10 Best Portable Propane Generator Reviews For Home Use (2018)
We all got to agree on one thing:
Our daily routines are highly reliant on the different energy sources that are available to us. The various appliances and technologies we use need a reliable source of power to continue working efficiently.
But what happens if the power source you rely on has a power outage?
It is good to be prepared for such situations with a good propane generator. But how do you identify a model that satisfied your needs?
This post reviews the best propane generators for home use and tells you how to identify a choice that suits your needs.
What is a Propane Generator?
As the name suggests, a propane generator is a type of generator that is fueled using propane. It allows homeowners to be prepared for a power outage today or even two years from now.
Propane is considered a limitless fuel and home generators that use are a good investment for those who want an infrequent emergency backup power. But why is that the case?
Liquid propane has an infinite shelf life, particularly if stored well. This is a huge advantage over gasoline, which goes stale after a year. It makes propane an ideal choice for someone who might need backup power in the future and doesn’t want the hassle of having to shop for gasoline.
Cold starting an infrequently used propane generator is much easier as compared to the gasoline counterpart. The reason is that burning gasoline generates gum deposits in the carburetors.
And while is unavoidable, the deposits cause significant problems for generators that are used for emergency purposes.
On the other hand, propane burns cleanly and doesn’t produce gum deposits. As such, they are easier to cold start during emergencies.
Another reason for loving propane generators is that propane burns cleanly and is a less polluting fuel. It produces reduced carbon monoxide when compared to gasoline. This makes propane generators for those who care about air quality.
Best Propane Generator Reviews:
1. Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator with Electric Start Review:
We open our list of the top-rated propane generators reviews with this model from Champion. If you didn’t know, Champion is a market leader in the generation of high-quality power generation equipment.
They base their experience on the many years they’ve been in the industry which has enabled them to gain the necessary knowledge in building top-notch equipment. As for the Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator, you don’t expect less.
This model comes with bi-fuel capability. This feature allows you choose between propane and gas- giving it an edge over other generators on the market. When running on gasoline, the unit produces up to 4750 starting watts and 3800 running watts.
And when fed with propane, it delivers up to 4275 starting watts and 3420 running watts. Because it’s powered by a highly reliable Champion engine (rated 224cc), you can trust it to produce sufficient power for all your household activities.
If you want a lp generator that you can easily transport to any location, you’ll also want to consider this Champion. It comes with a folding handle design plus never-flat tires which facilitates easy maneuverability as well as transportation to virtually any place.
Other features worth a mention in this generator include the VoltGuard which protects your appliances from voltage spikes above the safe threshold, Cold Start technology which makes it easy to start in cold weather, and push-button electric start for easy use.
2. DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator Review:
Second comes the DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator which comes ready to deal with the frustrating power outages. With its dual fuel capability, the unit allows you to use either gasoline or propane. I’d recommend you to run it on propane as it delivers the longest runtime of up to 20 hours while avoiding the maintenance associated with gasoline emissions.
Nicknamed the ‘Beast,’ this unit supplies you with the same amount of power (or even more) as the home standby models, but in a portable package. It powers all your essential home appliances as well as your comfort technologies in case of power outages.
It boasts an ultra-powerful 457cc DuroMax OHV engine that reliably feeds the fully loaded power panel. And this enables you to pull-up to the maximum power of mark of 12000W! Keep in mind that the power panel also features individual breakers which helps prevent overloading and ensures safety in your house.
The durably constructed generator comes with noise reducing muffler to keep things running smoothly and quietly at your home compound. Unlike in most of the units out there, this model even comes with low oil auto-shutoff features that help protect your engine. For all your portable power needs, you can never go wrong with the DuroMax products.
3. Westinghouse WGen3600DF Dual Fuel (Gas and Propane) Electric Start Portable Generator Review:
The Westinghouse is a popular name in the electric power industry. Having been in the industry for 130plus years, you can rest assured that these guys will give you nothing but the perfect deal.
As one of their signature propane generators, the Westinghouse WGen3600DF Dual Fuel is a compact, portable, and affordable unit that gives you a choice between using propane and gasoline. I’d recommend you to go for propane as it’s more convenient plus it allows you to save more money.
This generator features the highly reliable212cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV engine that conveniently powers all your house essential appliances, so your life will remain uninterrupted during power outages.
The fact that the machine also features an automatic low oil shutdown helps protect the engine from damages while extending the overall generator lifespan. On a single propane fuel tank, this unit can run for as long as 18 hours- unlike most of the high-end models on the market today.
Another key thing that puts this unit on the map is it’s easy to start design, thanks to the integrated electric push-button. Not only that, it comes with key-fob remote which means that you can turn it on or off from the comfort of your house or a distance- making it the perfect choice of your home power backup when power outage occurs.
Above all this, it features a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty that acts as your safety net in case the unit develops any complications.
4. DuroMax XP4850EH 3850 Running Watts/4850 Starting Watts Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator Review:
Showing up at number four is another propane generator from DuroMax- the DuroMax XP4850EH model. The number one reason this machine won a spot on this list is its unparalleled versatility.
Other than its fast, reliable start (like in all the other generators), this model also allows you to switch from gasoline to propane in a matter of seconds. It even comes with a spring size, such that you can effortlessly hook it up to all sizes of propane tanks.
The handy generator comes with an incredibly powerful 210cc Horsepower air-cooled 4-stroke engine. As you already know, an engine bearing such specifications tend to out sufficient power for executing nearly all your household and outdoor camping activities. Even better, it comes with a full feature output panel featuring a variety of outputs to accommodate all sorts of sockets and outputs.
This generator comes with several other features that team up to enhance its overall convenience, safety, and ease of use. Examples include the silencer which significantly reduces the noise produced during operation, voltmeter for giving you a visual display of the power output.
Above all, it comes with excellent fuel efficiency so that it conserves more fuel than any other generator you’ve used before. Clearly, this DuroMax will offer you the real value for your money!
5. Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Electric Start Review:
Yes, its champion again! This particular Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator translates is an excellent example of convenience and versatility. Like all the other models above (including the previous Champion), this unit comes with dual fuel capability- where it gives you the option of using either gasoline or propane.
On gasoline, it delivers 9375 starting watts and 7500 running watts. And on propane, it outputs 8400 starting watts and 6750 running watts.
The powerful generator comes with a push-button electric start (with an included rechargeable battery) to make it extremely easy to turn on. It features a unique Intelligauge that allows you to monitor the power output as well as track the maintenance intervals easily.
On a 20-pound propane tank, this generator will run for up to 5.5 hours- or 8 hours on a full gas tank- making it the perfect power backup for eliminating the prolonged power outages.
Like our previous Champion, this unit also comes with folding arms & never flat tires which promotes easy maneuverability and transportation to any place. The integrated Cold Start technology enables you to effortlessly start the machine in cold weather.
The Voltage Guard helps protect your appliances from power outages. And oh! It also comes with a 3-year limited warranty plus FREE lifetime warranty technical support to give you smooth user experience.
6. Pulsar Products PG10000B16 10,000W Dual-Fuel Generator Review:
If you’re looking for the best portable propane generator, you can’t go wrong with the Pulsar Products PG10000B16 10,000W Dual-Fuel Generator. The unit offers you the portability and convenience you need for your home use, jobsite, and even outdoors.
The powerful generator feature dual fuel capability- just like all the other models we’ve previously discussed. It outputs 9000W peak 7000W rated when using propane, and 10, 000W peak 8000W rated when using gasoline.
Switching from either of these fuels have never been this easy, thanks to the patented switch & go technology that lets you switch between the two fuels without necessarily turning off the generator.
The generator also features a reliable 420cc, 15 HP OHV engine that’s sure to satisfy all your household or outdoor power needs.
The incredibly durable generator comes with fold-down locking handle as well as no-flat tires which make it real to transport to any place you wish. Its electric start with recoil backup makes it easy to start.
The included sockets- four 120V, one 120V/240V twist-lock, & one 120/240V 50A RV- makes this generator a convenient model that you can add to your home or job site for to act as a reliable power backup.
7. Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start Review:
For those looking for a quiet propane generator, this is your part. The Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator boasts an Ultra-Quiet operation with noise levels rated at 59 dBA. This makes it the perfect LP generator for your next project, tailgating, RVs, power backup for your home, and so on.
Being a powerful generator, this unit delivers 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts- with around 7.5 hours runtime when fed with gasoline. For this reason, it’s sure to powerful all your essential home appliances as well as your outdoor activities for as long as you wish. Even better, it comes with 120V 30A RV, plus two 120V 20A household outlets to facilitate easy and convenient connectivity to various appliances.
Bringing this generator to life is extremely easy, thanks to the integrated electric start w/3 position ignition switch (with a battery included). The quick touch panel is also worth mention as it puts all the unit controls in one place for easy access.
Like the other Champion generator, this model also comes with the manufacturer 3-year limited warranty as well as FREE lifetime technical support (from dedicated experts).
8. Firman Hybrid Series H03651 3650/4550 Watt Dual Fuel Generator Review:
The Firman Hybrid Series H03651 3650/4550 Watt Dual Fuel Generator is the surest bet for those looking for a small propane generator. Not only is it compact, but it also comes a lightweight design (134 pounds dry weight) and 8” flat free tires. All these features come together to make the final unit an affordable model that you can easily carry to any place.
As a dual fuel unit, it also runs on both gasoline and propane- giving you the much-needed flexibility when during an emergency or while on the road. When running on gasoline, it outputs 4550 starting watts and 3650 running watts; while running on propane, it produces 4100 starting watts and 3300 running watts.
You can see that these figures show how powerful the generator is. And as such, you can rest assured that it will more than meet all your home electrical power needs.
The integrated Firman 4 Stroke, 208 CC, 7 HP engine is not only reliable but also runs quietly. The generator has an extended runtime of up to 14 hours on 5 gallons, so you won’t ever have to worry about power outages hitting your home or job site.
With up to 4 outlets, connecting this unit to different appliances won’t be an issue for you. Best part: the unit comes with a pocket-friendly cost- making it an irresistible deal for all homeowners on a tight budget.
9. Sportsman GEN4000DF, 3500 Running Watts/4000 Starting Watts, Dual Fuel Powered Portable Generator Review:
If you’re looking for an affordable, portable propane generator, I’d recommend you to consider this Sportsman GEN4000DF as your number one option. It is also dual fuel capable machine that gives you the option of using either propane or gasoline.
Like all the other high-end models, this Sportsman product runs for an extended period of time – up to 10 hours on a full propane tank- making it a reliable power backup for homes, business, jobsites, etc.
With 3500 rated watts and 4000 peak watts, you’ll agree with me that this is a powerful lp generator that will handle all your home power needs. The fact that it comes equipped with our 120-volt outlets, a 12 volt DC outlet for battery charging, and a single 120V RV outlet means its capable of handling just anything you need for all your recreational (tailgating and camping) activities as well.
The included 5-foot propane fuel hose with regulator is included in the package for your own convenience. The 7 HP works smoothly and silently- it produces less than 68dB noise- making it even more convenient for home use. Again, this Sportsman GEN4000DF is the best generator for anyone looking for an affordable, portable and flexible power backup for their homes.
10. Smarter Tools ST-GP4750DEB, 6500 Running Watts/7500 Starting Watts, Dual Fuel Powered Portable Generator Review:
Closing our lp generator reviews is the Smarter Tools ST-GP4750DEB portable generator. Like all the other units that made that made it to this list, this model also allows you to operate it with either propane or gas.
It is a hardworking and dependable generator that adds possibility and comfort to virtually all situations. It is EPA and CARB approved and is perfect for job sites, emergencies, and even off-grid locations that require electric power.
The generator features an incredibly powerful 13 HP 4-stroke, air cooled OHV engine that’s fairly easy to start with the keyed electric start and included battery. It comes with four 120-Volt 20A outlets, 120-Volt 30A Twist-lock AC, a 120/240-Volt 30A Twist-lock outlet, and one 12-Volt 8A DC outlet- all of which facilitate convenient connectivity. Thanks to the included noise reducing mufflers, the generator runs quietly and smoothly on both propane and gasoline fuels.
It’s also worth noting that this unit comes with a digital volt, Hz and hour meter that helps keep track of the runtime for scheduled maintenance. The volt meter, in particular, ensures you use the correct voltage for all your appliances.
The 10-inch flat wheels together with the handle kit facilitate easy portability. Other remarkable features include low oil shutdown, fuel gauge, and overload protection.
Are These Generators Good For Home Use?
While most famous for grilling steaks in the summer, propane has become increasingly popular for generators. It is almost impossible to spill, and when it does, it evaporates immediately. Besides, propane costs nearly half as much as gasoline.
As the reviews above have revealed, propane generators are generally quieter than other types of generators. Whether intended for home use or as part of a preparedness kit, these generators are a great asset.
You can store the fuel for a long time without worrying about degradation. What’s even better is that it can power your home in case of blackouts, allowing to go about your chores as if nothing happened. Whether you want to cool the house, try a new cupcake recipe or take a hot shower, a propane generator has got you covered.
Propane Generator Buying Guide
So far so good!
In this section, I’d like to share you with the key factors we used to pick the best propane generator models we’ve just reviewed above.
If you follow this guide, we assure you that you’ll have a smooth time finding that dependable and reliable generator that matches all your needs and expectations.
Below are a few factors to consider during your search:
What are your power needs?
The first thing you should do is determine your power needs. Propane generators are usually rated by kilowatts, which indicate a model’s power output. One kilowatt is equivalent to 1000 watts.
You should decide whether or not you want to power your HVAC or central air conditioning equipment during power outages. This is because the HVAC is the most power hungry system in your home.
A blackout during the summer can make life unbearable while a power outage in the winter leaves your pipes susceptible to bursting and ruins the holidays. So how do you determine the power needs in your home?
All you have to do is check the data plate on the air conditioning, and it will tell you the size in Tons or BTUs. Each ton of capacity has 12,000 BTUs, and as such, a 3 Ton unit will be equivalent to 36,000 BTUs. This will require a generator that’s at least 11 kW.
If you plan on running your air conditioning system during a power outage, make sure that your propane generator is powerful enough to run it.
Space and placement
Propane generators for home use can be as large as an air conditioning unit or larger, depending on the power output. That said, you will need a considerable amount of space to store your generator.
It is important to note that the generator should be placed near an electrical service into the house. Additionally, a generator has to be installed in accordance with the local flood, noise and electric codes. This is why you have to enlist the help of a professional.
Starting the generator
Many propane generators are powered either with a pull to start option or push to start button. Models that have an electric start button require battery power, which means incurring extra cost to purchase the battery.
This doesn’t come included with the generator and as such, is an expense you need to keep in mind.
Some models come with an auto turn-off feature that allows them to shut off automatically when the engine oil level is too low. This is a useful feature to consider when buying a propane powered generator.
Another important factor to consider when buying a propane generator is noise. Portable models can produce up to 80 decibels of noise, which equates the sound of a loud lawn mower running continuously.
Generators designed to power the whole house usually incorporate better sound insulation. Most of them have a rating of 62 decibels, but this is usually measured from 25 feet away.
A good way to determine the noise level of a generator is to look at the manufacturer ratings. The consumer reviews are a good source for information on options for enclosures, sound proofing and insulation.
A local utility technician may be required to hook the generator to its fuel source. You will certainly need a licensed electrician to do the electrical work. A contractor may have to come and pour the concrete slab.
All of these are just of the hidden costs you will incur before your propane generator is hooked up and ready to use. It is important that you factor them in your budget during your search.
Keep in mind that a propane generator can cost anything from $$$$ to more than $$$$$ depending on the capacity and size of the unit.
In the same way a bulb needs a switch to turn on, a generator requires one too. We recommend an automatic transfer switch since it allows the generator to spring into action the moment a power outage is detected.
An automatic transfer switch works by continuously sensing utility power. Once it detects a power failure, it disconnects the power coming from the line and starts the engine. It is able to energize your home panel by using power from the generator.
Because it works together with the generator to restore power to your home, it is important to ensure that you get the right switch. This requires knowing the amperage of the electrical service panel. You can locate the main breaker on the electric panel to check the amperage.
The average home has a 200-amp main breaker, meaning that your home can consume maximum power of 200 amps. Older homes can consume less power, about 100-150 amps. Make sure that the transfer switch you purchase has the same amperage as the home panel.
Because a propane generator is a permanent addition to your home and huge investment, it is important that you tick all the boxes when purchasing one. From property tax, building permits, code requirements and safety inspections to power, size, and placement, there are many factors to consider.
You may want to consult a professional to help with things like installation and the legal side of things. More importantly, you should ensure that the model you purchase satisfies your home’s power needs.
On the maintenance side, it is important to note that a generator should never be used indoors. It should be stored away from flammable items. You should also change the oil, spark plugs and air filters as directed in the manual to ensure the generators continue working efficiently.
We wish you the best during your search for the best home propane generator.