Friday, April 24, 2009

Saving Energy While Working from Home

There are many benefits that you can enjoy when you are working from home. You do not need to dress up and you do not waste your time for traveling. You also control your time and you can work on your most convenient hours. The bad thing about working from home is that it can increase your energy bills. Therefore, you need to be careful when choosing your equipment and do some simple energy saving measures.

If you need some office equipment, consider buying the energy efficient one. Computers, fax machines, scanners, printers, monitors, and other electrical appliances can increase your energy bills significantly. Buy ENERGY STAR office equipments which normally consume 50% less energy than the conventional ones. Sometimes you can save up to 90% of standard energy consumption. Some ENERGY STAR equipments also have better performances. They reduce electromagnetic field emissions, air conditioning loads, and noise from transformers and fans.

An ENERGY STAR computer uses 30% less energy than other computers without this designation. Furthermore, this computer will shift into a low-power mode that only uses 15 watts of power when inactive. When you are having a short break, turn off the computer monitor. If you are leaving your desk for more than half an hour, it is better to turn off your computer completely.

Do not use screensavers because they actually consume the same amount of energy as normal computer usage. It is better to activate the computer’s sleep mode instead rather than screensavers. Some people say that office equipments should always be turned on to make it last longer. This is only a myth. If you keep doing this, you will have to pay higher electric bills.

If you have enough budget, it is better to replace your desktop with a laptop because of its energy efficiency. Another strategy to save energy is to turn off all office equipments when they are not in used. They also need to be unplugged because they still use power when turned off. To save energy even further, unplugging electronic devises should not be limited to office equipments only. You also need to unplug your TV, stereo, VCR, microwave oven, and other appliances that are not in use.

Use natural light as much as possible to minimize the use of lamps and room lights. Arrange your room strategically to harness this natural light. If you tend to work at night, use task lights that use less energy instead of using room lights. You should close drapes and shades of the windows to keep the cold air out, thus you will save energy on heating the room.

Set the thermostat to a comfortable level. In general, a digital thermostat provides better electricity savings than the conventional one. Choose a suitable room for working that uses less heating or cooling system and lights. For instance, it is better to work in a small room rather than work in a huge living room area. Keep you air conditioning clean for better performance.

Other energy saving improvements that you can use are proper insulation, repairing cracks and holes, and changing incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs. These improvements are beneficial when you plan to sell your home because you will get better price for your home.

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