Remember the rake? That simple, inexpensive tool that you didn’t have to plug in, gas up or recharge?
You’ll find it at the back of your tool shed, gathering dust, thanks to today’s leaf-gathering tool of choice: the leaf blower. But don’t toss that rake just yet. First, you’ll want to read these 6 warnings about leaf blowers.
1. They increase noise pollution. The leaf blower actually produces more noise pollution than the gas lawn mover, edger and weed whacker combined. A normal decibel level, considered acceptable in residential areas, is about 60 decibels (60dB). Every increase in decibels means noise that is 10 times louder. Leaf-blowers usually generate about 70-75 dB. This is why a growing number of communities have banned this noisy device.
2. They increase hearing loss. If you use one of these loud contraptions, then protect your ears with industrial noise-cancelling safety earmuffs. You only get one set of ears.
3. They worsen allergies and irritate lungs. Because they operate at such high velocities, leaf blowers stir up the mold, allergens, and dust particles that otherwise would stay tamped down with rain and moisture.
4. They pollute the air. A single gas-powered leaf blower can emit as much pollution as 80 automobiles. Cough. Cough.
5. They all waste energy. Whether you use a gasoline-powered or electric-powered blower, the situation is the same: you are spending more money and using up more energy. And why?
6. The electrical option is a little better. But not much. If the first five points haven’t convinced you to return to the rake, then you may want to consider an electrical leaf blower. Electric leaf blowers are lighter, quieter and vibrate less than gas units. They also contribute less to air pollution. You’ll need an extension cord that is rated for outdoor use, and a little patience with cords getting wrapped around trees and bushes. Electric blowers are also available in a rechargeable cordless variety.