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Propane vs Gas Generator

Propane vs Gas Generator
Written by Jamie Masterson

When electrical blackouts become a real threat in the stormy season, you might like to act as a smart homeowner. Right?  When it comes to the generators, you may have different needs. If you want to spend your money on a standby generator, the big decision is choosing the right fuel type. This is because

This article covers the major takeaways of propane vs gas generators. So, if you’re feeling hesitant about which one is right for you, keep your eyes glued till the end.

Propane Vs Gas Generator: Key Differences

Shelf Life

Generators remain stored most of the time because they aren’t be used every day. Propane is considered to be a superior fuel supply in terms of the shaft life of your generator.

On the other hand, gasoline is more likely to flame and prone to degrade after a year where propane never degrades over time. Though propane is harmful material, you must store it in a certified storage tank or cylinder. Also, for cylinders, recertification is a must every decade.

If you’re using a bulky storage unit, reassessment of the unit is required at least once every 25 years. Remember- the carbon deposits left by gasoline can help degrade your generator’s shaft life.

Maintenance and Mechanics

For propane generators, the biggest drawback is that they are really difficult to fix by yourself because they come with a more complicated mechanism unlike gas-powered generators. More operating errors can be provided by propane generators.

Fuel Availability and Refilling

When it comes to fuel availability, gasoline is the most available fuel that you can siphon out from other vehicles in case of emergencies. On the other hand, gas pumps need electricity to operate. When gas pumps run out of electricity, they might not be able to operate.

If you have a propane generator as a back-up power supply, a bulk tank is a must to fully cover your house because the barbecue cylinders are good for camping generators but not enough to power a whole house. Take the help of a professional to determine what size is the best fit according to your needs.


No doubt, propane generators have less longevity than gas generators. When it comes to a generator’s life expectancy, gas generators last thousands of hours more than propane generators.

Run Time

Most portable generators come with a built-in fuel tank that provides space for a few gallons of gas. This little amount of fuel isn’t able to provide electricity for a longer period of time. You’ll have to refill the tank manually several times a day for a longer session.

On the other hand, many sizes of propane tanks are available (1- 420 pounds, or more). If you can install a propane tank according to your needs, the generator will operate for days without any hassle.

Environmental Advantage

Although propane generators are less efficient than gas generators, they are better environment-friendly. Propane generators release less carbon monoxide (half the amount) comparing to standard gas generators.

Cost to Operate

Well, let’s dive into the cost of both the propane and gas generators. In general, natural gas is less costly than propane. Gas generators can be connected to a public pipeline. This is how the cost can be more reduced.

On the other hand, propane generators require fuel tanks. Larger fuel tanks tend to be more costly.


Gas generators are much louder than propane generators. So, with the propane generators, you can get a fantastic source of reliable back-up energy for your home without annoying your family.

Propane vs Gas Generator — Which One is Right for You?

Propane Generator vs Gas Generator

The right depends on your needs. Read on the pros and the cons of each generator to decide which one is right for you. You might like propane generators for less noise production and for being more environmentally where you can go for a less expensive option instead.

Pros and Cons of Propane Generators

If you purchase a propane generator, you’ll see a reliable power backup. As it is an environmental-friendly option, this can be used for any purpose.


  • Propane generators emit a small amount of carbon monoxide
  • Easy to get fuel as propane can be stored in containers
  • Propane comes with a longer shelf life and can remain stored for up to 24 months
  • Can meet safety standards like reduces noise production
  • You can install any size of the cylinder as per your needs
  • The best bet for powering RVs, TVs, appliances, and commercial purposes


  • Come with a more complex fuel system and difficult to fix
  • Engines come with a shorter lifespan
  • Propane generators come with lower capacity and use the fuel consumption

Pros and Cons of Gas Generators

Because of being efficient in producing power, they can be used for emergencies and for outdoor.


  • Less expensive
  • Cleaner fuel
  • Pungent odors-free
  • Can be used in public pipeline
  • Natural gas is widely available in metropolitan areas
  • Nothing to be worried about fuel storage


  • Can run out of fuel in times of natural calamities
  • Prone to fire hazards for being extremely explosive
  • Emit huge amount of carbon monoxide
  • Natural gas is limited and non-renewable


Hopefully, after reading this giveaway, you’ve come to know the differences between propane and gas generators. Take the noise level of the generator you’re about to purchase into consideration. If you have more queries, feel free to let us know in the comment section below!


1. How long will a generator run on propane?

In general, propane generators use 2-3 gallons of fuel per hour to operate. So, if you have 400 gallons filled in your 500 gallons tank, it might last for 1 week.

2. How noisy are propane generators?

In terms of toxicity emission and noise level, propane generators are the most efficient. They can produce up to 60 dB of the noise level.

3. Is it cheaper to run a generator on propane or gas?

Of course on gas, because natural gas is less expensive and available in public pipelines.

About the author

Jamie Masterson

With decade-long experience as a generator technician, Jamie has worked with USA’s top generator manufacturers and suppliers as an independent contractor.

The long years of service to the industry has taught Jamie the ins and outs of troubleshooting, repairing, and maintaining all kinds of generators in home, industrial and outdoor settings.

Jamie thinks this platform is a great opportunity to share his tips and tricks with you so you can make the most of such power equipment for better living.

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