Steam Generators Vs. Steam Boilers - Which Is Best?

If your business relies on steam to complete any number of industrial processes throughout the day, access to the best steam-producing equipment is essential. Two of the most common systems used for steam generation today are steam generators and steam boilers.

While the two are often thought of as being interchangeable, there are some key differences that should be taken into consideration so that you end up with the steam-producing equipment best suited to meet your needs.


Safety should always be a priority when purchasing new equipment for your industrial facility. Steam generators do not require any combustible fuels. These generators come in electric models that can produce a reliable source of steam using only your facility's electrical grid. Eliminating the need for combustible fuels can significantly enhance the overall safety of your facility. Steam boilers are notorious for suffering major malfunctions as a result of poor water conditions, improper warm-up protocol, and even explosions. When it comes to maximizing safety, a steam generator is the best option.


You will want to determine how portable you need your steam-producing equipment to be before you make a purchase. Steam generators tend to be small and lightweight. These features make them the perfect choice for a facility that has limited space available. Steam boilers are larger and typically remain fixed in one location. The larger size of steam boilers allows them to produce a higher volume of steam than their smaller generator counterparts, so you should factor production rates into your decision when choosing new steam-producing equipment for your industrial facility.

Operation Time

Operation time is another factor that should inform the purchase of any steam-producing equipment.

Steam generators are designed to reach their maximum production rating in a matter of minutes. Steam boilers can take hours to reach full production levels. This difference in efficiency makes steam generators a great option for industrial processes with relatively short operation times.

A steam generator won't use any energy while idling between output sessions. This energy efficient feature can save your business quite a bit of money over time. Steam boilers are better suited for industrial processes with lengthy operation times.

Give a lot of thought to your unique needs before you invest in steam-producing equipment. Identify your average operation time, consider your portability needs, and factor in the overall safety of both steam generators and steam boilers before you make a final decision.