As the New Year approaches, people are under more stress than ever to give every nooks and cranny inside their house a deep clean to greet the next decade free from the dust and grimes of the 2010s. While the inside of the home can be easily handled by an army of Roombas or Best Pressure Washer Brand - Pressure Washer Reviews , the outside of the house, the car and the driveway are a dilemma.
That’s where a good residential pressure washer comes into play: A catch-all solution for all of your high-powered washing needs. Your house, the driveway and your car will be so squeaky clean by the time you’re done giving them hose-downs with a quality pressure washer that your neighbours will be jealous!
Excited, but don’t know where to start?
Worry not! In this article, we’ll tell you all about the age-old question of ‘What is the best pressure washer for home use’ and show you everything you need to know to pick the pressure washer of your dreams.
Gas vs. Electric Pressure Washers
This one is arguably the most important decision you can make while buying a new pressure washer. There are, as the heading had already suggested, two distinct types of pressure washers: Ones that run on gas and ones that run on electricity. Both of them have their own pros and cons that you should take into consideration.
For gas pressure washers, the one thing that you’ll have on your side is the raw power that the gas engine inside can pump out. You can blast the external walls of your house, decks, driveways and cars (In lower settings) and the dirt will come flying right off even without detergent. The most stubborn of contaminants like chewing gum and sap are no match for a quality gas pressure washer. The extra pressure that you can extract out of a gas washer also means that even if you have your nozzle set at the wider settings, the cleaning power of the washer can still be just as good as electric washers on a narrow beam.
But there are significant issues with running a gas washer. The first thing is that they tend to be clunky and loud. They require a lot of tune-ups and maintenance. Even the extra power that the washer can bring out can sometimes be harmful when they brush away the paint on the outside of your house or car, or knock parts and decorations loose, not to mention it also increases the chance of you injuring yourself.
The fact that it’s running on gas in the first place is problematic: Storing gas can be a dilemma all by itself. And trouble isn’t what we want to look for in the best rated pressure washer for home use.
All of this trouble is addressed by electric washers. While electric washers tend to be weaker and have less pressure in their water beam, not only are they far safer, quieter and more eco-friendly, they also require far less upkeep and maintenance compared to gas pressure washers. Of course, the lower power of electric washers means that you’ll find it more difficult to clean certain spots in the house and it’ll take more of your time to get everything squeaky clean. If you think all of the advantages I have just mentioned are worth it, then go ahead and pick an electric washer!
One big problem with electric washers is that unlike gas pressure washers, which can be very mobile,an electric pressure washer’s range is limited to the length of their power cord and hose. Power cords for these washers tend to be about 35-feet long and the hose gives an additional 25 to 30 feet. Make sure that your washer is placed strategically near the spots or things that you want to hose down.
Next to the fuel source, the most important component of the best pressure washer for home use is the nozzle. Mishandling a pressure washer’s nozzle can even be dangerous. Two simple things to keep in mind while operating the nozzle: The angle of the water beam and the focused intensity — or the width — of the water beam that is being sprayed out. Both of these things are controlled by the nozzle at the tip of the washer’s wand.
There are typically two types of nozzles: Colour-coded, interchangeable nozzles or adjustable nozzles. While any of them can help you control the water spray, adjustable nozzles are far more convenient to use since you don’t need to swap out the nozzle. Instead, you only need to twist the nozzle to control the flow.
In spite of this, the replaceable nozzles have a distinct advantage of being able to produce unique spray patterns and angles that are fitted for specific purposes, which can clean far more efficiently than the sprays produced by adjustable nozzles.
But here is a rule of thumb: Unless you really have to, never use the zero-degree nozzle (Often painted in red) or twist the adjustable nozzle to the zero-degree setting. The highly focused (Or zero-degree) beam is extremely powerful and can injure you, anyone you’re pointing at or damage objects if you’re not careful. Zero-degree beams are only used when you have smudges or things that are far too stubborn for less powerful beams to remove (A situation you’ll never actually find yourself in).
The yellow nozzle or a 15-degree beam is enough to nearly strip away the paint job on houses and cars. This should be the most powerful setting you should ever use.
The Technical Specifications
Be mindful of the technical specifications! Specifically, there are three technical values that pressure washers use that you need to memorize: Pounds per Square Inch (PSI), Gallons Per Minute (GPM) and Cleaning Unit (CU). CU is often considered the most important number to look for in the spec sheet since it does a far better job of informing you of the true capability of the pressure washer you are investigating.
Washers with low CU (1,960 - 2,800 CU) are good for delicate jobs, like washing vehicles and small cleaning operations around the yard. For homeowners, a good CU range to look into would be from 5,060 to 7,130 CU. This is the range that fits best for most residential usage. Higher than that and you’ll be in the industrial range with washers so powerful they can strip paint and probably shoot a hole through a solid wall at a focused setting.
Some manufacturers only put the PSI and GPM numbers on the description of their washers or the user’s manual. Don’t worry, you can easily find the CU by multiplying the given PSI and GPM.
So that’s that: Three important things to consider while you’re out picking the Best pressure washer on the market for home use! While this article might make it look like it’s going to be difficult to shop for the right washer, don’t worry. By reading the description written on online stores or chatting with the sales representatives, you’ll find all of this information. Still, it’s better to be informed than be in the dark, right?
We hope that you can find the best home pressure washer with this little How-To guide!