3 Energy-Saving Ideas for Your Home Office

September 20, 2018

By Lori Melton

Working from home has become increasingly popular. In fact, the 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce reports telecommuting has grown nearly 115 percent in the past decade, with 3.9 million people working remotely. If you’re one of these people, you’re already saving energy and helping the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions created by driving a car to commute to work each day. But there are also many ways you can save energy in your home office. Here’s a look at three suggestions you can implement right now.

Use Energy-Saving Office Equipment

In today’s digital, tech-savvy world, all kinds of devices are constantly needing to be powered up and charged. Paring down the number of devices you need in your office and using a multi-function printer that can also fax, scan and copy documents is one way to save energy. Plugging all your devices into a smart power strip that automatically ensures devices aren’t drawing power when they’re not in use is another.

Using Energy Star certified equipment also helps curb energy usage of standard office equipment by 30-75 percent. It’s also useful to know that laptops use less energy than desktop computers. You can disconnect the power cord from your laptop and run it on battery for a considerable amount of time before it needs to be recharged. Putting your computer in sleep mode after 15 minutes of inactivity is another great way to save energy.

Use Energy Efficient Lighting

Evaluating your lighting usage and using energy efficient lighting in your home office will help save energy and cut your utility bill. Replacing incandescent light bulbs with LED light bulbs is one simple way to save energy. LED bulbs use less energy and last longer. Also, don’t turn on lights in the daytime. Open blinds and curtains and take advantage of natural daylight. And, consider using task lighting instead of overhead lighting by using a small desk lamp in the area you work or need it most.

Cut Heating and Cooling Use

Smart home devices like the Nest thermostat have built-in technology to automatically control temperatures to help reduce energy use and cut your utility bill. The Nest is different from a programmable thermostat because it learns what temperatures you like, knows when you’re away and adjusts the thermostat accordingly.

A good tip is to reduce your in-home temperature by 10 percent during the day. In the winter, you can also layer clothing, put a blanket on your lap or use a space heater to warm up and keep the thermostat turned down. In the summer, you can open a window or use a portable fan or ceiling fan to cool off instead of running the air conditioner.