How much power do your appliances use?

Before you purchase any solar backup system, or solar generator, it’s important to know who much power your appliances use, and what you’ll be using in an emergency situation.  This help you to size your solar backup system correctly to get the most efficiency and prolong the life of your system.

Please note that the wattage’s given below are estimates. The actual wattage required for your appliances may very substantially from these listed.  Check the nameplate on the appliance to determine actual wattage, or better yet, measure the amperage draw with a clamp-on ammeter or Kill-A-Watt meter.  Multiply the hours used on the average day by the wattage listed below. This will give you the watt-hours consumed per day.

Also, appliances and tools with induction motors such as well pumps, washing machines, compressors, etc., may require from 3 to 7 times the listed wattage when starting. The start-up load of the appliance or tool determines whether an inverter has the capability to power it. Be sure to check the specific wattage requirements and operating instructions for appliances / tools to be used. Also, air conditioners are a very difficult load because of the high start-up surge.

Once you know your wattage usage, our Solar System Calculator can help you calculate the size of your solar backup system.


Appliances Watts Appliances Watts Appliances/Tools Watts
Oven 3,000 Standard TV 188 Well Pump 1/3 hp 750 (Running) 1400-3000 (Starting)
20 cu. ft. (AC)
16 cu. ft. (AC)

1411 watt-hours/day* 1200 watt-hourrs/day*
LCD Monitor 80-150 Well Pump 1/2 hp 1000 (Running) 2100-4000 (Starting)
15 cu. ft. (Up)
15 cu. ft. (Chest)

1240 watt-hours/day* 1080 watt-hrs/day*
Desktop Computer (Standard) 80-120 Sump Pump 1/3 hp 800 (Running) 1300-2900 (Starting)
Dishwasher 1200-1500 Desktop Computer (Gaming) 400-1000+ Sump Pump 1/2 hp 1050 (Running) 2150-4100 (Starting)
Electric Clothes Dryer 3,400 Laptop Computer 40-120 Drill (1/4"-1/2") 250-1000
Gas Clothes Dryer 300-400 Clock Radio 7 9” disc sander 1200
Washing Machine 500-1000 Plasma TV 339 3” belt sander 1000
Microwave 1,500 LCD TV 213 12” chain saw 1100
Toaster oven 1,200 iPad / Tablet 10-20 14” band saw 1100
Hot Plate 1,500 Satellite dish 30 Circular Saw 1400-1800
Electric Skillet 1000-1500 Cell Phone - recharge 2-10 Jig Saw 300-700
Toaster 1,100 Radiotelephone - Transmit 40-150 Chop / Cut Off Saw 1500-1800
Coffee Machine 1,500 Radiotelephone - Receive 5 210 MIG Welder 6,500
Blender 300-1,500 100 watt incandescent bulb 100 Air Compressor 1 hp 2000
Vacuum Cleaner 500 50 watt DC incandescent 50 Central Air Conditioner 1000-1500 (Running) 2200-5000 (Starting)
Dehumidifier 350 25 watt compact fluor. bulb 28 Room Air Conditioner 1,100
Humidifier 300-1000 20 watt DC compact fluor. 22 Furnace Blower 300-1000
Portable Fan 100 CFL Bulb (60-watt equivalent) 18 Portable Heater 1500
Ceiling Fan 100 CFL Bulb (100-watt equivalent) 30 Stock Tank Heater 100
Curling Iron 90 Electric blanket 200 Garage door opener 350
Hair Dryer 1,538 Water Heater 479 Shop Vac 6.5 hp 1440

* TV’s, computers, VCR’s, and other devices left plugged in, but not turned on, still draw power.

**To estimate the number of hours that a refrigerator actually operates at its maximum wattage, divide the total time the refrigerator is plugged in by three. Refrigerators, although turned “on” all the time, actually cycle on and off as needed to maintain interior temperatures.