Working from home is a great way to use less energy daily. No commute, no food waste after going out to lunch and less time spent getting ready in the morning. However, remote work can still use a significant amount of energy, even if you never leave your home office for the majority of the day.
From being aware of phantom power to hanging your laundry on a clothesline, here are ten ways to lower your energy use while working from home.
Shorten Your Morning Routine
Most people tend to work better if they prepare for working at home in the same way they would for going into the office. While wearing your pajamas all day might be tempting, odds are it won’t help your productivity.
However, if you aren’t required to be in any meetings, you can spend less time getting ready. Your hair dryer alone uses 1440 watts of power. In comparison, your computer only uses around 92.
Prep Your Meals
Meal prep not only saves you time and money, but it’s also energy efficient. Cutting down on the amount of time you use the oven saves electricity, and can lead to a lower energy bill. By planning meals in advance, you’ll have enough food for the week and use less power.
Unplug Unnecessary Devices
Devices and appliances that are always plugged in use more power than we may think. Household electronics account for 25% of total energy usage in the average American household. Televisions, stereos, microwaves and air conditioners continue to draw power when they’re off. To save energy, only plug in necessary devices during the day and leave the rest unplugged.
Open the Windows
Depending on your local climate, opening the windows can be an excellent way to regulate temperature and purify stale indoor air. Inside air quality can be surprisingly unhealthy, where average Americans spend 90% of their lives. Weather- and temperature-dependent, opening the windows may be an easy way to see a lower electric bill.
Work More Efficiently
If your work schedule allows, boosting productivity may save you money. Unless you have a certain number of hours required in your daily schedule, increasing efficiency results in less time spent on the computer, which saves energy. If you rely on high-quality internet, working during certain hours may cut down on your electricity bills, too.
Use Energy Savers
Check out energy-saving apps, use sleep mode when possible and turn off devices when they’re not in use. Be aware that screensavers often use energy, and you may need to adjust some settings so that your computer powers off instead of continuing to drain energy.
Turn Down the Thermostat
Studies show you can save 6% of your energy bill by turning down the thermostat by one degree. If you live in an environment with different seasons, wear a warm sweater during the colder months and set up space fans during the hotter ones. If your work from home employment doesn’t require a dress code, dressing for your climate can be an easy way to save energy.
Air Dry Your Clothes
Air drying your clothes is a fantastic way to reduce energy use. If you work from home, you may have a little extra time to set up a new system.
Whether you opt for an outside clothesline or an indoor clothes rack, there are several options available to fit your needs. If you commit to only running the dryer for necessities, you may be surprised how much money you’ll save.
Run a Full Load of Laundry
On the topic of laundry, be efficient with each load. If you work from home, you’re probably less inclined to wash one pair of pants for an important networking event or a company meeting. Remote work may allow you more time to plan when you do laundry and structure your schedule accordingly. Running a full load not only reduces energy use but also saves water, making it eco-friendly.
Invest in a Smart Power Strip
If you have a home office setup, you may already use a power strip to connect all of your devices. Investing in a smart power strip that’s programmed to lower power based on usage might be a great idea to save energy that you don’t even realize you’re losing.
Making Remote Work Eco-Friendly
Working from home is a great way to save energy, lower transportation costs and reduce pollution. Taking a few extra steps towards decreasing energy use at home can save money on utility bills, too. With a few easy changes, you can lower your power usage without needing to make any major investments.