Homeowners with a driveway who live somewhere that gets a decent amount of snow each year have a call to make: Whether to shovel, use a snowblower, or hire someone for snow removal. Those who opt to purchase a snowblower typically do so because it’s quicker and easier than shoveling (it definitely is).
But what if we told you that there are a few things you can do to make snowblowing even faster and more efficient? Well, there are. Here are some expert tips for getting the job finished sooner, you can get back inside where it’s warm.
Plan your route
In a perfect world (where you still, for some reason, have to use a snowblower), you’d make your way through all the pavement on your property on a single pass. According to Consumer Reports home expert Eric Hado, it’s possible.
If you have clearance on both sides of your driveway, he recommends starting in the middle, and throwing the snow toward one edge of the driveway. “Make a U-turn then come back down the other side. Keep alternating,” he tells Consumer Reports magazine. “This way you won’t have to adjust the chute as often and any snow that falls short will be cleared on subsequent passes.”
But if your house abuts the driveway, Hado says to start on the side closest to the house so you’re not throwing snow onto parts of the driveway you’ve already cleared.
Start as soon as there’s 6 inches of snow
You may think it would be best to wait until the snow stops, and then get out the snowblower, but the editors at Family Handyman advise against that. Instead, they suggest heading out after six inches of snow has fallen. Although that does mean you’ll likely have to snowblow more than once, “your machine won’t have to work as hard, and it’ll throw the snow farther,” they note.
Rather than focusing only on the pavement directly in front of you, pay attention to where the snow is landing as you’re blowing it off the driveway. According to the editors at Family Handyman , there are four ways to get the maximum throw:
- Take smaller bites of snow
- Run the blower at full rpm, but at a slower ground speed
- Adjust the chute diverter to its full raised position
- Blow with the wind
And of course, don’t forget that you’re working with a machine that could potentially injure you, so be sure to keep safety top-of-mind.