Can You Run a Mini Split on a Generator?

It’s been a particularly rough winter, and with the whipping winds and endless mountains of snow, you’ve had a lot of power outages. After the third time your home lost power in a month, you decided enough was enough and that you needed a generator.

You have a pretty good generator, and though it can’t power every last electronic and appliance throughout your home, it suffices for the important things like your laptop so you can continue working even in an outage.

Well, actually, it’s hard to work when your fingers are freezing cold (and the rest of you is too). You’d love to have some heat even if your house is in the dark, but you’re not sure if you can run your mini split on a generator? Can you?

Yes, you can! Here’s what you need to know.

Running a Mini Split on a Generator — The Importance of Wattage

While running a mini split on a generator is something that others have done and thus you can too, we want to stress there are no guarantees here. Generators come in all different sizes with accompanying wattages, and how much wattage you have available depends on whether you can power your mini split system.

For example, let’s say you have a teeny-tiny basic generator that can only produce 2,500 watts of power. Can that power a mini split?

Mini split output isn’t measured in wattage, but rather, British thermal units or BTUs. If you need an official definition, a BTU is how much heat is necessary to increase a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit when that water is at maximum density.

Fortunately, you don’t have to crunch some hardcore numbers to figure out how BTUs convert to watts. Instead, you can use a conversion calculator such as this one from RapidTables.

Based on that table, we can deduce that converting BTUs to watts produces a lower wattage than you might have initially thought. For example, 1 BTU is 0.293071 watts. At 10 BTUs an hour, your ductless mini split would use only 2.930710 watts.

If your unit requires 100 BTU an hour, that’s 29.307107 watts per hour. Even if your ductless mini split runs on 1,000 BTUs an hour, that converts to 293.071070 watts. The most monstrous mini splits that use 10,000 BTUs an hour do need significant wattage, 2,930.710700 watts.

Okay, so let’s go back to our example from before. You have a generator that only runs on 2,500 watts. Could you use it to power on your ductless mini split? If your mini split runs on less than 10,000 BTUs, then yes you can!

Need a Mini Split System? Call PowerSave AC

Finding the right ductless mini split system is easy when you shop through PowerSave AC. Our single-zone and multi-zone mini splits are ideal for homes and commercial offices big and small. Make sure to use our wattage calculator so you buy a mini split with enough wattage for your generator!