Good Neighbor Leaf Blowing Tips
Leaf blowers are versatile tools that can make quick work of garden cleanup. They also have the potential to be noisy to the point of disruption and stir up allergens like dust and dirt particles. While many cities & towns limit both the decibel rating and time of day that use of a leaf blower is allowed, LHA would like to take a neighborly approach to minimizing the negative impacts of leaf blowers in our neighborhood. A couple of ideas for neighbors:
- Check in with your neighbors about gardener’s schedules and coordinate timing so that the impact of noise and dust is not continuous throughout any single day.
- If you know of neighbors who work from home or have young children, ask them about any critical hours for quiet, like children’s nap time or scheduled conference calls.
- Come to an agreement on “no blow” days so neighbors can look forward to quiet enjoyment of their yards.
- Do not use blowers in early morning – before 8:00am – or late evening – after 6:00pm.
Consider retiring your old blower:
- New blowers are up to 75% quieter than older models – look for a sound rating below 65 dB(A)
- Consider all power options – electric and battery powered models are quieter than gas
- Have more leaves than green bin space? Check out leaf blowers that also have a vacuum / mulching feature
Suggestions for quieter, cleaner use:
- Use the lowest throttle speed needed to get the job done.
- Using the nozzle fully extended can control sound and minimize dust.
- Regular maintenance reduces noise. Check the condition of the leaf blower muffler, air intakes and air filter to make sure they’re in good operating condition.
- Always be considerate of bystanders and adjoining property. Debris should never be blown in the direction of people.
- Watch out for open windows and doors. Pointing the blower nozzle toward an open door sends debris into the home and directs/increases the noise they must endure.
- Target usage – leaf blowers were made to blow leaves from around ornamental plants. In other parts of your yard, consider raking and sweeping.
- Avoid using more than one blower at a time, especially in neighborhoods or around buildings where sound can be intensified.
- A leaf blower should NOT be used to clean up: large amounts of gravel or gravel dust, construction dirt, plaster dust, cement and concrete dust or dry garden topsoil. Use a vacuum or power broom with water.