Blowing Snow with a Leaf Blower: Everything you need to know

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As soon as winter approaches, a lot of us may find ourselves becoming creative just to make sure snow is cleared from our property. Generally, as we move from December into January, it is normal to have more snow that will stick with you for more than one day. And of course, clearing your sidewalks, driveway, and lawn of this white stuff can become a great task. When this occurs, the first thing that comes to mind will be to take out a snow shovel and attack this white substance like it’s the Battle of the Bulge. On the other hand, while most people are at the market in search of a perfect tool to help keep the worst kind of winter precipitation at bay, some may be lucky enough to have an actual snow blower in their homes to help get the job done.

Blowing Snow with a Leaf Blower

A leaf blower is a very reliable alternative to the trusty traditional shovel or a dedicated standard snowblower (under the right circumstances). Make sure that your leaf blower is powerful enough, maintained well so it will work well in cold conditions, and use the right technique.

Clearing away snow from your driveway, sidewalks, walkways, porch, deck, and the vehicle shouldn’t be as hard and exhausting as it used to be when you used a snow shovel. Instead, with a leaf blower, you can easily get rid of snow and start feeling even more confident about stepping out into your yard during winter.

Blowing Snow with a Leaf Blower: Everything you need to know 1

Now if you own a leaf blower but still feel sort of limited because of what you currently have at hand, you may be surprised to find out that you have enough power than what you initially thought. Yes, this is true because shoveling may seem like a tedious and physically strenuous job. In this kind of circumstances, you may want to opt for your trusted leaf blower to get your job done, and of course, this depends on the type and amount of snowfall you have received. You never thought of that, did you? This is the case with a lot of people. Many homeowners haven’t considered that the main difference between a snowblower and a leaf blower is actually what makes them both effective in clearing out, drive and walkways.

Have you been having doubts about using a leaf blower to get rid of snow? Do you need to know everything about blowing snow with your leaf blower? Do you have questions in your mind as to how this can be effective? Don’t fret, you have come to the right place. The rest of this article focuses on answering your questions and also providing you with all the information that you need in the application of your leaf blower to blow off snow. If you are not sure what a leaf blower can do for you in terms of clearing snow, then read on for detailed information of how this works.

Can You Use a Leaf Blower to Blow Snow?

The short answer is; Yes, you can! You can definitely use your snow blower to blow off the snow. However, there are certain limits to the effectiveness of your leaf blower but for a lot of people, it can be considered a great alternative especially when it comes to using the trusty shovel or even an actual snowblower. Most leaf blowers can do a lot more than just clearing or blowing off leaves. They can be a very effective alternative in clearing away snow as well. If you live in a place that experiences a lot of snowfall every year, then a leaf blower can just be an excellent investment to make. Not only will it get rid of excess snow, but it will also conveniently perform its original purpose of clearing leaves. That being said, it is vital to know that using your blower to clear snow is a lot different than blowing leaves.

There are several ways by which you can clear snow, however, some methods are proven to be much more efficient than other methods. While the traditional standard tool of choice would be a snowblower, a snow shovel or a rake, there are other non-conventional options that work just as efficiently as the traditional standards, if not more so. An example of these non-conventional options is a leaf blower. Apart from being a perfect substitute, one of the best ways to conserve your energy while clearing snow is by using a leaf blower. If you’re looking for a leaf blower that can clear your walkways and driveway, you should check out our article on things to look out for while shopping for a leaf blower.

Why Should I Use a Leaf Blower?

If you already own a snowblower, you might be wondering why you need to make use of a leaf blower to clear off the snow in your driveway or yard. If you own a snowblower and you prefer to use it during the winter, you can definitely use it to clear snow and probably save your leaf blower for the greener months.  However, if you do not have a snowblower but you already own a leaf blower, you can use it to get your job done just as well as a snowblower, especially when the snow is not heavy. Besides, it is better to use a tool that is stored away for other seasons of the year, because it can help you save both money and space in your garage and even minimize the number of appliances that you need to maintain, repair or replace.

Another great advantage of using a leaf blower is that while you are clearing off your driveway, you can also clear your vehicles of every snow as well as your garbage cans. You can even clear your mailbox with the leaf blower. Using a leaf blower is even more efficient when it comes to clearing off vehicles and other machines that are not easy to access or structures that are oddly shaped. A leaf blower can collect snow in small crevices that are difficult to reach. Instead of using tools such as brooms and rakes, using a leaf blower can also prevent you from scratching your car or causing any damage to it.

How to Clear Out Snow with a Leaf Blower

The first thing you will need is a leaf blower that is powerful enough to handle snow. If you know that you wouldn’t be covering a large area or yard, then a simple handheld leaf blower will get your job done. Since you wouldn’t be working on a large area, then you don’t need to stress yourself unnecessarily.

Also, when clearing away snow, your leaf blower should be used in pretty much the same way as you would use a snowblower. If you are going down your sidewalk, aim your leaf blower and make sure it is pointed down at a stable angle, while you gently sweep from side to side. When clearing, you don’t need to be aggressive with your movements, a good angle can get your job done efficiently. Moreover, ensure you watch your step because there could be some solid ice stuck on your sidewalk that the blower may not be able to move.

It is important to know that leaf blowers tend not to do very well against wet snow. There are some powerful blowers that might be able to handle it well, but it might probably be difficult. Therefore, you should always try to use your leaf blower on fresh snow that is not wet or slushy yet. Using a leaf blower to clear away snow may require you to apply a bit of patience, depending on how much snow you are dealing with. If you are dealing with more than 7 inches of snow, just know that it is going to take a long time to clear.

How is a Leaf Blower Better than a Shovel?

A lot of people generally assume that a shovel is better for clearing snow than a leaf blower, but have you ever considered or even imagined how much time it takes to clear your driveway using a shovel? On some days, especially those days when there are light layers of snow on the ground, it is much more efficient and less stressful to use a leaf blower, and using a shovel is most likely going to take more time than necessary.

This also applies if there is about a one or two-inch snow on the ground, making it easier for your leaf blower to clear it. On light snow days, the layer of snow on the ground is usually thin enough to be blown away easily and depending on the size of your driveway, you may even have your pavement and vehicles cleared within a matter of minutes.

This can turn out to be a big surprise to a lot of people, but here is another good reason why you should try to avoid using a shovel. According to the BBC, over 100 people die every year in the USA due to getting heart attacks while shoveling snow. According to them, it seems like the combination of exertion, cold air, and early morning’s routines, increases the strain on the body even far more than running on a treadmill. In fact, a cardiologist quoted in the BBC article considers shoveling snow so dangerous that he advises people over 55 to avoid it completely. Yes, it is that serious. So a leaf blower should be considered as a replacement for shovels.

As discussed above, it is simply not a questionable fact that a leaf blower is a much better option than a shovel when it comes to clearing away snow from our sidewalks and driveway. Obviously, using a shovel will take you at least three or four times as long as when you use a leaf blower, and this is really exhausting.

Furthermore, a leaf blower may not always be as effective as a snowblower, but it is definitely way better than using a shovel. You may be competent to get away by using a shovel on light snow, but when the heavier snowfall shows up, it calls for something much stronger.

Limitations of Using a Leaf Blower to Clear Snow

It is usually not a good idea to try this with more than 4 inches of snow, and you should never use a leaf blower if the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The very final thing you don’t want to do when clearing snow is to damage your leaf blower because you used it when it was too cold outside. However, there are certain blowers that may be more resistant to cold than others, so make sure you check your product’s manual just to be sure you are doing the right thing with the tool. Also, remember to only use your leaf blower on freshly fallen snow; this measure will make your job a lot easier.

Precautions for using a Leaf Blower for Blowing Snow

There are some important precautions that you need to take before using a leaf blower on snow. Because the atmosphere is moist, moisture can settle inside the engine, which in turn can cause a lot of damage to the tool as well as the user. Therefore, it is very important that you put the leaf blower in a very dry area once you are done using it so this won’t cause any damage. It is also important that you avoid using your leaf blower on snow for long periods.  As said above, extremely low temperatures can be quite harmful to the inner components of the leaf blower, which can cause serious damage.

In addition, if you start to notice that your leaf blower is not working as well as it normally should, then you should turn it off for a while to give it a rest before you resume. For those that have an electric leaf blower, you may want to consider getting a gas-powered one as well. Electric leaf blowers tend to get damaged more easily when used in the cold to blow off snow, so you may want to keep that in mind before purchasing your leaf blower.

It is also advisable not to use your leaf blower for an extended period of time. This is because the machine also requires rest. You also wouldn’t want the leaf blower to confront the elements for too long because it could cause issues with the machine that you wouldn’t like. If there are moments when the leaf blower doesn’t seem to be working effectively as you want, just turn it off and let it rest for some time.

One last call for caution- do not use an electric leaf blower to blow snow. One common fact is that electricity and water don’t match up very well. Therefore, if moisture gets into the motor, the machine can shock you and you definitely don’t want that to happen. In addition, using a corded electric leaf blower on a snowy day also increases your chances of getting electrocuted quite a bit, so it is not recommended for any user. Snow and cords don’t just go together.

Always keep it safe

While gas-powered leaf blowers are much better and recommended for working with snow, they are also extremely loud. Therefore, you should always make a point of wearing some ear protective gear while using this kind of equipment to protect you from excessive noise. But if you don’t already have a hearing protector, it is advisable to purchase one that won’t have any issues with its quality, and that is not expensive. Trust me, even your ears will thank you for it. Also, make sure that you don’t use your leaf lower late at night or early in the morning because it will most likely disturb the peace of your neighborhood. Clearing snow is enough of a hassle not to talk of dealing with the police too.

Which Kind of Leaf Blower Should You Use?

There are several different kinds of leaf blowers available on the market today, but you wouldn’t want to use just any of them to clear snow off your driveways. It is very ideal to get a very powerful leaf blower that has a high MPH and CFM.

Now a backpack leaf blower is very ideal for clearing out snow. This is simply because it can cover a large area and it also has a high airspeed. That way, it can get your job done easier and faster without any complications. However, if the snow isn’t too much and it isn’t slushy, then a simple handheld blower will do just fine. If you decide to go all out with your spending or power, you will be able to find ideal options for you on the market.

Just know that the more powerful your leaf blower is, the more effective it is going to be at clearing snow off. With that being said, you don’t necessarily need a commercial-grade kind of leaf blower for blowing snow. You can find some of the very affordable models that would also get the job done.

As stated above, gas-powered leaf blowers are best for blowing snow away. This is because there is just too much risk of damage or injury when using an electric model. It is also quite important that you look for a leaf blower that has a reputable brand. This is because the brand name of your blower is also a good indicator of quality, so it is not necessarily something that you would want to ignore. You also don’t have to spend a ton of money or break the bank when purchasing a leaf blower, however, you shouldn’t opt for something too cheap. It is important to know that you get what you pay for when it comes to leaf blowers. So always go for quality.

Clearing Snow off Your Vehicle with a Leaf Blower

Now when you want to clear snow off your vehicle and you want it to be as efficient as possible, there are few things that you will need to know before you proceed. Clearing snow off your vehicle involves logic so as to get the best results. Once you begin, start at one end of your car, going side to side in a sweeping motion with the leaf blower.

To achieve a perfect result, you should start at one end, making soft sweeping motions until one side is cleared off. Once you have cleared out one side, move all the way around to the next, blowing the snow off the top and out of every opening or crack that seems inaccessible as you go. Make sure you keep going at the same pace and angle until you make it all the way round and clear the entire vehicle. If you follow this method, you should be able to clear off your car much faster, with minimal effort as well.

This simple trick can even save you a lot of time and energy during the snowy season and help you put your leaf blower to good use. Don’t forget to go all the way around your vehicle until all of the snow has been removed. Also, remember to clear away the snow on top of your vehicle as this can blow off unto other vehicles while you are driving. Leaving a pile of snow on the roof of your car can be dangerous on the road, for both you and other drivers. I’m sure you wouldn’t want that. When you use a leaf blower to clear away snow on your car, it is much faster and a more efficient method than using the standard brush.

Can I Use A Cordless Leaf Blower For Snow?

I know that we recommended a gas leaf blower for clearing snow, but asides using a gas-powered leaf blower, you can also make use of a handheld cordless model. These models work best for tasks that involve small snow removal. This includes removing snow from a car and a pathway. However, when getting a cordless leaf blower, be sure to buy a powerful model that can get your job done very well. You can find the best cordless leaf blower for you in trusted stores.

Which kind of Gas-Powered Leaf Blower Should I Buy?

Gasoline-powered leaf blowers are always recommended because they work like a charm for removing snow from your driveways, porch, deck, and vehicles. As mentioned earlier, going with a branded model is often the best bet and it will definitely pay off later on. You can take a look at the gas-powered leaf blower reviews and find just the one you need for your job.

Safety First

To begin with, you need to be conscious of the kinds of hazards that can be caused by the type of leaf blower you’re using. If you are using a corded electric leaf blower, make sure it is plugged into a GFCI outlet, to minimize the risk of electrocution, especially in wet conditions. If you are making use of a gas-powered leaf blower that gets hot often, then you will definitely need to wear safety gloves to avoid the risk of burning yourself or causing damage.

In addition to this, most gasoline leaf blowers and snow blowers are extremely loud, so much that they measure up to over 100 decibels loud, and can damage hearing. Therefore, when clearing your driveway or vehicle with any kind of blower, always make sure you wear safety earmuffs or earplugs to protect your ears from damage. In addition, this doesn’t just apply to you but to anyone within a close distance of you. They should protect their hearing with special protective gear as well to avoid damage. Once you have your safety gear on and your leaf blower running, you can begin clearing the snow away. When you are clearing your driveway, walkways or pavement, start at one end and sweep the blower back and forth till you reach the other end. Keep this going until the snow is driven and falls to the outer edges. Once you reach the end of your driveway, you can then turn around and go back over it again for better results.

After you have successfully cleared away the snow, it is time to go back inside. What you most probably want to do is bring the leaf blower inside with you, so as to give it a chance to dry off. Now leaving it outside in the cold and moist weather won’t do any good. So make sure you put it somewhere to dry and allow it to get some rest before you reuse.

Final thoughts

According to all that has been written above, you can see that a leaf blower is a very reliable alternative to the trusty traditional shovel or a dedicated standard snowblower (under the right circumstances). Clearing away snow from your driveway, sidewalks, walkways, porch, deck, and the vehicle shouldn’t be as hard and exhausting as it used to be when you used a snow shovel. Instead, with a leaf blower, you can easily get rid of snow and start feeling even more confident about stepping out into your yard during winter. We hope this article has been helpful. Good luck!