We’ve got a leaf blower that’s started to make weird noises, so I think the air filter could be on the way out. Luckily I’ve changed this before so it shouldn’t be too hard, but do all models have them?
To protect the carburetor on your leaf blower from being damaged by debris, most gas-powered models are fitted with air filters. The air filter can usually be reached from the outside of the machine by removing the cover, which makes cleaning or replacing it quite easy.
Let’s dive down into the subject of air filters on leaf blowers in more detail, and outline some action steps on how you can access them for maintenance or replacement…
Does My Leaf Blower Have an Air Filter?
As leaf blowers go about their leaf blowing work, they draw in debris from the garden such as dirt and dust. To protect the machine from being damaged by debris, many gas-powered leaf blowers have air filters fitted. Naturally, air filters get dirty, and need cleaning or changing regularly.
The air filter is a simple component that’s found in both gas-powered leaf blowers. In a gas-powered blower, it’s typically an absorbent piece of foam that’s positioned on the carburetor’s air intake. It filters the air that enters the carburetor, stopping contaminants mixing with the fuel.
The carburetor’s function is to mix the right amount of fuel and air together to produce gas. This then enters the cylinder, where it’s compressed and then ignited by the spark plugs. So, as you can see, keeping the air that goes into the carburetor clean is a really important job, and a simple hole in the foam can result in contaminated air affecting the carburetor.
Happily, the air filter on a leaf blower is easy to clean and cheap to replace. We’ll take a closer look at how to care for your air filter.
Where is The Air Filter On My Leaf Blower?
The air filters are easily accessible, so maintaining them is pretty straightforward. They’re generally reached from the outside of the leaf blower, and all you need to do to access them is remove the cover.
Each model is slightly different, so always check the manufacturer’s instructions before starting any maintenance on your leaf blower. They’re generally towards the back, and you shouldn’t have to remove anything else to access it (just always disconnect the spark plug before working in it).
Leaf blower manufacturers understand the importance of air filter maintenance, so they tend to make this a nice and easy job for the gardener.
Why Does My Leaf Blower Die When I Give it Gas?
If your leaf blower dies when you top up the gas, that’s a sure sign that the air filter needs cleaning or changing. Because a dirty or damaged air filter can’t prevent particles from entering the carburetor, dirt will quickly build up inside the leaf blower.
The dirt prevents air from getting through, and unable to get the right mix of fuel and air through to the compressor, the engine dies.
It could also be that the fuel filter is clogged. This can happen if you haven’t used the blower for a while, and old fuel has been left to get sticky. This can also affect the carburetor. Then of course, there’s also the spark plug…
The air filter is the quickest and easiest part to check, so make this your starting point if your leaf blower dies.
How Do I Clean The Air Filter On My Leaf Blower?
It’s really important to keep your leaf blower clean and free from debris, and this includes regularly cleaning and changing the air filter. Cleaning an air filter can take minutes, so it’s worth doing after each use, if you can.
Before you clean your air filter, make sure you have a clean, debris-free space to work. This will prevent you from accidentally adding more dust or other particles when you open up the leaf blower.
If this is the first time you’ve carried out any maintenance on your leaf blower, take a look at the manufacturer’s guidelines before you start. If you can’t find them, Google your model number, and you should be able to find the handbook online.
YouTube is also a great source of tool maintenance information. For example, take a look at this short film about how to check the air filter on a Husqvana leaf blower.
So, armed with this knowledge, it’s time to clean the air filter. Let’s look at some simple steps:
- Disconnect the spark plug so the leaf blower can’t spring into life (or, whatever method your manufacturer recommends for your model)
- Locate the air filter cover and remove it
- Take out the air filter
- Check it over. Is it dirty or damaged? Remember, it’s designed to trap debris, so it should look dirty
- If it has just a bit of dust or debris, just give it a shake and reinstall
- If the debris is more ingrained, you can gently clean it with a vacuum cleaner
- If it’s really clogged up but still intact, you can wash it in clean, soapy water and scrub it carefully with a small brush. Make sure it’s completely dry before putting it back into the leaf blower
- If it looks like it’s going to be a huge task to de-clog it, the chances are it’s too well-used to save. Likewise, if there’s a hole or a tear, it’s the end of the line for this particular filter insert. We’ll talk about replacements in a moment
- When the air filter is clean, return it to the leaf blower, then make sure the cover is on securely
- Reconnect the spark plug. Give it a quick blast to make sure it works
How Do I Change The Air Filter in My Leaf Blower?
If the air filter can’t be cleaned and you think that you need a new one, changing this is also an easy process.
Leaf blower air filters are available online from Amazon, or you can pick them up from Home Depot and Lowe’s. You can shop by brand and model, and for some makes, a pack of five air filters can cost as little as eight dollars.
We’ve heard that you should replace your air filter after ten to fifteen hours’ worth of use. However, the best way is to keep checking and cleaning it, and when you feel it’s too clogged to get completely clean, or you notice any holes or damage to the fabric, that’s the time to install a new one.
As with cleaning, changing the air filter is a straightforward and quick job:
- Make sure you have the right type of filter for your model
- Check the manufacturer’s guidelines for any specific instructions for your model of leaf blower
- Disconnect the spark plug and make sure the leaf blower is safe before you open it up
- Take off the air filter cover and remove the air filter unit
- Take the air filter out of its unit and set aside
- Install the replacement air filter into the unit and slot it back in. Put the cover back on
- Reconnect the spark plug, then give the leaf blower a quick blast to make sure it’s working. If your filter’s been dying for a while, you’ll definitely notice the difference!
Once your new filter is installed, make sure you keep it clean to prolong its life and to keep that carburetor free from unwanted and harmful particles.
What about the old filter? There’s not really an easy way to recycle or reuse these at the moment. You can always ask your local waste service operatives to see if there’s any way to divert them from landfill.
The best way to be as environmentally friendly as possible is to clean your air filter after use, which will give it a longer useful life and means you won’t have to change it quite as often. 🙂
Homeowner and property investor Larry James founded Take a Yard in 2020 to bring you the very best outdoor living content, based on his years of experience managing outside spaces. Read more >