Electrical Blog

Residential standby generator

Propane-Powered Generators Offer Flexibility to Power Portions of Your Home

Keeping your family supplied with some supplemental power in the event of a major storm or a grid-down situation is key. Putting in a natural gas generator to power your entire home may be a possibility, but only if you can be sure that you will always have access to natural gas. In the event of a natural gas shut-down, a propane generator may also be useful.

Pros of Propane-Powered Home Generators

Propane-powered generators offer a great deal of flexibility. A small one can be used to keep your refrigerator going and will be easy to store. If the natural gas grid goes down, you can invest in propane tanks that can also be easily stored in your garage or outbuildings.

Unlike a natural gas generator, a propane generator is portable. You can put your portable generator and tank outside and run an extension cord into your home to keep critical tools functioning. There are also portable propane generators that are dual-fuel, so they will run on gasoline or propane. If the power is going to be out for a while, this option may save your food storage.

Because propane tanks are portable, you can invest in at least two and swap them out as long as you can find a source for propane. If the natural gas grid is not functioning, propane and other fuels will go quickly, so consider filling up all your propane tanks before storm season hits.

Cons of Propane-Powered Home Generators

You have to buy the tanks. Once you own your propane tank, you can simply swap it for a full one from a local dispenser, but the initial cash outlay can be costly. Unlike a natural gas generator, you will need to designate a safe storage area for your propane tanks.

A portable generator can be damaged by rough handling. If you struggle to lift your portable generator, consider investing in a moving dolly so you can easily place your propane generator wherever you need it. Jerking your generator around because it’s more than you can safely lift can be dangerous.

A propane generator is unlikely to be able to power your whole house. If you do try to use it for the whole house, you have to handle hooking and unhooking the power connections. You’ll also have to safely manage hooking up and unhooking the propane tank. While propane tanks are lighter than generators, each connection and disconnection can be hazardous.

If you’ve been considering a generator for your Lansing, MI home, talk to the professionals at Wire Works about the safest, most efficient option.