Gas powered mowers and chore performing outdoor power products such as chipper/shredders, tillers and edgers are perfect time-savers for keeping our surroundings neat and green. But when it comes to the simple act of refilling equipment, gas spillage is often overlooked. Many may not realize it, but careless refilling leads to spilled gasoline and evaporation, which releases hydrocarbon emissions into the atmosphere.
In fact fuel spillage and evaporation are responsible for up to 1/3 of all fuel emissions. Most of it is preventable.
Don't leave fueling habits up in the air. Remember these helpful fuel handling tips.
- Don't spill when you fill. Use a funnel or non-spill nozzle. Take a little more time, be a little more careful.
- Leave room for expansion. Fill gasoline containers and power equipment fuel tanks to only 3/4 full, so that tanks don't overflow from expansion that can result from temperature changes.
- Tighten gas caps. When fuel cans or power equipment are not being used, tightened caps will prevent evaporation. Also, make sure both gas and oil caps are tight when equipment is tipped over for routine maintenance.
- Transport and store properly. Find a cool place out of direct sunlight to store fuel cans. Also, make sure the vent is tightly closed.
- Tune up for fuel efficiency. A properly tuned engine helps burn fuel more efficiently, thereby reducing emissions. For mowers, sharp cutting blades and decks cleared of all grass clippings will also enhance engine performance.
Information reprinted from the OPEI Cyberlawn Web site, opei.mow.org.
If you have maintenance tips to pass along to RER readers, please contact Rebecca Bridson, associate editor at [email protected] or 913/967-7455.