What Size Generator to Run 5 Ton AC Unit?

A 5-ton ac is primarily for large residential or commercial spaces. However, its large size and capacity can also cover a massive area. You can expect to run a 5-ton air conditioner for 2500 to 3500 square feet of space for the best cooling effect.

Since the air conditioner is a large one, it also needs considerable electricity to run correctly. So, it brings a crucial question in front of us, “What size generator to run 5 ton ac unit to back it up?”

You will need a large generator to power up the air conditioner during power cuts. Usually, an air conditioner with 5 tons capacity will have 4000W to 8000W of electricity consumption. Its amp rating is between 16 to 35 amps. So, you will need the 12000W to 20000W power of the generator for the air conditioner.

Keeping this in mind, we have researched the market for generators for 5-ton air conditioners. Thus, you will find the wattage requirement of the air conditioner and the two best generator recommendations for the unit too.

How Big Of A Generator To Run A 5 Ton Ac Unit

You will need a power AC if you have to cover a large residential or commercial area for the best air conditioning effect. Regarding this, a 5-ton AC can be an excellent investment for medium to large homes, offices, businesses, and commercial locations.

This air conditioner can quickly generate up to 60000BTU of thermal capacity. Therefore, it is adequate to regulate the temperature of ample space. Yes, an air conditioner with a 5-ton size and 60000BTU thermal facility will easily cover 2500 to 3500 square feet of space. So, it is an excellent investment for luxury and comfort at home or in commercial areas.

However, the problem starts with frequent load shedding in your locality, and you have to back up the air conditioner. For this, you will need a large and powerful generator. So, what size generator is for 5 ton air conditioner?

Firstly, you need to find the electricity requirement of the air conditioner. For example, an air conditioner with a 10EER rating will require 6000W on average. Remember that the EER rating for air conditioners refers to Energy Efficient Ratio. Therefore, the higher the EER rating for a generator, the lower its electricity consumption is.

Long story short, a generator with 5 tons capacity and 10EER rating runs at 6000W mostly. Also, at 250V cable, it will need 25 Amps from the service panel. Therefore, you will need a generator with at least 8000W running electricity production capacity to run the generator. However, remember that the air conditioner will start at much higher electricity. It is the starting electricity of the device.

As per our research, a 5-ton AC starts at 10000W at least. So, you will need a generator with at least a 10000W running capacity for these air conditioners. It is enough to power up a generator with a 16 to 34 Amps rating with a 240V circuit. On top of it, many 5-ton ACs have 60000BTU capacity. So, for this large air conditioner, you must use a 20KW capacity generator.

Best Generator for 5 Ton Ac Unit

Now, you should clearly know how much electricity your 5 ton air conditioner will require during power cuts. So, it’s time to look for the best generator for 5 ton air conditioner so the device keeps running during power cuts.

Unfortunately, finding the right generator with such massive capacity isn’t an easy one. You must carefully select the proper size generator for 5-ton AC and ensure it fits your budget. Also, you must consider the volts of the circuit, its backup time, etc. We will elaborate on them later.

Here, we recommend the top two generators to run 5-ton AC. These two generators will ensure that the air conditioner can run for at least 8 hours. It should be enough power

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen6000 Portable Generator

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen6000 Portable Generator

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The WGen6000 is a high-quality portable generator for residential uses. If you plan to provide energy to the 5-ton ac, this generator with 7500W peak capacity and 6000W running capacity will be an excellent investment. Plus, you can only switch on the generator with a press with an electric start. It makes your generator management easy and convenient.

You will get a 420CC OHV engine for the generator. It is one of the top engines for generators. The engine is fuel-efficient, so it will run for a longer time with minimal fuel. Also, the 4-stroke motor has cast iron sleeves. You can manage the engine when it wears out by replacing its sleeves only. It will reduce your maintenance cost on the generator superbly.

The Powerhouse Generator runs for up to 13 hours on a 6.6 gallon (25L) tank of gas. So, you will get around a half-day back up from the generator to run your 5-ton AC. Also, it includes an automatic low oil shutdown for safety purposes. It will protect the generator and air conditioner from unwanted trip-overs due to low voltage and power. Moreover, it is also equipped with GFCI household plugs. The L14-30R plug comes ready to connect straight to your home for total control; there’s no need for extension cords or power strips. This plug-and-play option will indeed increase using convenience of the generator.

Furthermore, the intuitive control panel was designed with functionality in mind. It features the VFT Data Center to share real-time updates on maintenance information. This makes it easy to care for the WGen6000 and ensures a long life with lasting utility.

Next, the hardened steel frame is designed to protect this generator, with added roll bars to allow for easy transport. The foam grip handle makes it comfortable to carry the unit, with never-flat wheels built into the frame. So, you can hold the rubber grip and start moving the generator quickly. Its pneumatic tires make it easy for you to move the generator, a fun task. Plus, its rubber outlet covers provide added protection from the environment.

Lastly, with three years of warranty and lifetime technical support for maintenance, this generator is perfect for everyone. You can easily take it for minor to significant repair if necessary. It also cuts your maintenance costs on the excellent generator.


  • Energy efficiency with 13 hours of possible backup capacity
  • 3 years of extended warranty for parts and maintenance
  • Remote and electric start for easy switching on the facility
  • Easy to move with never-flat wheels and handles with a grip
  • Quick convertibility between 120V and 240V with receptacles


  • Only usable for air conditioners or other small appliances
  • It generates slight noise

Generac GP8000E Portable Generator

Generac GP8000E Portable Generator

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The GP8000E is one of the most reliable generators on the market. It features an engine made by Generac’s parent company, Briggs & Stratton. For this reason, it has the same quality and reliability as other models in that line. Long story short, you can depend on this generator to power up your 5-ton AC during hurricanes, storms, or other emergencies.

The generator has 10000W of peak capacity with 8000W of running capacity. It is enough for a 5 ton AC running at 34 or less Amp rating. So, you should face no problem running the air conditioner with this generator. However, we don’t recommend using the generator for ACs with 60000BTU thermal capacity. It won’t be able to provide backup to such large ACs.

You’ll always be ready for an unexpected outage with the plug-in battery. The OHV engine and the large fuel tank allow this generator to run for up to 11 hours at 50% load. You may also lower the load to 25% to run the generator for an extended period. It is only suggested during hurricanes when there will be no electricity in your region for days.

Furthermore, at just 198 pounds, this generator is highly portable. You can easily transport the generator from one place to another with its never-flat tires. The rugged tires combine with firmly gripped handles for quick portability. Besides its portability, this generator has solid construction too.

A portable generator can power lights and appliances in harsh or rugged environments. This generator is equipped with outlets that are protected by a door for protection from the elements. So, you can expect the generator to run for an extended period, even in the harshest environment.

The generator is equipped with a low-oil sensor and auto-shutoff feature to protect against damage. So, the machine switches off the engine when it finds the oil level below its recommended level. It is a great safety feature for the generator to stop it from unwanted damage. Furthermore, the generator has steel-tube cradles with 1.25 inches of thickness for further longevity. This steel cradle improves the overall resilience and strength of the unit supremely.

Lastly, it has a maintenance alert. So, you will get rid of off-guard conditions to run the device.


  • Quick plug-and-play option with rubber covers on all outlets
  • Strong and resilient design for use in the most demanding condition
  • Quick portability with foldable handle and never-flat tires
  • Easy maintenance with a home-alert system for better safety


  • Not meant for large appliances
  • Slightly expensive generator
  • No remote start facility

What to Look For When Buying a Generator for 5 Ton AC?

When you’re looking for the best generator for your 5-ton ac unit, there are a few things you have to consider. For starters, what is the size of your current unit? Next, you need to know how much power it takes to run your unit.

What do you plan on using the generator for? If you want to use it during emergencies or power outages, you need one with an inverter that can convert 120 volts into 240 volts. This will allow you to use any machine that runs on electricity.

So, here’re the top considerations for the generator for 5 ton AC.

  • Its running load should never be below 6000W. Or else it can never power up the air conditioner.
  • The generator should be able to run at both 120V and 240V lines. It will make the generator easy to use on any cables for the AC.
  • Always look at the fuel of the generator. Does it run on gasoline, natural gas, or propane? Ideally, a generator with dual-fuel running capacity will be the best investment for the air conditioner.
  • The generator should run for at least 8 hours. If the generator has a smaller fuel tank and shorter runtime, you should avoid it.
  • Finally, consider the pricing of the generator. It is vital because generators for 5 ton ACs can be expensive. So, compare multiple units to select the best value-for-money generator for 5 ton AC.

Although there’re other essential considerations too, these top five facts are crucial. Thus, you mustn’t ignore these points if you want the best performance from the generator.


No doubt, a 5 ton air conditioner is an excellent investment for the best temperature regulation. But, identically, it is a powerful appliance and requires a large generator to run successfully. So, what size generator to run 5 ton AC unit?

Technically, a generator with at least 12000W capacity is enough to run the air conditioner. However, you may even choose generators with 12KW running capacity if you are on a tight budget. Henceforth, we considered the top facts for generators for 5 tons of air conditioner and recommended you the top two choices. You will appreciate the power-pack performance of these two generators.

As we conclude the discussion, we recommend you consider the actual thermal capacity of the generator to choose the best option. It will yield the best and most extended performance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How many watts does it take to run a 5 ton air conditioner?

A 5-ton air conditioner generally requires around 5,000 to 7,000 watts to run.

How big of a generator do I need to run a 5 ton AC?

To run a 5-ton air conditioner, you’ll typically need a generator with a minimum capacity of around 6,000 to 8,000 watts to handle the startup surge and continuous operation efficiently. However, it’s crucial to check the specific power requirements of your air conditioner model to ensure you select a generator with adequate capacity.

How big of a generator do I need to run a 5 ton AC?

When selecting a generator size, consider factors such as the starting (surge) wattage and running (continuous) wattage of the AC unit, as well as any additional appliances or equipment you plan to power simultaneously.

Are there any specific generator features I should look for when running a 5-ton AC unit?

Look for generators with features such as automatic voltage regulation (AVR) to ensure stable power output, as well as built-in overload protection and low-oil shutdown for added safety and reliability when running sensitive equipment like an AC unit.

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