It just takes one excruciating power outage to see the benefits of having a power backup. Generators provide the assurance of self-sufficiency when facing down emergencies. While it is easy to say yes to owning a generator, the next step is to consider which fuel option is best for your generator needs.
Here are the best fuel options for generators, along with the pros and cons of each fuel.
Before we start getting into the best generator fuel options…
The best fuel option for your generator may be limited by the category of generator you want. A portable generator is great for supplying power during camping, at a job site, or as a small emergency backup. Portable generator units typically rely on gasoline, diesel, or propane for fuel. If you are looking for a secondary power source for your home or business, the best fuel for those generators are often natural gas, diesel and liquid propane.
Fueling Generators – The Pros and Cons
Generator Fuel: Gasoline
Most portable generators will run on gasoline to add to their overall convenience. Portable gasoline generators can go where you need them, without having to depend on a specific fuel source at your site.
· Gasoline is a lot easier to find, thanks to local gas stations
· Many gasoline generators can provide lots of energy with half a tank of fuel
· Gasoline is highly flammable, making it difficult and unsafe to store in large amounts
· The price of gasoline often fluctuates
Generator Fuel: Diesel
When you think of generators, diesel fueled generators are often what’s humming in the background of industry. Diesel can be the best fuel for generators that are in more remote areas or harsh environments, while providing an efficient fuel to power ratio.
· Diesel generators are easier to maintain, and designed with heavy usage in mind
· For energy needs that require a lot of power, diesel is the best fuel for generating power quickly and efficiently
· Diesel generators are known for their ruggedness in harsh environments and reliability
· Diesel engines can work with dirty, old, or subpar fuel
· Diesel generators produce more noise than other generators
· As a fuel, diesel has a large carbon footprint. It will also create emissions, affecting air quality
· The cost of diesel fuel is typically higher compared to some other fuel options for generators
· Storing extra fuel is limited, requiring extra things like storage tanks, fuel stabilizers, and spill containment.
Generator Fuel: Propane
Some choose liquid propane as the best fuel for a generator, since the market has both portable versions and larger, stationary models for homes and businesses.
· Often more environmentally friendly with little emissions
· Propane is a fuel with a long shelf life and is easy to store thanks to its tanks
· Some areas offer propane home delivery or have a network of pipelines
· Limited bottle capacity can mean that a generator might need two or even three propane tanks in reserve
· Propane must be bought in lump sums, potentially leading to extra expense
· Requires specialized sellers, and not always available everywhere
Generator Fuel: Natural Gas
If you are leaning towards a more permanent power solution for your home or business, many would argue that the best fuel for standby generators is natural gas.
· Many homes already have natural gas lines running to a tank near their home
· Natural gas lines will run even when the power goes out
· The price of natural gas is a lot lower compared to other fuels
· Natural gas is not readily available in some areas of the United States
· A generator powered by natural gas will be less efficient overall compared to other fuel types
· Adding a natural gas line will add additional costs to your generator purchase
When purchasing a generator, be sure to look at what fuel is available in your area. Stop to consider which is the best generator fuel option for how you will be using the generator. Details like the price, the ease in obtaining the fuel, storage, and its environmental impacts will help ensure you find the best fit. When the next storm hits, you and your new generator system will be prepared. Contact Assurance Power Systems today online or by calling (561) 867-4041 to learn more!