Independence Day was a blast, and summer is in full swing with vacations and day camps and whatever else we fill our spare time with when it's warm and sunny. This week, I noticed that the cicadas (kind of like grasshoppers but louder) started singing in the trees – a sign that the first frost is supposed to be six to eight weeks away. Old wives' tales aside, I also noticed that the sun is rising just a teeny bit later than it did a month ago.

Quick! Break out the sunscreen and hit the hiking trails or beach or whatever's closest to you, and squeeze in some more summer fun! While you're at it, check out the recap of what happened on Energy Savers in July:

New or Notable on Energy Savers

On the Blog, In Case You Missed It…

This Month

Weekly Questions—Did You Share Your Answer?

From the Archives:

Comment Spotlight

  • David commented on What Do-It-Yourself Projects Have Saved You Energy and Money? : "We improved the insulation of our home and invested in a outdoor wood burner. This saved us a lot of money, but we are also in the process of building a Tesla coil which will be fun to experiment with."
  • Matt gave his input on How Are You Keeping Your Home Cool This Summer? : "I change all of my light bulbs in the house to LED, and the heat alone at night in the dining room and living room seems much cooler. Having done the whole house, my electric bill is $40.00 lower per month than before."
  • Finally, Robert shared his insight on Have You Added Value to Your Home with Energy Saving Upgrades? : "In regards to energy efficient heating and cooling systems; don't forget there's two parts to the equation. The total efficiency of the system is defined by taking the efficiency of the heating and/or cooling system and multiplying it by the efficiency of the distribution system (duct or radiant delivery). If you forget about this second part you will only see a fraction of the saving you should be by upgrading your heating and/or cooling system. Make sure you get your duct system sealed (there is value even if your ducts don't run outside of the finished or conditioned space), and insulated if running outside of the conditioned space. It is not uncommon for us to see over 400 CFM (given that the largest residential systems only move about 1,600 CFM of air - this is significant) of supply leakage (and yes this is true in new homes too) in just about every forced air system we test. "

Now, get out there and make the most of the rest of your summer!

Andrea Spikes is a communicator at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which assists EERE in providing technical content for many of its websites.