Memorial Day Weekend Efficiency Tips

bbqMemorial Day weekend is just ahead and for many it may mean taking to the highway for a quick vacation, breaking out the grill for some outdoor cooking, or taking that first dip in the pool. However, there is never a reason not to be a little conservative with all the grillin’ and swimmin’ taking place during this upcoming weekend. Here at Earl’s Plumbing we strive to keep everyone informed on the various tips that can help you save a few hard earned dollars and be efficient all at the same time. Here are a few:


If you are planning on having a BBQ…


1. Consider natural gas as an option. Using natural gas is much more efficient, easier, and cheaper to use than charcoal. It costs around 7 cents to cook six hamburgers with natural gas compared to 55 cents with a charcoal grill. A natural gas grill will heat up very quickly (up to 600 degrees in six minutes). And, with control settings, you can cook your foods at the exact temperature required.


2. Not only is natural gas a cheap and efficient way to cook food but it is also much safer. Natural gas is safe because it is lighter than air and will rise into the atmosphere in the event of a leak. It is easy to operate as well. With automatic ignition controls, all you need to do is turn the dial, start your grill and begin cooking (all within minutes).


If you have a pool…


1. Is your pool heated? The Department of Energy has found that water evaporation is overwhelming the single largest source of energy over consumption, accounting for 70% of total energy lost in both outdoor and indoor pools. With evaporating water goes much of a swimming pool’s heat. For every gallon of water that evaporates it takes with it over 8,500 BTUs, and a typical pool loses 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water a week. For a 1,000 square foot pool, an inch equals 625 gallons or over 50 therms of natural gas. A therm is equal to 100,000 BTUs. Because of all the energy required to evaporate a gallon of water, evaporation turns out to be 70% of heat loss from a pool.


Also consider that it takes only 1 BTU to raise a pound of water 1 degree but each pound of 80 degree water that evaporates takes 1,048 BTUs of heat out of the pool. In other words, it’s much more efficient to keep as much of the water you’ve already heated (and paid to heat) in the pool than to keep replacing that heat when lost. And, over consumption of energy is not only costly, but it also increases air pollution.




Consider the appropriateness of installing windbreaks as even modest winds increase evaporation rates. A mere 7mph wind on the pool surface can increase energy consumption by 300%! Windbreaks should be tall enough and close enough to the pool to limit air turbulence over the pool surface.