Diesel Vs. Propane For A Home Backup Generator?

If you’re considering a home backup generator, you may be wondering which fuel is best for your needs. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of diesel and propane generators to help you make the best decision for your home.

What Is The Best Fuel Source For A Home Generator?

With 138,700 BTUs per gallon of diesel fuel, diesel is the most efficient generator-fuel option (enough to heat an average-sized room for 6 to 12 hours).

Which Is Quieter A Diesel Or Propane Generator?

Propane is a suitable choice if fumes or pollution are a problem. Propane RV generators are quieter than diesel RV generators. That might be a factor when you’re camping in the heat and need to keep the AC running in order to get some shut-eye.

For distant electricity on a construction site, propane-powered generators are a better option since they are cleaner, smaller, and quieter than gasoline-powered generators. In comparison to other fuels, propane is a very inexpensive option.

Is It Cheaper To Run A Generator On Propane?

Although propane has a lower energy density than diesel and gasoline at 26 MJ/L, it is nevertheless a more efficient fuel. When it comes to emergency fuel expenditures, a generator that operates on diesel or gasoline rather than propane can save you money in the long run.

The total cost of ownership for portable or whole-house backup generators is cheaper with propane engines than with diesel or gasoline engines because of the molecular integrity of propane and the outstanding shelf life of propane engines.

Which Is More Efficient Diesel Or Propane Generator?

Diesel generators are typically more expensive than propane generators, but they’re also more fuel-efficient.

Generators powered by propane have negative environmental consequences. Propane generators, on the other hand, are the best option for environmentalists. The cleanest burning fuels are propane and kerosene. Per gallon, it creates fewer pollutants and emits fewer greenhouse gases than gasoline or diesel does.

Related Questions and Answers

Which is more efficient gas or diesel generator?

Several factors make diesel engines superior to those fuelled by natural gas in comparison to natural gas generators. Older diesel engines, which were notoriously loud and labor-intensive to maintain, have been vastly improved. Compared to gasoline engines, diesels are more durable and trustworthy.

What fuel does Generac use?

When you have a Generac backup generator in your house, it does all the work for you. It is similar to a central air conditioning unit in that it is powered by natural gas or liquid propane (LP).

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

Propane has a higher energy density than natural gas, although it is more expensive. Natural gas is 40 percent less expensive than propane, making it a more cost-effective option for your generator. Using natural gas isn’t an option for many people due to either a lack of availability or the high expense of expanding the service to meet increased demand.

What are the best standby generators you can buy?

There are a select few standby generators you should consider buying. This video should help:

How much diesel does a Generac generator use?

A 1,000-gallon tank of fuel will last around 17 weeks with a generator that produces 10 kW at half-load, using 0.35 gallons of diesel every hour.

How long can a diesel generator run continuously?

A 24-hour tank is standard for most diesel generators, but you may also find 48- and 72-hour tanks on certain models. Take the time to cool down the generator before recharging it with diesel. In principle, natural gas generators may operate endlessly since they are linked to a home’s natural gas connections.

How many hours is a diesel generator good for?

Service is not required for at least 15,000 hours up to a maximum of 50,000 hours. Factors like generator size and preventative maintenance methods will ultimately affect the lifespan of any given generator.

Why is propane bad?

Propane poses a threat to the environment because of its inherent flammability. No harmful impacts on the atmosphere are caused by the discharge of propane, which vaporizes and evaporates in the atmosphere when released into the air. There are no harmful effects on aquatic life or ecosystems because of the fact that it cannot be discharged into the environment. Electricity is preferable to traditional fuels like coal and oil.


Both diesel and propane provide energy to generators at reasonable prices. But these are not the only fuels that can be used for a backup generator. It might also be worth considering a dual fuel generator allows users to use both diesel and propane as fuel.

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Leon Ashcraft
About Leon Ashcraft

Leon Ashcraft is a Safety Instructor and consultant in Colorado with focus on OSHA, environmental health and safety, transportation safety, oil & gas, rescue operations and construction safety. Learn more about Leon here or connect with him on Twitter | LinkedIn | Medium