June 20th marks the first day of summer, and for many of us that means trips to the beach, outdoor concerts, and cool drinks. Summer is also a great season to save energy and money in your home. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Lighting makes up about 10% of home electricity costs. You can save up to 80% of that energy by simply replacing your traditional incandescents with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs). They will also last you for years after the summer is gone, saving money on replacements.

  2. Another good reason to switch to energy efficient lighting choices is that it can lower your cooling costs. Only 10% of the energy from traditional bulbs is used for light—the rest is wasted as heat. By using CFLs and LEDs that give off less heat, you can reduce your need for air conditioning and save money.

  3. If you plan to remodel your home, take advantage of the longer, sunnier days with daylighting. You can bring more sunlight in your home by upgrading to today's highly energy-efficient windows and reduce the need for artificial lighting (and electricity!)

  4. Another way to take advantage of the prolonged sunshine is to install outdoor solar lighting. They are easy to install, virtually maintenance free, and provide free electricity.

  5. Switch to a high-efficiency air conditioner—you can reduce your energy use by 20% – 50% and save money.

  6. Install a cool roof for your home. Cool roofs are designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat—reducing your energy bills by decreasing cooling needs. For more on selecting cool roofs, read this guidance from our EERE Building Technologies program.

  7. You can reduce your cooling costs with landscape shading. Planting trees, shrubs, and plants around your home strategically can reduce heat radiation and cool the air before it reaches your home's walls and windows.

  8. If you have a swimming pool, you can reduce your heating bills by installing a high efficiency or solar pool heater or using a pool cover. Read more about solar pool heating.

  9. Enjoy the summer wind, get exercise, and save money by walking or biking to work instead of driving your car. If you have to drive, check out these tips to reduce the amount of gas you use.

  10. By properly insulating and air sealing your home, you can reduce your air conditioning costs by keeping more of the cooling in your home. Read more about insulation and air sealing.

What other tips do you have for saving energy and money in the summer?

John Chu is a Senior Communications Specialist at the Department of Energy.