Working from home (WFH) has its perks. Office attire becomes obsolete, your fur friends are your new coworkers, and you decide when to go on lunch break.
But there is one downside to WFH that you cannot, and should not, ignore. The more you work from home, the more likely you are to see that electric bill hiking upward. It’s not only a strain on your wallet but on our natural resources.
Don’t fret — we have seven tips on how to save energy while WFH. And it doesn’t involve turning out the lights, turning off the heat, and working in the dark while swaddling yourself in every nearby blanket!
Work Near Windows on Sunny Days
Okay, this one does involve turning out the lights — but only on sunny days!
If you awaken to a bright, sundrenched apartment or home, take advantage of this. Open the curtains and take a seat near the window and bask in the warmth and light while plugging away at work.
Astral Energy predicts that you will save about $0.02 an hour per light bulb that you switch off. That can add up to a lot of savings throughout your time WFH!
Don’t forget to slather on the sunblock because even time in indirect sun can damage your skin.
Keep an Eye on Charging Devices
Of course, you need to keep your devices powered.
But it’s easy to forget to unplug your phone (or laptop, tablet, etc.) long after it has completed its charge — especially if you’re distracted by work.
It’s not good for your device, or your energy bill, to keep your electronics plugged in post-charge. So save energy, money, and the lifespan of your devices’ batteries by unplugging them from their charging unit once they’re full.
The office isn’t paying for that juice anymore, after all!
Invest in Energy Star-Rated Devices
You’ll find a plethora of energy smart electronics on Energy Star’s Office Equipment site. It’s easy to find all the devices you need to WFH that help you get your job done, and that won’t gobble up your energy resources.
Energy Star even has a rebate finder on the side of the page so you can find money-saving deals on smart products near you.
Consult the site before buying a new monitor, power strip, or air purifier so you know you’ll be conserving energy and saving money while you work.
Replace Light Bulbs with LEDs
Utilizing the best energy-efficient light bulbs is one of the smartest and easiest ways to save energy. Most people are aware of the perks of using LED light bulbs but may not have actually used them as replacements in their homes yet.
If you’re a renter in an apartment building, the last thing you may think of is to look at the lightbulbs that have been in place since you moved in. But check around. Be sure the light bulbs in use are not the old, energy-vampire bulbs of yore. This is still common, particularly in older buildings and for renters whose energy bills are not covered by their landlord.
Switch them out for LEDs and instantly conserve energy and money.
Check Your HVAC System Filters
If you have access to your HVAC system in your apartment, or if you’re a homeowner, start checking system filters.
Your heating system or air conditioning unit may have a filter that needs cleaning or even replacement. Clogged filters make the unit run less efficiently, depleting energy in the process.
Most filters are washable and reusable — just double-check with your appliance manuals first. If not, you may have to buy new filters, but buying new, useful filters will end up saving you money on your energy bills, so it all works out.
Adjust the Thermostat
There’s no need to go entirely out of your comfort zone to save energy by adjusting your thermostat. You needn’t freeze in the colder months or fry when it’s super hot outside.
The Department of Energy estimates that you save about 1% on your energy bill by adjusting your thermostat.
Just down one degree in winter and up one degree in summer, eight hours per day. That adds up to a lot of savings over the course of a year!
If you can manage a couple of degrees more, all the better.
Turn Off Unnecessary Distractions
If you’ve been working from home a while, you probably have a routine down.
But does that routine consist of electronics running in the background all day?
That’s an unnecessary strain on your energy resources.
Turn off the TV while you’re working, even if it helps block the sounds of noisy neighbors.
If it’s hot and you need some white noise, opt for a fan. That way, you can turn off the air conditioner and the TV and still produce glorious white noise.
And when you take a lunch or exercise break, turn off your laptop to conserve its power levels and reduce future charging time.
Working from home requires some adjustments, and that includes how we consume energy.
We may find ourselves wasting energy in ways we can’t even imagine. Luckily, implementing a few energy-saving solutions is cost-effective and straightforward.
As a reminder, here’s how to save energy while WFH:
- Take advantage of sunny days and work near windows
- Do not overcharge your devices
- Buy Energy Star-certified devices
- Install LED light bulbs
- Clean or replace HVAC appliance filters
- Adjust the thermostat a degree or two
- Turn off electronic distractions
It’s that simple! And like with other parts of your WFH routine, it will quickly become an old hat. Follow these seven simple tips, and you’ll be saving energy while earning your livelihood.
Elaine Chavez is the Business Manager at 625 Broadway. With over eight years of experience in the industry, she begins and ends each day loving what she does. She is passionate about helping people find the perfect place to call home and shines at building a community that everyone is proud to be a part of.