How Much Gas Does a Generator Use to Power Your House?

When your power goes out, a generator can be a lifesaver. The downside, though, is fuel consumption. A traditional gas generator can go through gas quickly. Learn how much gas different types of generators use so you can find the right generator for all your energy needs.

What Are the Different Types of Generators?

Learn about the different kinds of generators to understand the difference in their fuel needs and decide which one suits you best.

Portable Generators

Portable generators are compact and mobile, perfect for temporary power needs or energy on the go. They can be easily moved around and are ideal for powering essential appliances during short-term outages, camping trips, tiny home living, or RV adventures. 

Standby Generators

Unlike portable generators, standby generators are permanent fixtures installed outside your home. They automatically kick in during a power outage, providing seamless power transition. These generators are designed to be powerful enough to run your entire home, making them a reliable option for long-term power needs. They often run on natural gas, propane, or diesel.

Inverter Generators

Inverter generators are a popular option due to their efficiency and quiet operation. They produce clean electricity, making them ideal for sensitive electronics. The EcoFlow DELTA Pro 3, combined with the EcoFlow Smart Generator 4000, becomes a hybrid inverter generator solution that can produce and store electricity using gas, propane, AC, and solar.

Its 40% increased energy efficiency and versatility make it a robust and flexible option for various power needs. EcoFlow also offers other inverter generators, such as the Whole-Home Backup Power solution.

Solar Generators

Solar generators use the sun’s energy to generate electricity, offering a clean and quiet alternative to traditional gas generators. The EcoFlow DELTA Pro 3, with its solar charging capabilities, provides a silent and environmentally friendly solution on its own. Or, increase its versatility by integrating with the EcoFlow Smart Generator 4000 and other gas generators to take advantage of multiple charging options.

EcoFlow DELTA Pro 3 and DELTA Pro Ultra feature proprietary X-Core 3.0 tech architecture, providing industry-leading performance, safety, and intelligence.

X-Core 3.0 delivers the following benefits.

  • X-Stream delivers record-speed charging — only 50 minutes
  • X-Boost’s revolutionary soft-start algorithm supports up to 6000W of appliances and central HVAC systems with just one unit
  • X-Link parallel expansion provides up to 21.6kW of output power and 90kWh of electricity storage
  • X-Quiet volume minimization means whisper-quiet operation at an industry-best 30dB*
  • X-Fusion outpowers the grid by providing up to 7000W of electricity output from a single AC outlet in bypass mode. Standard household plugs deliver only 1800W. Plug in EcoFlow DELTA Pro 3 or DELTA Pro Ultra and increase your output by close to 300% 
  • X-Guard is a protective triad of structure, material, and AI that keeps your home and family safe. It can even self-extinguish in the unlikely event of a fire.

Find out more about X-Core 3.0 here.   

*Under 2000W output

What Kind of Gas Does a Generator Use?

The type of gas a generator uses impacts its performance, cost, and environmental footprint. Here are the common fuel types:

  • Propane: Consume fuel quickly but create less pollution and fumes than gas or diesel. 
  • Diesel: Some of the most powerful backup generators available for heavy-duty appliances. They use diesel fuel, which can be expensive and challenging to store and often creates more noise and pollution.
  • Natural Gas: Convenient for homes with existing natural gas lines via gas distribution systems, as they provide a continuous fuel supply but a lower output than diesel generators.
  • Gasoline: Easy and affordable to fuel, making them an excellent option for temporary power needs. However, they’re less efficient than other fuel types. 

How to Calculate Fuel Consumption of Gas-Powered Generators

First, find the wattage of your appliances and devices. If your appliance’s power requirements are in volts or amps, you can calculate an appliance’s running watts with this equation: 

Volts (V) x Amps (A) = ​​Watts (W)  

Count the running watts of your appliances. Add up the running watts of the appliances you plan to use plus the starting wattage of the appliance with the highest starting wattage. 

Calculate the sum. That final number is the total starting watts you need from your generator. As discussed above, do not exceed your generator’s starting watts rating to avoid overloading it.

Wattage of the Generator

A gas generator’s wattage measures the maximum amount of electricity (watts or kilowatts) it can produce instantaneously. The Ecoflow Smart Generator 4000 (Dual Fuel) can operate at 3200W with Gasoline and 2900W with LPG (4000W Peak Output with X-Boost Tech).

It can also be helpful to know how much electricity it can generate before refilling. This is measured in watt-hours or kilowatt-hours (kWh), often used to determine battery storage capacity.

The EcoFlow Smart Generator 4000 has a run time of around 2.8 hours running at full load or up to 8 hours on a 25% load with gasoline, and the maximum amount of electricity it can produce running at full power with gas is approximately 8kWh. With a standard propane tank (LPG), the maximum electricity the EcoFlow Smart Generator 4000 can produce is 24kWh. 

The formula for Calculating Fuel Consumption and Cost

The formula for calculating the fuel consumption and cost for a generator is:

Fuel consumption (gallons) = amount of fuel / total electricity produced (Wh or kWh) 

Example calculation

The EcoFlow Smart Generator 4000’s gas tank is 1.58 gallons. With a maximum electricity output of 8kWh on a full gas tank, you can use the following calculation to estimate consumption.

1.58 gal / 8kWh = 0.1975 gallons of gasoline per kilowatt-hour.

At an average gas price of $3 per gallon, generating 1kWh of electricity will cost you about $0.59 — over triple the average on-grid US electricity cost.

What Are the Wattage Requirements of Common Household Appliances?

You can usually find the wattage requirements labeled on the appliance, but we’ve also compiled the starting and running watts of typical household appliances in the table below. 

ApplianceRated (Running) WattsStarting Watts
Washing Machine12002300
Light Bulb60-750
Coffee Maker10000
Clothing Iron15000
Toaster Oven12000
Curling Iron15000
Space Heater20000
20” Box Fan200350

What Factors Affect How Much Gas Your Generator Will Use?

Several factors influence the amount of gas your generator consumes.

Generator Size and Output

Larger-sized generators generally consume more fuel due to their higher power output. Also, note the output on which you run the generator. Using 50% power output will help keep gas use down vs using full power.

Fuel Type

Different fuel types have varying efficiency levels. For instance, gasoline may be less efficient than diesel, affecting how much fuel is used during operation.

Temperature and Weather Conditions

Extreme weather conditions can impact generator performance. Cold temperatures or extreme heat may cause engines to run less efficiently, increasing fuel consumption.

Frequency and Duration of Use

How often and how long you use your generator directly affects fuel consumption. Frequent and extended use will naturally lead to higher fuel usage.

How Much Does It Cost to Run a Generator?

The cost of running a generator varies based on the type of generator and fuel prices.

Gasoline Generators

A 5 kW gas generator burns approximately 0.75 gallons of fuel per hour. If the average price of gasoline in your area is $3 per gallon, running your generator would cost $2.25 per hour or $54 over 24 hours.

Diesel Generators

An 8 kW diesel generator uses about 0.5 gallons of fuel per hour. With diesel priced at $4 per gallon on average, running the generator costs $2 per hour, totaling $48 for 24 hours of continuous power.

Propane Generators

A 6 kW propane generator will burn through roughly 1.42 gallons per hour. An average propane price of $3.50 per gallon translates to $4.97 per hour, adding up to $119.28 for a full day of operation.

Natural Gas Generators

A 7 kW natural gas generator consumes around 118 cubic feet of natural gas per hour. At $20 per thousand cubic feet, fueling a natural gas generators cost $2.36 per hour or $56.64 for 24 hours of use.

Solar Generators

Once purchased, solar generators have no running costs aside from occasional maintenance. This makes them a cost-effective long-term solution for eco-conscious homeowners.

Final Thoughts

Understanding how much gas a generator uses to power your house involves considering various factors, including the type of generator, fuel type, and usage patterns.

For those seeking versatile and efficient generator solutions, consider the EcoFlow Smart Generator 4000 + EcoFlow DELTA Pro 3 and EcoFlow Inverter Generators, including the EcoFlow Whole Home Backup Power. These options offer reliable power and flexibility, ensuring your home stays powered no matter what.

EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.


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