Let’s be honest: we all have things that we don’t need sitting and cluttering up our basements, storage rooms and garages. For example, I have a treadmill in my basement that has been used as a clothes rack for the past while and a panini press in my kitchen cupboard that has never met a sandwich. So, when I think about buying a snowblower, I have to wonder, do I really need it or will it get tucked away in a corner of the garage only to serve as a drying rack for damp sports equipment save for those three times each winter that I take it for a spin down the driveway, just to say I’ve used it.
Questions to ask yourself when thinking about buying a snowblower:
1. How many real snowfalls per year does your region get? Some years you may only use the snowblower a few times while other years you may need it often.
2. How much snow in an average snowfall? Can you manage that amount with nothing but a shovel or do you need the help of a snowblower?
3. How big is your clearing area? Consider your front walk, paths and driveway. Is the driveway one, two or three cars wide and how long is it?
4. How much do you know about snowblower maintenance and how much are you willing to do? If you don’t do basic lawnmower maintenance, you likely won’t be doing snowblower maintenance either.
5. Do you have any joint, back or other health concerns that limit how much heavy lifting you can do? Perhaps the physicality of shoveling heavy, wet snow is not an option. While using a snowblower might be easier than shoveling, it can still cause strain. Talk to your doctor before using a snowblower or snow thrower if you have any serious medical conditions.
6. *This one is the kicker for me: do you really want to have to go out in the freezing cold to clear the driveway, sidewalks and entry every time it snows? If you have a snowblower, you have no excuses. If you answered no to this question, then I would say skip buying the snowblower and invest in hiring a reputable snow plowing company to come take care of it for you.
A snowblower can cut down on the amount of time and energy you need to spend on snow removal each winter. Now that you’ve read through and honestly answered our questionnaire, you can decide whether or not you really need one and would actually use it.
Now, maybe I should go make a panini sandwich or get rid of that press altogether. But that’s a topic for another time.