- Turn off your air conditioner before you leave home for an extended period of time. Or at least turn up the thermostat. It’s a straightforward way to use less power. Also, make sure the filter is clean. Dirty filters cause air conditioning units to work harder, using more energy.
- Keep the refrigerator doors closed whenever possible. Also, avoid placing hot items in the fridge – let them cool to room temperature first.
- Heat up the food, not the house. A microwave is much more efficient (and quicker!) at heating things up than an oven, especially if you’re trying to stay cool with air conditioning.
- It’s curtains for you. Curtains, blinds and shades keep the sun’s hot rays out of your house. Keep them closed on sunny days during the summer season. Also, deciduous trees planted near your house (Particularly on the South and West sides) will add shade and produce a similar effect – that is, to curtains and blinds – with the added bonus that, when the tree sheds its leaves in the fall, the sunlight will return just in time for the colder months.
- Solar power your laundry. Skip the dryer and go for an old-fashioned clothes line. You can’t beat free energy from the sun – just make sure there is no rain in the forecast.
While hanging out in the yard can be carefree summer fun, saving water is serious business, especially as a devastating drought continues in the southwest US. But with these tips, conserving water doesn't have to be a drag.