5 Helpful Tips for Using Gas Generators

Generators are one of the most valuable tools to have as a power source, either in an emergency or when you don’t have another source of power to use. However, when you have a generator, you need to take care of it and use the right fuel to power it.

You can use four fuel types in a gas generator: unleaded gas, diesel gas, natural gas, and propane. You should use non-ethanol gas, and premium gas is acceptable. The minimum octane level of gas you should use in a generator is 85, and you should run your generator every 30 days. 

This article explains what types of gasses you can use for generators, what the most efficient gas is, and whether or not you should use premium and non-ethanol gasses in your generator. I’ll also explain when you should and shouldn’t leave gas in your generator and recommend some fantastic generators to use. 

Buying The Right Oil For Your Generator: Synthetic vs Regular

1. What Kind of Gas Does a Generator Use?

Most commonly, generators use regular unleaded gas. To ensure the generator runs correctly, you should find gas with at least an 85 octane level, but the regular unleaded gas works fine. 

Generators can use one of four different types of gas:

  • Unleaded gasoline
  • Diesel gas
  • Natural gas
  • Propane

Natural gas is the most cost-effective option when powering up a generator. 

Although a gas generator will use more natural gas to generate the same power as the other gasses, it’s okay because the supply is significantly higher. 

It’s so easy to find natural gas, and it’s also pretty cheap. In addition, natural gas doesn’t require you to store anything or worry about resticking and refueling your generator. 

However, if you need to maximize the energy from your generator, you should use something other than natural gas. Propane is easy to get quickly but can sell out fast if there’s an emergency such as bad weather. 

2. What Is the Most Efficient Fuel for a Generator?

The most efficient fuel for a generator is diesel since it has more energy per volume than the other types of gas. Diesel generators also last longer relative to other generators. And, they’re easy to maintain since they don’t have spark plugs. 

So, while diesel is the most efficient gas for your generator, smaller generators will work fine with the other gasses too. 

The change in efficiency from diesel to another type of gasoline for something small like a home generator isn’t significant, so don’t go out of your way to use diesel over another kind of fuel.

Still, diesel is significantly more efficient than the other gasses if you use a large generator that needs to exert a lot of energy. In these cases, you can save tons of money by choosing to use a diesel generator. 

Large generators are most common in schools, industrial plants, and other commercial uses. These places most often use diesel to fuel generators, thanks to their efficiency.

3. Should I Use Non-Ethanol Gas in My Generator?

You should use non-ethanol gas in your generator because it’s the best type of gas to ensure efficiency. If you don’t have non-ethanol gas, you can use something with a bit of ethanol, but never with more than ten percent ethanol.

4. Can I Use Premium Gas in My Generator?

You can use premium gas in your generator. Premium gas generally means that the gas has an octane level of 91 or higher, so it’s safe and efficient enough to use in a generator. 

There’s no maximum octane level of the gas you can use in your generator, but you should never use any gas lower than an 85 octane level, but an 87 or higher octane level is best.

Is It Bad To Mix Premium And Unleaded Gas?

5. Can You Leave Gas in Your Generator?

You can leave gas in your generator, and it’s helpful to do so when you need to use it. However, you have to run it every 30 days at a minimum and leave it on for ninety minutes to keep it functioning. You also need to keep the generator dry and in a temperature-controlled place. 

You should also use a fuel stabilizer when using your generator less than every 30 days. 

If you don’t use a fuel stabilizer, the gas sitting in your generator will ruin it, and your generator won’t run efficiently when you use it. Without a fuel stabilizer, you should never leave gas in your generator. 

However, you should never fill up your generator when the engine is running. If you need to refill your tank, make sure the engine is off. Then, your gas can stay in the generator for as long as you would like.

Gas Generator Recommendations

If you’re in the market for a gas generator, we have a few recommendations that are available on Amazon.com that work great for a home or other outdoor uses:

  • TogoPower Portable Generator. This generator has a lot of great uses, and it comes in three different sizes: 1000 Watts, 3600 Watts, and 8000 Watts. The smallest version is excellent for small areas and is portable. The largest one can power your whole house and starts quickly. The generators are made to last and have outputs for power directly from the generator. 
  • DuroMax XP12000EH Generator. This generator comes in nine versions with wattages ranging from eight thousand to fifteen thousand watts. If you need a high-powered gas generator with which you can power a whole house, these are great. And, the type of gas you can use in them is flexible, usually unleaded gas or propane. 

Final Thoughts

Gas generators are a great source of energy to have as a backup for your home. You can use four types of gas to power gas generators. Diesel is the most efficient gas, but most people use natural gas because it’s easy to supply, or unleaded gas, which is cheapest. 

You should use gas with an octane level of 85 or more, and premium gas with a 91 octane level is acceptable to use too. You should also try to use a non-ethanol gas, but anything with ten percent ethanol is fine. 


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