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Last Updated on June 5, 2021
There’s no telling when your power might go out and you’ll need to rely on your generator. Natural disasters can happen at any time, after all, and when they do happen, you’ll need to know how much fuel you need to keep that generator running. Certain factors will impact how long you have before you need more fuel, so read on to learn more.
How Much Gas Does a Generator Use?
What Will You Power?
This may seem a little obvious, but how much gas your generator uses will indeed depend on what you plan on powering, and how many devices you plan on powering.
Larger appliances will take more gas, and so will powering more appliances. If you want to work out how much gas you’ll need, it starts with learning how much energy your home appliances are using.
The type of generator you have and what type of fuel it uses will alter the rate of gas consumption. You could have a gasoline, propane, diesel, or natural gas generator, all of which consume different levels of gas.
For the most part, the propane generator will end up costing you the most to power for the long term, while your other three options tend to consume less gas.
There are two main types of generators: the standard and the inverter. The standard generator will generally consume more gas because it produces only DC current, although these generators do produce more power. If you’re trying to power a lot of large appliances, this is the type of generator that will power them.
Inverter generators are made to be more efficient. They have a motor and a battery to them, which will save you more fuel, although they also do have smaller gas tanks, meaning that they can’t power devices that are as large as you could with a standard option.
You should also check the specs on whatever generator you have or that you plan on buying, which will tell you the run time. This lets you know how long one full tank of gas will keep your generator running for.
Depending on the tank size, your generator will be able to run for longer on one full tank. This impacts how much gas you use.
Factors that Affect Generator’s Gas Consumption
Your generator and appliances themselves impact how much gas your generator consumes, so let’s go into a little more detail about some of these factors.
Other Generator Types
Your generator will impact how much fuel you’re using, and what you’re able to power. First, you’ve got your standby generator. These are the types of generators that you pull out in the case of an emergency, and that generally power a lot for a limited amount of time until your power comes back. These generators are usually your standard generators, and will therefore use a lot of power.
Then you’ve got portable generators, which are made to be compact and convenient for you to travel around within the long-term. How much gas they use depends on the size of the generator itself and how big the gas tank is. Most homes can’t rely on a generator like this, but you can power a few items with them.
You already know about the inverter generator, which is smaller and uses less gas, but there’s also the tri-fuel option, which allows you to use whatever fuel type you need. Your fuel consumption might differ then depending on which fuel you use.
How Much Will You Power?
Beyond the generator itself, which can impact what you’re able to power depending on the type and capacity of the generator, you have the question of how much you’ll be powering. In the end, the load you put on the generator is an important factor in how much gas it uses.
Let’s say you have a ton of appliances that you plan on powering, or that you’re planning on powering larger things like AC or refrigerators. This will take up a lot of load and will therefore use more power.
On the other hand, you might only need your generator to power personal electronics or a few lights.
This is a light load, and will not end up with your generator using that much power overall. In this case, you might not even need a huge generator that takes up a lot of power.
You can burn certain types of fuel for longer. For the most part, diesel is a great gas choice if you’re looking for a slow-burning type of fuel that will give you a lot of power over time. Natural gas isn’t a bad option either if you have the hookup nearby. Propane is also a good option as it doesn’t burn too quickly.
If you already have a generator and find yourself using up a lot of fuel in it, you can save energy by not using certain appliances like your water heater.
It would be more efficient to just use your stovetop to heat water. Make sure you have energy-saving light bulbs too, which are made to consume less power, and therefore lighten the load on your generator.
When you’re having to rely on your generator, reduce the use of appliances that use a lot of energy like the dryer. Instead, hang out your clothes to dry to save power.
A generator is a solid investment that can really save you in times of trouble—like if your power goes out during a storm. You don’t want to be spending tons of money on fuel for your generator though, so you’ll want to be aware of the factors that impact your gas consumption.
Depending on your load, on your generator, and on your appliances, you’ll notice that you’ll use up gas at a different rate. Use this to prepare for your next power outage, and to help you pick out your next generator.
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