Wanted to know the size of the generator that I would need to run my home furnace. If the power were to go, I can get a new 3250 generator, very cheep. All electrial hookups will be done by the right people, not by me. Only the question on the size of that genorator, and would it run my furnace?
The BTU output of the furnace is irrelevant. What is relevant is the ampere rating of the electrical circuit that the furnace is on.
Most forced air furnaces operate off of a 15 amp single pole circuit breaker, with the largest load on this circuit being the blower motor located in the furnace itself. A 3250 watt portable generator would adequately power a 15 amp single pole circuit.
It would also be necessary to install a single circuit furnace transfer switch, and ideally a receptacle located outdoors to facilitate interconnection, such as the kind manufactured by Reliance Controls.
Obviously, work of this nature needs to be done on a permit and according to Code.
Feature: Surge Rating is the amount of wattage the generator can supply for a very short term, as when starting an electric motor.
Benefit: Most manufacturers of small portable generators do not quote or support a surge rating. Where quoted, a surge rating is typically in the range of 2 times the maximum rating for 2 to 3 seconds. A high surge rating ensures that you can start larger induction motors that have a high starting current requirement.
Also not all generators are created equal, the output could fluctuate and cause the electric circuit board to fry. Then you would really be out of luck in an emergency situation when you need the furnace the most.
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