Snow blowers are becoming more and more popular in regions that get heavy snowfall. Some people are using them even if they don’t get much snow simply just for the convenience factor. Others are wanting to save their back from having to shovel the snow.
If you have a snow shovel, you may want to start using a snow blower to save you time and give your back a break throughout winter.
When you buy a new snowblower, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you get the most out of it (and to make sure it lasts a long time).
Here we will cover the important tips to make sure that you’re able to use your machine as efficiently as possible to get the most out of it.
If you’ll be using both a snow blower and a snow shovel this year, we also have a list of the best tips for shoveling snow to make your winter a little easier and save you some time.
Starting Up Your Snow Blower
Turning on your snow blower is the first step to getting your machine started. Firing it up depends on what type of snow blower you have.
It might have a recoil start (the manual, old-fashioned string that you pull) or it will have an electric start.
All you have to do to start the recoil starter is to pull the rope, slowly at first, and then quickly once you feel some resistance (just like you would with a lawnmower). This one can sometimes be challenging to get going if it’s freezing and the rope is stiff. Just make sure all the general maintenance that it needs is up to par before you get started.
To make your life easier, there are now many snow blowers that are battery-powered and have an electric start.
If this is the type you have then all you’ll need to do is to hook up an extension cord and when it’s plugged in just press the start button (then remove the extension cord).
Whatever type you might have, just make sure that you read the instructions so you’re able to get the snow blower powered up quickly without frustration.
Be Mindful of Where You’ll Be Using Your Snow Blower
Try to figure out where it is that you want the removed snow to pile up. Once you have that location, you can then make sure that you strategically move the snow blower in a way that allows for all the snow to end up in that spot.
While moving the snow to this location, make sure you don’t move too quickly. Snow blowers can sometimes become clogged if you move the machine too fast.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to rotate the snow chute on the machine when you’re changing directions (to ensure the snow piles up where you’re wanting it).
If you forget, don’t worry because you’ll be able to see your mistake and be able to quickly fix it by reversing the chute.
Also, make sure that you’re not rushing the machine by pushing it faster. You want to make sure that you’re allowing the snow blower to set the pace (while you act as the guide).
This will help to keep the snow blower from overworking or clogging. Many snow blowers have a forward setting (like a lawnmower) where it will allow you to select the speed so all you’ll have to do is guide the snow blower in the right direction.
Avoid Clogging the Chute
The easiest way to try and avoid clogging the chute is to spray the metal blade and the chute with a nonstick spray. The nonstick spray should be sprayed before you use the machine. Just remember to give it enough time to dry before operating it.
Also, make sure you’re keeping an eye out for fallen branches that could clog the machine.
How to Clean Your Snow Blower
If your snow blower does get clogged, cleaning it is pretty easy and doesn’t cause much of an issue.
If branches and rocks get clogged in the chute, make sure to first turn off the machine. If your snow blower comes with a cleaning device, use it to remove the build-up.
If your machine didn’t come with that device then just use a wooden stick or broom.
It’s also important to clean your snow blower every time you finish using it. A clean snow blower will prevent ice from forming in and around your machine while it’s in your garage or shed.
General Snow Blower Maintenance
Whether it’s battery powered or not, you’ll want to make sure you keep your snow blower maintained throughout the year. Taking good care of your snow blower doesn’t require that much attention but the type of maintenance required can depend on the kind of snow blower you own.
Snow blowers that are gas-powered usually require more attention to keep functioning properly. On the other hand, battery-powered or electric snow blowers require less maintenance to run at their best.
The most important part of any snow blower is the auger. The auger is the rotating blades that collect the snow and throw it out through the chute.
If this part of the machine is damaged (or doesn’t get the attention and maintenance it needs), the machine most likely won’t even start or won’t function properly.
To care for the auger make sure that you dry it off with a towel when you’re done using the snow blower. Cleaning out the chute and drying off as much moisture as you can will help to prevent ice from forming under the machine (as it sits in your garage).
Gas-powered Snow Blower Maintenance
Here is a maintenance checklist if you have a gas-powered snow blower:
- Check the spark plug. Ensure there isn’t any damage. If there is, make sure to replace the spark plug as quickly as you can before operating again.
- Regular oil changes are needed to keep the engine running properly.
- Make sure that the snow blower has enough fuel and that it’s the right type for the machine. Some require a mix and others need 100% gasoline (read the manual first otherwise you may damage the machine).
- Make sure the shear pins on the machine haven’t been damaged. Over time they may need to be replaced.
Checking through this list can ensure that your snow blower functions properly. If at any point you’re having bigger issues (or you have a more heavy-duty snow blower), hiring a professional to take a look at your snow blower could be a good idea.
One Final Note
All snowblowers will function at their best when the snow is fresh. So using your snow blower sooner than later it will make it easier on the machine and on you. However, it doesn’t always work to plow the snow right away and sometimes it gets hard and heavy before you can deal with it.
Just make sure you’re following the guidance above to get the job done the right way every time to ensure you get the most use out of your snow blower.