If you haven’t heard of propane lawn mowers, these robust and economical mowers are gaining in popularity. Thanks to the portability, ease-of-use and clean-burning nature of propane, these modern lawn mowers are a smart choice for personal and professional buyers alike.
Let’s walk through the many benefits of propane lawn mowers vs. gas lawn mowers, so you can find the best solution for balancing operating costs, maintenance, ease of fueling and performance.
What Is a Propane Lawnmower?
You’ve likely heard of propane being used to fuel cars, heat homes and power other appliances like ovens and dryers. Propane lawnmowers are not as common, but they also benefit from this alternative energy source. You can buy a new lawnmower that uses propane, and some mowers can be converted to be able to use propane.
Unlike gasoline, propane is in gas form. You attach a propane canister to the mower, connecting it to the engine through a fuel line. While the lawnmower is running, the propane gas heats up and combusts, creating the energy necessary to run the mower. There is also a pressure regulator that keeps the propane’s pressure in the canister at the appropriate level.
Benefits of Buying a Propane Mower Compared to a Gas Mower
There are many benefits of using a propane mowing over a gas mower. Here are some reasons you should consider buying a propane mower instead of a gas one:
- Cleaner-burning: Propane is considered an alternative energy source because it burns much cleaner than other types. Propane is a great fuel source for lawnmowers because it burns very efficiently, and using propane is better for the environment.
- Mow longer: Because a propane mower will consume fuel more efficiently, it will last longer between fill-ups. You can mow for around an hour and a half using a propane mower.
- Safer storage: If you buy an extra propane tank as a backup, it is safer to store than extra gasoline.
- Gaseous state is cleaner: Propane is an easier fuel source to work with because it is in a gas state. Liquid gasoline can be easily spilled, making a big and potentially dangerous mess. Gas can also cause buildups of grease and flood the engine if you add too much to the mower’s tank.
- Less exhaust: When you rev up a gas mower, it lets off that unpleasant, smelly exhaust. An extra bonus with clean-burning propane is that you avoid this part of the chore of mowing the lawn.
- Save money: One of the biggest benefits of buying a propane mower instead of a gas mower is that propane costs less than gasoline, saving you money.
How Much Money You’ll Save Compared to a Gas Mower
A great advantage to buying a propane mower over a gas mower is that it’s cheaper to burn propane than gasoline.
Push mowers only hold less than a gallon of gasoline, and even riding mowers can only hold a few gallons at once. If you have a big yard, you’ll have to stop in the middle of the job just to refuel. The cost of using multiple tanks of gasoline for one mow can really add up, especially if your grass is growing rapidly.
Look at this hypothetical to see how propane can save you money:
It’s a good estimate that one tank of a push mower can mow about a half-acre. Let’s say you have a 1.5-acre yard. It would take you three tanks of gasoline to mow the entire lawn. At about $3 per gallon, it would cost about $9 to mow your lawn one time. You likely mow your lawn once a week from mid-spring to early summer, about 23 weeks in all. In total, you would spend $207 just on fuel costs to mow your lawn.
Propane is about a third less than the cost of gasoline, so you would save about $70 in fuel costs over that same period. That’s also assuming you’re mowing the lawn once a week. It’s possible you may be mowing it two or even three times a week depending on how much rainfall you see. When you use propane over the course of a few years, the savings become much more significant.
Benefits for Many Applications
When it comes to choosing your next lawn mower, there are several factors to consider — whether you’re a regular homeowner who wants the best choice for your lawn and garden maintenance, or you run a commercial lawn mowing service and need reliable, affordable equipment that gives you the best bang for your buck. When choosing between propane and gas mowers, consider these factors:
- Low operating costs — Consider the costs not only at purchase, but over the life of the mower.
- Ease of fueling — Is the fuel easy to find, easy to store and easy to handle?
- Performance — Everyone wants a mower that will get the job done with minimum effort, so make sure you find one that performs well.
- Reliability — Your mower should start up the first time, every time.
The propane mower advantages are endless, and you’ll find that their reliability, performance, ease of fueling and cost outperform many gas mowers.
Low Operating Costs
Propane typically costs approximately a third less than gas. This means you’re immediately saving money when filling your lawn mower with propane instead of gas. Add the extra cost due to gas spills and evaporation when refueling, and wasted gas that has gone stale sitting in an unused mower, and you’ll quickly experience significant cost savings.
Operating costs also include maintenance. Cooler-burning propane stresses your engine less, while also eliminating the gunk and build-up that comes from gas. You’ll spend less time cleaning and repairing your mower engine and more time using it to mow!
Ease of Fueling
While you might not have changed a propane tank on a lawn mower, you probably have changed one on a barbecue. It’s the same story. You unscrew the old tank and screw on the new one. There’s no spillage possible, thanks to the safety design of the connector. You don’t need a funnel or rags, and there’s no clean-up afterward. Propane is also already readily available in the U.S. — it’s being used in more homes, businesses and equipment every year.
Propane by nature has slightly less power per unit than gasoline, but it also burns more efficiently. The net result is similar performance at a lower price. With no risk of your carburetor getting clogged, your engine is always going to be breathing and spinning freely. Even after pulling a propane mower out after a winter in the garage, the fuel is not going to be stale, and the engine should start right away.
One of the problems with a gasoline-burning lawn mower is that the high heat created during combustion significantly stresses the engine. These stresses will eventually wear out the engine components, and they can result in failure and costly repairs. The cooler-running nature of propane means your engine won’t see the extreme temperatures and stresses of its gasoline counterpart. This increases the reliability of your mower, which is advantageous to business owners and homeowners alike.
Should You Choose a Propane Mower?
With these factors alone, choosing a propane mower makes sense. Along with the environmental factors and the potential incentives — some local governments have programs to finance propane mower purchases or conversions — propane mowers can help you get your jobs done more efficiently and more affordably.
Why a Propane Mower Is Better and Where to Buy Propane
A propane lawnmower is better because of a few main reasons — including cost and ease of use. The longer you own your propane mower, the more you’ll save compared to other mowers. A propane mower has much simpler usability when it comes time to refuel, too.
When you need to refill your propane tank, call Foster Fuels. We’re a family-owned business that supplies propane refills. Our friendly, reliable and knowledgeable staff can help you keep your mower going strong.
Contact us today for more information about the many uses and benefits of using propane at your home and how Foster Fuels can help you find the best propane solutions.
Learn More about Outdoor Propane:
- Guide to Propane Fire Pits
- Propane for RVs
- Guide to Outdoor Propane Heaters
- Using Propane for Off Grid Power
- How to Keep Your Backyard Warm in the Fall
Post updated on January 14th, 2019