What Type of Generator is Best for Home Use?

Generators are a great piece of equipment for homeowners to invest in. In the event that your home loses power due to a bad storm or an essential power line is compromised, generators are designed to automatically kick in and restore the lost power. 

There are four types of generators categorized by the type of fuel they run on: gasoline, natural gas, diesel, and propane. Here’s a basic rundown of each so you can decide which type of generator is the best investment for your home.

Gasoline Generators

Gasoline generators tend to be a popular choice due to low cost and wide availability. Maintaining one is as simple as heading to the local gas station and filling up a few containers.

However, the convenience of these types of generators comes with a couple of costs.  Gas has a relatively short shelf life (one year or less), and in most places you’re limited to storing 25 gallons at a time or less. It also has a low flash point, which means it’s highly flammable.

Natural Gas Generators

Similar to propane, natural gas is a clean-burning fuel with fewer environmental effects than alternatives like gasoline or diesel. These types of generators are good for reliable standby power since their below-ground pipes are naturally shielded by the elements. Natural gas also doesn’t have an expiration date like diesel fuel, and doesn’t have to be stored in containers. 

One drawback, however, is that natural gas is extremely explosive and could pose a serious fire hazard if any pipes burst. It’s also a bit more expensive to run than some of the other generator options.

Diesel Fuel Generators

Diesel fuel is safer to store than other fuel types, like gasoline, and has a lower risk for igniting. It also has a longer shelf-life than gasoline, so you can count on getting higher-quality fuel from your stored supply.

Unlike natural gas and propane, diesel fuel is not considered a “clean-burning” fuel since it emits more pollutants. Diesel generators are also the loudest-running option of the four types.

Propane Generators

Propane doesn’t evaporate or degrade over time like other fuels, which makes this type of generator the most reliable source of backup power during an emergency. And, unlike with gasoline, these tanks can be refilled even when the power is out.

Propane also provides more than twice the amount of energy per cubic foot than natural gas — in other words, it winds up being cheaper and lasting longer. 

Different homes may be suited to different generators. However, it’s a sound investment to make as a homeowner so the next time there’s an emergency or your power goes out, you have a backup plan. 

Still have questions or aren’t sure which generator type is best for your house? Give us a call and we’ll help figure it out.