Energy use will rise by as much as 28% over the next 20 years. That massive uptick is going to make the world more prone to blackouts that could hamper food preparation, city movement and the ability to administer medical treatment.
If that scares you, you’re not alone.
Millions of people understand the somber state of energy and worry that changes won’t be made to infrastructure fast enough to meet demand. Many of those people have chosen to protect themselves by installing a diesel or gas generator in their home or business as a backup power source.
Below, we break down the pros and cons of diesel and gas technology so that you can understand which unit best serves your needs.
Our diesel vs gas generator discussion opens by exploring the benefits and drawbacks of diesel. Diesel fuel is similar to the gas that you put in your car in that both products have a basis in crude oil. The process in which diesel is produced though gives it a unique molecular structure that affords it a number of special qualities.
Here’s what you should know about generators that run on this form of fuel:
Pro – Diesel Generators Require Less Maintenance
Diesel generators are placed in a number of commercial settings where malfunction could prove catastrophic (hospitals for example). As such, these generators are made with the best parts and are built to function over large spans of time without any maintenance or intervention.
If you’re not good at tinkering with appliances, a diesel generator would be a good match for your sensibilities.
Pro – Relatively Small Size
Given the amount of power that diesel generators are capable of outputting, you might assume that these units would be monstrous. The truth is though, when compared to similar gas generators, diesel generators are small.
Their compact design makes them a functional choice for residential settings that have limited space.
Pro – Safety
Diesel fuel does not burn like car fuel does. As a matter of fact, if you were to drop a match into diesel that had leaked out of your generator, it would not light. This is, of course, an experiment that you should not try.
What’s important to know is that if safety is a concern of yours, there’s no better choice than a diesel generator.
Con – Noise
The burning of diesel fuel is a noisy business. That could make this generator type unacceptable if you’re looking to leverage it as a primary power source.
Con – Upfront Costs
Every aspect of a diesel generator is built with the purpose of lasting in mind. Because of that attention to build quality, when you look up a 3 phase diesel generator for sale or a similar classes generators, you’ll find that they can be pricey.
Considering their quality of build, you’ll come to realize that the cost is justified.
For the latter half of our diesel vs gas generator discussion, we’ll be breaking down gas generators. To be clear, the gas generators that we’re discussing are generators that are powered by “natural gas”. This is the same gas that your stove or water heater might use.
Here are key gas generator considerations:
Pro – Can Be Hooked Into Your Gas Line
When you’re working with diesel, you have to go down to the gas station to fuel your generator. When you’re working with natural gas, you can simply hook your generator into your natural gas line and it’ll have a constant source of fuel.
Pro – Low Upfront Costs
Natural gas generators are common and targeted primarily at residential customers. Because of that, there is more competition in the space and prices for this class of generator drop well below diesel generators.
Pro – Less Smell
You’ll notice that generators that leverage diesel will have a pervasive gas smell as they run. Natural gas generators, on the other hand, don’t smell at all.
As a matter of fact, if your generator smells strongly of natural gas, you should shut it off immediately since a leak could be at fault.
Con – Lower Build Quality
While competition in the gas generator space does drive prices down, it also leads to manufacturers coming to market with cheaply made units in order to undercut opponents. Do not expect the average natural gas generators to last as long as the average diesel generator.
Con – Natural Disasters Could Cut Gas Lines
If your intention with a generator is to insulate yourself from the effects of a natural disaster, gas generators might not cut it. Many natural disasters lead to the disruption of natural gas service which could render your generator useless.
Con – Prone to Fire and Explosion
Natural gas isn’t something that you can see and is highly flammable. Those two truths make this class of generator much less safe than diesel generators.
Wrapping Up Our Diesel vs Gas Generator Breakdown
After looking at diesel vs gas generator pros and cons, we hope that it’s clear that each generator is capable of serving different needs. If you need a generator for a commercial setting that would suffer greatly from the loss of power, diesel is probably the way to go. If your needs mostly revolve around residential use, you might consider gas.
You never know when you’re going to need reliable, back-up power so don’t put off purchasing your generator and feel free to browse more of the content on our blog if you’d like additional life-saving lifestyle advice!