Air conditioners are not considered luxury products anymore. With an ever-changing global climate, they have become a necessity in every household. And if the presence of air conditioners in every home has become indispensable, what about the energy needed to power them? Can you really rely upon the federal government or your private electricity company to distribute uninterruptedly, especially during the hot summer months?
According to the US Energy Information Administration, in 2016, Americans experienced an average of 1.3 interruptions and went without power for four hours. Hence, even if you live in a developed nation, you are still prone to sudden interruptions in the electric power supply.
In fact, heat waves create a higher demand for electricity during summer, making power outages during the hot months more likely to happen as compared to the winter. That’s why you should never leave the availability of electric power at your home to chance. And instead, you should get yourself a generator, one that is reliable, powerful, and durable.
Buying the right generator for your 5000 BTU air conditioner is a task that requires in-depth research and time. We’ve done that hard work for you, and here is a curated list of the best generator for your 5000 BTU air conditioner.
1. Duromax XP4400EH 4400 Watt Portable Generator
This generator is a giant. We are not talking about its size or weight, though these are relatively higher than other generators. We’re calling it a giant in terms of power output. It offers a jaw-dropping running watt of 3500 capable of power, not only your 5000 BTU air conditioner but an entire RV (recreational vehicle) or a small house for hours.
The XP4400EH from Duromax is armed with a 210 cubic meters engine. There is an embedded voltmeter in its power panel as well. With dual fuel features and its competitive price tag, it is hard not to rank it high on our preferred list of the best generators for your 5000 BTU air conditioner.
- Great for RV owners
- Can fuel on either propane or gasoline
- Capable of supporting tons of other appliances other than your air condition
- Comes with an embedded voltmeter
- Relatively heavy
2. Durostar DS4000S Portable Generator
The DS4000S from Durostar is a portable generator capable of supplying 3300 watts of running output. Its 208 cubic meters engine can support many of your household demands simultaneously. It comes with two 120 Volts outlets. At its very competitive price, Durostar offers a 4-year protection option when buying.
And despite its relatively heavyweight of 94 pounds, the DS4000S more than makes up for the weight by offering an environmentally friendly generator that complies with both the EPA and the CARB regulations. Moreover, it can shut itself off when it goes low on oil.
- Has a whopping 3,300 running watts
- Automatically shuts itself off when low on oil
- Environmentally friendly (follow EPA and CARB compliant)
- Comes with an embedded voltmeter
- Heavy compared to other generators
3. WEN 5600i 2000-Watt Inverter Generator
This portable 2000 watt generator from WEN weighs 48 pounds while empty and just 57 pounds while full of oil and gas. With a fuel tank capacity of 1 gallon, it has a runtime of 9.4 hours at 25% load. Its 79.7 cubic centimeters engine gives you 2000 surge watts and 1600 running watts at a quiet low noise level of just 53 dBA.
The WEN 5600i has an eco-mode feature. With a single click, you can command the engine to automatically adjust its fuel consumption and make it more efficient. Its long runtime and impressive eco-mode feature make it a preferred choice among many van lovers who run their 5000 BTU air conditioners inside while on tours.
- Great backup generator for long-lasting outages
- Easily starts with one or two pulls at most
- Lightweight even when full of gas and necessary oil
- Might produce slightly more noise than what is advertised
4. Westinghouse iGen2200 Inverter Generator
The iGen2200 from Westinghouse is a lightweight, 46 pounds generator with a surge power output of 2200 watts and a running power output of 1800 watts. It is an extremely quiet generator with a low noise level of52 dBA. In addition to your 5000 BTU air conditioner, it is capable of running other miscellaneous gadgets in your home.
It has one of the best runtime capabilities on the market today: an impressive 12 hours on its 1.2 gallons fuel tank. The iGen2200 runs on gas. Its economy mode feature offers you a lasting power output with efficient energy consumption.
- Long runtime compared to the competition
- Parallel capable using the Westinghouse parallel cord
- A 4-year protection option when buying
- The carburetor needs cleaning out of the box
5. Champion Power Equipment 100692 Inverter Generator
This is an ultralight generator, weighing only 39.5 pounds. It comes with a clip-on parallel kit, allowing you to connect it with another generator for extra power. It is quiet as well, with a noise level of 58 dBA from 23 feet.
This portable generator runs on gas or propane. It comes with a dial selector, which you can use to switch back and forth between either one of your favorite energy reserves. When running on gas, the LCD screen keeps you on top of your reserve levels by telling you, in real-time, how much is left in the tank.
- Super quiet
- Innovative design
- Dual fuel and a one-click switch option
- Requires several attempts to start on propane
- The gas gauge might have a short life-span
6. Powermate PM2000 49ST/CSA P0080900 Gas Generator
This gasoline-only generator from Powermate has an impressive runtime of 14 hours at a 25% load of its 2.25 tank fuel capacity. It is a preferred generator for many first-time buyers and newbies in general. Its fuel gauge allows you to be on top of your remaining gasoline in the tank.
The Powermate PM2000 comes with 2000 surge watts and 1400 running watts. It has an impressive engine displacement of 98 cubic centimeters. And at a very competitive price tag, it is unbeatable.
- Easy to set up and use, making it a perfect choice for amateurs
- Long runtime of 14 hours
- Big fuel reserves tank of 2.25 tank
- Keeps you updated about the current fuel levels
- A couple of customers complained about the actual running wattage being slightly lower than advertised
7. Honda 662220 EU2200i Generator
The Honda EU2200i comes as a successor to the beloved EU2000i inverter generator by Honda aficionados around the world. This portable generator comes with 200 more watts than its predecessor. The fuel shut-off valve, which had been a long-time demand from customers, has finally been satisfied with this EU2200i model.
This 46-pound portable generator is part of the Super Quiet Series by Honda. It comes with an innovative design that includes color-coded startup points. The EU2200i has a tank capacity of 0.95 gallons and an engine displacement of 121 cubic centimeters.
- Runs smoothly on propane
- Can power other home gadgets in addition to your 5000 BTU air conditioner
- Can be paralleled with another generator for double the power output
- Might need frequent oil changes
- Needs a funnel to get rid of oil
8. Mech Marvels MM2000I Portable Generator
With a weight of 46 pounds and a competitive price tag, this generator is an uprising competitor among portable generators. And, while few customers had complained about missing items when shipped to them, they swear by the support team of Mech Marvelous, whose quick response to calls and emails and whose guidance and tips have more than made up for the occasional mishaps.
- Easy setup in few minutes
- Can be paralleled with another generator for extra power output
- Great for van lovers and enthusiasts
- Few customers have complained that the noise is louder than what had been specified by the manufacturer
How Big of a Generator Do You Need for a 5000 BTU Air Conditioner?
How powerful must your generator be? The answer depends on how energy-efficient your air conditioner is. Most manufacturers usually include current-voltage (in Volts), and intensity (in Amperes) needed to power the air conditioner either on the product itself, in the user manual, or both. Multiply the voltage by the intensity (x Amperes X y Volts = z Watts) to get the power required in Watts.
However, if you can’t find any of these metrics, then you should look for the EER rating of your 5000 BTU air conditioner. EER is an acronym that stands for
Energy Efficiency Rating. You can use this variable, which often has a value between 8 and 12, to determine how much power is required for your air conditioner. The higher the EER rating, the better, because a higher value means that your 5000 BTU air conditioner requires less power to turn on and to keep on working.
To get the required Watts to power your air conditioner, simply divide the BTU cooling capacity (in our case 5000 BTU) by the value of the EER rating (e.g., 5000 BTU / 10 EER = 500 Watts). In practice, however, air conditioners need more power to be turned on than to be kept working. That’s why, even when you determine the minimal required Watts, you should aim for buying a generator that is slightly more powerful than the value you’ve calculated.
Generally, aim for a Voltage value of 115 Volts because most 5000 BTU air conditioners on the market require such a voltage.
You should consider buying a generator that runs on propane because it is generally more accessible and cleaner than gasoline.
1. What is the difference between an inverter generator and a portable generator?
An inverter generator produces AC from DC, making it more energy-efficient than its portable counterparts.
On the other hand, portable generators are dependent on external fuel—which is often gas, propane, or diesel.
2. How many watts should I aim for when buying a generator for my 5000 BTU air conditioner?
Depending on the EER rating of your air conditioner, you might need a minimum running watt of 1500.
3. Can I power other gadgets along with the air conditioner using one of the listed generators?
Depending on how many gadgets and how demanding they are, both the Durostar and Duromax will serve you well.
You may think that a mere 5000 BTU air conditioner requires a small 500 or 600 watts generator to run. It is not the case, and although there is no one-fits-all answer to the minimum power required, each air conditioner is unique and different in terms of its power and voltage demands. In any case, buying a generator that has a voltage less than 115 Volts or a power output of fewer than 1500 watts is a risky choice; chances are, it may not be able to run your 5000 BTU air conditioner.
We recommend that you purchase a generator that has multiple fuel options. In this way, if one energy resource becomes scarce, you always have the option of going for another—such as the abundant and widely available propane.
Also, keep an eye for how energy efficient the generator is, and try to base your buying choice on a combination of price competitiveness, energy efficiency, and multiple fuel capability.