If you live in a Northern climate, you know the feeling of dread when a foot of snow gets dumped on your driveway. Digging your way out with a shovel can take hours when a blizzard hits. As you get to the mess left by the snow plow at the end of your driveway, you spot your neighbor firing up their snow blower. That would be great to have you think, but the price has always held you back. But that’s the wrong way to look at it.
A snow blower is an investment for not only your home, but the health of you and your family. It’s a machine that will pay for itself in the long run. And as you can see on a site like SnowBlowers, they aren’t as expensive as you might think. So, if you’ve been resistant to the idea of owning a snow blower, here are the reasons you should rethink that.
You have probably heard about this link before. A Canadian study released in 2017 found that a third of all heart attacks in Quebec occurred within 24 hours of a major snowfall. There was also a direct correlation between how much it snowed and how many cardiac events happened.
Shoveling snow puts added stress on your entire cardiovascular system. The cold weather constricts blood vessels, and lifting a heavy pile of snow increases your blood pressure. If you’re not particularly active, this is a recipe for disaster especially if you have a history of heart problems in the family.
So, in effect, a snow blower can save your life. With self-propelled snow blowers that feature power steering becoming the norm, there is minimal effort needed to operate one.
Doctors will tell you that snow season is when business picks up in the injury department. Most common are back injuries from heavy lifting and torn rotator cuffs from throwing the snow as far as you can. Your hips, legs, arms, and neck are prone to injury too. So with a few co-pays to see the doctor and time missed at work, a single injury from shoveling snow might cost as much as a quality snow blower.
Beyond injuries from shoveling, there is, of course, slips and falls. Having one of your kids break their wrist on a patch of ice is a terrible thought. Using a single-stage snow blower will clear right down to the surface of your sidewalk and driveway. This prevents ice from building up and providing a safe path for walking.
Shoveling is just an inefficient use of your time. A job that might take 2 hours can be done with a snow blower in 20 minutes. Over the course of years, how much time will you have wasted? Will you miss spending that snow day with the kids? Does it cost you an extra hour of sleep before work? If you put a value on what your time is worth, a snow blower might pay for itself sooner than you think.
One of the easiest ways to make friends with your neighbors is by helping them clear off their driveway. Or by Shoveling on the neighborhood sidewalk. Give yourself a sense of pride, build up some karma, and know that your neighbor will owe you a favor in the future.
You may have seen the recent story about an 18-year old Seattle kid who made $35,000 in four days with a snowblower. While that required an unprecedented amount of snow to fall in a region that doesn’t normally see it, clearing driveways can be a nice side gig for yourself or kids. At $20 a driveway, you can pay off a $600 snow blower with just 30 jobs.
This may not apply to everyone, but using a snow blower can be a blast. Sitting behind a 200-pound machine that is flinging snow 40 feet through the air is exhilarating. At the very least, it beats shoveling.
So, when Winter rolls around next year, ask yourself how much is your time and health worth? If you value it at more than the cost of a snowblower (you should!), leave the shovel in the garage, head out to a local hardware store like Home Depot, and buy one.