Is a propane generator better than gas? Well, there’s a lot to consider when comparing these two fuel types, but for the most part, many people will attest to propane being the superior fuel when it comes to portable generators. Even so, there are many different types of dual fuel (or even tri fuel) generators that allow you to run your generator on either gas, propane or natural gas at any given time. However, in this article, we’ll focus on the difference between the two common fuels – gas and propane.
The main thing to consider when talking about fuel types, is your geographic location. If you live in extremely cold climates, propane will not burn as efficient. Any temperature below 20 F will have your propane generator struggling to run, while a gasoline powered generator will not have this problem. A dual fuel generator will allow you to switch to gas when the temperature dips this low, relieving this issues altogether.
Benefits of Using Propane for Your Portable Generator
The most important thing to consider when comparing propane to gas generators, is the availability of each type of fuel when the power goes out. Unless you have a huge stockpile of gasoline in your shed, you’ll have a hard time finding a gas station that has electricity in order to pump the gas you need. With propane, you won’t have this problem, as transferring propane requires no electricity – propane is constantly under pressure. When the power goes out at the fuel station, they’ll still have the ability to pump propane. How’s that for peace of mind?
Now that we know propane is the much better option when it comes to emergency power outages, let’s talk about how your portable generator likes it.
Another benefit of propane generators, is that they burn much cleaner than gasoline. No gummed up carburetors to deal with, no stale gas to worry about, and less costly maintenance to spend your money on. While propane generators do have more sophisticated fuel delivery systems, they’re generally maintenance free as propane is a very clean fuel. Propane also burns much cooler than gasoline, so less wear on critical engine components that could be costly to replace. You’ll also notice that your portable generator’s engine oil stays much cleaner for much longer also.
Propane is Cheaper Than Gasoline
A big thing when talking about gasoline vs propane generators, is the cost of fuel. When you’re running your portable generator for 24 hours a day, day after day, you’re using a good amount of fuel in the process. Since propane costs roughly half the price of gasoline at the moment, you can enjoy 50% fuel savings. If you’re running your generator at full capacity for days on end, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars simply by using propane.
If saving money is a priority for you when operating your portable generator for extended periods of time, then a propane generator is definitely the way to go.
The only downside to propane in this case, is accessibility. Not all fuel stations store and sell propane, so it’s best to map out which fuel stations have propane before settling on a propane generator. The other option is to store it yourself. You can buy massive propane storage tanks and fill it up for emergency situations. The initial costs will be high, but you’ll have enough propane to operate your propane-powered portable generator for months on end. Even better, propane can be stored for a very, very long time – decades in fact – before the fuel starts to lose its volatility. With gasoline, 12 months max until the fuel becomes stagnant – and this can ruin your generator.
Final Verdict – Is a Propane Generator Better than Gas?
We’d have to say YES – in many ways propane is the superior fuel when it comes to operating your portable generator. It’s easily stored, burns cleaner, doesn’t go stagnant and will reduce operating costs significantly when running your portable genset for extended periods of time. Aside from the extreme cold (which can be solved in many ways, just buy keeping the ambient temperature higher where you have your portable generators stored and running), a propane powered portable generators has many benefits. In the case of propane vs gasoline generators, we have a clear winner – propane is the superior fuel source compared to gasoline.
Even better, why not just purchase a dual fuel generator (or tri fuel generator) – that way you’ll have the best of both worlds and less worry about fuel availability in an emergency situation.
In future articles, we’ll answer other pending questions that many portable generator owners have, such as;
Propane vs Gasoline Generator Efficiency
Propane vs Gas Generator Run Time
Propane vs Gas Generator Noise
Propane vs Diesel Generator Fuel Consumption
Propane vs Diesel Generator RV
How long will generator run on 20 lb propane tank?
How long will a 500 gallon propane tank run a generator?
What kind of gas/fuel is best for a portable generator?
Propane or Gas generator for my RV?