What is the Best Generator Fuel Type?

One of the most frequently asked questions from residential and commercial clients is which generator fuel type is best. In this post we will breakdown generator fuel types and highlight some of the advantages and disadvantages of each.

The three main fuel types for residential and commercial generators are:

  • Propane
  • Natural Gas
  • Diesel

If your home or business is already set up with an above or underground tank and line for a particular fuel type, using that source is best for eliminating any initial costs. If you will be a installing a new fuel source, it’s helpful to weigh some of the upfront costs associated with long-term benefits like efficiency, cleanliness, and refuel costs. In a residential area, noise associated with a generator fuel type may also be an important factor.

Here’s a simply breakdown of the most common generator fuel types in Myrtle Beach.

Propane

Propane is a popular fuel for generators in Myrtle Beach because it’s commonly used in the area and there are plenty of providers. Generators using propane are relatively quiet and emission-compliant for a cleaner burn than some other fuel types.

Pros:

  • Long service life
  • Delivered to many homes and businesses
  • Quieter engine noise levels
  • More emission-compliant
  • Easily stored in both large tanks or in smaller 5-10 gallon cylinders
  • Obtainable during power outages

Cons:

  • Pressurized cylinder of flammable gas may be dangerous
  • Unattractive larger tanks outside home or business
  • Fuel plumbing may cost more initially
  • Somewhat expensive fuel
  • Shorter shelf life compared to diesel

Natural Gas

Natural gas generators are also common in the Myrtle Beach area. It is cleaner than diesel and runs relatively quiet as well.

Pros:

  • Considerably efficient
  • Less expensive than other fuel types
  • More available during power outage
  • Quieter engine noise level
  • More emission compliant

Cons:

  • Lower power output
  • Fuel system plumbing costs
  • More expensive to operate compared to diesels

Diesel

Diesel is another common fuel type for generators that is well-tested and available in the Myrtle Beach area. This fuel type is less expensive than propane or natural gas, but they do not burn as clean. Diesel-fueled generators may also be louder than propane or natural gas.

Pros:

  • Least flammable fuel type
  • Less expensive to operate
  • Equipment is cheaper than other fuel type generators
  • Long-term cost is less

Cons:

  • Diesel has shorter shelf life
  • Fuel may not be available during power outages
  • Engine noise is higher

So, Which is Best?

Like always, it depends. If fuel costs are the most important factor, diesel is a suitable fuel source that can reduce long-term costs. There are some trade-offs of course. For many, propane is great, and it’s readily available in our area. While it’s generally more expensive than diesel, it has a longer shelf life, which is very helpful, and it is much quieter.

The Cooper Electrical Services generator team is happy to review options to find the best generator and fuel source for your needs. To learn more, visit our FAQ on our website.