Best Propane Generators: Are you looking for a backup power for your home? Do you want to have your appliances running even when you are camping outside? Well, a propane generator is what you need. Buying a portable propane generator will not only help power up your house when the utility power fails or when a bad storm hits. It offers you backup power so that you aren’t left stranded in a tough situation with no power or electricity. Propane generators are quite commonly available and buying one for your house or for your road trips isn’t a bad idea if convenience is what you are looking for.
A Brief Idea About Propane Generators
Backup generators have been available in the market for years now and buying one is a great decision of you live in an area that sees frequent power cuts or drastic weather conditions like storms, blizzards, tornados, floods, etc. that can interrupt power supply. As such, you can be left in the dark all of a sudden which is highly inconvenient for you and your family, especially if you have kids and the elderly in your family. Generators give you the assurance of continued power supply even when power cuts occur.
These generators can run on a variety of fuels like gasoline, natural gas, diesel, etc. But propane fuelled generators are amongst the best that you can buy for your home. These generators work by burning propane to produce energy that is, then, converted to electricity. This electricity is, then, used to power up your lighting system as well as other appliances.
How to Choose the Best Propane Generator?
Propane generators are commonly available in the market. In fact, if you search online, you will see that the market has been flooded with dozens of propane fueled generators from various popular brands. This means that deciding on the best propane generator for your home or RV or any purpose may become a daunting task as you have several models to compare. To help make things easier for you, here is a list of considerations to make while deciding on a suitable propane generator:
Whether you are planning to use the generator as a backup for your home’s power supply or want one for your camping needs, the very first thing that you need to determine is how much power would you require from your generator. Do you want to run only some basic amenities like lights, fans, TVs, laptops, etc. or do you want something that would be able to run your HVAC system, washing machine, etc. as well? This consideration is important as this will tell you the power output that you would require from the generator when utility power isn’t available. Make sure to take into consideration the power consumption of each and every appliance that you want to run while supply lines are down and choose a generator that can offer a similar output and preferably, a bit more. This will ensure that you do not put stress on the generator when all the appliances are run simultaneously.
Not only do you need to ensure that the model that you are going for has the capacity to produce the power that you require when utility lines fail, you must also ensure that they have the necessary run-time. The run-time is defined as the number of hours that a generator can run at a stretch without getting too hot or self-damaging itself. This run-time period varies from unit to unit and usually goes upto 8-12 hours for portable propane generators. If you live in an area that sees power failures for several hours at a stretch, it would be wise to invest in a generator that has the longest run-time. However, if power failures last only for a couple of hours, then you can go with any model that fulfills other necessary criteria.
A majority of propane fuelled generators that are available in the market have a pull or push option for startup. However, there are models that come with an electric button. This, obviously, is a more convenient way of starting up your generator. But the electric button requires a battery to run, and this isn’t included with your generator. As such, you will have to spend extra money for the purchase of the battery. But if it is convenience that you are looking for, you may spend the extra few dollars for the battery. Along with the startup options, you can also go for a generator that comes with an auto-off option so that there is no risk of running the generator on low oil.
Propane generators vary widely in size. In general, the more the power output of a generator, the bigger is the size of the generator. As such, if you are looking for a higher output from your generator, you will have to arrange for a bigger space to accommodate your generator. Also, you have to arrange for proper ventilation in the area where the generator is kept so that the generated heat can escape. Having the option to get your generator placed close to an electrical service will make things easier for you.
All generators produce some amount of noise. However, the noise produced by different models vary widely, usually depending on the how powerful the generator is, what kind of technology is used for sound insulation, etc. Models that produce higher levels of sound aren’t suitable for if you are living in apartments or densely populated areas as they will break the laws of the area or the building. As such, you will have to look for models that produce relatively low noise that will not disturb your neighbors or cause sound pollution. Even if you are living in the outskirts or suburban areas, you will have to ensure that your generator isn’t too loud to disturb anyone around. As such, models that come with better sound proofing or insulation would be the best pick for you.
If you are planning to run HVAC systems and other sensitive electrical appliances on your generator, you have to make sure that the unit that you buy produces clean and consistent energy so that the appliances do not get damaged due to voltage fluctuations.
Ease of use:
Whether you are looking for a generator for home use or one that you can use while camping outside, you should always opt for a unit that is easy to use. Models with simple and easy controls, display, and settings options are ideal for home use. This will ensure that you do not have to struggle every time you want to start the generator, fill the fuel, clean it up, and so on.
This is an important factor of consideration for people who want to use the generator while camping or tailgating. If the generator is too heavy, carry it out would be a problem. So, try choosing a model that is compact and easily portable. Even if you are planning to use the generator for home use, it is advisable not to choose a bulky unit unless absolutely necessary. If you have to buy a model that is on the heavier side, add some portability facilities to it like wheels, push handles, etc.
Unless you are willing to go out of your home to start your generator every time the power goes off, you will have to install a transfer switch. An automatic one would be preferable as this would switch your home circuit to your generator so that you do not have to be in the dark when the utility lines fail. The automatic switch continuously detects power supply in your home circuit. If it detects no power, it automatically turns on the generator and your power supply will resume without you needing to do anything. Having an automatic transfer switch is not only convenient, but safe as well. But you will have to shell out extra money for that.
Unless you have power cuts quite often, it is quite natural that your generator will be lying around unused for weeks at a stretch. Though most models have a good shelf life, it would be better if you buy a unit that is low on maintenance. That way, you wouldn’t have to worry about running your generator every now and then. A low maintenance generator can lie around unused for even a year and there will be no issues with its performance.
The permission to run generators varies from place to place. You have to check out what amount of noise is permissible under your country, state, and area laws. These laws are different, depending on the area of your residence. Not only that, you will also have to find out whether there are any laws relating to flood conditions, electric codes, etc. Moreover, your generator should not cause any trouble to your neighbors.
Buying the generator isn’t the only cost that you will have to bear. You will need a worker to build a slab or casing so that the generator can be properly installed. Moreover, you will need to call in an electrician so that he can connect the generator to your home circuit. You will also have to buy heavy duty extension cords if you are going for a transfer switch. All these are additional costs that you will need to bear. So, make sure that you consider your total expenses before buying the generator.
Best Propane Generators Reviews
1. Firman H03652 4550/3650 Watt Propane Dual Fuel Portable Generator:
If you go through propane generator reviews, this generator from Firman is one of those portable generators that offer a quality performance while running on propane. The power output is of 3300W on propane which is higher than if you are using gasoline. The run time of this machine is pretty good too, almost 15 hours on half power. Comes with steel wheels that increase the portability of this machine but with a weight of 122 lbs, this generator is difficult to move from one place to another. This generator comes with a standard RV-port but does not include any DC port, so you won’t be able to charge your battery. The propane tank is comparatively large with a capacity of 20 lbs which can offer you a run time of 15 hours straight.
- Comes with fuel gauge
- Reliable start button
- Cover protects the machine from moisture and dust
- It’s an efficient generator with flexible options
- Extended hose for propane
- Comes with voltage regulator
- Auto shut down system
- Supports dual fuel operation
- Delivers efficient and clean power every time you turn this machine ON
- 208cc engine with cast iron sleeve
- 15 hours of run time on propane
- RV ready power outlet with easy to operate control panels
- 3 year warranty
- Longer run time
- RV ready outlet
- Longer warranty period
- Better performance
- Clean power supply
- No DC port for batter charge
2. Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator:
According to propane generator reviews this portable dual fuel generator from Champion is a bit expensive than you think it might be. But with a 2750W of continuous power supply and 3100W of surged power, this propane generator might not be such a bad choice after all, especially if you are looking to buy a generator for your home use. Apart from that, this machine is capable of running 12 hours straight unlike the gasoline which can offer only 7.5 hours of runtime.
This generators maintains the industry standard and comes with one 30-amp outlet ready to be used for the RV. It also comes with a DC outlet as well which is certainly a very good addition to its features, but the main issue with this machine is that, it does not come with any digital meter to monitor the fuel level, or the fuel used. This machine weighs only 100 lbs which definitely adds to the portability of the machine and when you add to the fact that it has easy to roll wheels, this machine becomes one of the best portable machines that you can get. The generator has 3 years of warranty and you can call the technical support anytime you want for any assistance that you might need.
- Capable of running on propane and gasoline
- Might look like a heavy machine, but weighs only 100 lbs which makes it highly portable
- Comes with electric push button to start your generator
- Includes battery and smart charger to ensure you can start your machine even if its really cold outside
- Comes with additional parallel port that enables you to connect this machine with another Champion inverter generator to have more power
- Clean power supply every time you switch it on which ensures your electric appliances are safe all the time
- Offers a run time of 12 hours on propane
- Not much of noise issues. Generates about 59 dBA of noise while running
- Saves a lot of fuel
- Long lasting and durable engine
- Comes with Quick Touch Panel for a better and improved control
- Comes with 3-Position Ignition Switch
- Perfect for home use and tailgating
- RV-ready with a 30-amp outlet
- Clean power supply to protect your electronic devices from any kind of damage
- Includes a propane hose
- Maximum Frequency of 60 Hz
- 4 stroke engine
- Single cylinder, air-cooled engine
- Automatic shut down system at low oil level
- Recoil and Electric Start
- Durable cast iron frame
- Ready to connect with other inverter generators for more power
- 3 years of manufacturer warranty
- Output is good enough for household use or tailgating
- Display and controls are easy to read and operate
- Comes with 3 years of manufacturer warranty
- Only two AC outlets
- No oil meter or indicator
See Also: Top Quietest Generators
3. Champion 3800-Watt RV Ready Portable Propane Generator:
This generator from Champion is one of the best portable generators that runs on propane and gasoline both. With a maximum running power output of 3240W, this generator is always ready to power-up your TV, computers, phones, lights, refrigerators etc and it comes with RV-ready set-up as well. This generator comes with different safety features as well that make sure the machine does not malfunction or none of your appliances gets a bad power. Comes with easy to track and monitor for power output.
This generator comes with additional battery that keeps on charging internally. This ensures that it starts with ease when you use the push button or the Touch Start. This generator is highly portable with the presence of wheels and folding handle and also comes with a protective metal frame as well.
- According to propane generator reviews it comes with advanced technology that ensures that none of the electronic appliances are not damaged when there is a power surge
- This generator is capable of starting even during the winter season
- Comes with fuel selector that ensures easy fuel switch without any problem at all
- Runs on dual fuel, so you can either use propane or gasoline
- Comes with single cylinder 4 stroke engine for better performance
- It can run for 9 hours straight
- Generator is equipped with 224cc engine
- Apart from having two different outlets for household usage, it also has a 30 amps power outlet for RV
- Has a system that turns off the generator when the oil level is low
- Compact and durable design
- Generates only 68 dBA of sound
- Comes with 3 years of warranty as well
- Manual include is good enough to help you get going
- Highly Portable design
- Durable engine with sturdy design
- Easy to assemble and operate
- Comes with additional propane hosepipe as well
- No oil drainage hose included so you will have to buy it separately
See Also: Best Camping Generators Reviews
4. Westinghouse WGen3600DF Propane Generator:
If you are looking for a powerful generator that you can use at home and abroad, then this propane generator from Westinghouse is perfect for you. Apart from being able to run on propane, you can also choose to use gasoline as well. Also, this generator is really easy to carry. With a folding handle and two wheels, this generator can surely be termed as one of the best portable generators as well.
As per propane generator reviews this generator comes with metal frame that protects the generator from any kind of falling incident as well. It comes with an electric push button, or you can choose to use the remote to start the generator as well. The maximum power generated while using propane is 3240W which is really good enough for an emergency camping or at home. Even if you compare the run time, this generator will come first compared to others in the same category.
This generator has two AC outlets along with one DC port and one RV-port as well. Although it weighs 100 lbs but the wheel design definitely adds to the portability of the machine. Also when you add to the fact that it comes with oil funnel, toolkit and user manual, this generator can surely be termed as the best propane generator that you can get.
- You can have a power output of 3240W with a maximum limit of 4180W while using propane
- Fuel tank is of 4 gallon capacity
- Comes with remote start and electric push button
- Comes with easy to read control panels
- Different outlet options including RV-ready 30amp outlet
- Comes with 4 stroke, 212cc engine
- Even has an automatic shutdown mechanism for low oil level as well
- Easy to set up and get going
- Comes with the necessary instructions and manual
- CSA, EPA and CARB compliant
- Comes with 3 years warranty as well
- Comes with RV-ready outlet that makes it one of the best choices for RVs
- You do not need any additional adapter to plugin to your RV
- Easy to operate
- Comes with toolkit and manual for easy installation
- Comes with outlet covers that can be used to keep it clean
- On propane it can offer a maximum of 4180W power
- The RV outlet is of 30 amps only
- The machine is capable of running for 12 hours in a stretch
- Might require some assembling knowledge to get started but the manual included is good enough
- Includes only two AC outlets
See Also: Best Standby Generators
5.Pulsar Products PG10000B16 10,000W Propane Generator:
This propane generator runs fine on dual fuel and comes with the facility to easy switch between the fuels even if the generator is on. While using propane you can get at least 7000W of power which is really good enough to power all your home appliances even it can work nicely in some small offices as well. Completely user friendly and comes with a push start button that is powered by an in-built battery. It comes with seven power outlets including one RV ready outlet as well. This generator is highly portable too. With wheels and a pair of folding handles, it becomes really easy to transport this machine from one place to another.
- Comes with easy fuel switching technology that enables you to switch between fuels safely even if the generator is ON
- It has an auto shutdown system as well that gets activated when the fuel level is low
- Comes with 4 stroke, 420cc engine with durable steel frame that protects the engine from any damage
- It has a fuel capacity of 6.6 gallon which enables the generator to provide power supply for long durations
- Start is super quick with the Push-Start electric button
- AC outlets can provide a power output of 120V and DC outlet can have 12V output power which is good enough to power all your home appliances
- Wheels and fold-down handles add to the portability of the machine
- Comes with different reading parameters and indicators for easy monitoring
- Includes propane hose that enables easy and quick hookup
- Supports dual fuel
- Easy switching between fuels even if the generator is running
- Convenient reading parameters
- Circuit breakers
- Easy to operate and maintain
- This machine is quite costly compared to the other generators in its category
See Also: Best Generators to Run AC
6.Pulsar Products PG7750B Dual-Fuel Generator:
If you are looking for a dual fuel generator that is capable of delivering good enough power output but at an affordable price range, then this machine from Pulsar might fit in your requirement. With a maximum of 6250W surged power output, this propane generator can truly become your best choice. This generator comes with four AC power outlets and one DC outlet as well. Along with that you also get one 3-amp RV ready outlet as well. Although this generator weighs about 200 lbs and does not look like to be a portable one, but with the inclusion of wheels and handles, this generator becomes one of the best portable generators that you can buy. This generator from Pulsar offers you a switch that lets you change the fuel in the go that means you do not have to shut it down for a fuel change; you can do it while it’s ON. While the maximum power output while running on propane is about 6250W, you can only get 5950W of power as a continuous supply and it can run for straight 8 hours that makes it the best choice for your household use too.
- Comes with additional circuit breakers for the safety of your appliances
- Maximum power output of 5950W while running on propane
- Easy fuel switching system
- Electric Start button
- Includes a battery
- 4 stroke, 420cc engine
- Large fuel tank for a better and longer performance
- Includes a propane hose, so you do not have to buy it separately
- Industry standard OHV engine for the best performance
- Oil level indicator with automatic shut down system
- Warranty for 2 years
- Good enough power output for lighting up your household during power cut
- Four industry standard AC outlets along with one RV-ready outlet and a DC outlet
- Digital display for easy monitoring and control
- Compared to other generators, this one is really quite while running
- Although maximum run time for this machine is of 13 hours but if you are using propane you can get maximum of 8 hours of runtime which is quite low compared to the other products in the same category
See Also: Best Portable Generators
7. DuroMax XP12000 eh Dual Fuel Portable Generator:
This portable generator is perfect to meet your requirement especially when there is a power outage for longer durations. This generator lets you use either gasoline or propane. If you are running on propane, it can offer a 20 hours of run time which is really impressive. If you compare the power output for this machine, with other generators in the same category, this one is truly the best amongst all those other quality products. It’s not just a generator for emergency power supply, it’s a technology that offers you safe and pure power back up for all your home appliances. It comes with a 457cc OHV engine that is capable of feeding any power panel. And it also includes safety breakers that ensure your appliances are safe even if there is a power overload.
This durable propane generator provides noise reduction technology that ensures a quite operation even if it’s running for long duration. Along with that it also comes with auto-shutdown technology that enables the machine to shut off when the oil level is lower than certain level.
- Running capability on dual fuel
- Heavy duty metal frame for safety of the engine
- Noise reduction technology
- Power panel and digital display with oil level warning, circuit breaker and power outlets
- Auto shutdown system when the oil level is low
- 20 hours of long run time on propane
- Safety breakers to protect your appliances from any damage
- Longer run time
- Durable and compact design
- Auto-shutdown system
- Noise reduction
- Dual fuel technology
- Circuit breaker for safety
- Higher power output
- According to some users the oil spreads a bit which might need some cleaning
Advantages of Buying a Propane Generator
Portable generators can be run on quite a few types of fuel such as gasoline, propane, natural gas, diesel, etc. That being said, propane is often a favored fuel amongst users, whether it be for home use, camping use, or RV use. Here are a few points that make owing a propane generator a better choice than generators that run on other fuel sources:
- To begin with, the fuel, i.e. propane is usually filled into cylinders for sale. This greatly reduces the chances of a spill.
- As propane gets easily evaporated, the risks are reduced even if there is a spill of the liquid.
- The benefit of propane for travelers is that the fuel is very easily available in the market in cylinders. Thus, you can not only get the fuel with ease, but it is easily portable as well.
- Generators running on propane are usually less noisy, which is why, propane is greatly favored by majority generator owners.
- Propane usually produces a clean burn. This means that carbon monoxide and other air pollutants are produced in very low amounts when propane is used as a fuel. That is why, they do not cause much pollution and amongst the most eco-friendly conventional fuel sources. This makes propane generators the most ideal choice for campers, tailgaters, as well as homeowners.
- The fuel comes with a long shelf life. This means that you can buy a number of cylinders at once and store them for the future without the worry of the fuel getting spoiled. Thus, they are good as backup generators.
- Propane is often a must cost-effective fuel compared to many other fuel sources. The fuel can produce electricity for much longer than other sources, thus helping you save money.
- Another benefit of having a propane fuelled generator is that these generators do not require any kind of fuel stabilizers. So, you do not have to pay extra for the same.
Downsides of a Propane Generator
Along with the many benefits that the propane fuelled generators have, they have their own set of limitations as well. The problems that one may face with a propane generator are mentioned below:
- Propane generators run on significantly advanced and complex systems which increase the chances of a breakdown.
- Since the system involved is quite complex, repairing a propane generator can be quite difficult.
- While propane fuelled generators are usually considered safe, damage in the fuel lines often becomes hazardous.
- Propane being an inflammable gas may seem to be a risky choice to be stored at home.
- Propane generators do not work well when temperatures fall below -20
That being said, most of these downsides can be easily averted if proper care is taken. In fact, propane generators fare much better than their counterparts when it comes to being user-friendly and a great choice for home and outside use.
Maintaining your propane generator:
Once you have decided on the best propane generator for your need, you would obviously be excited on ordering it. However, before you do that, it would be wise to know more about propane generators and how you should take care of it. Here we have chalked out a few simple steps to make maintenance an easy task.
Go through the user manual:
Like all appliances, propane generators come with a user and instruction manual. Though you may feel no need to read the manual as most generators are easy to set up, doing so can be a disaster. The manual can help you understand the unit better and also tell you what you should do to take proper care of the unit. You will be able to easily understand what kind of maintenance the unit requires and at what intervals. This way, you will not be in the dark about your generator’s maintenance.
Keep your generator filled:
If you do not need to run the generator quite frequently for long hours, it is obvious that a full tank will be good for quite a few power failures. As such, you may not often feel the need to refuel your generator every time after use. But doing so isn’t wise as you may find yourself out of fuel in case there is a power failure for long hours. That is why, it is suggested that you refuel your generator every time you get a chance. That way, you won’t damage your generator or be forced to live in the dark.
Get it serviced regularly:
Your generator will need servicing to be able to run smoothly and without any failure. This must be done bi-yearly and filters, spark plugs, and the oil must be changed. If you want to do it yourself, you can go through the manual to know how to go about doing it. If you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself, you can call in an expert.
Look out for damages:
With continued use, your generator may start to wear out a little. The more frequently it is used, the faster the wear will occur. That is why, it is necessary to inspect the generator at regular intervals for loose screws, rusty bolts, broken casing, cracked parts, etc. If you find anything that has been worn out, repair or replace it immediately. This will not only help the generator to run smoothly, but will prevent damage to the generator itself.
Empty the gas tank:
If your generator comes with a dual fuel source option, you would probably have it filled for emergency situations. It must, however, be remembered that gasoline, unlike propane, doesn’t have a long shelf life. So, if you think that you wouldn’t need your generator to run on gasoline for several months at a stretch, it would be wise to empty the gas tank so that the fuel doesn’t degrade while in the tank.
Seek expert help:
If you are faced with a situation or problem that you have little or no idea about, it would be wise to leave things alone and seek help from an expert. Unnecessarily poking about your generator can cause further damage it. The expert will be able to understand the exact nature of the problem and deal with it professionally.
Safety Tips for Using Propane Generator Users
If you are planning on buying a propane generator for your home, it is important that you and your family members be aware of the safety measures that need to be taken. Though otherwise safe to use, propane generators, too, can cause hazards if proper precautions aren’t taken. So, here are a few simple yet important safety tips for the users:
- Propane has a smell quite similar to that of rotten eggs. So, it is important to let your family be on the lookout for any similar smell when the generator is being used (even when not in use). This will indicate a leak in the generator and needs immediate attention.
- If you sense a leak of propane gas, you should not turn on any electrical appliances or light switches.
- To be on the safe side, you can buy propane detectors from your local hardware store.
- If are planning to renovate or landscape your house, make sure that you know your home circuit and supply lines well so that you do not end up damaging them.
- If floods hit, make sure that your generator is not hit by it. If it has already been hit, make sure not to use it till an expert inspects it for damages.
- Do not restrict airflow around your generator by putting it in a small enclosed space.
If you want to be ready to face power- blackouts and bad weather conditions, propane generators are your best pick. They can keep you safe and comfortable even when things around you turn worse. That is why, propane generators are considered to be a wise investment for households as well as for traveling purposes. All you need to do is ensure that you buy the best propane generator to suit your needs and you have a backup for times of need.
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