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Propane or Diesel: How to Choose a Generator

We are never truly prepared for a power outage. The sudden loss of electricity can come at any time, thanks to a storm, high winds, or even a critter. Many people have a generator at their home or business for back-up power. Two common types people purchase are propane and diesel. You are likely wondering how to choose a generator, so here are the pros and cons of each.

Propane Generator Advantages

Propane is available at many home improvement stores and some convenience stores. You can even choose to have it delivered to your home. Propane won’t go bad and can be easily stored for future use. It is the perfect option for those who rarely use their generator. Propane generators are quieter than diesel ones.

Propane Generator Cons

Of course, propane generators have a downside. They are less efficient since they produce less energy per gallon of fuel. They require more maintenance and will likely need to be replaced sooner than a diesel generator. Propane generators have a shorter lifespan than diesel ones.

Diesel Generator Benefits

Diesel generators are more economical and efficient than propane ones. They use less fuel to generate the same amount of power. They break down less often and have a longer life expectancy. Diesel generators are also equipped to handle larger power loads. They are relatively low maintenance and very durable. Diesel is also less flammable than other types of fuel.

Diesel Generator Cons

These generators have a few weak points. They are typically more expensive and are noisier than propane generators. Diesel fuel can also be harder to find during power outages. The price of diesel will likely continue to rise due to regulations. Installation costs can be high as well. Diesel generators are heavy and bulky and aren’t considered mobile.

Generator Use Safety Tips

Safety should be front and center when using a generator. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind.

Always keep your generator outside. It should never be used indoors or in partially enclosed areas. Proper air circulation is key. Generators emit dangerous fumes you can’t see or smell. Keep generators at least 20 feet away from a home or structure.

Avoid electrical shock. If conditions are wet, make sure you and the generator stay dry. If it’s raining, use the generator in a covered, yet open and dry area. Keep water away.

Use caution when refueling your generator. Spilled fuel can ignite. Keep it away from other fuel-burning appliances such as water heaters or hot engines. Turn off the generator and let it cool down before refueling.

Wild Animal Damage

Wild animals like mice, squirrels, snakes, and birds can cause a power outage. These critters often seek out substations for food and shelter. Here are some ways to keep the pests away from dangerous electrical equipment.

Keep the area clear of overgrowth and trash that can attract rodents. Seal any openings using materials that can’t be nibbled on. Don’t ignore tiny holes. Mice and insects can slip through them and wreak havoc. Insulate energized conductors to protect animal exposure. Be on the lookout for droppings, nests, and other signs of an animal infestation. Early detection can prevent future problems. Modernize your electrical equipment as needed.

Let Us Handle Your Electrical Needs

The folks at CKElectric can handle all your electrical projects, big or small! We can help you with electrical upgrades, repairs, and wiring. We serve Sykesville, Eldersburg, Frederick, and all of Central Maryland. Call us at 443-920-3078 or email us at We are happy to serve you!