To decide which steam generator to choose for your home, you first need to understand the main purpose of the device, for what purposes it is purchased and what are the main differences in the models offered to the consumer. And if you make this choice correctly, doing household chores will become much easier and faster.
What is a steam generator?
In this case, a steam generator is understood as a household appliance, the purpose of which is the production of water vapor. The pressure of this steam is higher than atmospheric due to the heat of the primary coolant. The steam generator at home is a good alternative to a conventional iron, which, in addition to the usual ironing of things on an ironing board, can perform such actions as steaming textiles or clothes that are in an upright position. This will go a long way in speeding up and facilitating the process of smoothing wrinkles.
In terms of design, an iron with a steam generator differs from a conventional household appliance in the presence of a separate tank that houses a water tank and a heating element. The steam generator is connected to the iron by means of a hose. Most often on store shelves, you can see such devices in which the steam generator serves as a stand for an iron. This is very convenient since it also solves the problem of compact storage of this household appliance.
How to use the steam generator?
In order to understand how to use a steam generator, it is necessary to understand the principle of its action and the difference with the action of a conventional iron. So the achievement of the desired result when using an iron is ensured by a mechanical effect on the fabric. In this case, the increased temperature and the presence of steam only simplify the process, warming up and moistening the surface of the fabric.
The use of a steam generator is the combined effect of the increased temperature of the soleplate of the iron and the steam emitted from it under pressure. Moreover, the effect of steam in this case has a predominant value. That is, if things are ironed with an iron without using steam exposure, then with a steam generator it is possible to smooth wrinkles without the sole of the iron touching the fabric.
It should be noted that the steam, passing through the heated soleplate of the iron, dries up. Due to this, it has practically no moisture at the outlet, which makes it possible to avoid the appearance of wet stains and condensation on the processed products. High temperature at the same time allows you to kill germs and bacteria that are inevitably present on clothing. The smell of mustiness, mold and dampness will also disappear after such treatment.
The steam iron can be used both horizontally and vertically. Therefore, it is easy and simple to smooth out the folds on already hanging curtains with its help. You can just as easily eliminate wrinkling on a suit or other clothes located on a hanger. To do this, you just need to bring the soleplate of the iron to the fabric and press the appropriate button.
How to choose the right steam iron for your home?
In order to choose the right steam generator for your home, you need to understand what significant differences exist in their models. The main ones include power, the implementation of steam supply, the type of tank and the volume of water contained in it, as well as the presence of additional functions. It is not always worth paying attention to the most expensive models, as many of them are designed more for professional than for home use. But at the same time, one should not forget that the numerical value of some characteristics plays a decisive role when using the device, affecting the convenience and achievement of the desired result.
Power is a characteristic, of the value on which the heating time of the device depends. The more powerful the steam generator, the less time it will take to heat it up after switching on, but at the same time it will consume more electricity. Today, models with a fairly wide power range from 800 to 3100 watts are available to the consumer.
In order to choose the right iron with a steam generator with respect to this characteristic, it is also worth considering that devices with low power do not support temperature conditions well. Because of this, the processing of products may be delayed, which is not very convenient – the device heats up slowly and cools down quickly. For this reason, the most acceptable option would be the numerical value of this indicator from 1600 to 2000 watts.
Steam supply method
When choosing a steam generator for the home, unlike a conventional iron designed for ironing things in a horizontal position, the intensity and pressure of the steam supply are very important parameters. This is due to the fact that steam in this case will be supplied vertically, and at low pressure and low intensity, it will be impossible to achieve a high-quality result. The optimal value of the steam supply pressure is from 2 to 6 bar, and the intensity is from 90 to 140 grams per minute. Moreover, if steam generators appear on the market, which have these characteristics higher, it is better to choose them. The steam boost is also essential, which should be at least 95 – 240 grams per minute.
Type and volume of the water tank
Currently, steam generators for the home can have different volumes of water tanks. The higher this characteristic, the more time you can use the device without the need to pour liquid into it. If the appliance will be used very often for processing a large number of things, then it is better to choose a tank of more than 2 liters. In the same case, when ironing things is periodic, then 1 liter or less is enough. When choosing a steam generator according to this characteristic, it should be taken into account that the larger the volume of the water tank, the more space the device will require for storage. The best option would be a transparent tank, which will allow you to determine at a glance the need for filling water.
Also very significant is the location of the tank and the heating element, which can be:
- taken out, that is, located not inside the iron, but separately from it, and connected to it by means of a hose. Just in this case, the water tank also serves as a stand for the iron. The heating time of such devices will be at least 10-15 minutes;
- built-in, that is, located in the body of the iron. In this case, the heating time is significantly reduced, but the weight of the device increases, which brings inconvenience when using it.
Also, remote tanks can be presented in the form of one or two tanks placed in one building. In the case of a single tank, the supply of water to convert it into steam is carried out directly from the container into which the liquid is poured and stored. If the steam generator has two tanks, then water is poured into one of them and stored in it, and after that, portioned water is transferred to the second tank, from where it is supplied for conversion into steam. The disadvantage of the second option is the significant size of the entire device as a whole.
Just like an iron, a steam generator will have to iron things made from various materials that have their own specific qualities and properties. Depending on them, when performing the procedure for smoothing wrinkles, it is necessary to select the optimal exposure temperature. That is why the steam generators provide for steam supply adjustment, which can be performed both manually and automatically. The best option would be a manual adjustment method, which will allow you to increase or decrease the temperature and intensity of exposure, based on the prevailing conditions. In this case, manual adjustment can be presented in the form of a rotary switch or buttons. In this case, the choice is made based on the convenience of who will use the device most often.
The main function of a steam generator is to convert water into pressurized steam. This will allow you to quickly and easily smooth out even heavily wrinkled things and remove dirt and unpleasant odors from them. Additional functions, in turn, will provide more convenient use of the device, as well as safety when working with it. The main ones include:
- protection against scale, which is implemented in the form of rods for its collection or indicators that indicate the need to clean it from it. Despite its presence, for these devices it is recommended to use distilled or special water intended for these purposes;
- the possibility of dry ironing, so that the device can be used as a regular iron with the steam mode turned off;
- an anti-drip system that will not allow liquid to flow out of the iron, especially if the boiler of the steam generator is built into the body of the iron;
- auto-off, which ensures that heating stops after the iron is more than half a minute in a horizontal position or 15 minutes in a vertical position.
What to choose an iron or steam generator for the home?
When choosing between a regular iron and a steam generator, you should be guided by the number and type of things that will need to be processed. If in most cases it is necessary to iron things whose appearance does not matter, that is, bed or underwear, as well as everyday wardrobe items, then a conventional iron with a steam function will be enough. If, however, giving an impeccable look to things is constantly required, and even more so the main part of these things are office suits and shirts, then the use of a steam generator will greatly simplify and reduce the time spent on this procedure.
It is also very appropriate to have this device in a house where there are small children and animals. Processing of things for the child should be of the highest quality to ensure their safety. While animals bring various harmful bacteria and microbes into the house, it will be much easier to deal with them using this device.
How to choose a steam generator for home?
Based on the foregoing, we can conclude that the most acceptable and best model of a steam generator for a home will be a device with a remote water tank, which will simultaneously act as a convenient stand. The optimal power of the steam generator will be a value approximately equal to 2000 W or slightly less than this value. At the same time, the greater the steam pressure and the intensity of its supply, the better. Also mandatory for safe use is the auto-off function, and the anti-scale protection will greatly increase the period of its operation.