A portable generator is a very useful device which works as an instant source of electrical backup during the times of power outage. It is regarded as the cheapest and efficient source of electricity backup for blackouts extending from hours to days. When used for domestic purposes, it powers your important appliances like fridge, water pumps, and water heaters. In businesses, generators act as a source of electrical backup for running your business activities. Similarly, construction contractors use generators to power their work tools at sites which are not connected to main electricity lines. Small generators are used by campers to power the equipment they use inside camps and during hiking. If you’re also a portable generator user, do check our collection of generator covers for running outside home.
It does not matter for which purpose you are using a generator; all generators require a power source for combustion purposes so that they can produce electricity. Mostly, propane or gas is used as a source of fuel in such generators.
In this article, we will compare propane and gas generators along with their pros and cons. This article will help you in making the best decision while buying a generator.
Propane Generators vs. Gas Generators
In recent times, a debate has stirred up on the propane and gas generators. Which one is better, which one is easy to handle, which one is more efficient and through which source you can save some money on it. The final choice is yours but you need to know everything about it. Please understand that apart from the fuel type, the rest of the working of the generator is the same.
In recent times, propane generators have become the talk of the town. Propane has been used for grilling steaks and hamburgers but now it is being used as a source of fuel for generators. Propane comes in cylinders and the event of spillage is very rare. Even if it slips, it evaporates instantly and does not cause any serious problem. Propane is cleaner than gas in burning and it is safe for the environment as well so by using a propane generator, you are playing your part in environmental conservation. Propane is also cheaper than gas ones and, engines which use propane as the source are quieter in operation. By using propane generators, you will also get peace of mind.
One of the major benefits of using propane generators is the ease of availability of propane generator. As compared to gas, propane does not need electrical power to fill a tank of propane. So, at times of long power outages, hurricanes and natural disasters you can be tension free for the source of fuel for your generator. With propane, you will not have to stand in long lines to get your tanks filled. Shelf-life of propane is also infinite; you need to worry more about the container in which it is stored rather than worrying about propane. Hence, if you have extra propane, you can use it without any worries.
Propane is directly used from the storage vessel and you do not have to pour it your generator fuel tank, so it is safe in use and has less hassle. Propane tanks are, however, heavier than gas tanks.
One of the flaws of propane as a source of fuel is its inability to be used under 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Propane is also slightly less efficient than gas as a source of fuel. Propane fuel systems are also more complicated than gas fuel systems. In case of failure, fixing the problem usually cost more and takes more time as compared to a gas generator.
They are the most commonly used type of generators. The reason behind the popularity of gas-powered generators is the easy availability in normal days from tens of gas stations in your area. Unless there is a serious emergency in your area, gas availability is easy and ensured y authorities.
Gas engines are easy to operate as they are less complex and fixing them is less costly as compared to propane engines.
One con of using gas generators is the expensive price of gasoline. Gas prices are increasing day by day and hence these increased prices will impact your overall budget. Further, fuel costs increase manifold during times of emergency.
Gasoline is dangerous to operate. It is highly flammable and does not evaporate that easily. It is also toxic in nature and destroys the environment where it is burned.
Gasoline is difficult to store and has a maximum shelf life of 12 months. After 12 months, gasoline starts to go bad and if you are keeping gasoline, you will either have to use it within 12 months or waste it after 12 months.
Gas needs to be transferred from the storage tank to the fuel tank of your generator. Its fumes are highly toxic and can damage your lungs if inhaled for a longer period of time. We recommend that you use a face mask while operating gasoline. And remember during times of long outages, you will have to refill your tank many times during a day.
If the main purpose of having a generator is to use it during the times of an emergency or natural disaster, then relying on gas generators only is not a good idea. Most of the emergencies are characterized by an electrical outage, you cannot get gas from a station nearby and hence you will be without any source of electricity. Most people store gasoline away from their homes in the attic or garages, this is a dangerous approach for emergency preparedness. Gasoline can be very dangerous to store.
We have now laid out all the positive and negative aspects of both generators in front of you. The choice is yours. One better way to deal with this problem is to get a dual powered generator. It works on gasoline and propane as well. You can use the gasoline in normal days and propane at the time of a crisis.