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Can You Run a Space Heater on a Generator? Things to Know!

Written by Edwin Jones / Fact checked by Andrew Wright

can you run a space heater on a generator

During winter, many individuals depend on space heaters to keep them warm. However, during this time, we may also encounter sudden power losses, leading us to use generators. As a result, you might wonder, “Can you run a space heater on a generator?”

While it is possible, there are some important factors you need to consider to ensure the safe and efficient usage of your space heater. In this article, we will explore these factors as well as provide additional tips for using a space heater with a generator.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Generator for a Space Heater


Several factors must be considered when selecting a generator for space heater. Here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Generator’s Power Rating

The first thing you may want to consider is the generator’s power rating if you want to run your space heater on it. The space heater wattage for generator should not exceed the latter’s capacity as it may constantly shut down due to overloading.

I recommend starting with 2000 or 3000W, which should suffice for most units. You may go up to 5,000W and even higher if there are other devices running with the heater as well.

2. Size and Portability of the Generator


Another thing you may want to consider when choosing a generator is its size and weight. Normally, a big generator, such as a permanent backup generator, is sufficient to power all electronics in a house, including the space heater, for an extended period.

However, having a portable power station to run a space heater is also a fantastic option, especially if you need to move the generator frequently.

3. Fuel Type

Generators can run on various fuel types, including gasoline, propane, and diesel. Therefore, it is essential to consider the availability and cost of the fuel in your area and choose a generator that runs on a fuel type that is easily accessible and affordable.

4. Generator Price


Generators can vary in price depending on the size, features, and brand. Consider your budget and choose a generator that meets your requirements without breaking the bank.

What Size Generator Do I Need to Run a Space Heater?


The size of the generator to run space heater primarily depends on the wattage requirements of the heater.

To properly size a generator for your unit, you need to check the power rating of your heater and consider adding at least 500 watts of safety buffer. For example, a 2000 watt generator run a space heater with a 1500-watt rating.

However, if you want to use other devices while your space heater is running continuously, it would be best to consider a larger generator with a greater power capacity. Add all starting watts together and upsize by 200W or so for safety.

Safety Tips for Using a Space Heater on a Generator


If you want a space heater to use with generator, safety should always be your top priority. With that in mind, here are some tips you may follow:

  • Carbon monoxide fumes from the generator can be deadly, so keep the generator outside and away from the house.
  • Use a timer when the heater on or turn the generator off and unplug it when not in use to prevent accidents and save energy.
  • When refueling the generator, always turn it off first to prevent fire and explosions.
  • Keep children and pets away from the space heater and generator to prevent accidents, electrocution, and burns.
  • Keep the generator and space heater away from flammable materials such as curtains and fuel tanks to prevent the risk of fire.
  • Stay aware of early signs of problems such as burning smells, sparks, and more to prevent more significant damage.
  • Do not use portable generators in the rain or wet areas as water may cause electrical shock.

Related tips:

Power Generator vs. Solar Generator: Which is Better for a Space Heater


A solar generator provides clean and sustainable power. However, using it to run a space heater may not be sufficient for long as its charge primarily depends on good weather. At the same time, a power generator offers high energy to operate a space heater but uses costly fuel and makes noise.

In general, both power and solar generators may benefit you in different ways. Having them as comprehensive backup power solutions is an excellent measure to ensure that you have access to power no matter what the circumstances are.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can You Run an Electric Fireplace using a Generator?

Yes, a generator run an electric fireplace if it has enough power. As a result, checking the load requirements of an electric fireplace is essential for the proper sizing of the generator.

Can a Small Generator Power a Heater?

A small size generator to run electric heat appliances is possible. However, due to its limited power supply, it may also limit the size of the space heater you want to use. The setup may be only capable of powering low-wattage space heaters.

For instance, a 1000 watt generator can only provide enough power for a 750-watt unit.

Is there a Solar-Powered Heater Available for Camping?

Yes, it is possible to have a solar powered space heater for camping, which combines a portable tent space heater and a solar generator. However, a heater of this type is only appropriate for your camping needs and is not as effective as traditional units.


In summary, a generator can efficiently power a space heater, provided that you choose one which matches the heater’s power requirements. Furthermore, considering all the safety tips mentioned above while using a space heater can also help prevent any operation problems.

Remember, answering “can you run a space heater on a generator” primarily depends on both appliances’ power rating. In summary, a generator can efficiently operate a space heater, provided that it has enough fuel and wattage.

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