December 10, 2012
Winter has come again, with Christmas cheer and New Year festivities close on heel. For most of the world, this means celebrations, delicious food and presents. For the colder parts, it means snow. While a minor annoyance at best for some, snowfall in winter can mean quite the headache for people living in extremely cold regions.
Driveways, walkways and patios filled with snow are a common enough sight across the Northern Hemisphere in the festive season, and while snow blowers have been slow to evolve, there have been slight advances in technology to help people deal better with their cold, white problem.
There are three basic snow blowers to choose from — single-stage electric, single-stage gas, and two-stage gas. Most snow removal problems can be tackled by all three, or at least two, of them. It is important, therefore, to consider one's particular needs and compare between the different snow blowers before opting to buy one.
Perhaps the most important factor when choosing between snow blowers is the amount of snow that needs to be removed. Electric snow blowers are generally light, and can handle only up to a maximum of 10 inches of snow. For people living in heavy snowfall areas, two-stage gas snow blowers would be the best solution.
Electric snow blowers are generally much lighter compared to their bigger, heavier gas cousins. They are also more maneuverable, and better suited to midsized areas. They're also easier to pack and store away for next year's winter.
While electric snow blowers are cheaper to buy, they're slightly under-powered for regions with heavy snowfalls. Even so, buying a gas snow blower may not be the optimal solution. It might be better, more cost-effective, to call in a snow removal company and pay them on a per-time basis.
Gas snow blowers are huge, heavy, and difficult to handle, even if they are generally self-propelled and do not require cords to function. Electric snow blowers on the other hand, while lighter and easier to maneuver, still require a workout. They need an electric power source too, which adds the hassle of moving around with a cord trailing behind, and are, therefore, a safety hazard.
Electric snow blowers are limited up to certain distances away from a power source, depending on the length of the outdoor extension cord. They can also only be used on smooth and paved surfaces. Gas snow blowers, however, have no such limitations. They will run as far, and as long, as their gasoline supply allows them to, and can generally work on all landscapes.
Today's consumer market is increasingly aware about environment concerns and demand "greener" technology when it comes to their machinery. Snow blowers are no different. Although one might think that electric snow blowers are cleaner, that isn't always the case. Especially in countries like the United States where most of the electricity produced is by burning coal.
There are other options available for the environmentally conscious though. Buying snow blowers with appropriate horsepower, and not overdoing it, is one. Buying four-stroke instead of two, and maintaining it regularly can go a long way in helping keep the planet green.
While effective, snow blowers – gas or electric – may not be the ideal, or even possible, choice for some people. They do take a scrumptious bite out of one's paycheck, present a storage problem for people with no, or very full, garages and have additional maintenance costs.
One way to combat this is to hark back to olden traditions, and use a shovel. Not the best idea for those with back problems though. One can wait for truck drivers with snowplows though, as they are often willing to pick up a few extra bucks on their way home from dealing with regular customers.
Of course, technology provides its own alternative solutions. Electric power shovels are now available which, although a bit of a workout; don't really tax one's strength too much. Their only disadvantage is that they're not really suited to heavy snowfalls, working best with about four to six inches of snow.
The latest advancement in snow removal technology is a complex system that one doesn't even need to operate. Heated driveways may be the solution to all snow removal problems, but they remain expensive and are not yet considered completely reliable.
If you are looking for snowblowers, both electric and gas, you can find a selection at TVI Supply, as well as a wide range of snow shovels and ice removers.
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