Are Diesel Generators Quieter Than Gas? Quick Answer

In this article, we discuss Are Diesel Generators Quieter Than Gas? Noise pollution causes more than just annoyance. It might be detrimental to the environment, as well as to physical and mental health. Consider where the generator will be placed on your property before making a purchase. The amount of noise a generator creates may affect your decision, particularly if you have nearby neighbors.

Depending on the generator’s kind, size, and manufacturer, noise levels range from 50 dBA to 80 dBA. There are two types of gas generators: inverters and conventional; inverters are quieter than regular generators. Modern diesel generators are as silent as traditional gas ones except when idling.

You must comprehend decibels and how a generator produces noise to comprehend how noise levels are correctly measured. Another element is the separation between the location of the sound source and the measurement point.

Are Diesel Generators Quieter Than Gas?

Diesel generators are dependable and affordable but also filthy, loud, and obnoxious. Generators powered by natural gas are more expensive, erratic, cleaner, and quieter.

Diesel Generators Quieter Than Gas

Natural Gas Generators

Using a natural gas generator is an effective way to generate electricity. It is regarded as one of the least expensive and most suitable fuel types among the fossil fuel family for producing electricity and can be used to power emergency and portable generators. Coal is the only fuel that is less expensive in terms of cost. The fact that coal is a highly polluting fuel source is one of the significant disadvantages of using it.

Drilling is frequently used to obtain natural gas, much like it is for oil. Several storage facilities transform natural gas from liquid form into gas. Following then, it is made accessible via pipes and can also be bought in cylinders.

A natural gas generator functions similarly to other generators in most respects. The fuel used to power each generator is typically the only difference between them. In this case, natural gas is used as the fuel source to start the generator. These generators are typically employed in big cities with a pipeline fuel distribution system for fuel supplies.

Advantages Of Using Natural Gas

  • The benefits of using natural gas include that it is a cleaner kind of energy, is less expensive than other fossil fuels, and has a high-efficiency level.
  • The levels of sulfur, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) in natural gas are significantly lower than in oil and coal. One of the cleanest fossil fuels to use is natural gas.
  • Unlike generators driven by diesel or oil, those powered by natural gas don’t emit a pungent smell.
  • Although utility company electricity is frequently more expensive, using natural gas generators to power homes can significantly save expenditures.
  • Natural gas is advantageous in big cities since it is transported directly through underground pipelines to the source where it is needed, in addition to burning cleaner and costing less to purchase. This makes fuel storage tanks unnecessary when using generators that are driven by natural gas.

In addition to their obvious benefits, natural gas generators also have significant drawbacks.

Diesel Vs Gas Generator Noise Levels

Diesel generators are substantially noisier than inverter generators powered by gasoline. However, they make the same noise when running as normal gasoline generators. The standard measurement distance for generator noise is seven meters (23 feet).

This is the norm in the field. Naturally, the sound gets louder the closer you are to the generator. These days, portable gasoline inverter generators are made with noise-canceling technologies and typically have a noise level between 50 and 60 dBA.

Diesel Vs Gas Generator Noise Levels

Generally, a generator’s size and power correspond to higher noise ratings. Eighty-five decibels is the noise level a 50 kW small diesel generator might produce, comparable to city traffic. Comparable to the sound of a plane flying around 1,000 feet overhead, 1,500 kW machines may release about 105 dB.

Depending on the load and output, every generator operates at a higher or lower noise level. The generator’s noise level will increase as additional devices are plugged in. To lower the noise level, it is advised that people look for a backup generator for their house or, when camping, purchase a generator with a bigger capacity than they require.

Some gas inverter generators emit 53 decibels of sound at a quarter load, around the volume of a quiet conversation at home. When tested at a quarter load level, one 4,000-watt gas generator with a 2.9-gallon fuel tank produces noise comparable to turning on a garbage disposal (64 dBA). The amount of load on a generator can significantly impact how loud it is.

Manufacturers measure generator noise levels while the generator is outdoors, away from any structures. In a confined space, when there are generators, the sound can be amplified by hard surfaces and become much louder. 80 dBA at one meter in free field settings is the norm for canopied diesel generators.

Big backup diesel generators are typically enclosed in sound-absorbing canopies to lower noise levels. Noise can escape through the air intake and outlet exhaust ports. Thus these areas typically have sound-absorbing baffles.

Understanding Generator Noise Levels In Decibels

Air pressure waves carry sound, which is created by vibrations, to the listener’s ear. Strictly speaking, it is a change in pressure in the area around the ear. The air pressure changes close to the ear have grown too loud when the sound level becomes uncomfortably loud or irritating.

The measurement used to quantify a sound’s strength is the decibel, commonly abbreviated as dBA. Zero decibels correspond to near quiet. The sound is ten times louder when the decibel level increases by ten. Consequently, the decibel loudness scale is logarithmic rather than linear. Human hearing can withstand noise levels up to 140 dBA, but at 150 dBA, eardrums can rupture.

A sound at 60 decibels, regarded as quiet, is ten times louder than at 70 decibels. 50 dB is considered to be extremely quiet. Conversation at an office or restaurant averages 65 decibels, whereas quiet conversations at home average 45 to 50.

Seventy-four decibels is a relatively noisy operating level for a generator, which could irritate the neighbors. When operating at a quarter load, a generator is deemed quiet if its noise level is 60 dB or lower. When a generator isn’t in use, turning it off is considerate because people can tolerate less noise over time.

A jackhammer sounds around 100 decibels louder than a vacuum cleaner, around 70 dB. About 100 dB is the noise level of a gasoline lawnmower. Above 110 dB, the loudness can permanently damage hearing and cause agony in many people. This is typically the noise in the front rows at rock concerts.

The National Institute of Occupational Safety (NIOSH) states that the maximum time that noise at 115 dB may be tolerated safely is only 28 seconds. Based on the Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to noise louder than 70 dB for 24 hours will cause hearing loss.

Built-In Noise Reduction In Diesel Generators

With recent advancements in internal combustion technology, fuel injection, and internal combustion controls, diesel generator makers have created quieter models. Modern designs emphasize vibration reduction and quiet engines.

Diesel generator manufacturers occasionally also produce enclosures that reduce noise. The best ones can quiet down an area by up to 40 dB. Most generators may now quickly meet noise control criteria.

Remember that employing enclosures can be dangerous due to emissions and fumes. Manufacturers of generators create enclosures for diesel generators specifically with safety in mind. An occupied home shouldn’t have a generator running inside. They all give off harmful carbon dioxide fumes that can suffocate people and animals.


Here we conclude all the above guidelines about Are Diesel Generators Quieter Than Gas? Modern diesel generators often only make a little noise than typical gasoline generators. Because gas-powered generators operate hotter and require more revolutions per minute to produce the same amount of electricity, they may occasionally even be quieter.

Despite costing more than ordinary gas generators, inverter generators are significantly quieter. Diesel generators are typically more expensive than regular gas generators. An inverter generator is an ideal choice if noise levels are crucial.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are diesel generators quieter?

Gas engines are quieter than diesel engines regarding noise levels. Diesel engines, especially the older models, are notorious for producing a lot of noise, which can annoy those nearby.

What is the downside of using diesel generators?

The primary drawbacks of diesel generators are: Due to restrictions, diesel prices will keep rising. To keep the generators working, routine maintenance is required. The fuel injection system and other components are more likely to malfunction, which leads to unreliability and expensive spare part prices.

Are diesel generators loud?

As noisy as city traffic, a 50kW diesel generator set may often emit 85 dB (A). A 1500kW engine can be 105 dB (A) louder than a jet engine 1000 feet above our heads. While it may anger the neighbors, individuals who work nearby may be at risk for health problems.

Should I buy a gas or diesel generator?

A gas generator is an option if you only need a tiny one to power a building site. You should spend money on a diesel generator that can operate continuously if you need to do more heavy-duty work.

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