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Propane vs Gas Generators – Which One Is Better For You?

In this helpful guide, we have covered Propane vs Gas Generators and which one is better for you. Main differences based on efficiency, runtime, safety, availability, cost, and overall convenience

Despite the incredible dominance of solar power in the entire world, the sale of generators never went down because propane and gas generators are portable.

Natural gas is the cleanest and cheapest fossil fuel that has been used for decades whereas is extracted from natural gas. It is a byproduct.

There is no right answer to the question “propane vs gas generators” because both have their advantages and disadvantages.

We will discuss solar power in a separate article, we will focus on the:

  • The main difference between propane vs gas generator
  • Runtime
  • Impacts on climate
  • Efficiency
  • Which generator is quieter?
  • Which generator is better for you?
  • Top 3 Best Propane Generators
  • Top 3 Best Gas generator

Differences Between Propane Vs Natural Gas Generators – Pros And Cons

Propane GeneratorsGas Generators
Propane generators are less efficient compared to gasGas generators produce more BTUs per gallon compared to propane
Propane is a byproduct of natural gas and burns more cleanly without releasing more toxins into the airCompared to propane generators, gas units release more toxins in the air
Propane is not easily accessible even if your area doesn’t have a gas pipeline. Some company may deliver it to your doorstepAvailable 24/7. Gas lines are connected to our house.
Leakages are very easy to detect in propane generatorsIt is a bit difficult to detect leaks compared to propane generators.
Accidents are more isolatedAccidents have more impact
Expensive than gas models, but burns more efficiently so you require less of it.Cheaper than propane, but you require more of it to burn to compare to propane generators.
Low installation cost, but delivery charges can be highHigh installation cost, but no such delivery charges.
The cost of propane generators is around $500 to $6000The cost of gas generators is around $700 to $5000

Propane vs Gas Generators Runtime

Propane fuel is efficient but has less energy density. You will run through it faster compared to gas or electric. Propane gas burns faster producing fewer BTUs.

Propane has an energy density of 26 MJ/L whereas natural gas has 33.4 – 82.47 MJ/L energy density.

A gas generator will give a bit more runtime compared to a propane generator.

In terms of which fuel lasts longer, you don’t need to worry about gas because a pipeline is attached to your home, but if for some reason your gas line loses pressure, then your generator will stop working.

Propane doesn’t have a pressure problem because you buy it separately in containers. A 500-gallon container is enough for 10 to 12 days.

Checkout how long does a generator last

Climate And Natural Disasters

In cold temperatures, the regulator on the propane container is liable. This makes gas more effective.

Gas releases more C02, and CO (due to incomplete combustion) compared to propane fuel which burns more cleanly.

The leaking of natural gas in itself is a greenhouse gas (CH4). So obviously natural gas poses more threats to our atmosphere compared to propane.

That is why people often prefer propane over gas to reduce greenhouse gases.

Storing gas in a wildfire-prone or natural disaster-prone area is dangerous. In areas where Earthquakes are regular, certain precautions must be taken to use a propane tank.

Propane vs Gas Generators – Which Fuel Is Cheaper?

Natural gas costs around $0.34 to $0.35 per gallon whereas propane costs around $2.37 to $2.4 per gallon making it roughly seven times more expensive than gas.

Propane vs Gas Generators – Which Fuel Is More Efficient?

Propane roughly releases 2526 BTUs per cubic feet whereas gas releases only 1030 BTUs per cubic foot. Gas generators may be the winners in the cost per gallon department, but propane fuel is more efficient.

Gas generators cost between “$700 to $5000” and the cost of propane generators is around $500 to $6000.

Checkout our guide about Solar Generator Vs Gas Generator

Gas vs Propane Generators – Maintenance

Gas-vs-Propane-Generators-–-Maintenance

Gas generators leave carbon deposits in the engine and exhaust that needed to be cleaned out from time to time. Propane generators can last for years without being serviced or cleaned.

The only downside is propane generators are difficult to fix in case of malfunctioning in emergencies.

Propane and gas regulators are not interchangeable but both work in the same fashion.

Checkout our guide about Standby Vs Portable Generator

Gas vs Propane Generators – Which Generator Is Quieter?

Propane generators have lower decibel levels on the spec sheets compared to gas generators. Gasoline generators are a couple of decibels louder than propane units.

Both are silent respectively but propane units are the winners here.

Propane vs Gas Generators – Which One Is Better For You?

Honestly, there is no right answer to this question. I would prefer a dual-fuel generator if I have the option. By doing that, I would have the portability of the propane, and reliability of the natural gas.

If you are not traveling with your generator and use it in your home only, then gas generators are better if a gas pipeline is attached to your home. You would have 24/7 fuel availability.

If you travel a lot like camping and RV stuff, then a propane regulator is a must.

Checkout the list of portable rv generators

Top 3 Best Propane Generators

1. DuroMax XP5500EH Electric Start-Camping & RV Ready

2. Durostar DS10000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator

3. Champion Power 200965 4375/3500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator

Top 3 Best Gas Generators

1. Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen12000DF Ultra Duty Portable Generator

2. DuroMax XP10000E Gas Powered Portable Generator – 10000 watts

3. Generac 5735 GP17500E 17500 Running Watts/26250 Starting Watts Electric Start Gas Powered Portable Generator

I am a passionate environment engineer, who has been in the solar, and inverter generator industry for years. I have been a part of multiple safety and environment-related courses such as IOSH, Fire Safety, Solid Waste Management, etc. I have been installing solar plants for residential purposes since 2018.

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