Can you Run a Space Heater On a Generator? (ONLY if…)

A space heater is a quick solution to hard and chilled weather conditions. These heating units are one of the most comfortable and affordable electronic devices that provide instant heat to warm the atmosphere.

But what if your area experiences more than usual power outages? Will you still be able to use space heaters to stay warm?

Yes, of course you can, and this is possible only with a generator.

A generator can provide enough power to a space heater to run efficiently during a power outage. Generators are designed to keep electronic appliances running uninterruptedly. Besides space heaters, you can plug in other devices like refrigerators, coffee makers, and other electronic devices depending on the generator’s power.

In this article, we will let you know whether you can run a space heater on a generator or not. We will also talk about the right size of generator you need to run a space heater and the necessary safety tips that you should follow to stay safe. Keep reading to know everything related to operating a space heater on a generator.

Can you Run a Space Heater On a Generator?

Can you Run a Space Heater On a Generator


Yes, you can run a space heater on a generator. Power outages during cold weather conditions can get extremely annoying because of the dependency on a heating device. Space heaters are great alternatives to keep a house warm during chilled weather, but as soon as the power goes out, these devices are left with no capacity to emit heat. This is when generators come into action.

A lot of people doubt whether they can run a space heater on a generator or not. To this, we would like you to know that you can run a space heater on a generator, provided you have bought the generator with enough power capacity.

Generally, most space heaters consume 1500 watts of power, and for safe operations, you’ll need at least a 2000-watt generator. The extra 500-watt safety buffer ensures your device doesn’t blow off during power fluctuations.

What Size Generator you Need to Run a Space Heater?

What Size Generator you Need to Run a Space Heater

You’ll need a 2000-watt generator to run a general space heater efficiently.

As explained, on average a space heater uses 1500 watts of power to run efficiently. To operate this device using a generator, you’ll need a 2000-watt generator to reduce the risk of blowing fuses during power fluctuations.

There can be several reasons accountable for power fluctuation that might include using an extension or adjusting the temperature settings of the device. Therefore, a 2000-watt generator will capably handle a 1500-watt heater.

However, a 2000-watt generator can only handle a space heater at a time. This means you will not be able to use any other electronic appliance if you have plugged a 1500-watt space heater into a 2000-watt generator.

So, what would you do if you want to simultaneously use an additional electronic item?

Well, in this case, you will have to adjust and reduce the power consumption of the space heater. For instance, you pull it down to 750-watt usage, and now you would have close to 750-watt power idle to plug in other electronic items like a refrigerator, coffee maker, etc. Notably, space heaters on lower power settings won’t be able to heat an entire room.

Will a 2000 Watt Generator Run a Space Heater?

Yes, a 2000-watt generator can easily run a space heater.

If you are planning to buy a 2000-watt generator and are confused about what items it can support, then you’ll be glad to know that a 2000-watt generator can run any small household effortlessly. Similarly, it can conveniently support a space heater to keep your home warm during chilly weather conditions.

Let’s understand the technicality behind this;

So, the energy requirements of a space heater are as follows;

  • Most space heaters on average use 1500 running watts (amount of power needed by the device to run efficiently)
  • Most space heaters on average use 1500 starting watts (amount of power required by the appliance to start the motor)

Therefore, a space heater can be easily operated with a 2000-2400 starting-watt generator. All you have to ensure is reading the details imprinted on the space heater to check its energy requirements.

Will a 1000 Watt Generator Run a Space Heater?

Yes, a 1000-watt generator can run a space heater, provided the space heater is of a maximum of 750-watt.

To run a space heater using a generator, you need to primarily know the wattage of the space heater. The power of a generator should always be greater than that of the space heater so that the electronic units don’t trip during power fluctuation.

Most space heaters capable of heating a medium-sized room run on a minimum of 1500-watt power. To make this unit run efficiently during the power outage, you’ll need a generator of at least 2000-watt power.

However, if you have a 1000-watt generator, you can still power up your space heater, provided you reduce its heat setting to not more than 750-watt.

Can a Small Generator Power a Space Heater?

Yes, a small generator can power a space heater.

Using a small generator to power a heater is possible, provided that the electricity consumption of the space heater is lesser than the generator’s power.

However, the same can be risky as small generators won’t be able to provide enough power to most space heaters, and this might lead to blowing of the fuse.

So, make sure to check the power requirement of your space heater before plugging it into the generator.

How Many Watts Does a Space Heater Pull from a Generator?

The amount of watts needed to run a space heater depends on the power needed to run the device.

For instance, a 1500-watt space heater will need a 2000-watt generator to work effectively.

On the other hand, a 750-watt space heater will require at least a 1000-watt generator.

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Safety Tips: Things to Consider Before Running a Space Heater on a Generator?

Using a generator to run electric space heater can get risky at various times. Therefore, you need to be excessively alert while putting your space heater on a generator. Let us look at some safety tips that’ll keep you safe and unharmed.

Never place the generator indoors

Keeping the generator outdoors is one of the most important safety precautions you should follow. Generators produce carbon monoxide, and keeping them out in open air is essential to avoid suffocation or other fire hazards.

Furthermore, keeping the generators away from doors, windows, vents, and other house openings is vital to prevent fire accidents.

Always use thick, high-quality heavy duty extension cords

Although using extension cords is labelled as risky, especially when you plug your space heater into your home’s wall outlet.

However, using extension cords becomes mandatory with generators because you are advised to keep the generator outdoors for optimum safety.

In this case, always use high-quality heavy duty extension cords, which can bear the load of the electronic device efficiently.

Use heater only under supervision

Keeping the space heater on while you are sleeping or out of the house is one of the riskiest things to attempt. Therefore, it is advised that you should always switch off the heater before leaving your house or going off to sleep.

This implies with the generators as well. Generators and heaters are potentially dangerous, and you must be excessively careful with these units. Never leave these devices unattended.

Use a generator with a minimum 2000-watt power

Low-power generator will be of no use as it can only plug in your space heater in its lowest heat setting.

In addition, a low-power generator could lead to the blowing of the fuse, and it might also cause damage to the heating unit. Therefore, if you want to protect your heating device, buy a 2000-watt generator at least.

Do not plug your heater before switching on the generator

Always start your generator first and then plug in the space heater to avoid damage to the device. In addition, if you are changing the device’s power settings, do it patiently to avoid instant energy supply.

Maintain distance from the generator

You should maintain a 2-3 feet distance from the generator when its on. Generators emit carbon monoxide, and you should stay away from these devices when they are working.

Unplug other unnecessary electrical appliances

When you have plugged your space heater into the generator, unplug other electronic devices to avoid overloading the generator. On the other hand, to avoid overloading the circuit or overheating the wires, turn the space heater off at regular intervals.

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Concluding Thoughts

Using a generator to run space heater is quite common, and so are its drawbacks and risks. Access to a generator is nothing less than bliss because you get an opportunity to stay warm even during a power outage. But it comes with a lot of responsibilities, too.

Generators can provide instant power to your space heater, but you should be careful while using them. Most importantly, keep your kids and pets away from the generators and never keep these generators indoors.

In addition, generators emit carbon monoxide, which makes it essential to install smoke alarms inside the house.

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