 3,000W generators, the recommendation is the Honda EU3000IS. Generally, Honda is known for being one of the quietest generators, and this one is no exception. It is increasingly popular for this initial startup watts range.

For low-quality products, Craftsman C0010030 3000i is another choice. They are portable generators, but some customers complain about their short lifespan and noise level.

Size of the Generator for Both the Freezer and Refrigerator

We can use the same method of measuring the starting and running watts. All standard modern refrigerators and freezers will need a 3,000W generator for normal operation. 

However, you will need a 5,000W+ generator for a larger fridge. Check out the specification below for the electronic device’s different starting and running watts

  • Small Mini-Fridges: 50 Running Watts and 200 Starting Watts.
  • Small Energy Star Fridge: 132 Running Watts and 528 Starting Watts.
  • Small Fridge: 400 Running Watts and 1,200 Starting Watts.
  • Standard Mini Fridge: 75 Running Watts and 300 Starting Watts.
  • Standard Energy Star Fridge: 192 Running Watts and 768 Starting Watts.
  • Standard Fridge: 700 Running Watts and 2,900 Starting Watts.
  • Big Mini Fridge: 100 Running Watts and 400 Starting Watts.
  • Big Energy Star Fridge: 250 Running Watts and 1,000 Starting Watts.
  • Big Side-By-Side Fridge: 1,000 Running Watts and 4,000 Starting Watts.
  • Biggest Fridge: 1,500 Running Watts and 6,000 Starting Watts.

Factors That Will Determine The Size (Power) Of The Generator 

Besides the starting and running watts, there are other factors worth considering when buying a generator. These elements include the operating environment, 

The Operating Environment

The operating environment is crucial to a generator’s proper ignition and functioning. Various products will have a temperature range from sub-zero to 60 degrees Celsius. 

If the internal temperature is extremely hot or cold, the generator will need double the size to produce the same kVA. Besides, the size of the generator will also increase when you put it in a higher position with low air density and temperature. 

Modular capability

Another notice is to ask the manufacturer whether you should combine a single generator with others to create a modular plant. There are many benefits of modular capability, including maintaining the same power out and reducing cost and service. It will, of course, create larger units.

Physical Size and Mobility

You should check the space available in your house first. Larger generators are not always better and more powerful. Thus, you can choose portable products that fit your house. Also, it would help if you determined how the generator is transported to your house. 


Will a 2000-Watt Generator Run a Full-Size Refrigerator? 

Yes, A generator with 2000 watts of power will be sufficient to operate the freezer and refrigerator without any difficulties. However, you should check the starting and running watts as stated above for accurate performance. Some bigger fridges will need larger power generators.

Will a 2,000-Watt Generator Run A Freezer?

Yes, as mentioned above, the device can run a deep freezer. Besides, it is powerful enough to run a freezer with one more item, among a stove, a 650-watt microwave, phone chargers, and some light bulbs. 

What Can 6500 Watts of Electricity Run At One Time? 

A 6500-watt is so powerful that it can run most essential appliances, including air conditioners, washing machines, or medium radiant heaters. However, you cannot know whether these devices can run at once.

You need to check the power consumption of each item. For example, you can run a normal roaster (850 watts), refrigerator (700 watts), Laptop (50 watts), Lamp (150 w), and Window AC (1200 watts) together. The total is just 2,950 W.

Can A Generator Damage A Refrigerator? 

There will be no problems if the wattages of the generators are higher than the fridge’s energy consumption. Otherwise, the refrigerator compressor will need to turn on and off continuously when the generator does not have enough power. 

The expansion valve, compressor, and other electrical components will damage the two devices. Many experts advise using at least 2,000 refrigerator starting watts for the most important household appliances.


You now know what size generator to run the refrigerator and freezer. You can determine what generators suit your house based on running and starting watts. Some other elements mentioned also affect the size, and you should consider them before buying the device.

See more: how to hook up a generator to your house?

Automotive Mechanic at PowerAll

With 7 years experience in management positions leading automotive mechanics at PowerAll, Erik Watkins wishes to share useful knowledge and information about automotive mechanical equipment.


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