Working from home: Cutting your home office energy costs

Did you know that January 10th is National Cut Your Energy Cost Day? With more people working from home than ever before, it’s important to have a few tricks up your sleeve to ensure your energy bill doesn’t skyrocket while working remotely.

Let the sunshine in. When choosing a space for your home office, it’s a good idea to choose a room that has access to natural lighting. Natural light not only helps illuminate a room, but it also can keep you from running your heat throughout the day by regulating the temperature inside your home. During the day, you can also open insulated curtains on your south-facing windows to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home. Close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

Give your equipment a break. There’s no shame in needing to take a short break throughout the day, so while you’re taking a break, turn off any lights or unplug any electronics you’re not using to give them a break as well. Electronics that stay plugged in all the time are sometimes referred to as vampire sources, and electronics found in a home office are notorious for using a small amount of energy consistently. If you’re not using a piece of equipment for the day or if you know you’re finished using it, go ahead and unplug it until it’s time to put it to use.

Utilize energy efficiency. Purchasing energy efficient office equipment could help you significantly cut down on your energy usage, but many pieces of technology already come with built-in settings for conserving energy. If you have trouble remembering to unplug your computer at the end of the day, switch it to sleep mode as this has also proven effective for conserving energy. Also, remember that using a laptop instead of a desktop computer can use less energy.

Adjust the temperature. When working from home, it’s tempting to turn the heat up a bit so you can stay nice and cozy, but why not bundle up with warmer clothes or a blanket instead? Bump your thermostat down by one degree while you’re home and help reduce your energy bill by up to three percent! You can also adjust your ceiling fans to low and clockwise – where warm air is pushed down into the room.

Have your HVAC system checked. Whether in the office or at home, staying on top of the condition of your HVAC system is paramount. Clean filters will reduce strain on your system and use less energy. Be sure to schedule a tune up for the winter season with a heating and cooling company to ensure your HVAC unit is working properly.