If you’ve ever looked at your siding or driveway and thought, “Boy, that could use a good pressure washing,” then you’re not alone. Pressure washers are a popular choice for cleaning outdoor surfaces. And who doesn’t like the satisfaction of blasting dirt and grime off of something and seeing it look shiny and new again?
But before you can start cleaning, you need to choose the right pressure washer for the job. Gas or electric? That is the question.
This article will help you decide whether a gas or electric pressure washer suits you. We’ll also give you tips on choosing the right model for your needs. So whether you’re a first-time pressure washer buyer or looking to upgrade, read on for everything you need to know about gas and electric pressure washers.
Differences Between Gas and Electric Pressure Washers
The obvious difference between gas and electric pressure washers is the power source. Gas models run on, you guessed it, gasoline. Electric models, on the other hand, plug into a standard household outlet.
But there are some other key differences between these two pressure washers that you should be aware of before making your purchase. These include the following:
PSI and GPM
PSI refers to the amount of pressure the washer can generate, while GPM tells you the flow rate of water from the machine. The higher the PSI, the more powerful the unit will be. And the higher the GPM, the faster it can do the job.
Gas pressure washers have higher PSI and GPM ratings than electric models. In most cases, the minimum PSI of a gas pressure washer is 2,500 and can be as high as 4,000. The GPM of the gas models ranges from 2.5 to 4.0.
On the other hand, the PSI of electric pressure washers ranges between 1,500 and 3,000, while the GPM is between 1.5 and 2.5. These ratings mean that a gas pressure washer is better suited for heavier-duty cleaning jobs. On the other hand, electric pressure washers are adequate for lighter cleaning tasks around the house.
Ease of Use and Convenience
Another differentiating factor between gas and electric pressure washers is their ease of use. If you’re new to using pressure washers, an electric model might be a good choice.
They are more user-friendly because you only need to plug them in and pull the trigger. You can use an electric pressure washer anywhere as long as there’s a power outlet.
On the other hand, gas pressure washers require a little more setup. In addition to filling up the gas tank, you should add oil to the engine. This process can be messy and tedious.
Besides being user-friendly, electric pressure washers are easy to maintain. They require fewer maintenance practices, such as lubricating and cleaning the pump. Cleaning is vital in ensuring the dirt doesn’t block the cooling filters.
On the contrary, the mortar in the gas-powered pressure washer requires regular maintenance, like any other engine. You need to check the oil level and change it frequently when necessary. You should also change the oil filter and replace the spark plug.
Electric pressure washers are usually lighter than gas models since they don’t have a gas engine. This lightweight makes them easy to carry around and store.
Gas pressure washers are generally heavier than electric models because of the gas engine. However, some portable gas models available come with wheels for easy transport.
Electric pressure washers don’t emit fumes, making them more environmentally friendly than gas models. Gas-powered pressure washers emit harmful emissions because they burn fossil fuels. However, with the increase in stringent standards set by environmental regulatory authorities, many manufacturers are making more fuel-efficient gas models with fewer emissions.
In terms of noise, electric pressure washers are quieter and can run at approximately 80 decibels. This level equals those of most vacuum cleaners, so it’s tolerable.
However, gas pressures, including the best ones, are louder and can generate up to 100 dB. This level is too high, given that the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recommends using hearing protectors when the noise level is above 85 dB.
The price of an electric pressure washer is usually lower than that of a gas model. An electric pressure washer goes for an average price of $167, while the gas model retails at $379. But on rare occasions, the price of electric pressure washers from premium brands will be higher than that of gas models.
The Pros and Cons of Electric Pressure Washers
After knowing how a gas and an electric pressure washer differ, you need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each model before making your choice. Here is a look at the pros and cons of the electric model.
Benefits of an Electric Pressure Washer
Several factors make an electric pressure washer a good choice, such as:
Great for residential cleaning
Electric pressure washers generate enough pressure to perfectly clean your home surfaces without damaging them. It’s the most suitable for cleaning your fence, wooden deck, siding, and car.
These washers are more convenient to carry around and store due to their lightweight. You can easily tuck it away in a small space in your garage or shed.
Easy to operate and maintain
You don’t need special skills or knowledge to operate an electric pressure washer. These washers are also easy to maintain as they require minimal lubrication and cleaning.
Electric pressure washers are more eco-friendly because they don’t produce fumes. With this pressure washer, you won’t pose any health risks related to emissions, keeping yourself, your family, and your furry friends safe. Since an electric pressure washer is pretty quiet, it’s safer for your ears.
You don’t have to break the bank to acquire an electric pressure washer as they are cheaper than gas models. So if you’re on a budget, this is the best type of pressure washer for you.
Downsides of an Electric Pressure Washer
Every product has its set of cons, and the electric pressure washer is no different. Here are some disadvantages related to this type of pressure washer.
Limited power output
One of the main drawbacks of an electric pressure washer is that it doesn’t have as much power as a gas model. It might not be ideal if you want to tackle tough cleaning jobs.
Not suitable for professional use
An electric pressure washer is not a good choice if you’re looking for a machine for your business. It can only handle light-duty jobs, so it needs to be more powerful for professional cleaning.
Relies on a power source
Since an electric pressure washer needs to be plugged into an outlet to work, you need to have a power source nearby. This requirement limits your mobility as you can only use the machine with a power outlet.
Although an electric-powered pressure washer is cheap, it’s less durable than a gas model. The short lifespan comes down to the plastic materials used in these models. Plastic makes them less durable than gas-powered models, which usually have more metallic elements in areas such as the nozzle and the body.
The Pros and Cons of Gas Pressure Washers
Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of an electric pressure washer, it’s time to take a look at the gas model.
Benefits of a Gas Pressure Washer
You should choose a gas pressure washer over an electric one for several reasons. Here are some pros:
A gas-powered pressure washer’s high PSI and GPM make it more powerful than an electric model. This machine can quickly and easily remove stubborn dirt, grime, and stains from surfaces like driveways and sidewalks. This model’s ultimate power is the best option for heavy-duty cleaning, even on commercial premises.
Gas pressure washers can save you a lot of time as they can easily remove stubborn dirt and grime. With this machine, you can clean surfaces in a fraction of the time it would take you to do it with an electric pressure washer or by hand.
No need for detergent
A gas pressure washer is so powerful that it can clean surfaces without needing detergent. This capability saves you money as you don’t have to buy cleaning solutions.
Gas pressure washers are more durable than electric models, as they’re made with more durable materials. The gas models also don’t have any electrical components that can break or malfunction.
Disadvantages of a Gas Pressure Washer
Of course, there are also some disadvantages related to gas pressure washers. Here are some cons:
High running cost
The biggest downside of a gas pressure washer is that it’s more expensive to operate than an electric model. You need to buy gas and oil to keep the machine running.
Noisy and emits fumes
A gas pressure washer may annoy your neighbors, as it’s pretty noisy. Additionally, it emits fumes, so there are better choices than this one if you’re looking for an eco-friendly option.
Difficult to store and maintain
Gas pressure washers are difficult to store as they need to be kept in a well-ventilated area. They’re also more challenging to maintain, as you must regularly check the oil and gas levels.
So, Which One Should You Choose?
The choice here will largely depend on the intended use of the pressure washer and your preferences. If you want a pressure washer for domestic cleaning jobs like washing your car or patio furniture, then an electric pressure washer is a good choice. The low PSI will be gentle on your surfaces but still, get the job done.
However, a gas-pressure washer is a better choice if you’re looking for a machine for commercial cleaning or heavy-duty tasks like stripping paint. The high PSI and GPM will make light work of the most stubborn dirt and grime, even in areas with heavy messes.
What Are the Things To Consider Before Buying an Electric or Gas Pressure Washer?
You should consider various factors before you make a rushed decision when choosing a pressure washer. The key factors you should take into account include:
- Intended use
- Power output
- Ease of use
- Cost of operation
- Noise level
Considering these factors will help you choose the best pressure washer. It’ll prevent instances where you end up with a machine that’s too powerful for your needs and causes damage to surfaces or a model that needs to be more powerful and takes forever to clean surfaces.
Professionals Will Help You Settle the Gas vs. Electric Pressure Battle
If you need help deciding whether a gas or electric pressure washer is the better choice, you can always leave the job to professionals. Our team at Advantage Pro Services has 20 years of experience in the Houston cleaning industry and can provide you with top-quality pressure washing services.We use the latest equipment and techniques to get your surfaces looking their best without damaging them. So contact us today if you’re in Houston and want to restore your home surface’s true beauty.