Propane VS Gas Generators – Which One Is Better? (Pros & Cons)

Power outages can be extremely stressful and they often leave you and your loved ones vulnerable and exposed. Getting a generator will allow you to be well prepared regardless of what’s happening in the outside world. 

Having access to power when a disaster has wiped out electricity supplies is invaluable. If you’re keen to buy a generator you need to know the different types available and which will work best for you in an emergency situation. 

We’ve compiled the good and the bad on the different types of generators out there so that you can make the best decision based on your individual circumstances. 

What To Consider When Choosing Between Propane VS Gas Generators

You need to consider your personal situation when it comes to choosing between either a propane or a gas generator. 

Some of the factors that you might want to consider include: 

  • Your geographical location – whether you can easily accept deliveries of fuel from large vehicles 
  • The climate in which you live in – whether you regularly experience extreme temperatures 
  • The storage options you have available in your home or property
  • Your budget and how much you’re able to spend on your generator and fuel

The Differences Between Propane VS Gas Generators

We’ll go into some of the more detailed differences between propane and gas generators when we look at the pros and cons of each type. 

The main differences can be seen as: 

  • Gas generator produce more BTUs per gallon so they are the most efficient fuel source 
  • Propane generators are clean burning so do not release toxins into the engine of the generator

Now let’s take a look at the good and the bad for both options so that you can start to figure out which generator will work best to provide your emergency power backup. 

Pros Of Propane Generators

  • Storage: Propane is a much easier fuel source to store as it will be delivered to you as a liquid. It is then converted to gas when it is used. This means that you won’t have the complications of storing it in a gaseous form. Whilst stored, propane is much safer to have on your property than gas. 
  • Tank Size: there’s much more variation to choose from when it comes to choosing the tank size for your propane and you can opt for anything from 5 gallons to 100 gallons. This allows you to use your generator as needed and requires much less management than a gas generator. 
  • Delivery: Propane deliveries are generally much simpler and easier than gas deliveries. The propane can be used directly from the original container and there’s no need to refill the fuel tank before you use it. 

Cons Of Propane Generators

  • Extreme cold: if you live in an area where the temperature is likely to go sub zero then storage of propane can become an issue. 
  • Cost of machinery: generally a propane generator is more expensive than a gas generator. The parts can also be more expensive and complex to repair if they break 

Pros Of Gas Generators

  • Efficiency: gas generators are the most efficient type of generators. If you are able to buy and store gas in large volumes, a gas generator will work well for you as a backup emergency power supply. 
  • Reliable and Cost Effective: Gas generators are known for their reliability which is extremely important if you’re using this as a backup power supply. They are also cost effective. 

Cons Of Gas Generators

  • Storage of Gas: as well as being harder to store due to the gaseous form of the fuel, it’s important to understand that gas powered generators will have a predetermined tank size. You need to be keeping a constant check on the fuel levels so that you do not run out when you need it most. Refilling the tank can be more labor intensive than with a propane generator 
  • Availability of Gas : as a fuel source there are issues with gas as it’s common for gas shortages to occur especially following an emergency or natural disaster. You’ll need to be prepared for this and always have a good backup supply of gas that you can access immediately. 

Is Propane Or Gas Better As Backup Fuel?

Although gas is the most efficient fuel source, you need to look at the bigger picture and see which is the best backup fuel option for you. 

You need to consider the safety element and how you will store your backup fuel source. The space and facilities you have available for storage will be a big factor in your decision on whether to use propane or gas as your backup fuel. 

Fuel Efficiency: What’s The Run Time Of Gasoline VS Propane Generators?

The run time of gas and propane generators will depend on how you use them and the specific type of generator that you buy. Often more expensive and complex generators can preserve energy and offer a longer run time than cheaper models. 

On average, a gas powered generator will run for approximately 7-12 hours without stopping. A propane powered generator can run for up to 8 days if it is continually refueled. 

Gas VS Propane: Which Holds Up Better In Extreme Temperatures? 

This is where propane becomes a less favorable option. Gas is the best fuel source to use in extreme temperatures as propane contracts when it is cold causing a drop in pressure within your propane tank. 

Should You Get A Dual Generator?

Many survivalists and preppers like the idea of a dual generator as this offers the maximum guarantee that you’ll have power regardless of what happens following an emergency or disaster situation. Not being dependent on one type of fuel lessens the chances of you being left without a reliable power supply. 

In recent years dual fuel generators have become more popular as they increase in reliability. They also reduce the need for fuel storage and are a very cost effective option. 

At present dual generators are not suitable for those only requiring a small amount of power – although they’re a great option if you’re looking to power your entire home and the needs of your family. 

Dual fuel generators are more complex to operate so you’ll need to be confident with the technology before you have to use it in a disaster situation. 

Are Solar Generators Any Good?

Solar generators have the advantage of capturing a free fuel source and simply take their energy directly from the sun. Once you set up and install solar panels, there are minimal costs. They also use a clean and renewable energy source so they are much better for the environment. 

The downside of a solar generator is that there are much higher upfront costs. Although these can be seen as an investment, they may not be within your budget for an emergency backup power supply. Solar generator batteries are also slow to recharge – often taking between 9-10 hours to charge fully, even when the sun is out. 


As you can see there are lots of factors to consider when it comes to considering whether a propane or gas generator will be any good for the needs of you and your loved ones. 

There are certainly lots of generators available on the market – from solar and dual generators to propane and gas. Take the time to consider your personal circumstances, the storage situation in your property and how much power you’ll need in an emergency situation.

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