You can use various fuels like LPG, natural gas and gasoline to power your generator. Propane, a form of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), is often preferred by people to power their generators as a fuel alternative. So, can you run a propane generator indoors?
You can’t run a propane generator indoors. Not only these propane generators but any generators that produce carbon monoxide are disastrous.
Since propane produces fewer pollutants than gasoline or diesel, therefore, it is known to be a clean-burning fuel. The fact is it contains just half as much carbon monoxide (CO) as petrol.
Why can’t you run a propane generator in your garage?
You can’t run propane generator in your garage because it produces a highly toxic gas called carbon monoxide.
According to the Consumer product safety commission, more than 900 people died from CO poisoning from generators, between 2005 to 2017.
According to Fret Henretig, a toxicologist said CO is gas that affects people with any age. He also termed it as “silent killer”
People often run generators when they run out of electricity during a storm. No matter where the generators are placed, how safe it is – they won’t care.
They carelessly start the generator and leave it indoors.
The result of running a generator indoors without vent cause a big issue. Because that room accumulates a high concentration of CO.
Since this gas is colourless and odourless – you can’t either see it or taste it. You will be unaware of the fact that the room contains highly poisonous gas.
As soon as you enter the garage and while working in there for a few minutes, you can be unconscious or you may also lose your life.
High concentrations of CO can kill you in 5 minutes.https://www.abe.iastate.edu/extension-and-outreach/carbon-monoxide-poisoning-health-effects-aen-166/
According to my research, I found two main reasons why people run generators in their garage:
- Lack of Awareness
People are basically not aware that portable generator emits carbon monoxide and they don’t even know the harmful impact of CO.
CO can kill you before you are aware that it is in your home
- They just need electricity
When a light goes out due to a storm, people will be in need of just electricity. Thus, they turned the generators on, without caring about the situation.
Whatsoever, if you need electricity, I suggest you run a generator, where there is proper ventilation. If it is possible, you can run it outdoors.
Why use propane as a fuel to power your indoor generators?
A propane generator is for every need and every budget. It has proven to be a reliable companion. In emergency situations, a propane generator can serve you in various ways including:
- Unlike gasoline which will begin to decay within a few months without stabilizer, the propane has a limitless shelf life.
- Since propane is stored in bulk or individual cylinders therefore this fuel is available all the time even when the gas pumps are closed or are not working.
- If you have not used your propane-powered generator for months, then you do have to worry as it will not be filled with carbon deposits or contamination.
From the viewpoint of the environment, propane is more environmentally sustainable as compared to other fossil-based fuels.
Due to this reason, it is considered relatively safe to use propane-powered appliances and the same goes for indoor generators as it does not produce toxic fumes.
Reasons Why Propane Can Be Used to Fuel Your Indoor Generator
As we have already mentioned that propane can be used as a fuel for indoor generators. But proper care is still required.
Let’s have a detailed look at why propane can be beneficial to be used as a fuel for indoor generators.
- It is more stable
As compared to diesel and gasoline, propane will not degrade with time. It points out to the fact that you do not have to use it up by a specific time. Quality of the storage tank is the main aspect on which its shelf life depends. The thing you would appreciate about propane is that you do not have to add additional expensive stabilizers with it because of its longevity.
- You can store it at the tank
The main issue with diesel- or gas-powered generators is that when you run out of fuel, you have to go to the fuel stations to refill your tanks. However, with propane, you will not face this issue. This fuel is readily available at gas stations or you can get it from dedicated providers. This fact makes it more convenient fuel
- It keeps the environment clean
As we have already mentioned; due to the fact that propane produces fewer pollutants as compared to gasoline or diesel therefore it is known to be a clean-burning fuel. Tt contains just half as much carbon monoxide (CO) as petrol. If pollution is a primary concern, propane is a great option to choose as a power fuel.
- It is easily available
Now let’s compare propane with natural gas. Although natural gas is ahead in terms of advantages, the main benefit that propane offers is its availability. Natural gas is delivered to houses via conduits whereas propane is stored in tanks.
For instance, during a storm any damage happens to these gas pipelines, then you will run out of fuel for your generator. But as propane is available in tanks so this issue will not bother you at all.
- There is less possibility of spilling
Since propane tanks come fitted with safety valves, therefore, there is little or no probability that they will leak as compared to diesel and gasoline fuel tanks that do not contain safety valves or if they contain any then not to the same degree. Evaporation is another concern with gasoline.
Other than that, there is no hazard involved with propane because it is a green fuel in the unburned state and poses no environmental hazard.
- These generators are easy to maintain
If we talk about diesel and gasoline generators, then you have to conduct proper maintenance and keep them in good form. However, you do not have to do this for generators that are powered by propane.
Diesel and gasoline after burning leave carbon deposits in your exhaust and engine, which need to be removed and cleaned from time to time. They also deposit residues in system parts and fuel lines. On the other hand, propane has none of these effects on generator parts.
- You can run it easily in cold weather
During winter season or cold weather, gasoline and diesel become more viscous which makes them more difficult to use. Diesel needs to be run at a specific temperature range to perform well and causes trouble while starting the generator.
Whereas, there are no such problems related to temperature with propane. If you live in areas where you experience cold weather, then propane is the ideal fuel choice for your generator.
- It produces great energy
If we talk about the energy value of fuels, then propane is a way ahead. Natural gas provides 1,040 BTUs per cubic foot whereas propane provides than twice as much energy i.e. 2,490 BTUs per cubic foot which means you will utilize more than twice energy with natural gas as compared to propane.
From the above-mentioned information,it is highly toxic to run propane generators indoors because it can kill you silently.
You can use propane as an alternative fuel.
The fact that it produces less pollutants makes it clean-burning fuel. Other than that, it does not leave toxic residues and is easy to conduct its proper maintenance.
If you are thinking of using propane as a power fuel for your generators, then you can go for it. Although proper care is still required so that you do not have to face any issue in the future. A propane generator is for every need and every budget and would be trustworthy and reliable for years to come.