A snow blower isn’t the type of purchase where you open your wallet and pick out the shiniest product. Instead, it’s something that will be with you through thick and thin for a good number of years, and it’s important to read this checklist before you buy one.
1. What’s the Average Snowfall Like in My Area?
Living in a place like Kentucky or Nevada where it really doesn’t snow too much doesn’t make too much sense in getting a snow blower. Snow isn’t a regular or heavy occurrence, and something like an electric snow shovel may be more than enough to have on standby.
But if you live somewhere like New England or the Great Lakes region where snowfall is a regular part of winter, then a snow blower may be a wiser investment. Look at how often it snows, and what the snow’s consistency is. Does it start in November and last until April, or is it a mostly December/January event? How high does the snow fall, and is it thick and wet, or light and dusty?
2. What’s My Physical Condition Like?
Folks with joint or muscle stiffness, heart or lung conditions, or stamina problems probably shouldn’t be shoveling their driveways for two hours at a time, especially if the snow is heavy and wet. If you fall into this category, ask yourself what’s more important: risking your health and wellness for the sake of performing a physical task, or prolonging quality of life by investing in a machine that makes the job 10 times easier?
3. How Much Am I Willing to Spend?
A snow blower isn’t usually an inexpensive investment, and nor should it be. It’s a piece of machinery assembled with moving parts, and those moving parts need to be aligned pretty perfectly to ensure safe and efficient performance. If you find a two-stage snow blower on Craigslist, chances are it’s either not going to last very long, or give you fits and hiccups the entire time you own it. Set a budget for yourself by researching how much name-brand, high-quality snow blowers cost, and be prepared to spend what’s necessary.
4. Am I Prepared to Maintain It Regularly?
The initial outlay of a snow blower isn’t the last one, just like a car. You’ll have to buy gas and oil to keep it lubricated and powered, invest in replacement parts when the insides get worn down, or even set aside a small fund to have a mechanic take a look at it if you’re not comfortable going under the hood yourself. Although maintaining a snow blower is far easier and less expensive than something like a car or motorcycle, it still needs to be looked at regularly.