Cold Weather Fuel Considerations for Generators: Tips for Optimal Performance

Fueling up a generator during winter storm NemoWinter is here! Commercial generator owners need to pay special attention to their equipment’s fuel system. Cold temperatures can have a significant impact on the performance of generators, and understanding how to address these challenges is crucial. In this blog post, we will discuss the type of fuel your generator uses, how cold temperatures can affect its performance, and provide guidance on fuel additives and storage to ensure your generator operates smoothly during the winter months.

Understanding Generator Fuel Types:

Generators typically use one of three primary fuel types: diesel, natural gas, or propane. Each fuel type has its advantages and considerations when it comes to cold weather operation.

  • Diesel Generators: Diesel generators are known for their reliability and efficiency. However, diesel fuel can gel or become waxy in extremely cold temperatures, leading to fuel system issues and engine problems.
  • Natural Gas Generators: Natural gas generators are cleaner and more environmentally friendly but may experience decreased pressure and performance in extremely cold conditions.
  • Propane Generators: Propane generators are versatile and can handle cold temperatures better than diesel or natural gas. Propane is less likely to gel, making it a suitable choice for cold weather.

Effects of Cold Temperatures on Generator Fuel:

Cold weather can affect generator fuel in various ways, depending on the type of fuel being used:

  • Diesel Fuel: When temperatures drop, diesel fuel can form crystals and become thicker, potentially clogging filters and fuel lines. This can lead to reduced fuel flow and engine shutdowns.
  • Natural Gas: In extremely cold conditions, natural gas pressure in pipelines can drop, affecting the generator’s ability to maintain consistent performance.
  • Propane: Propane generally performs well in cold weather but may experience reduced vaporization rates in extreme cold, affecting fuel combustion.

Fuel Additives for Cold Weather:

To address cold weather-related fuel issues, consider using fuel additives specifically designed for winter conditions. Here are some options:

  • Anti-Gel Additives: Anti-gel additives are formulated to prevent diesel fuel from gelling in cold temperatures. They help maintain proper fuel flow and prevent filter and line blockages.
  • Fuel Stabilizers: Fuel stabilizers are useful for propane and natural gas generators. They improve vaporization and combustion in colder conditions, ensuring consistent power output.
  • Cold Flow Improvers: These additives enhance the performance of diesel fuel in cold weather by lowering the fuel’s cloud and pour points.

Fuel Storage and Protection:

Proper fuel storage is essential to prevent cold-related issues. Consider these tips:

  1. Fuel Quality: Ensure that the fuel used in your generator is of high quality and meets relevant standards.
  2. Fuel Tanks: Insulate fuel tanks or store them in heated areas to prevent fuel from cooling too much.
  3. Regular Monitoring: Monitor fuel levels and quality regularly to address any issues promptly.
  4. Emergency Backup: Have a backup fuel supply available in case of prolonged power outages or delivery delays.


Cold weather can challenge the performance of commercial generators by affecting their fuel systems. Understanding the type of fuel your generator uses and taking proactive measures such as using fuel additives and proper storage can help ensure that your generator operates reliably during the winter months. By following these guidelines, you can be better prepared to handle power outages and keep your business running smoothly even in the harshest winter conditions.

If you require professional assistance with generator fuel winterization, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Cat5 Resources. Our team specializes in ensuring that your generators are ready to perform optimally, even in the coldest weather. Contact us today for expert guidance and support to keep your business powered through the winter.

Remember, a well-prepared generator can be your lifeline during winter emergencies, and Cat5 Resources is here to help you every step of the way. Stay warm, stay powered, and stay safe this winter season. Contact us now for peace of mind.