You may have already gotten your first dusting of snow of the season. Your first thought may be that it’s time to bust out the snow shovels and start clearing your driveway and sidewalk. But you may be able to clear the snow more quickly and easily than you imagined with your leaf blower!
Many people have used leaf blowers for this purpose because they are more convenient than a large snow blower and less strenuous work than using a snow shovel. Leaf blowers can easily remove snow from your steps, vehicles, driveways and sidewalks. However, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.
Leaf blowers will only be effective with a light layer of snow. Depending on the power of your blower, it should be able to move snow that is piled up to an inch thick.
The climate is also a factor to consider. Some areas get a wet snow, while others get a dry and powdery snow. If the snow is wet or beginning to melt, then you likely won’t have much success using your leaf blower. You need to be working with powdery snow; otherwise, it won’t move and will just make it icier.
Care needs to be taken with your leaf blower as well when blowing snow. Moisture can set in the engine, which will cause damage if it is not properly dried out. It’s inevitable that some snow will get in the carburetor and air filter and melt, so you will need to put it in a dry location to air out as soon as you are done using it.
Also, refrain from using the leaf blower for an extended amount of time. Frigid temperatures can be hard on your leaf blower, so extended use at one time could cause serious problems. If you notice that your blower isn’t running like it normally does, then it’s best to shut it down for a while to rest.
If you only have an electric leaf blower, then you may want to purchase a gas blower or just shovel your snow the old fashioned way. Electricity and water don’t mix, so you don’t want to run the risk of shocking yourself if moisture finds its way into the wrong places.
As far as the best brands of leaf blowers go, for the purpose of using them for snow blowing, the power of the blower is probably more important. If you will be using your leaf blower for snow on a daily basis, then you probably want to invest in a name brand blower, like Stihl, Echo or Craftsman. These brands have proven to be the most durable in the industry, so they are most likely to hold up in the frigid conditions. However, that will only remain true if you take the necessary steps to ensure they remain maintained.
Using your leaf blower to clear snow can be a real time saver. The next time you get a dusting of snow, try it out and see how effective it can be. If the conditions are favorable (i.e. not windy or rainy), then you will likely have a positive experience and reach for your leaf blower instead of the snow shovel in the future!