Diesel Vs Propane Home Generator: Enlightening Emergency Facts

You’re finally ready to get that home generator you’ve been planning for all this time, but do you need diesel or propane? There are some vital differences between the two, and staring at pages of reviews and scattered facts is just confusing. Fortunately, I’ve been running my generators for a couple of decades now both at home and my BOL. So I can help enlighten the situation with straightforward facts. As long as you have power, you’ll have the ability to do a lot more for your survival, especially if you live in the city. The new generator is about to be your favorite prep because you will use it more than you expect. Even when there are no SHTF level problems, storms knock out powerlines every year, but you won’t be in the dark anymore.

Diesel Vs. Propane Storage

When looking at generators, whether diesel or propane, one of your main concerns should always be fuel storage. How much space you have, and how well different fuels keep over time are essential questions. Additionally, you’ll want to look at the cost, safety, and efficiency of each.

When winter comes, and you need to keep your loved ones warm, a disaster is the worst time to realize you don’t have enough fuel. You may recall that in January of 2019, a severe cold snap hit a huge portion of the midwestern US and killed twenty-two people. Businesses and schools closed down, and people were freezing.

Unfortunately, severe weather can knock out local power grids and leave you in the lurch. Hence, a home power generator is necessary, but which one? Let’s take a look at the four main fuel differences.

Fuel Basics

Sure, both propane and diesel will keep you warm, but the differences can be shocking. Depending on how good you are at engine maintenance, or how much space you can dedicate to fuel storage, your best option varies. There are advantages to both. Your situation makes a huge impact on what type of generator you need.

Generally, I recommend a high-quality propane generator like the Etq TG32P31 3600W Portable. Like many generators these days, it’s a dual fuel model so that you can use gasoline in a pinch. However, with a thirteen-hour runtime at fifty percent load, you won’t run out of fuel anytime soon. Plus, it’s EPA and CARB approved for all fifty states. Click Here to find out more on Amazon.

Especially when you’re new to prepping, it’s often best to start with less dangerous options. You can work your way up to storing harder to care for materials.  In this case, diesel is the advanced class. I’ll explain why.

Fuel Differences

Not all fuels are created equal. Burn rates, heat output, and toxicity are just some of the things you need to consider when you plan to store and use any fuel in your home. Here are the four most important differences between propane and diesel.

  • Fuel Safety- Diesel in smaller quantities is stored the same as regular gasoline, while propane tanks come with safety valves. Propane is also nontoxic and has a much narrower range for flammability.
  • Efficiency- Unlike the cooler burning propane, diesel puts out thirty percent more heat for an equal amount of fuel burned. You’ll need a lot more propane to do the same job. Diesel engines also tend to operate better.
  • Cost- Typically, propane costs about half as much as diesel fuel. However, it’s worth checking local sources before you make a final decision.
  • Shelf Life- Propane doesn’t go bad in the tank over time. Meanwhile, the same cannot be said for diesel fuel.

As you can see, there’s an upside to either fuel source. If you have space, and a smaller budget, then propane is for you. However, if you want fuel efficiency and you have a large budget, diesel is alright. Still, propane is less toxic and less flammable, which makes it a better option for beginners.

Differences Between Propane & Diesel Generators

Fuel storage isn’t your only concern when selecting between propane and diesel generators. The physical features and cost of your machine are also huge factors. The environmental impact is also an essential consideration.

Although diesel can be a less expensive fuel to use in a generator, you’ll find that the harmful chemical output is both messy and problematic. Moreover, propane won’t go bad inside the tank, causing failed starts and motor issues.

If that wasn’t enough to put you off diesel generators, there’s also the noise consideration. Propane makes for a fairly quiet generator and can run under sixty decibels easily. Alternately, the typical diesel generator is loud enough to damage your hearing.

Why Noise Matters

In a true SHTF scenario, announcing your presence and wealth of preparedness supplies can be a deadly decision. It doesn’t take very much to screen out the noise from a clean-burning propane generator. Trees or bushes in your yard will make it less noticeable. You can also move woodpiles and other stable large objects nearby to help break up the sound.

Sixty decibels is about the same as a moderately loud conversation, so it’s not so hard to disguise. Although you should never place a generator in an enclosed shed, you can build an awning in most places. Protecting your generator from the weather while reducing sound is a wise choice. Make sure to check your local ordinances first to avoid trouble.

When stores close down, and people start to run short on supplies, it won’t be long before you face bandit issues. There are already almost two and a half million robberies per year in the USA. How much worse do you think it will get if things go south and people lose power or other vital services?


Another significant prohibiting factor for many seeking their first or latest generator is cost. Unfortunately, a conventional, portable diesel generator will cost upwards of two thousand dollars at least. Portable generators with multi-thousand dollar price tags aren’t within the average budget.

Although it may be worth saving for, you need a solution sooner. You can always use your propane generator as a backup at your BOL later. When you can cut a zero off the price tag, that’s enough incentive to consider propane or dual-fuel generators seriously.

A reliable model like the Rainier R4400DF from Amazon will get you through the dark. At just sixty-five decibels, it won’t scream your location to the world. You’ll love the wheels for easy portability. Plus, Ranier offers a three-year limited warranty to make sure you get the most out of your home generator. Read the reviews right here

Keep Your Propane or Diesel Generator Safe

A good home generator, propane or diesel, needs to be portable. Instead of leaving it out like bait all the time, you can pull the generator inside when it’s not in use. Protecting your generator from thieves and weather can be that simple.

If you only use a home generator when you genuinely need it, you’re less likely to attract notice. In an emergency scenario, keeping your head down is one survival strategy that almost everyone needs at times. However, there’s one situation almost no one is prepared for, and they should be.

EMP weapons are becoming part of the arsenal for several major world powers. Last year America’s President made moves to help protect against the probability of an EMP crippling the US infrastructure. Sadly, that won’t protect your house or your generator.

Emergency Backup Generator

Keeping your emergency backup generator somewhere it’s out of sight isn’t enough. You want to keep it safe. Luckily, you can build a very basic Faraday cage to store your generator and other backup supplies inside. It won’t even take too long.

Choose a high-powered All Power America APG3590CN, and you’ll have enough power to get through almost anything, even if you have a large house. Ten thousand watts of output will keep your refrigerator, and anything else you need working long after the rest of the country goes dark. Moreover, it’s EPA and C.E.T.L certified. Get yours from Amazon, click here

Once you have a generator worth protecting, you’ll need some copper mesh, aluminum, or chicken wire. The trick to a good Faraday cage is making sure it fully encloses whatever you want to protect with no gaps on any side. A simple cube shape will do. Store your generator inside with other backup devices you plan to power with it.

Final Thoughts

As you learn better preparedness strategies, you’ll be glad you have a good propane home generator. Moreover, you’ll start to see why protecting it is so vital. When you plan to survive an emergency, you want to have as many options a possible to help you thrive.

Keeping your generator away from thieves and EMPs will help you do that. For more details on how to build an excellent Faraday cage for storing your generator when it’s not in use, check out the video above. Add a couple of high-quality padlocks, and you can protect against robbery and energy pulses at the same time.

Running out of power at some point is inevitable. Luckily, staying that way is a choice, and you can avoid it with a simple home generator.

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