What To Look For When Buying A Snowblower For The Upcoming Winter

Shoveling snow can be an obnoxious and even physically dangerous chore, especially in places where it can really pile up. Many a poor homeowner has been faced with the prospect of shoveling out a driveway before work, or on what was supposed to be a relaxing day off. A snowblower can be an easy, more thorough alternative, especially when it comes to larger properties where manually shoveling every drive simply isn’t a workable solution. Finding the snowblower that’s right for you, though, can be a complicated chore in and of itself. How do you pick the one that’s right for you and your property?

Well, to start with, we need to familiarize ourselves with the different types of snowblowers.

The Different Varieties of Snowblower

Snowblowers come in four main types, each having its own strengths and weaknesses. No one type is perfect for every application, and it’s up to you to decide which is right for your property!

Electric Snowblowers

Electric snowblowers are a small, portable, and compact option. They typically don’t require the maintenance that a gasoline-powered device does, so you don’t have to worry about changing the oil, keeping filters clean, or fumbling around with a gas can in subzero weather. Small and light enough to easily fit into most small spaces, an electric snowblower can be a perfect choice for anyone on a smaller property that doesn’t receive much snow. The trade-off for that portability is that an electric snowblower simply doesn’t have the horsepower to deal with large amounts of snow, or snow that has frozen solid.

Single-Stage Snowblowers

Single-stage snowblowers are smallest entry in the gasoline-powered category. Requiring more maintenance, these medium-sized snowblowers are never-the-less convenient and small enough to be a good option for areas where an electric blower simply isn’t up to the job. Essentially a horizontal, gas-powered auger on wheels, the snowblower’s rotating screw simultaneously scoops and tosses the snow out of its chute and away from the work area. While able to make short work of moderate snowfall, the single-stage snowblower’s auger makes contact with the ground, meaning it can’t be safely used on gravel surfaces, and its vertically narrow mouth means it can’t effectively deal with deep snow.

Two-Stage Snowblowers

The next size up, two-stage snowblowers are generally slightly larger than the average upright push mower, and may be more tool than you need if you live in an area that receives only moderate or occasional heavy snow. In return for that bulkiness, though, you get a generously sized bucket and a two-stage mechanism that can devour everything short of truly massive snowfalls, and sits high enough above the ground that it won’t damage concrete or gravel surfaces. Similar to the single-stage, the two-stage snowblower sucks up the snow with its auger, but then tosses it into a high-speed impeller that ejects it far away from the work area.

Three-Stage Snowblowers

The 800-pound gorilla of the snowblower kingdom, these monsters are large, powerful machines that inhale, chop, then HURL snow and ice a significant distance away. Featuring dual augers that chew through even the largest and most solid snowdrift, a three-stage snowblower offers a third auger, positioned perpendicular to the collection augers and called an accelerator, that chops and shoots the snow and ice directly into the impeller, which further chops it up and fires it out of the chute. More machine than most people will need, these powerful tools will clear almost any amount of snow and are perfect for someone with large and deep areas of stubborn snow who just wants to get the job done.

Choosing The Right Snowblower

While a single or two-stage snowblower will be sufficient for most properties, larger areas or places that tend to receive large quantities of wet, stubborn snow may require a three-stage snowblower. For those who are concerned with maintaining a pristine property, an electric snowblower might be a convenient and maneuverable supplemental device for areas where a larger machine won’t fit, or for small touch-ups when a larger device isn’t necessary. Ultimately, the needs of a specific property depend on its size, winter weather patterns, and even the personality and capabilities of the user, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. You simply need to evaluate the requirements and quirks of your specific situation, then decide which machine best meets your needs!

The Top 5 Home Exercises For Busy Parents

As a health-conscious, fitness-enthusiast parent, I want nothing more than setting a good example for my kids by paying attention to my body, remaining in good shape, and enjoy the boost of physical energy that being active gifts me with, every single day. Often, however, despite my best effort, reality ends up standing in my way.

Let’s face it, as a busy parent, juggling work, household, and child-rearing duties, often we simply can’t afford to lose the time driving to the gym or even spending heaps of time by hopping on the elliptical or going for a long jog or cycling session. Fortunately, as I’ve found out, if you are truly serious about your health and revamping your physique, you don’t even have to.

Take a look at the following exercise ideas designed to tighten your abs, sculpt your arms, lift your buttocks, and get you into shape in no time, without having to leave the comfort of your home. Easy-to-do in-between chores, before going to work, or even while playing with your kids, these workout ideas eliminate all those typical excuses that we usually allow to stand in our way to obtain that much-coveted ideal body.

1. Planks

Benefits:

  • improved core strength
  • toned tummy
  • better posture
  • stronger back
  • shapely upper arms

How To Do Them:

Get on the floor in a push-up position, elbows on the ground, right under your shoulders. You should balance on your toes and forearms, holding this position as long as you can, but at least 10 seconds. Add 5 seconds every day; before you know it, you will be able to maintain a proper plank for a minute or even longer.

2. Tricep Dips

Benefits:

  • sculpted triceps and shoulders
  • firmer arms
  • elimination of upper-arm “bat wings”

How To Do Them:

You can easily utilize a sturdy chair, the couch, or even your heavy, non-tipping kitchen table for this exercise. Place your hands on the edge, firmly gripping them, on each side of your hips. Next, lift your buttocks up from the seated position and begin to lower it by walking your feet forward slowly. You should be supporting your full weight with your arms and feet. Next, return to your starting position.

3. Counter Push-Ups

Benefits:

  • upper arm strength
  • sculpted back
  • lifted chest muscles

How To Do Them:

Facing your countertop, place your hands on its edge, shoulder-width apart. Step two steps backward. Next, slowly lower your upper body towards your hands and the edge of the counter, much like in the case of a regular push-up. Finally, return to your starting position.

4. Squats

Benefits:

  • stronger legs
  • sculpted glutes
  • shapely thighs

How To Do Them:

Place your legs about shoulder-width apart, facing forward. Next, slowly lower your rear end, as though you are trying to sit down on an imaginary chair. You can extend your arms in front of your body to help with your balance. Bend your upper body forward and stop moving downwards once your thighs are parallel to the floor. Return to your original position.

5. Glute Bridges

Benefits:

  • tightened glutes
  • toned hamstrings
  • slimmer hips
  • shapely legs

How To Do Them:

Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Let your arms rest on the floor by your sides. Next, slowly lift your hips off the ground and keep moving them upwards until they form a straight line with your thighs. After a few seconds, lower them back to the ground.

I hope you agree; these exercises don’t seem too difficult to incorporate into your busy daily schedule, as a parent. If you commit to doing a few sets of them daily, you will find -much like I did,- that getting into shape is simple, effortless, and doesn’t have to be time-consuming at all!