Hooking a generator to A/C???


Old 06-28-05, 05:44 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 40
Hooking a generator to A/C???

I live down here in South Florida and in anticipation of another hurricane that knocks out the electricity, I bought a Coleman Powermate 6250W generator. So now I can supply juice to my fridge and not have to worry about everything going bad.

The 2nd worst thing when the power goes off is that the heat skyrockets to a humid 80-90 degrees inside the house. Is there any (safe) way to hook up the central A/C unit?

Many thanks in advance,
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Old 06-28-05, 06:26 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You do not have a large enough generator for your central AC unit.
Old 06-28-05, 06:42 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Hamilton County, Ohio
Posts: 4,296
If it were me, I'd look at a 5,000 - 7,000 BTU window unit for a back up. You may be limited to one or two cool rooms but that beats nothing.

I recently saw an ad for a portable, roll around unit that had a flex tube to mount in the window to exhaust the heat from the heat exchanger. It could be stored in a closet or shed when not needed.
Old 06-29-05, 08:43 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: CA
Posts: 2,041
PLEASE remember this: It is OK to plug in a refrigerator or even a small room air conditioner, to a gererator. But any connection of the generator to your house wiring is a different matter all together. It is ILLEGAL to do this without permits and most important a proper bus transfer device. Doing so risks killing little johnny across down the street or utility workers in the next block.

As mentioned before, your central AC is probably too large a load for your generator, and you would have to either do the transfer switch I mentioned, or jury rig a connector for the AC. Makes much more sense ( and costs less) to have a couple of 5000 to 7000 btu units stored away which you could put in a window temporarily.
Old 07-03-05, 08:21 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 72
I have one of those portable air conditioner units on wheels because I needed more cooling in a home office and a window unit wasn't acceptable. (It would stick out the front window of my house... UGLY!)

While I love my portable A/C unit, they are more expensive than a standard window unit. Having survived through several hurricanes myself, I would just go for a cost-effective standard window unit. In my opinion, given the frequency you hope to use the backup unit, I personally don't think the extra cost is worth it for the portable. That is, assuming you are physically able to install the unit. The portable style unit would be perfect for Grandma Betty or someone who isn't supposed to lift heavy items.

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