Businesses everywhere are striving to become more eco-friendly, including freelancers, solopreneurs and small businesses that operate out of the home. If you work from a home office, it is important to implement energy-saving features and practices in your domestic working environment to help lower energy usage and reduce your business’s carbon footprint.
If you’re serious about reducing the energy consumption of your residential office, check out the following home office, energy-saving trends for 2018.
Use Electricity Monitors to Detect Unnecessary Energy
Part of the drive toward a more eco-friendly home office is trying to figure out which of your home office technology is consuming the greatest amount of energy — and then hopefully make the needed adjustments.
One easy way to do this is with a device like Constellation’s Electricity Monitor, part of the company’s free energy-savings kit, a component of Constellation’s Energy Savings Kit Program, which is an effort to help small businesses make the best energy decisions.
Simply plug the Electricity Monitor in, and it will identify how much electricity from your home office is being used for different devices, such as printers, laptop, etc.
Use Smart Chargers To Cut Power When Devices Are Charged
Everyone’s guilty of it, keeping devices plugged in when they’re fully charged. This habit can use unnecessary power. To solve this problem, use a gadget like the Smart Charger, also from Constellation’s Energy Savings Kit. This innovative plug allows you to cut off power to a device after a specific period of time, which means you won’t be using power in the office when you don’t need to.
Use Dimmer Switches in the Home Office
Another home office energy-saving trend for 2018 is to install dimmers in your work environment. Dimmers use a switch circuitry system known as TRIAC, which turns the lights on and off up to 120 times every second, and, by doing so, decreases the wattage and energy output.
Use Smart Power Strips to Get Rid of Vampires
The costly and wasteful ‘vampire power’ that uses energy even when electrical devices are switched off will be no more in the energy savviest of home offices in 2018. This is thanks to Smart Power Strips, which power off peripheral devices like monitors and printers when you shutdown your computer.
Install Energy-Efficient Toilets
Here’s something you may not have thought about. You can forget about ‘regular’ toilets next year, if you’re serious about saving energy, that is. Installing energy-efficient toilets will lower costs by using considerably less water. These eco-friendly toilets only use around 1.28 gallons of water per flush compared to ‘traditional’ toilets which can use anything from 1.6 to 7 gallons per flush.
Monitor Temperature, Humidity, Air Quality from Mobile Device
The temperature, humidity and air quality of a home office can have a direct impact on how much energy is consumed. Devices like Constellation’s Canary Security Device from the company’s Energy Savings Kit, monitor your home office’s temperature, humidity, and air quality, from the convenience of your smartphone.
Switch to Energy-Efficient Lighting Fixtures
Another aspect of making a home office more energy efficient that should not go overlooked during 2018 is finding the best types of energy-efficient lighting fixtures for your domestic working environment.
Energy-efficient lighting need not come at the expense of the style and aesthetic appeal of your home office. Get creative with your drive to swap energy-sapping lighting with eco-friendly alternatives by combining task lighting and ambiance for a more stylish and atmospheric look.
Some of the most effective energy-saving lighting feature LED or CFL technology. LED bulbs are typically long and thin, whereas CFL bulbs are the ‘curly’ type. Either way, both are designed to reduce energy consumption. As LED lights emit light in a certain direction, they can be a great choice for home offices which require ample lighting in specific areas such as a desk or a worktop.
Deploy Motion Sensors in your Home Office
When you’re not in the home office, why waste money by keeping the lights on? Motion-sensor lights eliminate the costs caused when lights are left on unnecessarily. They automatically turn them off in rooms that are unoccupied. Consequently, having motion-sensor lights installed in the home office is an effective way to reduce energy consumption and bring down the cost of energy bills.
Use Time Switches
Similar to dimmers and motion-sensors, time switches are designed to reduce energy consumption and can be deemed a ‘must have’ energy-saving feature in home offices everywhere.
A time switch is a simple device that is positioned between a plug and an outlet. The time switch will turn off the appliance it is switched into for a specified period. One of the principle uses of a time switch is to ensure appliances are not left switched on by mistake, thereby using redundant energy.
These energy-saving devices can be particularly useful in a home office as they can be set to turn off appliances like heaters or computers for durations when they are not required.
Don’t Forget Weather stripping
According to the Department of Energy, filling in gaps and leaks in a building can make your property up to 20 percent more energy efficient.
If you’ve yet to ‘weather strip’ your home office, now’s the time to do so. Weather stripping involves checking your home office for gaps in doors, windows and walls and, if leaks and gaps are detected, filling them in.
Weather stripping comes in several different forms, ranging from tension-seal weather stripping, which uses strips of aluminum, vinyl or stainless steel to fill in gaps, to felt weather stripping, foam weather stripping, door shoe and door sweep weather stripping and ‘frost-brake’ weather stripping.
All these different types of weather stripping have one common aim — to fill in gaps that are letting cold air into your home office during the winter and warm air during the summer. Ultimately these gaps result in your home office placing higher demands on energy consumption.
By following some or, preferably, all of these energy-saving trends in your home office in 2018, you will have peace of mind that your small business is ‘doing its bit’ for the environment, while saving you money on energy bills.
For more on energy-saving tips for your small business, visit the Constellation website.