How to Use a Leaf Blower For Snow

Can you use a leaf blower for snow? Since winter is right around the corner, this question might be on your mind, especially if you don’t have a snowblower (or yours recently broke). After all, one of the chief concerns of every homeowner is how to keep their driveway and lawn free from snow, especially for regions that receive frequent snowfall. 

The white sheet of dusted snow can be a huge hurdle in day-to-day life. In a situation like this, a snowblower is your best friend to clear a blocked driveway and keep the snow out of your way.

That said, if a snowblower isn’t in your winter arsenal, a leaf blower might just do the trick. So today, we’ll discuss how you can use a leaf blower for snow and what you should keep in mind while doing so. 

Can You Use a Leaf Blower For Snow Removal?

Since both snowblowers and leaf blowers work similarly, you can definitely use the latter to clean up snow from your property. 

However, even if you buy a quality leaf blower, it’ll only work for light snow. This machine is designed to deal with lightweight debris like leaves.

Hence, when using it to collect and remove snow, they cannot go beyond a 4-inch thick layer. If you try to force it to remove heavy snow, it simply won’t work. 

Can you use a Leaf Blower For Snow Removal

3 Tips For Using a Leaf Blower For Snow

Since this machine wasn’t really designed to deal with snow, you need to keep a few extra things in mind when using a leaf blower to remove snow.

1. Use a Gas Powered Leaf Blower

Snow ultimately is made of water, and as we all know, water and electricity never get along. When you’re using one to remove snow, only opt for gas-powered equipment. An electric blower might begin to malfunction when brought in contact with snow, leading to an internal short circuit or even complete breakdown. 

2. Choose The Right Temperature to Begin Your Task

Leaf blowers were designed to collect fallen leaves during autumn; they’re not necessarily prepared to deal with chilly winters.

So when you’re using your leaf blower for snow clean up, make sure you don’t use it when the temperature rises above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The snow begins to melt at that temperature, and wet leaves will become too heavy for the leaf blower to function; and once it melts into water, it’ll simply seep into the ground.

Also, leaf blowers need to be sufficiently heated for the engine to function well. Do not take out the equipment if it’s too cold outside (below 0, or in the negatives, for example). Look for an optimum temperature where the engine can function to its fullest power without the risk of melting snow. 

3. Clean After Use

Once you’re done using the leaf blower, make sure you clean it well and wipe off every trace of water before putting it back into the storage shed. When the blower is dealing with snow directly, it’s natural that some part of it might melt and wet the equipment. Since you’ll be using a gas-powered leaf blower, it won’t be threatening initially. 

However, if you forget to clean it up after use, it will surely be damaging in the long run. The water droplets might freeze back once you leave the blower in storage. 

Upon freezing, the water will expand into ice, which might creep into the gaps of constituting parts and put unnecessary stress on them. Sometimes this pressure can also lead to cracks which will ultimately damage the machine.

How to Use a Leaf Blower for Snow Removal

If you have already used a leaf blower to remove dry leaves from your property, then you might already know the answer to this. However, if you’re new to this equipment and wonder how you can use a leaf blower for snow, this section will be helpful.

The basic principle of this equipment is to first accumulate the snow into a large collective heap. To do so, you need to hold the blower at a lower angle on a targeted layer of snow and blow from side to side. Don’t hold the blower directly over the snow. This will cause the snow to scatter in every direction surrounding the point where the blower hits.

Snowblowers are infamous for being loud and noisy. A good set of noise cancellation earplugs is mandatory to function through the deafening noise. It’s also a good idea to inform your neighbors about your yard clean-up plans beforehand, or do it at an acceptable time.

You may also consider wearing protective eyewear to protect your eyes as you clean your yard. 

Leaf Blower vs Snow Blower: Which is Better?

Both of these tools come with their benefits and drawbacks. You just need to see which of these two matches your requirements the best. Here are the benefits and drawbacks of each of these devices to help you select the perfect tool. 

Benefits of Using a Leaf Blower 

  • Highly effective in removing light snow
  • Versatile and can remove a range of yard debris
  • A leaf blower is lightweight and much easier to operate than a snowblower 
  • Its sleek design allows it to reach tight corners that a slow blower cannot reach 
  • It’s been designed to function consistently throughout the year 

Drawbacks of Using a Leaf Blower

  • Cannot remove heavy snow
  • It’s not as efficient as a snowblower for all your winter maintenance

Benefits of Using a Snow Blower 

  • Can work through melting snow
  • Works well even in freezing cold
  • Can work on gas as well as electricity
  • Highly efficient in breaking compact layers of snow

Drawbacks of Using a Snow Blower 

  • A little complex to operate
  • Require a lot more maintenance than leaf blowers
  • Not ideal for areas that don’t receive consistent snowfall yearly

Final Thoughts

Can you use a leaf blower for snow? The best equipment to remove snow largely depends on your needs. If your area doesn’t receive heavy snowfall, a leaf blower will be enough. Otherwise, you’ll need a snowblower to handle the heavy blankets of snow. 

Regardless of what you choose, you’ll surely save on a lot of time and manual labor this winter!

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