These days, more Americans are working from home than ever before. More time spent at home means more energy used throughout the day.
If you’re punching the clock from home, there are small steps you can take to reduce your energy use and save on electric bills. Start with these.
Use a smart power strip. Plugging in your most-used devices, like computers, monitors and docking stations, to a smart power strip ensures these devices aren’t drawing power when they’re not in use. Smart power strips also give you the option to select which devices should always stay on.
Unplug your least-used equipment. If your home office includes equipment like printers and scanners, you’re probably not using these electronics every day. If that’s the case, go ahead and unplug your least-used electronics and devices since many of these draw energy even when they’re not being used.
Look for the Energy Star logo. If you’re shopping for new equipment for your workspace, look for the Energy Star label to ensure you’re getting the most energy-efficient features. Computers, monitors, imaging equipment and other office electronics with the Energy Star rating include power management features to make saving energy easy, and most are designed to run cooler and last longer.
Flip the switch and use natural light instead. It’s still chilly out there, so take advantage of natural light and additional warmth from the sun. When you’re working during the day, open blinds, curtains and other window coverings to let natural light in—and don’t forget to turn off the lights to reduce energy use.
Lower the thermostat when it’s cold. Home heating makes up a significant portion of your energy bills. Turn the thermostat down a couple of degrees during the day to reduce energy use and save money. The Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 68 degrees or cooler during winter months. You might be more likely to stay focused and alert when it’s cooler in your home, so all the more reason to mind the thermostat.
Contact your electric cooperative if you have questions about your bills or want additional information about saving energy at home.