Farmers have used controlled burning to improve crops for centuries! But it hasn’t been until recently that home owners are using mechanical torches, or flamers, around the home to kill unwanted weeds.
Flamers are portable gas torches that create intense heat to kill weeds with propane. The popularity of flamers decreased when herbicides came onto the market. However, with increased reports of the harmful effects of herbicides to people, pets and the environment, like respiratory damage and soil contamination, homeowners are weary to continue to use them.
The flamer method is herbicide free – it doesn’t contaminate groundwater and leaves no chemical residue on crops or landscape.
Flamers are a safe and chemical free alternative to herbicides.
When operated properly, flamers are also a time-effective weed killer eliminating the need to bend and pull, disturb the soil or lace both soil and crops with herbicides.
Chemical herbicides can contaminate groundwater and leave chemical residues on crops or landscape.
Of course, personal and environmental safety concerns of another type arise when using flamers! Always check with your local fire department or town clerk before investing in a flamer.
- Torches are ideal for killing weeds along non-flammable areas such as sidewalk cracks and rocky terrain.
- NEVER torch weeds growing on dry, combustible or flammable materials.
- NEVER use flamers during periods of drought. Always check with your local fire department or town clerk before investing in a flamer.
- NEVER burn poison ivy or other poisonous plants. The smoke can cause serious allergic reactions.
- These portable flamers use pressurized tanks of propane and, if handled carelessly, can be hazardous.
How to use a flamer:
- Contact the fire department and obtain a burn permit if one is required in your area before torching weeds.
- Water the soil and weeds thoroughly before torching in order to aid in heat conduction.
- Open the flame-adjusting valve by giving 1/8 turn or until a small amount of gas can be heard escaping. Ignite the flamer using flint lighter. Turn the flame-adjusting value to adjust the size of the flame to a low pilot flame that will keep the flamer burning. A small flame is adequate for torching weeds.
- Torch weeds in spring or early summer as young weeds emerge. Young, tender weeds require less heat and less fuel than larger weeds. Begin in the a.m. hours before the heat of the day for safest results.
- Hold the flamer and walk at a slow rate along the weeds. Pass the flamer over each weed in a sweeping motion, touching each weed with the flame for no more than a split second. You only need to apply enough heat to wilt the weed but not burn them. When you apply the right amount of heat to a weed, the water in the cells boil and cause the plant to atrophy.
- Torch weeds once every two to three weeks in ongoing applications or as needed until the next frost. Flaming kills annual weeds completely but does not completely eradicate the roots of perennial weeds. With multiple treatments, however, you can deplete a perennial weed’s stored root energy, killing the weed.
Flamers are the safe and chemical free alternative to using herbicides to eliminate weeds.
Don’t know where to get a flamer?
Call All Gas Welding & Supply, Co. to purchase yours today!
With the choice of energy sources for most of your home heating systems and heating appliances such as water heaters, you may be wondering which is better – propane or electricity?
Before making this decision, there are some important factors to understand that will help you choose the right energy source for your house.
Propane vs. Electricity – Energy Comparison
When choosing between the two, it’s important to understand the difference between propane and electricity. Propane is a primary energy source and electricity is a secondary energy source.
Energy from propane is used directly, whereas energy from electricity is used after the electricity is generated from a primary energy source such as natural gas or petroleum.
Usable amounts of electricity do not occur naturally whereas usable amounts of propane do.
1 Gallon of propane = 27 kWh (Kilowatt Hours) of electricity
One gallon of propane contains the same amount of usable energy as 27 Kilowatt Hours:
Or 27 kWh = Approximately 91,500 BTU
Below are a few reasons why it’s beneficial to use propane for your appliances over electricity:
1. Propane is cheaper than electricity
Heating a home in the U.S. with a propane heating system in recent years costs far less than heating with an electric system, according the U.S. Department of Energy. Propane water heaters, for example, can cost one-third less to operate and recover water twice as quickly as electric water heater.
In addition, new standards brought upon by the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act is changing the market. No longer can homeowners replace systems and simply go with the cheapest options or the same technology. The good news? Research shows appliances that run on propane are one of the best options when meeting the new NAECA standards.
2. Propane is warmer than electricity
A propane gas furnace heats the air to about 130 F to 140 F and operates in short intervals to minimize operating costs. An electric heat pump produces heat below body temperature (98.6 F), so the air actually feels cool when placing your hand in front of a vent.
A heat pump is rated with a variety of “efficiency ratings” (SEER, HSPF, COP) but the one that is the easiest to look at is COP. “Coefficient of Performance,” is an exact efficiency at a given outdoor temperature. When it gets colder outside, as it does in the Northeast, a heat pump is less efficient.
3. Propane is more dependable
Propane is safely stored in storage tanks on your property, while electricity is subject to power outages. Propane is reliable and works when and where other energy sources don’t, which makes it versatile.
4. Propane is clean & green!
Propane is recognized as “green” energy. By using propane, homeowners can help cut emissions and protect the environment. Both the Clean Air Act of 1990 and the National Energy Policy Act of 1992 recognize propane as an approved alternative fuel. Also, propane is also in gas form, so it doesn’t spill, pool or leave residue.
5. Propane can be used in times of power outages:
If you live in areas where you experience frequent power outages, a propane furnace may be the best choice. You can much more easily use it with a generator when the power is out, and is more efficient than “electric resistance” back up.
There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing the energy source for your home heating and appliances, from cost, efficiency, dependability and more! And with new industry standards created to help consumers and the environment, choosing the cheapest option is not always recommended. Rest assure that choosing propane powered appliances will not only create efficiency, will keep your house running and will also help the environment.
Let the skilled staff at Combined Energy Services educate you on the best options! Contact us today at 800-874-1975 or complete the form below.
August 17, 2016 – This past weekend, Combined Energy Services attended the 17th Annual Ellenville Wawarsing Chamber of Commerce Blueberry Festival in Ellenville, NY.
The Blueberry Festival is an annual family fun festival. It gives reference to the Blueberry Industry that once was an important part of our area and culture. The Blueberry Festival also gives our community the opportunity to showcase itself to those from outside our area.
It is a “give-back” for all the hard work each and every one of us contributes to making our community what it is. Even though the theme is Blueberry, the vendors offered much more… From arts, crafts, hand-mades, clothing, jewelry and more!
CES wanted to give back, show support and represent their propane and fuel oil services in Ulster County by having a booth at the festival.
Combined Energy Services believes strongly in giving back to the community whenever possible.
- Donating service vans to local animal shelters
- Donating a percent of fuel sold to local hospitals for breast cancer awareness
- Sponsoring local non-profits foundations
- Donating ToughBooks to local fire departments, EMS and police stations
- Donating propane to churches and synagogues
CES is constantly helping out the communities they serve!
Are you planning home improvements? Are you installing a deck or fence? Are you installing a new heating system?
What is Dig Safe and why do you have to call them before you dig?
Dig-Safe is a not-for-profit clearinghouse that notifies participating utility companies of your plans to dig. In return, these utilities respond to mark out the location of their underground facilities. This is a FREE service, funded entirely by its member utility companies.
It’s important to understand the state laws that require you to notify Dig Safe for even small projects. Even if you’re installing a mailbox or planting shrubs, the depth of utility lines vary, and there may be multiple utility lines in a common area.
How does it work?
- “Pre-Mark” where you plan to dig before calling 811 – Pre-marking means to mark out the area on the ground where the work will take place, using white stakes, paint or flags. Note: Pre-marking requirements vary slightly from state to state. Take the time to learn the requirements for the state you live in.
- Gather the information needed to process a Location Request:
- Call 811 in advance – State law requires a minimum number of hours to be notified. Learn the time frame required for your state.
- Notify non-member facility owners – Non-member companies are not notified by Dig Safe. Check your states website to learn the types of utilities companies are required to be members of Dig Safe.
- Wait the required time – After notifying, you must wait a certain numbers of hours for utility representatives to respond to mark their lines within your pre-marked area. Uniform colored code systems are used to identify the type of facility identified.
- Respect the marks – Remember that pipes, cables and wires can be buried at any depth, so it can be risky to dig in close proximity of a buried line.
- Maintain the marks – Make sure the utility marks stay in place during your project. If the marks are compromised, call Dig Safe back to re-intact.
Take the time to learn what’s required from your state BEFORE you plan to dig on your property!
Contact the Dig Safe in your State:
New York: Dig Safely New York
Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania 811
New Jersey: New Jersey One Call
Summer, especially the month of August, is vacation time for many. This is the perfect time to get away, enjoy beautiful weather and get back in time to prepare the kids for the next school year.
While the excitement of vacation lays over your head, do not forget the ever most important steps of prepping your home for your time away to ensure you take advantage of energy savings!
Take the time to plan these simple steps to save. The money you save can help pay for your next trip!
Step 1: Turn off or Program Air Conditioner
Unless you’re leaving your pets at home, you can turn the air conditioner off. If there is not one around to enjoy it, there is no reason to have it on.
If you have pets, or prefer to leave your ac unit on, program the temperature setting to a higher degree to avoid the unit from continuously running while you’re not away.
Use a mobile app or ask a neighbor to change the temperature setting before you return home to avoid walking into an uncomfortable home.
Step 2: Turn off Water Heater
The water heater is one appliance that many people do not always think about. It’s out of site (and mostly out of mind). It’s always easy to forget about this while leaving for vacation.
According to US Department of Energy, water heating can account for 14 – 25% of the energy consumed in your home and a large percentage of the cost of running a water heater is due to the “stand by” losses.
If you are going to be leaving your house for more than three days, turn off the circuit breaker to the water heater. If you do not feel comfortable disconnecting the breaker to the water heater, turn your water heater to vacation mode (if available) to cut standby heat losses.
Step 3: Unplug any unnecessary appliances
Even when appliances are turned off but plugged in, they are still using electricity. Before you leave, have someone walk around the house and unplug any unnecessary appliances and electronics.
This includes the larger items, but do not forget about the smaller appliances – razors, coffee pots, digital clocks, cell phone and laptop chargers. These appliances are referred to as “energy vampires” since they utilize a small amount of energy even when turned off, call phantom loads.
You do not need to move the appliances, simply unplug them.
This not only save money, but also reduces the risk of fire hazards if there would be a power surge while you’re not home.
Step 4: Lighting Timers
Some people do not want to leave their home in the dark for the entire time they’re on vacation. Having a light on creates the impression that someone is home, deterring burglars from scoping out your home. The easiest thing to do is leave one or two lights on in the home.
With the invention of lighting timers, you do not need to waste energy by having the lights on the entire time. Set the timer to turn the lights on during a specific time (i.e. during the evening) to give the illusion someone is home while preventing the energy from being wasted during the day.
Step 5: Blinds & Curtains
Saving energy doesn’t always involve electrical items. You can help save energy by using blinds and curtains to prevent the sun from beating through the windows and heating up the house.
Using blinds, coupled with raising the temperature on your A/C system, prevents the home from heating up and, as a result, decreases the amount of time the air conditioning system turning on, saving energy all around!
Step 6: Keep Your Propane Tank Full
If you plan to be away from your home for an extended period of time, be sure your propane tank is full and set-up for automatic delivery.
CES offers tank monitor solutions that allow us to track your usage and automatically deliver when the tank is getting low.
By learning and planning these energy saving tips while on vacation, you can save money in your home, create efficiency in your appliances and heating systems and reduce your carbon footprint!