You get up in the morning, walk across the hall and you are already in your office – the biggest perk of working from home is that you can work even in your pajamas. Once you start your home office, you will notice many changes, among which is not fussing about coming late to work.
However, energy consumption is the one thing that will definitely change, and the first place you will notice is your electricity bill. With that in mind, here is a list of a few simple things you can do to reduce your energy expenditure.
Turn off devices you don’t use
Have you heard of ‘vampire power’? Although it might sound like a cult of vampire fans, it is the name for electricity some appliances use when they are switched off but still plugged in the socket. You can easily check if that is true: if you tend to leave your mobile charger plugged in at all times so you can have it nearby in case your battery is running low and you need to make an important business call, just touch the charger. If it is warm, it has been consuming electricity.
Naturally, it is not practical to unplug all devices in your home office, especially some that need to react quickly once your business day starts, but you can keep the power drain a minimum. Also, purchasing a couple of surge protectors can be quite handy. In this way, more devices will be plugged into the same outlet and then once you are finished with the work for the day, you only need to click one switch and all those devices will be turned off.
Keep HVAC in check
Since you are the responsible party in your home office, the task of HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system examination is yours to undertake. To make sure that its power consumption is kept at optimal levels, you need to perform regular checkups and purchase new parts which are more energy-efficient. Besides, you wouldn’t wish to learn that your heating is out of order only when the first snowflakes appear.
In countries with hot summers and high humidity levels, such as Australia, for instance, this is not only a question of energy expenditure but of creating favorable working and living conditions. If you don’t feel comfortable fiddling around electricity, luckily, you can hire experienced professionals to perform a hassle-free air conditioning installation in Sydney. In general, they can also offer useful advice on system maintenance and lowering energy consumption.
Substitute your old lightbulbs
Did you know that lighting alone covers around one-sixth of your electricity bill? Old-fashioned lightbulbs are high consumers of energy and that is clearly reflected on your bill. What you can do is replace them with energy-efficient alternatives, such as Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) which will significantly lower your energy consumption and consequently, your bill.
Besides that, it would be wise to turn off the lights when you are leaving your home office space, even if you are just popping out to make coffee, and make sure only necessary lights are on, and not all of them. Also, installing sensors for external lights can be a prudent call so that they are used only when there is a need for it.
Reduce your carbon footprint
Energy consumption represents a large portion of your carbon footprint but there are also other things you can do to reduce it, besides keeping your consumption in check. The good thing is that, when you started working from home and stopped commuting to work every day, you already affected your carbon footprint. When it comes to the office area of your home, you can also think in terms of recycling paper since large amounts of paper are still used in offices across the world.
As for the home area, you should be mindful of the food you purchase, as well as carry a canvas bag for your groceries instead of taking a plastic bag for each purchase since it would take anywhere from 10 to 1,000 years to decompose. Also, try to reuse items that you can, so a plastic cup that you used to drink from can be transformed into a pen holder for your office.
About the author: Mike Johnston is an avid freelance writer and blogger from Sydney, Australia. He is a regular contributor to numerous blogs and online magazines, where he writes about many different subjects. His specialty are the topics related to green lifestyle choices, eco-friendly construction, energy conservation and efficiency. Mike’s goal is to create insightful and compelling content that will help readers navigate through these vast and ever-changing fields.