Because you don’t need to drive to the office every day, remote work saves gas. However, it can also raise your utility bills quite substantially. Spending more time in your house means spending more on heating, cooling, and electricity as well. To keep costs under control, follow these tips to reduce energy while working from home.
Use Natural Light
Placing your workspace near a window minimizes the need for artificial lighting. It also provides a number of other benefits, such as:
- Brighter Mood. Sunlight triggers the release of serotonin, which makes you feel calm and collected.
- Greater Productivity. Exposure to sunlight enhances noradrenaline, making you more alert and focused. Studies have shown it improves your memory as well.
- Better Health. Natural light boosts production of vitamin D, which helps you absorb calcium and develop strong bones. Insufficient vitamin D can cause fatigue, joint pain, weight gain, muscle cramps, and depression.
Unplug Vampire Appliances
Vampire Appliances are appliances that continue to draw power even after you turn them off. Instead of shutting down, they enter “standby mode,” which allows you to reactivate them quickly. Leaving devices in standby mode doesn’t consume much electricity, but its costs add up over time. Unplugging them would lower average energy consumption by around ten percent and save homeowners $100-200 a year. Common vampire appliances include smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Instead of charging them continuously throughout the day, save money by only plugging them in when their battery is running low.
Use Power Strips
Power strips are a convenient way to manage vampire appliances in your home. Rather than unplug each device individually, power strips let you shut them all off with the flick of a switch. Save more effort with a smart power strip, which cuts electricity as soon as your devices enter standby mode.
Modify Your Computer Settings
When used properly, sleep mode conserves energy. The average laptop uses around 30-70 watts an hour, while the average desktop uses 200-500. Sleep mode cuts this down to 1-5 watts. Most computers start sleeping after ten minutes, but for maximum savings, go into your settings and shorten it to 3-5 minutes instead, to make sure you’re not wasting energy when you step away.
Adjust Your Thermostat
Heating and cooling systems are most efficient when they raise or lower the temperature inside your house to the point you feel comfortable walking around in seasonal clothing. For most homes, that’s 68°F in winter and 78°F in summer. Besides sweaters and wool socks, putting a blanket over your lap will help keep you warm even when your home is a little chilly. Alternatively, installing a fan will make it easier to cope with the heat.
Use a Wired Internet Connection
Plugging an ethernet cable into your computer is generally less expensive than relying on WI-FI. Direct connections reduce the need for additional energy-consuming processes, such as signal transmission. Wired connections also have lower latency, which means they process data faster.
Faster processing speeds reduce delays between sending a command and receiving a response, lowering the system’s energy consumption. And while wireless connections are more convenient, they’re less stable. Walls and other electronic devices can interfere with their signal, requiring the router to burn more electricity in order to transmit data.
Switch to LEDs
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are semiconductor light sources that use 75 percent less electricity than ordinary, incandescent bulbs. They last longer too, up to 14 years in some cases. If your home office still uses incandescents, swap them out with LEDs. LEDs are compatible with standard sockets, so the process won’t take more than a few minutes.
Use Task Lighting
Task lighting saves money by illuminating your workspace rather than the entire room. Lamps are the most cost-effective method, but you can also install wall-mounted fixtures or ceiling mounted pendant lights to lower electricity requirements in your home office.
Let Agway Help Save Money on Home Repairs
Internal wiring wears out over time, just like every other home system. Knowing how to reduce energy while working from home lessens the strain on your electrical system, but won’t eliminate it. Home insurance doesn’t protect you from this kind of damage, but Agway’s EnergyGuardTM Program does.
EnergyGuardTM protects your heating, cooling, and electrical systems.* When the need for repair occurs, Agway customers don’t waste time searching for a qualified repairman. They call us. Our team maintains a network of skilled contractors in your area. As soon as we receive your request, we send the first available technician straight out to you. There are no service fees or deductibles either. We pay for the entire visit, as well as all covered parts. Contact us and start enjoying the benefits of EnergyGuardTM today!
*Coverage depends on which commodity you purchase.