Electricity is something that we generally take for granted within homes and industries alike. There are several ways to access electricity and one of the more common methods would be through the use of Propane Generators. A propane generator is a tool used to produce electricity through the conversion of motorized power and the combustion of propane gas, into usable electricity.
In this article, we are going to cover some common safety questions regarding propane generators and their usage to put one’s mind at ease.
Is it Safe to Run Propane Generators Indoors?
It is not entirely safe to run a propane generator indoors without the correct knowledge of how to do it safely. A propane generator when in operation will release a highly toxic gas known as Carbon Monoxide (CO), which prevents oxygen from reaching your body cells. When a generator is left unattended in a space that does not have a constant flow of air or vents, CO will accumulate and eventually outweigh the oxygen percentage.
CO is known as a “silent killer gas” which is a shockingly self-explanatory name as to what can happen.
Propane gas cannot be seen or smelt and when inhaled continuously, it can suffocate a person within 5 minutes. Therefore, it is extremely unwise to switch on a propane generator in spaces unventilated.
How Can I Use a Propane Generator Indoors?
Our recommendation is to never use a propane generator in any completely or partially enclosed space. If for some reason this is not possible, then as a minimum safety requirement for yourself and for those around you, we would recommend using an extractor fan or other ventilation device which functions with efficiency.
If you do not have an industrial ventilation device within your household then we would recommend placing the generator within a space, such as a garage or shed, where there are large doors or windows that can be left open while the generator is in use. This is considered sufficient ventilation and will prevent the carbon monoxide from accumulating within the space.
Where in my Home is it Safe to Use a Propane Generator?
Any space that is well ventilated is deemed as a safe location to operate a propane generator. If weather permits or your propane generator has been designed to withstand the elements, then an even better location to place your generator when it is operating, is outdoors. On a balcony, in a well-ventilated garage/shed/basement, or in the backyard/garden are all suitable locations.
The generator should never be used in the main household as the risk of carbon monoxide building up over time is a big danger and also young children are especially vulnerable.
What Kind of Generator Should I Use Indoors?
Solar Powered Generator
Solar generators are the safest type for indoor use. They produce clean electricity from a renewable energy source.
However, they do have certain disadvantages. Installation of solar panels and batteries can be expensive. This may change when more research is conducted in this area to develop better technology.
Another issue is the weather conditions. As you can guess, solar generators depend on the energy from the sun and if it is too dark outside it won’t work.
How to Select a Generator for Indoor Use?
As we have already highlighted, it is safe to use any standard propane generator indoors with complete and sufficient ventilation. However, when considering to purchase a propane generator which will be located around the house, there are a few specifications one should investigate prior to purchasing:
1. How Loud is the Propane Generator Going to be?
Most propane generators are fairly noisy, although there are models specifically designed to operate quieter. If noise management is important for you, ask your specialist about your specific model’s noise output and compare it to others.
2. Power Output
What is your required power output?
If you are getting the generator for your garage, check the power consumption of the power tools that you regularly use. A typical 10 inch miter saw or table saw with 9A motor should work fine. The portable power tools such as circular saw or jigsaw require even less power.
However if you have a heavy-duty table saw or you want to run several power saws together then you might want to include them in your calculation.
You will need a generator which can power at least half your household if not all. 250 gallons of propane is considered the minimum standby size of gas to power a home.
3. Running Cost
What are the costs associated with running the generator? You need to know your budget and goals. In the United States, the average price per gallon of propane is approximately $2.30, as of 2022. The average consumption rate of running a portable generator for 24 hours is about 80 gallons per 24hrs. This means to run the generator, it would cost over $184 per 24 hours. There are models available that function more economically however, they may lack power. A more powerful model is undoubtedly going to consume more propane per 24 hours of usage.
Propane Generator Uses
We generally see propane generators throughout day-to-day life on construction sites or in small workshops where electricity is not always accessible. However, in more recent times, propane generators have also been used for emergency situations (such as natural disasters) where power outages can pose a problem.
Propane as a fuel source is easy to store for a long period of time, making it perfect for long-term storage as a safety measure against power outages.
Propane generators are not safe to use in closed rooms and under wet conditions. It is important to understand that when using a propane generator, the potential consequences of misuse can be deadly. When a propane generator is placed in a safe location, this risk is nearly all but eliminated and the generator proves to be a safe and functional tool to use around your family in times of need or for household projects year-round.
- Is it Safe to Run Propane Generators Indoors?
- What Kind of Generator Should I Use Indoors?
- Propane Generator Uses