It takes a lot of energy to power a home office, which could raise your utility bills if you’re constantly working from home. Though luckily, there are more than a few ways to conserve energy in your office while lowering utility bills and living a green lifestyle. Here are ten tips to help reach your office energy goals.
Use a Laptop
If you have a choice, use a laptop instead of a desktop computer. Laptops use up to 80 percent less energy than desktop computers. If you spend a lot of time on the computer, you could see huge energy savings.
Plug into a Power Strip
Some devices continue to consume energy even when they’re turned off, so long as they’re still plugged into an outlet. Put an end to this problem by plugging your electronic devices into a power strip. Instead of turning everything off at the end of the day, simply flip the switch on the strip. This immediately cuts the power so no devices can consume energy when they’re not in use.
Switch to an Energy Efficient Ethernet
An Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) reduces the amount of power consumed on your local area network when there isn’t much activity. Using EEE, your network can shift between normal and low power modes quickly and easily, so there isn’t any interruption in service. Make sure that the network in your home office is connected by EEE to conserve energy.
Replace Standard Light Bulbs
One of the simplest ways to improve your home office’s energy efficiency is replacing standard light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs. These light bulbs use 25-80 percent less energy than standard bulbs, and last 3-25 times longer, too.
Warm up with a Space Heater
Conserve energy by trading your HVAC system for an energy efficient space heater. If you’re the only one home during the day, there’s no reason to waste energy on heating up the entire house. Instead, use a small space heater to stay comfortable inside your office.
Rely on Task Lighting
Whereas ambient lighting illuminates the entire room, task lighting focuses on small areas and gives you just enough light to perform certain tasks. Use this type of lighting in your office by using desktop lamps or track lights. It’s a more energy efficient way to light up your home office as you work.
Know When to Put Your Computer to Sleep
Putting computers in sleep mode saves energy, but many people aren’t sure when it’s appropriate to do this. Follow these rules to conserve energy in your home office:
- If you leave for more than 20 minutes, turn off your computer monitor.
- If you leave for more than one hour, turn off the monitor and put the computer in sleep mode.
- If you leave for the day, completely turn off the computer.
Buy Energy Star Devices
The next time you need a new computer, copier, fax machine, printer, or scanner for your home office, ensure you choose an Energy Star product. These products use less energy than standard models and thus improve the overall efficiency of your home office.
Don’t Print Documents
Whenever possible, read documents on your computer instead of printing them. This saves energy that would otherwise have been used to power your printer. Reading documents on the computer also allows you to save paper, letting you cut back on office supplies and do your part to protect the environment.
Install Window Treatments
If you have windows in your home office, install an energy efficient window treatment such as shades or drapes. These window treatments keep heat from coming in your home during summer and prevent heat from escaping through the windows during winter.
Improving your home’s energy efficiency isn’t difficult. Follow these ten tips and you can maximize your energy efficiency while working from home.