If you’ve got some outdoor cleaning jobs to do, you might be considering investing in a pressure washer.  As with most gadgets, tools, and cleaning machines, you’ll soon find that there’s a sea of options from which to choose.

 Understanding the basics about what makes one model different than the next is your best first step in finding a quality model that fits your needs.

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When shopping for a pressure washer, your main choice will be electric versus gasoline powered.

As a rule, electric-powered pressure washers are less expensive.  The downside to electric models is that they are less powerful than their gasoline-powered counterparts.  They are well-suited to most residential cleaning jobs.

If you pressure wash fairly regularly and/or don’t have a ton of square footage to clean, you shouldn’t have a problem getting what you need out of a quality electric model.

If you have painted or softer wood surfaces to clean, an electric model might be preferable because less power means the force of the water stream is less likely to peel paint or gouge softer wood.

If you do have a lot of pressure washing to do or have areas that haven’t been cleaned in years, you can still get the job done with an electric model, but it might take multiple sessions since electric models can take longer to do the job.  Also, lesser-quality motors tend to overheat and will need some cool-down time.

One definite advantage of an electric-powered cleaner is that an electric motor will require much less maintenance than a gas-powered motor, and, of course, you don’t have the recurring expense and hassle of trips to the gas station or gasoline spills in your yard or on your driveway.

Obviously, you’ll want to make sure you get a model with a cord long enough to reach areas farthest from the outlet if you decide to go electric.  If you can’t find one that comes with a cord long enough to work for you, make sure that it’s safe to use an extension cord if you want to go that route.

If you need or want maximum power, you’ll need to invest in a gasoline-powered pressure washer.  These models are more expensive than their electric cousins, but the added power means you can make quicker work of tough jobs or jobs covering lots of square footage.

As with cars, gasoline-powered pressure washers require regular maintenance to keep everything running smoothly and efficiently.  This can be an inconvenience for some, so make sure you fully understand what type of maintenance will be involved before you invest in a gas-powered washer.

The more powerful water stream from a gas-powered model will make quicker work of lots of jobs, but you’ll want to be careful when it comes to cleaning more delicate surfaces like painted walls or softer woods. Your best strategy with these types of surfaces is to start the nozzle farther away from the surface and move closer slowly to find the right distance to wash away grime without doing any damage.

Whatever type you choose, there are two performance numbers to consider.  The first is PSI, or pounds per square inch.  This measures the intensity of the water stream a washer delivers.  Higher PSI means a stronger stream of water.  GPM, gallons per minute, tells you how much water a machine will use.  This can be important if you live in an area where water conservation is critical, or even mandated.

In summary, electric pressure washers are generally less expensive and require less maintenance, but are less powerful, meaning they’re ideal for light- to medium-duty jobs.  Gas models will cost more and require more maintenance, but are far better suited to the toughest heavy-duty jobs.

Visit this link for detailed information about compact electric pressure washers, including reviews, comparisons, and pros and cons.

Bestpressurewasher.reviews takes a look at top gas-powered models for residential use.  You can find reviews and comparisons of top models, including pros and cons of each.

Take a look at top rated pressure washer for information on the best home and commercial models, both electric and gas powered.