With fall in full swing, a leaf blower is something many people simply can’t live without.
And while using one is pretty straightforward, there are some basics about how to use and maintain a leaf blower that are worth keeping in mind. The following tips will help you stay safe, use your leaf blower the right way and even extend the life of your leaf blower.
Tips on how to use a leaf blower
- Give it the right fuel. Most leaf blowers run on a mix of unleaded gas and 2-cycle oil. Before you start your leaf blower, check your user manual to find out exactly what fuel it takes.
- Use the lowest power setting. Running your leaf blower at full throttle puts a lot of wear and tear on it. Start with the lowest power setting and work up from there—you may need less power than you think.
- Steer clear of obstructions. Most leaf blowers have plastic parts that are easily cracked. For that reason, do your best to avoid banging your blower against anything.
- Keep yourself safe. Protect yourself by wearing earplugs, goggles that meet eye protection standards, nonslip gloves, nonslip shoes, close-fitting clothing and long pants.
- Be considerate. Check to see if your community has an ordinance about when leaf blowers can be used. (Try to avoid early morning and late evenings even if it doesn’t.) Avoid blowing leaves in the direction of houses, people, pets and cars.
Tips on how to maintain a leaf blower
- Wipe it down. Each time you’re done using your leaf blower, take some time to wipe it down with a damp cloth. Make sure to clean the area around the air filter, the fan blades and the area around the carburetor.
- Regularly check the filter. The filter should be free of debris and in decent condition. Clean in warm soapy water if it’s particularly dirty. If it’s worn or old, toss it and get a replacement filter.
- Inspect the hose. It only takes a few seconds to notice if the hose is cracked or loose.
- Store it in a dry, safe place. A leaf blower should be stored in a well-ventilated area far away from dangerous chemicals or anything that could ignite the gasoline.
Now that you and your leaf blower are good to go, it’s time to tackle those leaves. Once you have them gathered, check out these tips on how to dispose of leaves the right way.