What Size Generator To Run 5 Ton AC Unit?

5 ton AC unit is one of the biggest that can be powered by a generator.

A 5 ton AC unit generates an outstanding 60,000 BTU of cooling power. This is enough to cool down up to 3000 square feet home.

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

5 ton AC wattage can be anywhere between 4,000W to 8,000W. That’s between 16 and 34 Amps (240V circuit).

It gets tricky when we try to determine the size of a generator that can run a 5 ton AC unit.

The key thing is to figure out the overall wattage of such a big air conditioner. Here are 3 simple ways you can do that:

  1. Check the specification sheet for Power (measured in Watts).
  2. Check the specification sheet for the EER rating. We can calculate wattage by dividing BTUs with EER rating; i.e. 60,000 BTU / 10 EER = 6,000W.
  3. Check the specification sheet for the current (I, measured in Amps) and voltage (V, measured in Volts). We can calculate wattage by multiplying current with voltage; i.e., 25 Amps * 240V = 6,000W.

An average 5-ton air conditioner (with 10 EER rating) will run on 6,000 W.

Such a 5-ton air conditioner will use 25 Amps at 240V.

Examples of 60,000 BTU units are 4-zone mini-splits and 5-zone mini-split air conditioners.

6,000 W Generator For 5 Ton AC Unit

For most 5-ton air conditioners, 6,000 W power generators will be more than enough. Of course, we also need to think about the start-up wattage. Because these AC units need a lot of power, the safe choice is to get a generator that can handle at least 7,000 W start-up wattage.

The best – and most popular – 5-ton AC unit generator is the Westinghouse WGen6000. It’s a 6,000W generator that can deliver up to 7,500W of power; perfect for a 5-ton air conditioner.

Westinghouse WGen6000
Westinghouse WGen6000 is the most popular 6,000W generator for a 5-ton AC unit. You can get it here.

This will be more than enough to run a powerful air conditioner optimally.

2 thoughts on “What Size Generator To Run 5 Ton AC Unit?”

  1. So, for start up calculations you wouldn’t use the LRA rating for the amperage value of a condenser unit? Using the above method, a 48kV generator would be sufficient for six (5-ton) units?

    • Hello Miles, you’re correct; LRA rating is not used for a start up calculation. 48kW generator will run 6 units if they don’t surpass 8000W per unit (usually 5-ton units need about 6000W of power).


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