A leaf blower does exactly what its name indicates. It blows the leaves around. This piece of landscaping equipment is an easy way to perform what is, for some, a tedious task – raking the leaves. However, unlike rakes, a leaf blower requires weekly, monthly, and/or annual maintenance. It means owners – whether professional or amateur, must know how a leaf blower works and when to address any issues.
As noted earlier, leaf blowers blow leaves around. In doing so, it also draws into it dirt, dust, and other debris. To prevent the machine ingesting enough contaminants to clog up or wear down the engine, most gas leaf blowers have air filters. In order to ensure they perform their function of filtering the air before it reaches the carburetor, it is important you keep them clean.
Replacing the Air Filter
The first question you need to ask yourself is this. “Does my leaf blower have an air filter?” Not all models do. The Homelite 26, for example, has none while the Husqvarna Troy-Bilt, Echo, and many more other leaf blowers do. To find out into which category your leaf blower falls, make sure you know the make and model.
Take the serial number provided on your machine and look at what the instructions booklet that came with the machine says. If you have never or no longer have the manufacturer’s guidelines, go online. There is a plethora of information on specific makes and models of landscaping equipment – including specific leaf blowers. Download and read the instructions, being sure to look at a diagram listing all the components. If you discover your model has an air filter take the following steps.
1. Unplug or turn off your leaf blower. Make sure you even disconnect the spark plug to ensure increased safety. Such actions make certain the leaf blower is not receiving any power and removes the risk of a potentially severe injury.
2. Remove the cover for the air filter – usually, all this involves is unscrewing it
3. Turn the cover over to find the air filter
4. Remove it from the unit
5. If it is a sponge air filter, wash it in detergent and water. Then rinse thoroughly.
6. You may also want to add a few drops of oil to the sponge air filter.
7. Make sure the air filter dries out completely
8. If it is so filthy as to make it unredeemable, purchase a new one
9. In either case, when ready, replace the air filter in the unit and replace the cover
10. Reconnect the spark plug
Remember, replacing the air filter is Not a one-off job. Most leaf blower manufacturers recommend you clean and/or replace the filter after approximately 20 hours of usage. This is more applicable to landscape professionals and lawn care and garden service providers than it is to the average user.
Changing the Air Filter on Your Leaf Blower
If you want to keep your leaf blower operating at its very best, you need to put into place a regular maintenance program. One of the factors that influence its optimal operation is the air filter. Be sure to change it, replacing it as required. By changing the air filter, you are preventing various contaminants from entering the carburetor, prolonging the working expectancy of the engine, and, therefore, extending the lifespan of your leaf blower.