Hot vs. Cold Pressure Washers: What You Need to Know
Removing deep-seated dirt on your car or garage is one of the most annoying things to do. Luckily, a quality pressure washer can do the dirty work for you. But what kind of pressure washer do you need?
Pressure washing is an easy way to clean all kinds of surfaces for home or commercial use. It can help you quickly clean large areas in your outdoor spaces.
Most pressure washers are safe to use on various surfaces, including wooden deck, siding, floor, and even cars. They are a great alternative to that good-old “brush and soapy water” which takes you forever to clean your patio or walkway. If you constantly have hard-to-deal-with problems with soils, grease, targum, or wax at home or in your workplace, pressure washing can come in handy.
Word of caution: since it uses pressure, it can harm anyone who gets hit by the spray. Always practice safety precautions while using it. Don’t use it near anything living, whether humans, animals, or plants. If you need to spay near plants, cover them with trash bags first to prevent damage.
Also, since pressure washers are used mostly for larger spaces, it doesn’t make sense if you will pull it out to clean a small area. If it takes longer to set up the machine than the actual cleaning, consider cleaning by hand.
Kinds of Pressure Washer
In general, there are two types of pressure washers: gas and electric. The subtypes include hot and cold water pressure. Your choice between these types must depend on what kind of cleaning you need and how frequently you will use it.
Low-end consumer-grade models can go as low as $100 in price, while industry-standard models can go as high as $1,000.
A pressure washer’s performance is measured through pounds per square inch (PSI) and gallons per minute (GPM). PSI measures the spray force, while GPM tells you the volume of water passing through the spray. If you consider quality performance, choose a model with PSI below 2,000 and 2 GPM. If you only use the device at home and less frequently, there are pressure washers in the market with these specs for less than $400.
For tougher stains, you need heavy-duty equipment with 2,000 to 3,200 psi and 2 to 3.2 GPM. This pressure washer can clean even the most stubborn dirt, which is an additional benefit of agitation. For home use, you don’t need these high specs.
Cold Water Pressure Washers
Cold water pressure washers are a more popular choice in dealing with tough dirt and stains. As the name suggests, it uses cold water spray over the soiled areas to take out the stains. The machine incorporates a detergent to deal with stains and grime to clean the area effectively.
Some of the pros of using a cold pressure washer are
- Compact and lightweight: It can easily fit into smaller storage spaces. Because it’s lighter, you can take it almost everywhere.
- Simple to operate: You only need to do a maximum of three simple steps and it’s good to go.
- Cheaper: Because it doesn’t have a heater, it’s less expensive than its hot water counterpart. The maintenance cost is also less expensive since it only has basic design and functionalities.
For home and less-frequent usage, a cold-water pressure washer will be likely enough.
Hot Water Pressure Washer
The hot pressure washer works the same as the cold-water pressure, except that it uses heat to clean surfaces. The addition of heat into the water makes the liquid more potent against tougher stains. The heat helps loosen the dirt particles, including grease and oil.
There is no doubt that hot water pressure provides superior cleaning than cold water pressure. It also means that cleaning takes a shorter time and uses lesser detergent. And because the heat is proven to be a good disinfectant, the surface is more hygienic.
Some cons in the use of hot water pressure washer include:
- Bulkier: Because it has a heater, it’s bigger and heavier than the cold-water type. This makes it complicated for storing and carrying around.
- More expensive: The heating equipment and other additional fixtures make it cost more.
- Impractical: Paying more for something you will only use once in a blue moon may not be worth it. Plus, you have to consider paying for the repair of the heating element is not working
In general, use a hot water pressure washer if you will be cleaning a bigger area more than once a month and you want better and more hygienic results. If you need to clean a place full of grease and oil, hot water can dissolve them fast and easy. Just make sure that the device can heat the water to 200F, which is the temperature required to break the molecules of the said substances.
Hot or Cold?
To answer this question, you need to know where you are going to use it. If you don’t have any oil or grease stains, a cold water pressure washer could be sufficient. If you’re dealing with stubborn stains where cold water is not enough, invest in hot water pressure. Buying the two models if you have a cleaning business is a great idea. You can learn more about the important specs of a pressure washer on many home-improvement sites.