What Fuel Do Whole House Generators Use?

what fuel do whole house generators use

Power outages can wreak havoc on your home, from burst pipes to freezing temperatures and spoiled food. Also, they can lead to loss of safety equipment and computer data.

One of the best ways to avoid these issues is by having a whole house generator installed at your home. But how do you know what kind to get?

Natural Gas

If you live in an area that experiences frequent power outages, you may have heard of whole house generators. These standby units run on natural gas or liquid propane and can power all of your household appliances in the event of a power outage.

They can also keep your sump pump running if you have a basement. This helps prevent the potential for a basement pool if you have to leave your home for a while due to power outages.

Natural gas, the most common fuel used for home backup generators, is produced naturally by the Earth over hundreds of millions of years from underground geologic formations. It contains high amounts of methane (a greenhouse gas), but also water vapour.

It can be transported over long distances via a network of pipelines, and it is widely available through local utility companies. However, it can be expensive to store. It can also be hazardous to the environment if it leaks, so it is advisable to have a backup fuel source in case of an outage.


Whole house generators can run on a variety of fuels. The most common choice is natural gas or propane. These odourless, colourless fossil fuels are considered clean energy and greener to use than other types of fuel.

Propane is a three-carbon alkane with the chemical formula C3H8. It is a natural byproduct of petroleum refining and natural gas processing.

It is a gas at standard pressures and temperatures, but is also compressible to a liquid at lower temperature and higher pressures. This makes it a very versatile fuel.

On farms, propane-fueled equipment and technologies control pests, dry crops, power irrigation pumps, and many other agricultural uses.

In the United States, propane is distributed through underground pipelines to distribution terminals that serve local customers. These terminals are similar to warehouses that store merchandise before shipping it to stores and shops.

Once delivered, propane is transported by railroad tank cars, trucks, barges, and tanker ships to bulk plants. These plants are often located in a nearby city. Smaller service trucks exchange empty propane cylinders for filled ones at the plant.


Whole house generators are permanently wired into your home and automatically turned on during a power outage. They run on a variety of fuels, including natural gas, propane, and diesel.

They’re typically liquid-cooled, which allows them to run in extreme temperatures without burning up. They require less upkeep than portable models.

A whole house generator is more expensive than a portable model, but they can provide long-lasting backup power for your home during a power outage. They are also more versatile than portable generators and come in a variety of sizes to fit different needs.

One of the most popular fuel choices for whole house generators is natural gas. It burns cleanly and is inexpensive, and many homes already have a natural gas line plumbed to their property. Propane is another option, but it requires a large storage tank and piping to deliver the fuel to your home.


When a power outage occurs, your generator automatically switches on and starts running things like your furnace, kitchen appliances, lights, sump-pump, and more. Your generator runs on a fuel source, which could be natural gas, liquid propane, or diesel.

Gasoline is a mixture of hundreds of different hydrocarbons with 4 to 12 carbon atoms per molecule. During production, gasoline is mixed with additives to meet performance specifications of modern automobile engines.

It boils mainly between 30deg and 200deg C (85deg and 390deg F). Aviation gasoline contains smaller proportions of the more-volatile components.

In the United States, EPA regulates the presence of aromatics in gasoline to limit benzene to 0.62 percent. Other aromatics, such as toluene and xylene, are not capped.

Gasoline also contains oxygenates, a combustible mixture of a hydrocarbon and one or more atoms of oxygen. Oxygenates include ethanol, methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE), and tertiary-amyl methyl ether (TAME).