How to Get Your Snow Blower Ready for the Winter
As several popular Game of Thrones characters have been proclaiming for years: Winter is coming. And with the approach of winter comes the need to dust off some of your reliable snow tools. That is, if you live in an area where snow blankets the ground each season and piles up not only in your yard but on your vehicles and driveway as well.
A snow blower is one of the handiest tools to have around during the winter season. Combatting the thin or thick blankets of snow can be easy with these tools conveniently stocked in your garage or the odd drawer for safekeeping.
However, just having a snow blower doesn’t mean it will be ready for use right off the bat. After being stowed away for the warmer, less icy seasons of the year, your tool may be in need of some proper maintenance and/or repair.
Among other things homeowners should keep in mind year-round, now is the time to ensure you have your handy winter tools in working order to help you keep things tidy on your property. The last thing you want to deal with during these cold months is the disappointment of realizing your snow blower isn’t working when you need it.
Below are some tips on how to get your snow blower ready for winter.
Check/Change the Fuel (Or Battery)
It is recommended to use fresh fuel when you are using your snow blower during wintertime—i.e. fuel that is less than 30 days old. Gasoline can get stale over time, and old gas can also damage your machine’s system if you have left it sitting there all year. Fresh fuel also ignites more efficiently, ensuring that your snow blower is functioning at its max potential.
Alternatively, if you own a snow blower that operates through the use of a battery—and therefore does not need gas or oil—be sure to check your tool’s battery and charge it before use.
Annually Review Instructions for Use
Although there are some things like riding a bike that stick with us, when it comes to powerful tools like snow blowers, it can be important to brush up on your knowledge on an annual basis. Reviewing the starting procedures explained within your operator manual, and making sure you have a comprehensive grasp on how to handle the tool, helps ensure your safety and also ensures that you are operating it in the way it is meant to be used.
Furthermore, if you have never used a snow blower before—or bought a new model in the past year—this step is absolutely essential. Don’t be embarrassed to pick up the manual and get some quality reading done before hauling your snow blower out into the cold.
Inspect All Parts of the Machine for Wear
For some snowblowers, this means checking its belts, spark plug, its storage capacity, oil tank, and any other components of your machine. Snow blower models vary in their operation instructions, as do the parts they possess. While you may not believe it necessary to regularly keep up with your tool during the rest of the year, checking all components of your snow blower before use during the winter ensures that you can operate it safely and vouch for its capability to perform according to its proper functions.
Not only should you check to make sure there is no potentially harmful rusting or damage of its components, but also check for any missing pieces. Be sure to replace any parts that may be missing—whether they got lost, fell off, or what have you—and replace any parts that have been damaged or require annual replacement (such as gasoline for gas-powered snow blowers).
For extra guidance on how to properly take care of your particular snow blower model, be sure to take a look at your operator’s manual. And think of it this way: once you get the laborious task of snow-blowing out of the way, you can head inside to make some fun holiday crafts with the family! Get your snow blower ready for use so you and your family can have a safe and comfortable winter season.