Gas vs Propane, and Hybrid Generators

Gas vs Propane, and Hybrid Generators


  • Very efficient
  • Burns cleaner
  • Propane is easier to store than gasoline


  • 10−15% less power than a gasoline generator
  • Propane prices can fluctuate
  • Must go to a propane dealer or have propane delivered to get an economical price


  • Easy to find fuel during normal times
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to find


  • Requires serious ventilation compared with a propane generator
  • Gas prices can fluctuate a lot and have been on the rise


  • Allows you to use two different fuel types
  • Affordable
  • Good for RV living


  • Costs more than a gas generator


Are propane generators more efficient than gasoline generators?

Propane generators are not as efficient as gasoline generators. They produce fewer BTUs per gallon of fuel than gas generators.

What size propane generator is best for home back up?

That depends on how many of your regular appliances, lights, and devices you feel are necessary to keep running during an emergency. Running a propane or gasoline generator is more expensive than the power your utility company supplies. Make a list of the crucial items that need backup power and add up the total wattage they consume. For most people, the critical needs are keeping refrigerators and freezers going, having some lighting, and the ability to run laptops or charge a cell phone or e-reader for communication and entertainment.

I sometimes see propane prices listed by the gallon, but tanks are sized by the pound. How many gallons of propane are in a 20-pound tank, and how much does it weigh when full?

A 20-pound propane tank contains 4.5 gallons of propane. It’s useful to know this if you’re having a tank filled and the prices are by the gallon. The weight of the tank when empty is around 17 pounds, so a full 20-pound tank weighs 37 pounds.

Do propane tanks go bad over time? How long are they good for?

As long as propane tanks are not exposed to impacts or a lot of inclement weather, they’ll last indefinitely. Propane can leak out the valve at the top if it gets knocked and opened up. Propane tanks are made to withstand being outside but they should be painted occasionally to keep rust at bay. All propane tanks must be inspected by a qualified professional every 5−10 years, so if you store one for a long time and then use the propane and want to refill it, you’ll have to get it recertified.

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MeetRoman Zrazhevskiy

Roman is a notable figure in the sphere of emergency preparedness and has been featured in various news broadcasts, publications, and documentaries to weigh in on the subject. He has made multiple appearances on HBO, BBC, CBS, and other media outlets to provide insight on the critical importance of readiness under all circumstances. When he is not hard at work being the CEO of Ready To Go Survival and MIRA Safety, he enjoys riding his motorcycle, shooting, handball, and scaring his neighbors by taking out the trash in full MOPP gear.