Dual Fuel Generators: Everything You Should Know

Dual fuel generators are critical machines that provide a backup source of power when there is an outage. So how do they work?

This post uncovers the basics of the dual fuel generator, how it functions, and the advantages of running one.

What Is A Dual Fuel Generator And How Does It Work?

As the name implies, a dual fuel generator creates power by using two fuel sources. This makes it a more reliable piece of power equipment than the standard gas generator, which uses only one fossil fuel option.

With multiple sources powering the unit, it can use the fuel that is more readily available first. Should that source run out, there is a backup option available to keep supplying power to your home. 

Dual fuel generators can run on natural gas, gasoline, propane, or diesel. The type of fuel that you supply your generator with does not matter. It can easily shift between fuel sources to guarantee your home or business gets an electric start during a power outage. 

How To Operate Dual Fuel Generators

You should have a dual fuel generator ready to go for any emergency situation. If you live in an area that is prone to power outages, either from severe weather patterns or faulty electric grids, a dual fuel generator should be a household staple. 

Operating these machines is fairly straightforward. Determine the fuel sources you want to power them with and hook up cables to your home in order to receive backup electricity. 

You should never run a dual fuel generator inside your home or garage. They produce toxic gas emissions that pose serious health and safety risks to you. Store your generator outside to protect yourself from dangerous gases like carbon monoxide.

Benefits Of Dual Fuel Generators

You can enjoy several benefits by having a dual fuel generator as an emergency power source. These include:

  • More reliable than traditional gas generators
  • More versatility in fuel sources
  • Automatic switching of fuels
  • Lower energy costs
  • Long-lasting operation

You have convenient options when it comes to running this type of generator. For example, you can choose from various fuel sources. You also don’t have to worry about refilling when one fuel supply runs low, as the generator will automatically switch over to the second supply. 

These devices run at high efficiency, so you can have backup power that doesn’t rack up your energy costs. Their durable design can provide you with many years of reliable use. 

Advanced Features Dual Fuel Generators Have

This type of generator has a few premium features that enhance your safety or convenience. To get the most out of your dual fuel generator, look for a model with the following features:

  • Safety monitoring, such as carbon monoxide detectors
  • Bluetooth capability
  • Auto-start technology
  • Fuel monitoring

Technological features like Bluetooth connectivity and an auto-start switch can increase your convenience and make for easy operation. Having a generator with carbon monoxide detection will promote all-around safety. Fuel monitoring alerts you when it’s time to replenish the gas supply.

How Does A Dual Fuel Generator Compare To Other Types Of Generators

When you consider the different options for electric generators, determine your power needs first. The traditional, portable gas generator is a solid choice for ensuring electricity in a pinch. 

These generators most commonly run on gasoline, though you can also find a portable unit that uses propane or diesel as its fuel source. If you live in a remote area or access to gasoline is scarce, a dual fuel generator may be the best option for you. 

Inverter generators run much more quietly than standard portable units but at a higher cost. They do not operate at full-throttle all the time, which means they can be as efficient as a dual fuel unit. 

They are fairly similar to bi-fuel generators since both units use two types of fuel sources. However, the sources do not mix within a bi-fuel generator. Dual fuel generators function using one or both fuels simultaneously. 

What To Consider Before Buying A Dual Fuel Generator

Anyone in the market for a dual fuel generator should consider the following factors while shopping around:

  • Size
  • Noise level
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Fuel and power capacity
  • Energy consumption

Your overall energy consumption will largely determine the size and power capacity of your generator. This is the most important element when it comes to buying a dual fuel generator. After all, its main purpose is to supply you with backup electricity. 

In addition, you should consider the maintenance the machine requires in order to run smoothly. This typically involves cleaning the engine’s two fuel tanks to avoid clogging pipes. 

Don’t ignore the average noise level that a generator produces. If a unit runs at a noise that is louder than you can handle, it may not be the best purchase for regular use. To minimize noise, you can use propane as one of your fuel sources since it runs quieter than gasoline. 

Understanding The Disadvantages Of Dual Fuel Generators

The positives of dual fuel generators tend to outweigh the negatives. With this type of generator, you may have a unit that makes more noise than, say, an inverted generator. However, you can rest easy knowing that your power supply has not one but two fuel sources supporting it. 

The other potential downside of a dual fuel generator is the cost. These models are often more expensive than standard gas generators. Consider the energy savings you can get, however, and you may get more bang for your buck with a dual fuel generator.  

Conclusion: Are Dual Fuel Generators The Best Choice For Backup Power?

Dual fuel generators operate using multiple fuel sources. This makes them a more convenient, reliable device than other types of portable generators. You can reap more rewards by selecting a model with advanced safety and smart technology features. 

If you’re considering one for your home, always account for your energy consumption and generator specifics, including the cost. Overall, dual fuel generators are a solid choice for powering your home during an outage. 


Garry is the happy owner of a funky 2018 Nissan Juke Ti-S AWD. After growing up around his family’s mechanics shop, he is passionate about bringing budget-friendly car care to every driver. Garry has a business degree and is a car enthusiast.