There are several steps you can take to optimize energy efficiency in your home office. Cutting power, lighting, heating and cooling consumption will not only save energy, but it will also reduce the utility bill in your home. Check out these energy-saving ideas you can implement in your home office today.
Use a Power Strip for Computers and Office Equipment
Power strips bearing multiple outlets are great for powering up your computer, printer and other pieces of equipment. They are not only convenient, but they can also help you save time and energy because you can turn off all your devices at once instead of hitting individual power switches or opting to leave them in standby mode, which still uses energy. Per ENERGY STAR®, U.S. households spend about $100 per year to power devices in low power mode. Turning off all devices via the power strip eliminates standby energy consumption. Find discounted power strips and more energy efficient products at the DTE Energy Marketplace.
Use Power Management on Your PC
You can program your PC to go into energy-saving low power modes when you take routine breaks or during non-office hours. These power management features are included in Mac and Windows platforms. Software companies also offer power management setup programs, such as Edison.
Use Energy-Saving Light Bulbs and Turn Off Lights
Office lighting uses a lot of energy because office lights can burn for hours at a time. Make sure to use energy efficient light bulbs in office desk lamps and ceiling fixtures. ENERGY STAR certified lamps, fixtures and bulbs use less energy, as do Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights. LEDs can be used in virtually any fixture and are the most energy-efficient and long-lasting bulb out there. Although the initial cost is higher, its average 25-year lifespan and low energy use makes it the least expensive option over a course of 10 years. LED bulbs don’t need time to warm up, don’t produce excess heat, and are available in a variety of hues, sizes and styles. Finally, always remember to turn the lights off when you leave the office or when lights are not needed.
Use All-In-One Printers
Using one device to perform several different functions will help cut energy use and costs. For example, if you use an all-in-one printer, it will double as a copier, fax and scanner. You’ll only have to plug in one device instead of three or four, and only one device will be in standby when it is powered on. ENERGY STAR-certified office equipment saves energy because it uses less energy to perform regular tasks, and when not in use, automatically enters a low-power mode.
Lower Your Thermostat During the Day
Consider installing a programmable thermostat and set it to the recommended temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit for summer and 68 degrees Fahrenheit for winter during occupied times. With proper use throughout the year, programmable thermostats can save you about $180 annually in energy costs.
Use Ceiling Fans and Layer Up
Dialing up the thermostat by only two degrees and using a ceiling fan can lower air conditioning costs by up to 14% over the course of the cooling season. Just remember ceiling fans cool people not spaces, so remember to turn it off when you leave the room. As the temperatures start to fall in the heating season, lower thermostat settings and layer up with a sweater to keep you warm and comfortable.
For more information on how to save on your small business energy costs, visit dteenergy.com/savenow.
For more tips and inspiration for small business owners, visit Small Business Pulse Detroit.