Buying Guide: How To Choose A Pressure Washer For Home Use

Summer is just around the corner, and this means spending more time outdoors on your patio. However, how can you enjoy your summer when your patio, porch, and front yard are dirty? The exterior of your house might be looking lackluster due to the harsh winter weather it endured the past few months, so you might be thinking about cleaning it. Yet, your garden hose won’t cut it because such cleaning tasks require more heavy-duty tools like pressure washers. A pressure washer can help you clean the exterior of your house and your patio in just a couple of minutes. Nonetheless, since there are many models available on the market, you might not know which one to pick. Because buying a pressure washer is not a small investment, check out our guide to know more about pressure washers and how to pick the best one for your needs.

Types of Pressure Washers

When it comes to buying any tools, you need to be able to make an informed decision. Walking straight into a store and buying the best looking, most expensive pressure washer is not the best tactic. So, you need to be able to differentiate between the commercial types of pressure washers you can find in most stores. Mainly, there are two types of pressure washers: gas and electric models.

  • Gas Pressure Washers: Gas pressure washers are more powerful and are generally used for heavy-duty tasks. These tasks can include washing the exterior of your home, cleaning the pavement, and rinsing your patio. Since they use gas to operate, gas washers are less eco-friendly than electric ones. Nevertheless, they are more powerful, which is why many people prefer them to electric pressure washers.
  • Electric Pressure Washers: Now more commonly used than gas pressure washers, electric washers have many advantages. They are more eco-friendly because they run on electricity instead of gas. This, of course, means less maintenance. On the other hand, because they are entirely dependent on electricity, power cuts render them useless. The folk at Ablesales recommend that you buy a generator if you are planning to buy an electric washer. This way, you can still use your washer when the power goes out. Electric pressure washers are generally used for light to medium-duty tasks, such as cleaning grills, outdoor furniture, and garages.

How You Can Calculate the Power of a Pressure Washer

Now that you know a bit more about the types of pressure washers you can find, you may be wondering how you can calculate the power of your desired model. To know how powerful a pressure washer is, you need to be familiar with the following terms:

  • PSI (Power Per Square Inch): This term refers to the amount of pressure the washer can generate. Of course, the more pressure it can produce, the less time you will need to finish your task.
  • GPM (Gallons Per Minute): This term refers to the amount of water the washer can pump in a minute. The more water it can pump, the larger the area it can clean.
  • CUs (Cleaning Units): This term specifies the overall power of the washer. The CU can be deduced by multiplying the PSI and the GPM. You will need to calculate the CU if you are planning to compare different models that have varying PSIs and GPMs.

Some Considerations to Keep in Mind

Just knowing the PSI, GPM, and CU of the model you want to buy is not enough, as you need to factor in other details as well. When shopping for a pressure washer, think about the following:


As we previously mentioned, gas washers are usually more powerful than electric ones. However, this power translates to more noise as well. If you are not willing to deal with the noise your pressure washer will make, opt for an electric model instead. On the other hand, electric models usually last less than gas ones, given the limited capabilities of their motor. They are more likely to short-circuit, so if you value durability and do not mind a bit of noise, go for a gas pressure washer.


Cleaning is already a tiresome chore, so you certainly do not want to make it more difficult than it has to be. For this reason, you have to make sure that the model you want to buy is portable. When buying a pressure washer, make sure that it has wheels for easier maneuvering. Also, keep in mind that electric pressure washers are less versatile because they use electric cords. If you want a model that does not hinder your movement while cleaning, consider buying a gas one. Nonetheless, keep in mind that electric models are much lighter than gas-powered ones, which helps you have an easier time carrying and storing them.

Water Temperature

Water temperature is not a factor that many people consider when shopping for a pressure washer, as most stores offer the cold-water variant only. Hot-water pressure washers are often more expensive, not to mention that they are fit for industrial use. Although they are better at sanitizing surfaces and use less detergent to get the job done, you should not get one if you are planning to use your washer for simple tasks.

Detergent and Accessories

Not all washers come with a detergent compartment. Thus, you need to consider whether or not you need one in the first place. Detergents can help you remove stains and mold, so buying a pressure washer that sports a detergent compartment is a worthwhile investment. Additionally, you need to inspect the accessories that come with your desired model. Ideally, look for a model that comes with an adjustable nozzle instead of many different-sized ones. This way, you can adjust the pressure quickly without having to switch out the nozzle every time. You should also buy a pressure washer that comes with detachable brushes because they are more effective than nozzles at cleaning flat surfaces.

Pressure washers save you both time and effort when you want to clean your patio, garage, outdoor furniture, or even the exterior of your house. When looking for one, make sure that you know how to calculate the CU to be able to compare models. Also, consider the accessories and water temperature you will need for your project. Remember to check whether the manufacturer offers a warranty, as your washer will need a lot of maintenance down the line.