Courteous Use of Leaf Blowers
A guide on how to use a leaf blower for your lawn.
How to use a leaf blower
Before using leaf blowers, read the instruction manual provided by the manufacturer. If you do not have an instruction manual, you can get one by contacting the manufacturer or your local retailer. Many manufacturers have them available on their websites. You need to know how the leaf blower works and how to use it properly before you start a job. For example, the following are general rules:
- Pay attention when using a leaf blower. Don't point an operating blower in the direction of people or pets.
- Make sure bystanders, including other operators, are at least 50 feet away. Stop blowing if you are approached.
- Do not use a blower indoors or in poorly ventilated areas.
- Inspect the blower before and during use to make sure controls, parts and safety devices are not damaged and are working properly.
- Never modify a blower in a way not authorized by the manufacturer.
- Work carefully. You need to be safe, courteous and responsible.
What do leaf blowers do?
There is a variety of lawn and garden projects where using a leaf blower will help. Some of these projects include:
- Remove grass clippings
- Dislodge or break up matted grass
- Clean rain gutters
- Clean farm and construction equipment
- Clean parking lots, arenas and amusement parks
- Remove light or fluffy snow
- Dry off pavement
How to Reduce Sound
If you wish to make as little noise as possible, use the nozzle attachments that help reduce sound (see manufacturer’s operator’s manual). You can also use the lowest possible throttle speed to do the job. You will want to avoid using more than one blower at a time, especially in neighborhoods or around buildings where sound can be intensified. In addition, check the condition of the leaf blower muffler, air intakes and air filter to make sure they are in good operating shape. Where blower sound is an issue, purchase sound-reduced blowers from your local lawn care equipment supplier or retailer.
How to Reduce Dust
Start with the nozzle close to the ground at first – then raise it to a height where it does not generate dust. Use the full lower nozzle extensions to control sound and minimize dust, and pay attention to what you are moving. You may want to practice moving grass clippings or a paper cup without moving dust. Remember to wet dusty areas down first before using a blower, and use a vacuum or power broom with water.
How to Be More Efficient
First, you can improve your efficiency when using a leaf blower by reading your instruction manual completely. Indeed, learning how to control the air velocity at the end of the nozzle to lift leaves without lifting dust will help. Practicing leaf blower nozzle movement and throttle control combinations will also be beneficial to you. To do so, you will want to practice up and down and left and right motions starting close to the ground and the debris, but not close enough to lift excessive amounts of dust.
How to Operate Courteously
Be mindful of your surroundings. Follow local rules and ordinances about when to use leaf blowers. Do not use it very early in the morning or very late in the day. You will want to check wind direction and intensity. Never point the nozzle or blow debris toward people, pets or houses. Do not blow debris toward open windows or doors. Always be considerate of nearby people and property. Make sure to never leave the blower running when unattended. Also, do not use a blower to spread or mist fertilizers, chemicals or other toxic substances, unless it is designed for these purposes and in an appropriate area.