Approximately 34 million Americans telecommute, and that number is likely to continue rising. With minor changes in your home office, you can have a huge impact in protecting the environment and cutting down on energy costs.
Here’s an easy tip: use an office surge protector. With it, you can power-off multiple office electronics at once. It’ll save you some time at the end of the day. More importantly, a surge protector, especially one with an off-switch, will save you from wasting standby power, the energy consumed by plugged in electronics not in use. Energy Star has reported the average home wastes more than a hundred dollars a year on standby energy. With the help of a surge protector, your home office will help keep your electric bill down.
If you’re buying a new computer, get a laptop instead of a desktop. When active, desktops use up to three times the amount of power as laptops. Also, consider getting an Energy Star rated computer. Over your electronic’s lifetime, it could save you quite a bit of money and reduce your footprint.
Utilize the power-management settings on your electronic devices. Many will have multiple power modes like active, active standby, or passive standby. By choosing the proper setting, your computer or electronic can switch to a lower power consumption mode when it’s not in use. This way, you’re not wasting energy when you’re on the phone or out to lunch. There are even programs you can download for your computer to help manage your energy use.
Consider using a space heater or fan in the cool and hot months. The average home office uses less than a third of the space in a home, and it takes a lot of energy to control the temperature in all those empty rooms. You could cut down on energy costs even more if you bundle up in the cold months.
A lot can be done with the positioning of your home office to cut down energy usage. If you use a room with proper window placement as your office, you can cut down on heating and lighting. By placing lamps in the corners of rooms, you can effectively double the light they emit. Also, consider lighting only the space you are actively using.
Of course, you can save a lot of energy by switching out your traditional light bulbs with compact fluorescents. Not only do these fluorescents last longer, they use much less energy, saving you around fifteen dollars per year and per bulb.
With a few simple changes, you can really make a difference in your home office. Not only will it save the environment, it’ll also save you money.