Gas Leaf Blower Etiquette

Gas Leaf Blowers and How to Stay in Good Stead Friends with Your Neighbors

By Mark J. Donovan

A gas leaf blower is an obnoxiously noisy machine no matter when you use it, but particularly so if you fire it up early in the morning or in the evening. Many gas leaf blowers are also of questionable value. Smaller sized ones are good for blowing a few dry leaves off of a deck or driveway but for little else. They are, however, just about as noisy as their larger and more powerful counterparts. If you are thinking about buying a leaf blower don’t waste your time with a small powered one. Spend the extra money and get one that can really push a pile of leaves.

Not only will it have a better chance of addressing your leaf blowing needs, it will most likely shorten the amount of time you need to keep the thing running.

Both you and your neighbors will be much happier with your decision to purchase a more powerful unit.

To be most effective with a leaf blower, it is best to use it on a regular basis when the leaves begin to fall off the trees. If you wait until all of the leaves are down and they are wet, you’ll find the leaf blower to be ineffective and you’ll, God forbid, have to pull out the rake. Buying a high power one will help mitigate this risk, but even they have their limitations.

The reason gas leaf blowers are so loud is the fact that they utilize a two stroke engine. Two stroke engines are lighter, and thus why they are the power plant in a leaf blower. However, two stroke engines besides being loud, require gas with oil added to it, and produce higher levels of air pollutants. Suffice it to say they are dirty little machines. There are some battery powered and corded electric leaf blowers on the market, but they each have their own unique issues.

The Lithium-Ion battery powered leaf blowers are very new to the marketplace, so the jury is still out on how effective they are.

Corded electrical leaf blowers are just a pain in the neck due to having to deal with the cord.

So if you still feel compelled to use a leaf blower, a gas unit is still probably the most effective type on the market. When using one, however, you should follow a few simple rules of etiquette.

One, if you live in a subdivision or have neighbors within a couple hundred feet of your home, hold off firing up the gas leaf blower until at least mid morning. Otherwise you may end up getting some negative feedback from your neighbors on your lack of consideration. People enjoy the peace and tranquility of their weekend mornings so don’t be surprised with the level of animosity and vitriol you may experience from your neighbors after leaf blowing early on a weekend morning. The same rule of advice also applies in the early evening. Again, think twice before firing up the gas leaf blower after 7pm.

Two, if you have a low powered gas leaf blower don’t waste your time and money trying to blow a massive pile of leaves. Pull out the leaf rake instead and get a little exercise while listening to the birds and other local fauna. If you have a wimpy gas leaf blower don’t get behind in the leaf blowing process. It’s better to go out every few days to keep up with the leaves as they fall, rather than waiting until they are all down.

Three, don’t blow leaves to the side of your property or onto your neighbors property. Blowing leaves to the edge of your property with hopes they will stay there is a pure fantasy.

Use a gas leaf blower for this type of leaf pickup.

As soon as there is any wind they’ll be blowing all over your yard and your neighbors. So bag the leaves or put them in a place that won’t cause you to have to repeat your work or tick off your neighbor.

By adhering to these three simple rules of gas leaf blower etiquette you should be able to stay in good stead with your neighbors. I also suggest sometimes pulling out the rake instead of the gas leaf blower. Not only will raking leaves give you a little exercise, it is also a peaceful and cathartic type of activity that will relax you and put you more in touch with Mother nature. You’ll also avoid breathing in the noxious fumes that come with using a 2-stroke powered gas leaf blower.

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