Switching from Gas Equipment to Electric

If you have a landscape you’ve likely used power equipment to care for it. Lawn mowers, string trimmers, edgers, hedgers, chainsaws and leaf blowers are mandatory or at least helpful for most home landscapes. This type of equipment has the well-deserved reputation for being among the worst sources of air pollution. They use 2-stroke engines, which are simple, small, light, and inexpensive. But because of the inefficient way they burn fuel, about 30 percent of the gas and oil is unused, which pushes a lot of pollution out the exhaust port. In recent tests by automotive magazine “Edmunds,” these engines were shown to emit about 300 times more hydrocarbon emissions than a 2011 Ford F-150 Raptor, a full-sized pickup truck. And worse, where a vehicle has a tailpipe aimed out the back, you stand directly over a piece of landscape equipment, breathing in all that exhaust. The good news is that there is now an excellent alternative: cordless electric.

Battery-powered equipment has come a very long way in the last ten years. Previous iterations of cordless landscape equipment never seemed up to the task—underpowered with short battery lives. But the newer models have greatly improved previous shortcomings. Today’s cordless equipment has performance that is comparable to older gas-powered models, meaning they really are just as good at the job, but without the exhaust fumes. Newer batteries last much longer than in the past and charge fully much faster.

But the advantages are more than no-more-hauling-gas-in-a-container or needing to mix gas and oil. Electric motors are quieter, so no more waking up the neighbors (or having them wake you) while running a string trimmer at 7:00 on a Saturday morning. They are also lighter, which makes them easier to use. No more priming the engine with that little pump and pulling, pulling, pulling and pulling. To get them started, simply flip a switch or pull a trigger. And if you’re not actively using the machine, it isn’t running. There’s no idling engine between areas since an electric engine just isn’t running if you aren’t pulling the trigger. And to top it off, they are far easier to maintain. No more spark plugs or air filters to replace! And except for the occasional lubrication of a few moving parts, you should get years of maintenance-free use out of these cordless machines.

Here at Conservation Garden Park we made the switch to all battery-powered equipment last year and our staff loves the better visitor experience—from the quieter equipment to the absence of smell clinging to their clothes after running gas-powered engines.

All the old performance drawbacks to cordless electric landscape equipment have improved. Combined with all the things that make cordless better, including quiet operation, less maintenance, easy start, and less air pollution means it is finally time to consider going cordless for your home landscape. Visit the Conservation Garden Park and see if you notice a difference.

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