What Can a 3500 Watt Generator Run?


A 3500-watt generator can be a lifesaver during power outages, providing electricity for essential household appliances and devices.

You may wonder just what this versatile piece of equipment is capable of powering, whether at home or on an outdoor adventure. In this blog post, we will explore the various types of appliances a 3500-watt generator can run, from living room essentials to kitchen gadgets and beyond.

We’ll also discuss factors to consider when using a generator and recommend some popular models to help you make an informed decision.

Key Takeaways

  • A 3500 – watt generator can power a variety of essential household appliances, including refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers, TVs, sound systems, gaming consoles and more.
  • It’s important to understand the difference between surge wattage and continuous wattage when working with generators to ensure that appliances are kept safe from damage or overloading.
  • Factors such as the individual power requirements of your appliances, simultaneous usage and fuel efficiency should be considered before selecting and using a 3500-watt generator. Proper maintenance is also crucial for optimal performance.
  • Popular brands like Generac offer reliable options in the market today for those seeking a durable and high-performing portable inverter generator for emergency backup electricity or recreational activities.

Understanding Generators And Wattage

Generators come in different sizes and wattage levels to meet the varying power needs of households or businesses during an unexpected power outage.

Surge Wattage Vs Continuous Wattage

Understanding the difference between surge wattage and continuous wattage is crucial when working with generators. Surge wattage, also known as starting or peak wattage, refers to the extra power needed by an appliance upon startup.

This initial boost typically lasts just a few seconds to get the appliance running smoothly.

To illustrate this concept, let’s consider your refrigerator as an example. When it first starts up, its motor demands a higher surge of electricity—say 1200 watts—to get going; but once it’s running efficiently, it may only need 150 watts on a continual basis (the continuous wattage).

Generac Iq3500 Portable Generator

What Can A 3500 Watt Generator Run?

A 3500 watt generator can power various small appliances in the kitchen, multiple appliances in the living room, and even some outdoor equipment.

Appliances In The Living Room

A 3500-watt generator can efficiently power various essential appliances within your living room, allowing you to maintain a comfortable and entertaining space during a power outage. Some of the appliances commonly used in the living room include:

  • Television: A standard LED TV consumes around 70-400 watts, making it suitable for use with a 3500-watt generator.
  • Sound systems: Most home theater or soundbar systems have a power consumption range between 20 and 150 watts.
  • Gaming consoles: Popular gaming consoles like PlayStation and Xbox typically draw between 60 and 300 watts of power.
  • Laptop: Laptops usually consume anywhere from 20 to 120 watts, depending on the make and model.
  • Desktop computerDesktop computers can consume between 60 and 600 watts based on their specifications.
  • DVD player: A regular DVD player will use approximately 10 to 30 watts while in operation.
  • External hard drive: These devices generally require around 10 to 30 watts for proper functioning.
  • LED lightsEnergy-efficient LED bulbs typically draw only about 9 to 12 watts each.

As long as you manage simultaneous usage of these appliances carefully, a portable inverter generator with ample wattage should be more than capable of providing backup electricity during unexpected blackouts.

Appliances In The Kitchen

In a modern household, the kitchen is filled with various essential appliances that help ease our daily routines. Running these appliances on a 3500-watt generator opens up new possibilities of convenience and efficiency during power outages or off-grid living situations. Here’s a list of appliances you can run in your kitchen with a 3500-watt generator:

  1. Refrigerator: A standard refrigerator typically consumes between 100 to 800 watts, depending on the size and model.
  2. Microwave: Smaller microwave ovens usually draw around 600 to 1200 watts, making them suitable for use with a 3500-watt generator.
  3. Coffee Maker: A regular coffee maker needs approximately 600 to 1200 watts, easily manageable by the generator.
  4. Toaster: Toasters require anywhere from 800 to 1500 watts, which should be doable by a properly functioning generator.
  5. Blender: Blenders vary in their power usage from about 300 to 1000 watts, ensuring compatibility with your generator.
  6. Electric Kettle: Most electric kettles consume roughly between 1000 and 1500 watts; however, it’s best not to run multiple high-consumption appliances simultaneously.

Keep in mind that these wattage numbers are general estimates and may differ based on specific models or brands you have in your home. It’s crucial always to check the power requirements of your individual appliances before using them with a portable generator like a 3500-watt model.

Generator For Kitchen Appliances

Appliances Outside The House

As a possible customer, you may be wondering what appliances outside the house a 3500-watt generator can power up. Here are some of the devices and equipment you can use with your generator:

  • RV: A 3500-watt generator can provide power for an RV air conditioning unit, lights, refrigerator, microwave, and other electronic devices.
  • Power Tools: With a 3500-watt generator, you can easily run outdoor or construction power tools such as drills, saws, sanders, and pressure washers when working on home improvement projects.
  • Lawnmower: You can use a 3500-watt generator to run lawnmowers in case of a power outage. It is also helpful when doing outdoor work.
  • Small Pump System: In case of flooding or water damage restoration emergencies, a small pump system that removes water from basements or crawl spaces could efficiently operate using your generator power.
  • Electric Grill: You’re planning for an outdoor barbecue party? A 3500-watt generator has enough wattage to permit cooking on an electric grill or portable stove.

Remember to consider the simultaneous use of appliances to avoid exceeding the wattage capacity of the generator and to prolong its lifespan.

Appliances In Bedrooms And Office

If you work from home or need power in your bedroom, a 3500-watt generator can power various appliances. Here are some examples of appliances that can be powered by a 3500-watt generator in the bedroom and office:

  • Computers (laptops or desktops) – they require between 150 to 300 watts of power, depending on their size.
  • Printers – smaller printers consume less than 100 watts, while larger ones need up to 500 watts.
  • Small televisions – a TV with a screen size of 32 inches consumes around 50 watts of power; for every additional inch, add approximately two watts.
  • Bedroom lights – LED lights consume only a few watts, while CFL lights use between nine to fourteen watts per bulb.
  • Phone and laptop chargers – these consume very little power, usually around five to ten watts.

Note that heating appliances such as electric heaters should not be used as they consume a lot of power and might overload the generator. It is also important to check the wattage requirements for any other devices before plugging them in to ensure you don’t exceed the total wattage capacity of your generator.

Family In A Living Room

Factors To Consider When Using A 3500 Watt Generator

When using a 3500-watt generator, it is important to consider the power requirements of your appliances, the simultaneous use of appliances, and fuel efficiency.

Power Requirements Of The Appliances

To ensure that your 3500-watt generator can power the appliances you need during a power outage, it’s important to consider their individual power requirements.

This varies depending on the type of appliance and its size. For example, a refrigerator generally requires around 600 watts to start and just 120 watts to continue running, while a hair dryer may require up to 1500 watts or more.

It’s essential not to overload your generator by attempting to run several high-power appliances simultaneously. Instead, balance the usage of your appliances so as not to exceed the maximum capacity of your generator.

By doing so, you’ll avoid tripping circuit breakers or possibly damaging expensive equipment.

Simultaneous Use Of Appliances

I’ve found that one of the most important factors to consider when using a 3500-watt generator is the simultaneous use of appliances. While this type of generator can power up to eight standard appliances at once, it’s essential to be mindful of how much wattage each item requires and how long they’ll need to run.

For example, running a refrigerator with LED lights and charging phones simultaneously will consume around 1500 watts – leaving enough room for a small TV or laptop.

To avoid overloading your generator, it’s best to prioritize which appliances you need most during a power outage and run them one by one if necessary. And always remember that startup procedures may require additional surge wattage compared to their continuous usage requirements – so start-up large devices separately before adding more devices into operation.

Portable Generator Away From Home

Fuel Efficiency And Runtime

One crucial factor to consider when using a 3500-watt generator is fuel efficiency and runtime. This is particularly important if you’re planning to use the generator for an extended period of time or during a power outage.

The amount of fuel your generator consumes will depend on the size and type of engine it has, as well as how much load it’s carrying.

To maximize fuel efficiency and runtime, it’s recommended that you balance the power draw of your appliances by only running those that you need at any given time. Additionally, choosing energy-efficient appliances like LED lights can help reduce your overall energy consumption while increasing the amount of time your generator can run on a single tank of gas.

Discover the top-performing and highly-recommended 3500-watt generator brands and models, including Generac, WEN, Westinghouse, GenMAx, and many more.

Generac 7128 GP3500iO Generator

I personally recommend the Generac 7128 GP3500iO generator as a reliable option for those looking for a powerful and efficient 3500-watt generator.

This portable inverter generator boasts an impressive run time of up to 11 hours on just one tank of gas, making it ideal for camping trips or emergency backup electricity during power outages.

Additionally, its low-oil shutdown feature helps prevent engine damage and extends the lifespan of the machine. Its compact size also makes it easy to transport and store when not in use.

Generac 7128 GP3500iO 3,500-Watt Gas-Powered Portable Generator, CARB Compliant

as of 06/12/2024 4:15 pm

WEN 56380i Super Quiet Generator

As one of the most popular 3500 watt generator brands, the WEN 56380i Super Quiet Generator is an excellent choice for those seeking a reliable and affordable source of backup power.

This portable inverter generator delivers clean energy that can power up to eight standard appliances simultaneously, making it ideal for use during a power outage or when camping outdoors.

With less than 3% harmonic distortion, the WEN 56380i produces electricity that closely resembles household AC current, allowing you to run sensitive electronic devices without worry.

WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt RV-Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Fuel Shut-Off and Electric Start

as of 06/12/2024 4:15 pm

Westinghouse IGen4500 Super Quiet Generator

I recently came across the Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Generator, which is a popular option for those looking for a 3500-watt generator that can run various appliances during power outages.

What sets this generator apart from others is its super quiet operation, making it an excellent choice for camping or outdoor activities without disturbing your neighbors.

The Westinghouse iGen4500 can run up to 18 hours on a single tank of gas while powering small kitchen appliances like refrigerators, microwaves, and induction plates with ease.

It also comes with several safety features like low oil shutdown and overload protection to ensure long-lasting performance and reliability.

Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator 3700 Rated & 4500 Peak Watts, Gas Powered, Electric Start & Camco 40043 TastePure RV/Marine Water Filter with Flexible Hose Protector

as of 06/12/2024 4:15 pm

Generac 7127 IQ3500 Generator

The Generac 7127 IQ3500 generator is an excellent choice for those looking to power their home during a power outage. With a total output of 3500 watts, this generator can easily handle most household appliances such as refrigerators, lights, and TVs.

The IQ3500 features TruePower Technology that provides clean and stable power to your devices, making it safe to use with sensitive electronic equipment like laptops or smartphones.

Additionally, the digital display on the IQ3500 makes it easy to monitor its performance and fuel consumption in real-time.

Generac 7127 IQ3500 3,500-Watt Gas-Powered Portable Generator, CARB Compliant

as of 06/12/2024 4:15 pm

GenMAx GM3500iAED Generator

One of the most popular 3500-watt generator brands and models is the GenMAx GM3500iAED Generator. This portable inverter generator is ideal for powering small appliances during power outages or for use while camping or tailgating.

With a rated output of 3000 watts and a maximum output of 3500 watts, this generator can power various household appliances, including refrigerators, lights, chargers, computers, TVs, sound systems and even some small kitchen appliances like induction plates and air fryers.

The GenMAx GM3500iAED Generator also operates quietly at only 58 decibels and has a fuel efficiency rating of up to 12 hours on a single tank of gasoline.

GENMAX Portable Inverter Generator, 3500W Super Quiet Gas or Propane Powered Engine with Parallel Capability, Remote/Electric Start, Ideal for Camping Travel Outdoor.EPA Compliant (GM3500iAED)

as of 06/12/2024 4:15 pm

Frequently Asked Questions

“Still have questions about what a 3500-watt generator can run? Check out our FAQs section for answers to common inquiries and get the most out of your portable power machine.”

Will A 3500 Watt Generator Run My Air Conditioner?

If you have a smaller air conditioning unit, a 3500-watt generator should be able to handle it. A typical 1 hp window unit requires about 900-1200 watts to start up and around 500-700 watts to keep running.

So, if your AC is the only major appliance running, you can run it alongside other small appliances like lights and chargers without any issues. However, if you plan on using multiple big appliances at once while keeping the AC on, it’s recommended that you upgrade to a larger generator with more output wattage.

How Long Will A 3500 Watt Generator Run On A Tank Of Gas?

As a possible customer looking for a reliable generator, you might be wondering how long a 3500 watt generator will run on a tank of gas. Well, the answer depends on two factors: the size of the fuel tank and the load placed on the generator.

Generally speaking, a full tank of gasoline (3-4 gallons) can keep a 3500 watt generator running for about 12 to 18 hours at half-load capacity. This means that if you’re powering just your refrigerator and some lights during an outage or camping trip, you could potentially have enough power for almost an entire day.

However, keep in mind that larger appliances like air conditioners or electric stoves may consume more power and reduce runtime significantly.

How Many Amps Can You Run On A 3500 Watt Generator?

With a 3500-watt generator, you can run various appliances simultaneously. However, the number of amps the generator can support depends on the power requirements of those devices.

Typically, a 3500-watt generator can provide around 14 amps at 240 volts or 28 amps at standard 120-volt power. It’s essential to keep in mind that if your appliance’s wattage exceeds that of the generator’s capacity, it could overload and malfunction or cause potential safety hazards.

For instance, you can run a refrigerator (around seven amps) and some LED lights (less than one amp), but running other high-power tools or appliances will exceed its capacity.

Can A 3500-Watt Generator Run 24 Hours A Day?

It is not recommended to run a 3500-watt generator for 24 hours continuously. Doing so can cause harm to the engine and electrical components of the generator, leading to costly repairs or replacement.

To avoid overheating and equipment damage, it’s best to give your generator a break after running for several hours or as needed. Additionally, operating an air conditioning unit with your generator can overload the system and further reduce its lifespan.

It’s important to balance power consumption by turning off unnecessary equipment and appliances while using your 3500-watt generator.

Benefits Of Using A 3500 Watt Generator

Using a 3500-watt generator offers several benefits, including affordable operational costs, portability for easy transport, and the ability to run single or multiple appliances simultaneously.

Ideal For Running Single Or Multiple Appliances

I love my 3500-watt generator because it’s powerful enough to run multiple appliances simultaneously. It’s perfect for outdoor parties or camping with friends and family, where we need to power up the grill, electric heater, coffee maker, and sound system all at once.

I’ve also experienced a power outage during a storm that has affected our whole neighborhood, and my generator saved the day by keeping our refrigerator running smoothly along with some lights and chargers.

Another benefit of using a 3500-watt generator is its cost-effectiveness compared to standby generators that require expensive installation costs.

Affordable And Low Operational Cost

One of the biggest advantages of using a 3500-watt generator is its affordability and low operational cost. Compared to larger generators, a 3500-watt unit is much more affordable while still being able to power most medium-sized appliances in your home or RV.

For example, if you were to use a 3500-watt generator to power LED lights, phone chargers, and small kitchen appliances like a coffee maker or toaster, you could easily go several days without having to refuel the generator.

This not only saves money on fuel costs but also helps reduce your carbon footprint by conserving resources.

Dishwasher In Kitchen

Portable And Easy To Use

One of the biggest advantages of a 3500-watt generator is how portable and easy to use it is. They are designed to be compact, lightweight, and can easily fit in any storage space.

A portable generator like this can be moved around with ease and set up quickly when an emergency arises.

Another great thing about a 3500-watt generator is that they’re very user-friendly. Most models come with simple controls and clear instructions on how to operate them safely.

As long as you have a basic understanding of electrical current and mechanical energy, you’ll find using one of these generators quite straightforward.

How To Choose The Right 3500 Watt Generator

Consider your power requirements, noise level and fuel type when choosing a 3500-watt generator.

Power Requirements Of Your Home

To determine the power requirements of your home for a 3500-watt generator, you should take note of the appliances that need to be powered during an outage.

This means accounting for the refrigerator, lights, chargers, computers or laptops, TV system and air-conditioning or fan system in your living room. In addition to this, consider the appliances you might need in your kitchen such as a microwave oven, coffee maker and toaster.

You can also include some bedroom and office devices like small printers or televisions if necessary. Summing up all these wattages will give you an idea of how much total power draw is required from your generator to keep things running smoothly during a power outage.

Noise Level And Fuel Type

One of the most critical factors to consider when choosing a 3500-watt generator is its noise level. A loud generator can be frustrating to use and cause disturbances for your neighbors.

Inverter generators are known for being quieter than conventional generators, making them an excellent option for those who prioritize low noise levels.

Another factor to consider is fuel type. Gasoline, diesel, and propane are common fuels used in generators, each with its benefits and drawbacks. Gasoline is readily available but has a short shelf life and can be volatile in hot temperatures.

Diesel fuel is more stable than gasoline, but it emits more pollutants into the environment compared to other fuels. Propane burns cleanly but produces less power than gasoline or diesel per volume consumed.

Price And Warranty

As a customer, it’s important to consider the cost and warranty associated with any purchase, including a 3500-watt generator. Prices for these generators can vary depending on brand and model, but expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $1000.

When it comes to warranties, they also differ based on the manufacturer. For example, some brands like Generac offer a 2-year limited warranty while others have lifetime warranties available for their products.

As such, it’s recommended that you carefully read through the terms of each brand’s warranty agreement before making your final choice.

Champion Digital Hybrid 3500 Watt Generator


In conclusion, a 3500-watt generator can power a variety of appliances in your home and is an affordable option for emergency backup electricity or recreational activities.

However, it’s important to consider the total power draw of your appliances before selecting this size generator. Additionally, proper maintenance and fuel efficiency are crucial factors to ensure optimal performance.

With brands like Generac, WEN, and Westinghouse offering reliable options in the market today, finding the right 3500-watt generator that fits your specific needs is easier than ever before.


What household appliances can a 3500 watt generator power?

A 3500 watt generator can typically power most essential household appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, televisions, and microwaves. It may also be able to run some smaller air conditioners or power tools.

How long will a 3500-watt generator run on a single tank of fuel?

The runtime of a 3500-watt generator will depend on the load being used and the size of its fuel tank. Generally, you can expect it to run for around eight hours at half-load capacity before needing to be refueled.

Can I use my 3500-watt generator for outdoor activities like camping or tailgating?

Yes! A portable 3500 watt generator is perfect for powering your outdoor parties or camping trips. It can easily operate outdoor lights, music systems, small TVs and fans that require limited energy consumption.

Is it safe to connect my sensitive electronic devices directly to my 3500-watt generator output?

No! It’s not recommended to plug-in sensitive electronics directly into your generators’ output due to voltage fluctuations that could damage them over time or even pose safety risks in extreme cases – instead utilize surge protectors specifically designed for these types of situations which offer better insulation from electrical surges generated by uneven loads being placed upon high-amperage circuits – protecting your affected equipment & prolonging their overall lifespan in the process,

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Skyler is an outdoor adventurist and avid RV-Fan. He loves to explore the world and all its beauty, but he's just as happy relaxing at home with his family. His favorite pastime is taking weekend trips in his RV with his wife and kids, where they can get away from it all and enjoy nature. He’s also a self-proclaimed expert on all things portable generators and can often be found reviewing the latest models on our website.

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