Ironing is an integral part of housework. There is an iron in every house, but it has two strong competitors – a steam generator and a steamer . Earlier we talked about the functions of a vaporizer, today we will analyze how to choose a steam generator for the home and what functions it performs. Can this device become a full-fledged replacement for a classic iron?
What is the difference between a regular steam iron and a steam generator?
A regular iron has a body in which a water tank, a heating element, a perforated soleplate for steam release, power controls, a handle and an electric cord are built into it. A steam iron is designed specifically for ironing. Steam is supplied only vertically.
The steam station consists of an iron (a device through which steam is supplied) and a steam generator (a water tank with the function of heating the liquid to a steam state). The device contains many holes on the sole, so the steam output is more powerful. There are also: a handle, a regulator, a hose for supplying steam from the tank. The steam station contains a water tank, a steam generator, a water heater, an electric wire and a hose that is connected to the iron. This device can be used for ironing, steaming, drying things, steam is supplied in any position. The device is also used for house cleaning, to clean tiles, sanitary ware, and furniture from heavy dirt.
Advantages and disadvantages
The steam generator is significantly superior to a regular iron in terms of practicality and functionality, we can single out only a few shortcomings, which are difficult to call significant:
- the average cost is higher than classic ironing systems;
- larger in size due to the steam station;
- you can’t start work right away.
But the advantages of a steam generator for the house are many times greater, so choosing it will be a great idea:
- the iron itself from the station is lighter than usual;
- steam is supplied both vertically and horizontally, wet or dry;
- you can even iron curtains and dry things without damaging the fabric itself;
- suitable for cleaning furniture at home and car salons;
- disinfects treated surfaces, greatly facilitates cleaning;
- saves time when ironing clothes, as the supply of steam is more powerful;
- you can use ordinary running water from the tap, the station has filters for water purification;
- treats delicate fabrics with care;
- has a large water tank.
So, there are many more advantages than disadvantages compared to a simple steam iron. The high cost is fully justified, because a steam generator is a multifunctional thing that facilitates and shortens the work around the house.
How to choose correctly
Let’s consider what questions need to be taken into account when buying a steam generator for the house:
- Security. Preference should be given to a model with an automatic shutdown function in case of overheating and a reliable iron holder at the station.
- Power. Models can have from 800 to 3100 watts. This parameter affects the heating speed and the ability to maintain the selected mode. It is optimal to choose a power of about 2000 W.
- Sole. The Teflon surface slides best, but you need to handle it carefully, as it is easy to damage. Metal-ceramics are convenient to use, but can break when dropped. Aluminum soles are rare, as scratches remain on this material. Stainless steel is the strongest – the sole made of steel heats up evenly and does not require special conditions for operation, but this material adds weight to the iron. The most expensive models with a titanium sole due to reliability and durability, but warm up longer.
- Steam supply pressure. There are models with capacity from 2 to 8 bar. The higher the pressure, the more functional the device, i.e. at 6-8 bars, the steam generator can handle even vertical processing of curtains and outerwear. If the pressure is low, only horizontal ironing is available.
- Intensity of steam supply. This parameter varies between 90 and 140 g/min. The higher the value, the more efficient the processing will be. Some devices are equipped with the possibility of a steam blow with a jet of 95-260 g/min. It is desirable that this function is present and is higher.
- Steam supply mode. It can be manual or automatic adjustment, and the cheapest option is no adjustment. The automatic mode is adjusted to the type of fabric, and with the manual mode you can set the intensity of the steam supply at your discretion – this option is better.
- Multifunctionality. Pay attention to the additional possibilities to make the steam generator universal: cleaning, dry ironing, dry and wet steam, disinfection, protection against scale, spraying, anti-drip system, etc.
- Water tank volume (0.7-2.2 l). This affects the size and price. There are models with external, built-in and double boilers. The first option is the most common. Built-in ones have a small volume and burden the iron, and double ones are necessary for significant amounts of ironing. The less often you use the steam generator, the smaller the volume you can choose. Of course, if you have large volumes of ironing, then it is advisable to choose the maximum tank.
- Weight. The weight can be about 3-4 kg of the device. Hold it in your hand, consider the volume of water added to the station. But don’t forget that you will mostly be holding only the iron in your hands, not the whole station.
- Heating time. Some models can be ready to work in a couple of minutes, while others need up to 6 minutes to heat up. This is influenced by the power of the device and the volume of the tank.
- Choose a cork handle or a material that won’t heat up the handle during use.
- Warranty period of service. The larger it is, the more reliable the manufacturer.
What brands are popular?
Steam generators (steam stations) on the market are represented by many manufacturers. The most popular companies: Bosch, PHILIPS, Braun, TEFAL, Eurometalnova, MIE Stiro.
The cost of steam generators can be divided into the following price categories: about $ 100 (cheap no-name models), $ 200-300 (branded models with minimal functionality) and from $ 400 and above (branded models with the maximum set of functions).
When choosing a steam generator with an iron, focus not only on brands, but also on the purpose and time of use of the device. Study the technical characteristics in combination with the price and warranty.