Working from home can give you the work/life balance you’ve been looking for in your professional life. With the proliferation of online and digital technology, it has never been easier or more convenient to set up and get down to business while at home. It gives you flexibility, comfort, and the ability to work in your pajamas, if you wish. However, just like your old office, it can increase your energy bills since your home will not be empty all day when you would otherwise be at work. You can always check for the cheapest electric rates in CT., but there’s more that you can do. Here are some tips to help you be as energy efficient as possible while digitally commuting.
Try Not to Move Around
Just like with your old office, you should set up a dedicated space in your home for work. Too many people use their laptops and move around throughout the day. This means that you can end up using power in rooms that would be empty all day. You shouldn’t work in front of the television, for instance, and then move to another room and leave the TV on. This particular example will also help you stay focused. By setting up a dedicated spot, the rest of the house can use power as it normally would if you were at the office all day.
Moderate the Temperature
If you were allowed to, you may not have thought twice about cranking up or down the thermostat when you were at the office. After all, it isn’t you paying for the extra energy used. However, at your home you may be the one paying if you aren’t getting subsidies. Temperature control is a big part of your energy bill, so do what you can to avoid overheating or overcooling. A smart thermostat is a great way to regulate the temperature. Geofencing can be very handy if you have to come and go through the day. It will keep your home comfortable while you are there, and then shut off when you are gone. That way your home’s climate will not be conditioned when it doesn’t need to be.
Manage the Lighting
One great thing about working from home is that you don’t have to work under institutional lighting. You can take advantage of natural light so that you don’t need to turn any on at all. In fact, by opening the blinds and letting light in, you will not only save energy on lighting, but also on your HVAC system, since natural light can provide some heating for you. Of course, in the hot months you can close the blinds for the reverse effect. If there comes a time when you do need to use an interior light, try a desk lamp instead of using your overhead lamps. It will use less energy.
If you are working from home, then you will no doubt be using technology to perform tasks and keep in touch with your co-workers and superiors. That means that you will inevitably need to use power. If you use a smart power strip, you can avoid phantom power and you won’t overcharge your devices. Phantom power is the small amount of power that is constantly being used by things that are plugged in. Make sure that you cycle your laptop battery by running it all the way down and then charging it back up. This will help extend its lifespan, If your laptop is newer, then it may already automatically shut off the charging function when the battery is full. Always use the ideal power saving settings on your laptop and devices to limit how often you will need to charge them. Make sure that if you have devices that are important but not used regularly, unplug them so they don’t leak electricity, and plug them back in only when you need them.
Be Efficient With Your Time
One of the best things about working from home is that you don’t have to be in your office for 8 hours a day and constrained by a daily schedule. You can take breaks whenever you want, and even take a nap, as long as you are still bringing in the revenue you need. However, that temptation to slack off could be hurting you through your energy bills. Too many people working from home aren’t completely focused at all times. Their computer might be on and they are at their desk, but they might be surfing the web, scrolling social media, or keeping one eye on the television. The more time you spend at your desk not working, the more time your computer and any other equipment you use are running without being productive. If you are efficient with your time, then your tech does not have to be running needlessly. Working efficiency coincides with energy efficiency.
Work With Energy-Efficient Equipment
It’s never been easier to work with technology that is as energy efficient as possible. You can look for the Energy Star label when purchasing products, which means that they are certified to conserve energy during usage. Most appliances and tech devices can be Energy Star rated, so shop carefully. You can also purchase refurbished equipment. It costs less to you, and while it might not save you energy, it is still more environmentally friendly.
Seal Up Your Home
You can save energy by making things easier on your HVAC system. Make sure that your windows and doors are properly sealed to keep your conditioned air in, and exterior air out. You can have an energy audit done in your home to see if there are spots where air is getting in. There are several easy and inexpensive fixes that will allow you to be comfortable without having to break the bank on electricity costs.
Disclaimer: This content does not necessarily represent the views of IWB.