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Natural Gas vs. Propane Generators: Which is better for my home or business?

Posted on Wednesday, August 6 2014

When it comes to purchasing a generator as a back-up power supply for your home or business, it’s important to consider what type of fuel you’ll be using; there are several advantages and disadvantages to different types of fuel.

Typically, generators use either gasoline, diesel, natural gas or propane. Deciding on the best fuel for your generator can be a little confusing—it’s best to take into consideration what your needs are, how you’ll use it and seek professional advice catered toward your specific situation.

Propane and natural gas are among the most common choices for small automatic standby generators. Natural gas is made up of several gases—propane, butane, ethane and methane. While propane is a part of natural gas in its raw state, it’s actually hydrocarbon separated from the other gases at gas processing facilities—the propane that’s separated during this process is stored and sold to propane dealers to then be sold to consumers.

So, you might be wondering, how do the two fuels compare?

Propane

Advantages

Disadvantages

Long shelf life Extremely flammable
Clean-burning Increased possibility of failure
Easily stored & obtained Can be expensive–check local pricing
Home delivery available Potentially hazardous if lines are broken
Quiet engine noise level Initial cost of generator is somewhat higher
Emission-compliant More expensive to operate

 

Natural Gas

Advantages

Disadvantages

Unlimited fuel source—extremely convenient May be unavailable during natural disasters
Clean-burning Low power output
Readily available during power outage Fuel not available in many areas
Quiet engine noise level Potentially hazardous if lines are broken
Emission-compliant Up-rooted trees can disrupt the flow of gas
Extremely dependable in Eastern Time Zone Colorless & odorless—hard to detect leaks

 

When it comes to choosing how you’ll fuel your generator, the most important factors are: fuel efficiency and noise output. Regardless of fuel intake, it’s important to know how many hours your generator will run per gallon of fuel—you definitely don’t want to have to refill your generator every two hours.

Likewise, it’s important to know that not all generators are quickly as noisy. The model of your generator and the type of fuel you decide on will make or break the amount of noise you subject yourself and your neighbors to!

Despite listing the benefits, we know choosing can be confusing—leave the work to the professionals. Let us know your needs today!

 

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