What Is Snow Blowing? How It’s Done + Benefits

tall male homeowner in dark sweatshirt snow blowing a driveway

If you are new to a cold climate, you have definitely heard some terms to describe winter weather which you may not have heard before.  Snow can be described in many different ways, from powder, to sleet, to sticky to windblown.  However you describe the snow, you need to be able to move it successfully.  The logical method other than paying someone else is to shovel.  For larger areas there’s the snow plow.  But what is snow blowing?  In this article we will discuss what snow blowing is, how it works, and why you might want to consider it for removing snow from your property.

What Is Snow Blowing?

Snow blowing was invented in 1925 by Arthur Sicard in Quebec Canada.  The concept for the first ‘single stage’ snow blowers includes the use of an augur which spins horizontally and forces the snow out of a chute on the side of the snow blower.  As you might imagine, this system is somewhat limited by the texture of the snow.  If the snow is too wet, the distance the snow can be thrown out the chute reduces dramatically.  This is what gave birth to the two-stage snow blowers which we use today.

What Is Two Stage Snow Blowing?

The two stage snow blower has an additional step after the augur.  The augur forces the snow into an impeller which spins and pumps the snow at a higher velocity out the chute.  This second stage means you can throw heavier snow a much longer distance.  Also, since you aren’t relying on the augur for the force to throw the snow, the augur no longer needs to touch the ground, so your augur lasts longer.  Also, the snow blower can be used on non-paved surfaces like step stone walks, uneven rutted driveways, and lawn pathways.

One major aspect of snow blowing is to remember the snow is going to be airborne.  Even though it may have stopped snowing outside, airborne snow will get into your face if you’re using a walk behind.  For this reason many homeowners with larger areas to clear snow like a long sidewalk or driveway will opt for a tractor mounted snow blower so they can be in the cab.  However, if a tractor mounted snow blower doesn’t make sense, you can still protect yourself with a mask, good quality gloves, and a warm parka.

homeowner in gray jacket showing what is snow blowing by pushing a red machine in front of him to throw snow out of the driveway

Snow Blowing Benefits

Snow blowing is one of the best methods for snow removal. There are a number of reasons why it’s so useful.  If you have a bad back, snow blowing is ideal for you. You may only have a small area you need to clear. However, shoveling is still one of the major causes of winter back injuries and heart attacks in cold climates.

Snow blowers not only remove the snow from the walking surface, but send it flying.  A plow pushes the snow off the walking surface. However, in a heavy snowfall situation, you need to remove the snow all together.  The snow blower does this for you. Furthermore, it allows for much larger snow banks to be created in the snowiest winters.

If you live in a place with limited snowfall, like a Washington DC suburb, you might be thinking you don’t need a snowblower.  It snows, but big storms are so rare, what’s the point?  You may be right. Instead, you probably would be better suited to consider a power broom instead. This will help remove those inch dustings you’ll frequently get in winter.  However, even if you only use your snowblower a few times every winter, it’ll keep you from shoveling.  Whenever we do physical activity infrequently, it invites the chance of injury.

What Is Snow Blowing Summary

Now, we’ve discussed what is snow blowing. Hopefully, you’re able to consider whether you want a snow blower or not.  If you need help considering a snow blower, which one to purchase and where to buy, please let us know in the comments.