House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How Much Propane Does a Gas Generator Use? Factors, Advantages, & FAQ

black and white photo of a generator

In 2020, the average US household experienced about 8 hours of blackout¹. If you are sick of staying in the dark whenever the power goes out, then maybe it’s time you get a portable generator. That way, you’ll never have to worry about being without power again, even in the event of lengthy blackouts.

Gas generators are an excellent choice for businesses and homeowners because they’re less expensive than other generators. Before you go shopping for a gas generator, it’s important to know how much propane these machines use. It typically averages between 2 to 3 gallons per hour of use. Keep reading as we explain further.

machinery divider

So How Much Propane Does a Gas Generator Consume?

There’s no one-size fits all answer to how much propane a gas generator uses, but it typically averages between 2 to 3 gallons per hour of use. However, this doesn’t mean that all gas generators will give you that much runtime. There are a few factors that will play into how much propane your gas generator uses; they include the following:

The Size of the Gas Tank

This is probably the most important factor in figuring out how long your gas generator will run on a single tank of propane. Larger gas tanks will obviously give you more hours of runtime. However, they’ll also be more expensive to purchase than smaller tanks.

The Power Output of the Generator

The higher the power output of your gas generator, the more fuel it will use. You can get away with a lower-powered model if you only need a gas generator for light usage, like powering some lights and charging your phone. However, if you need to power multiple appliances and electronics, you’ll want a gas generator with higher power output.

The Efficiency of the Gas Generator

Efficient generators are typically more expensive than non-efficient ones but are worth every penny in the long run. Check out online reviews to find out more about the efficiency of the generator you have in mind.

The Load Being Placed on the Generator

This is a no-brainer. The more devices or appliances you have plugged into your gas generator, the more power it’s going to use, and the faster it will burn through a tank of fuel.

gasoline powered portable generator
Photo Credit By: canoniroff, Shutterstock

Are Gas Generators More Affordable?

The cost of gas generators can vary widely depending on the factors we just discussed. However, in general, gas generators are more affordable than other types of generators. So, If you’re tight on a tight budget and need a reliable generator that gets the job done, look no further than a gas generator.

tank divider

What Other Advantages Do Generators Offer?

Gas generators are the go-to choice for most people. Apart from being more affordable, they also offer a host of other advantages. Some of these include:

Cleaner Than Diesel Generators

Gas generators produce fewer emissions than diesel generators, making them a much cleaner option. If you’re concerned about your home’s air quality, a gas generator will be a much better option. The same goes for environmentally-conscious homeowners and businesses.

Quieter Than Diesel Generators

Gas generators also tend to be much quieter than their diesel counterparts, so you won’t have to worry about disturbing your neighbors when the power goes out.

Easier to Maintain

Gas generators are typically much easier to maintain than diesel generators. This is mainly because natural gas is a much cleaner fuel. Propane has low carbon and low oil contamination characteristics, which results in fewer generator issues and improved engine life.

Eliminates the Need for On-Site Fuel Storage

If you choose a gas generator, you won’t have to worry about storing fuel on-site. This is because gas generators can be hooked up directly to your home’s natural gas line. This eliminates the need for a fuel storage tank, which can be a hassle to maintain.

Portable Generator CARB compliant
Photo Credit By: N-sky, Shutterstock

20-Pound vs 100-Pound Gas Generator: How Do They Compare?

Now that we’ve answered the question, “How much propane does a gas generator use?”. Let’s compare 20-pound and 100-pound gas generators.

20-Pound Gas Generator

A 20-pound gas generator typically has a tank size of around 4.60 gallons and will give you around four to five hours of runtime. If you’re only running a few small appliances, then this will be more than enough power for you. However, if you need to run multiple appliances or electronics, you’ll want a gas generator with a larger tank.

100-Pound Gas Generator

A 100-pound gas generator typically has a tank size of around 23.6 gallons and will give you around 16 to 17 hours of runtime at half-load. That’s enough power for most people, but if you’re running multiple appliances or electronics, you might want a gas generator with an even larger tank.

tank divider

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how much propane gas generators use, as well as the other advantages they offer, it’s easy to see why gas generators are the best choice for most people. If you’re looking for an affordable and reliable generator, then a gas model is definitely the way to go. However, be sure to settle on a fuel-efficient model to save a bundle in operation costs.

Featured Image Credit: Dima Solomin, Unsplash


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools