Whenever the name bounce house pops into our mind, we imagine an inflated castle-looking balloon where we can bounce our worries away.
However, once you try to set up an actual bounce house for your kid’s birthday party or for any other reason in your courtyard, you will realize it takes tons of procedure and maintenance to set up a bounce house. The most important on the list? Electricity.
Do Bouncy Castles Require Power?
Yes, the easy answer is YES! A bouncy castle is driven by an electric fan that constantly pumps air into the inflatable, with surplus air exiting via the seams.
However, there are two types of “inflatables” which are sealed air units that are generally not intended to be bounced on. This includes Nerf War walls, trampoline inflatable surrounds, and paintball barriers. And “continuous flow units.”
This includes all types of bouncy castles as well as the majority of inflatables designed to be bounced on. The pump is connected to your castle through an inflation line at the back and continuously pumps air into your bouncy castle.
Mains Power or Generator Power
A bouncy castle’s fan can be powered by either 240V mains power or a generator.
Generators offer the advantage of supplying power to the castle wherever it is needed. This is ideal if your party, wedding, or event is taking place in the midst of a field.
Unfortunately, using a generator is a bit of a pain. There is a greater danger of a generator failing, as well as an increase in fuel costs and noise.
You’ll also need to keep an eye on the fuel level and top it off as needed to ensure it doesn’t run out. Of course, if that happens, the inflatable will start to deflate. Generators grow hot as well, therefore they must be cooled.
Mains power is significantly more dependable, less expensive, and far safer. The only disadvantage of using generators is that you must be within 50 meters of mains electricity, which may be tough if you are in the middle of a field surrounded by nothing.
However, for your convenience, we will discuss both options. Starting up with mains power.
How Much Power Do Bounce Houses Consume?
The majority of bounce houses with blowers run on 115 volts and are rated between seven and fourteen amps. If you use an inflatable with a 2HP 14-amp blower, you may overload a 15-amp breaker, increasing your risk of tripped breakers throughout the day.
This is why it’s critical to understand the various sizes of bounce house blowers. Smaller bounce houses use 1HP blowers, medium-sized or combo inflatable houses use 1.5HP blowers, and bigger, obstacle-course bounce houses use 2HP blowers.
Larger bounce houses, in general, will require more air to be forced into the unit in order to stay inflated. As a result, a larger bounce house may have a slew of blowers to get the proper amount of air inside for it to be safe and usable.
A tiny 1HP blower can cost around $0.13 per hour, a 1.5HP blower can cost around $0.15 per hour, and a 2HP blower can cost around $.022 per hour. So, in general, the cost of running a bounce house is roughly $1.28 each day.
Small to Mid-Size Bouncer
|Motor||1 HP Blower|
|Wheel Speed||3460 RPM|
|Max Air Volume||1170 CFM|
Mid-Size to Large Combo
|Motor||1.5 HP Blower|
|Wheel Speed||3460 RPM|
|Max Air Volume||1290 CFM|
|Cost / Hour||$0.14/h|
Big Bounce House With Obstacle Courses
|Motor||2 HP Blower|
|Wheel Speed||3460 RPM|
|Max Air Volume||1430 CFM|
|Cost / Hour||$0.22/h|
Is It Necessary To Plug In My Bounce House?
Unless you’re dealing with a little bounce house that doesn’t require regular air pumping through the device and can be readily sealed, you should plug your bounce house in.
In order to inflate a bounce house, it must be plugged in. Aside from that, it must be powered continuously to ensure that the bounce house is ready to use throughout the day.
When you acquire an inflatable from a reputable bounce house manufacturer, you’ll note that it comes with a 115-volt blower. This blower can be plugged into your home’s electrical unit, but if a plug is not accessible, you can use a generator that delivers the necessary voltage.
Factors Influencing the Cost of Inflatable Usage
There are a few criteria we can utilize to give you an idea of how much it costs to run an inflatable without purchasing your own electrical usage meter.
1. Inflatable Dimensions
Larger inflatables will require more power to maintain upright than smaller ones. As a result, a four-foot inflatable will consume less energy than a twelve-foot inflatable.
2. Animated vs. Static
If you have an animated yard inflatable, it will consume more electricity to make the motions happen.
3. Rates of Electricity
You’ll need to look at your electricity bill to find your current rate, which should be listed in xx cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The national average in the United States is 12 cents, so we’ll use that figure in calculations.
4. Time of Use
The frequency with which you run your inflatable throughout the day will obviously have the greatest impact on how much energy it consumes.
Is It Necessary for You to Keep the Castle Running Throughout the Party?
Your bouncy castle must be plugged in and turned on if you want your kids to bounce on it. You can turn off the bouncy castle if you want the kids to eat, sing happy birthday, or play games.
Asking the kids to leave the castle and then asking them again would be our recommended strategy. Eventually, you’ll only have the most stubborn ones left, so you’ll have to be tough!
One adult should then stand in front of the castle to prevent youngsters from climbing back in.
We suggest one adult waits at the front of the castle to make sure no children climb back on, while another adult unplugs it at the back.
You just have to reverse this process when you’re ready to re-inflate the castle. Make sure no kids climb on the castle until it reaches full operational pressure, which takes 30-60 seconds depending on the size.
What Happens If You Lose Power?
If your power source is disrupted, your first priority should be to remove everyone from the castle as quickly and peacefully as possible.
One of the safety characteristics of current castles is that they maintain a minimum of 60 percent inflated for 60 seconds after power is removed, giving guests enough time to securely exit the inflatable.
If there is a power outage, the castle will not collapse on top of anyone bouncing; instead, it will sustain little inflation. Once everyone has left the castle, it is preferable to disconnect it until the power is restored and the cause of the outage is determined.
What Type of Generator Is Best for Bounce Houses, and How Much Do They Cost?
A generator capable of producing at least 2000 watts is required for an ordinary bounce house. Before purchasing a generator, check your specific model of bounce house to verify the wattage on your inflatable.
Generators come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with prices ranging from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars. It will work great as long as it can power the watts required for your bounce house. However, if you are new to generators, consider the following variables:
Your generator may be portable, so make sure to check. Usually, generators are designed for big projects, but bounce houses are pretty small.
Keep in mind you’ll have to carry the bounce house, tarp, and other stuff through grassy hills and fields, so buy one that’s practical and portable.
Choosing a generator with a reliable power source is crucial. A generator’s most common power source is solar power, propane, gasoline, or natural gas.
Propane is cleaner and can be stored for a longer period of time than gasoline, which can only be stored for up to a year without getting dirty.
Generators might seem like the easiest solution, but most can’t produce enough watts to power a bounce house.
You should also make sure it gets enough solar energy to charge its battery, which will power everything. Check out the generator’s power source and make sure it’s something you can handle.
One of the biggest problems with generators is how much noise they make. I hope noise won’t be an issue at your bounce house party since the blower and generator will be making noise, plus kids will be laughing and giggling uncontrollably.
Consider a low-noise generator if your neighbors or kids are sensitive to noise.
Noise From the Watt Generator and the Blower
If you want a quieter generator, you will have to spend a higher price on the quality. If the generator will not be needed for an extended period of time, it is advisable to rent one instead of purchasing one. Using a generator that runs continuously can be highly expensive and noisy.
At times, the blower can be quite loud.
Again, separating the generator and the bounce house with extension cords may help keep the noise down when the generator is turned on. Make sure that the blower will be accessible. Place the bounce house in a flat area of your backyard.
The motor in some generators is rather noisy, so start it earlier in the day to attempt to limit the noise to a minimum by positioning it in the appropriate location of your backyard.
Make sure not to cover the generators because some of them will emit some form of exhaust; instead, operate them outside so that the exhaust may simply escape into the air.
How To Determine the Size of a Generator:
- Make a list of everything that will require electricity during your event.
- Add the total watts required for all of the objects that will be running at the same time.
- Add the maximum number of surge watts you will require. Surge watts are often required to get the product started. For example, once inflated, a tiny bounce house requires only 800 watts to operate. However, it requires 1955 watts when it is blowing up. Please keep in mind that you DO NOT add the entire number of surge watts for all of your items. Simply add the highest number of surge watts to the total number of running watts (all of your items will not surge at once).
Once you’ve found the total number of running watts required, multiply it by the highest value to determine the size generator you’ll need to rent.
For example, if you rent a small bounce house plus a cotton candy machine, you will require 1455 operating watts. The bouncy house will require a surge of power to blow up, so add 1955. The total number of watts required is 3410.
An extension cord is required or not?
Consider whether the bounce house is in your backyard or close to your house. If so, an extension cord to an outdoor outlet will suffice. A house can easily power a bounce house for several hours.
If you try this and continually trip the breaker, you should rent a generator that is at least as large as or larger than the size of your bounce house so that there is enough power for everyone’s turn!
To utilize a generator, you should still obtain an extension cord because if you maintain the bounce house and generator in the same area in the backyard, it may cause a short circuit.
By separating the two in a different place, the noise can be distributed outside, allowing the kids to hear each other better within the house.
I know, fun activities come with a heavy price. However, if you plan well beforehand the party, you may produce some extra bucks and make the party hassle-free.
So, which one do you choose? Main power or generator?