Six Handy Tips to Help Young Entrepreneurs Create an Energy-Efficient Home Office

By John Rose, September 14, 2015, Careers/Jobs, Energy Efficiency

Six Handy Tips to Help Young Entrepreneurs Create an Energy-Efficient Home OfficeWorking from home as a budding entrepreneur is the ultimate in freedom. You dictate the flow of your day, work in your pajamas, and you simply can’t beat the commute!

But when you move from a typical office environment to your new, cozier home office, one thing becomes clear: you’re now footing the bill for your office overhead. Among the key expenses once covered by your employer (Hello, sticky notes and pens!), you’re responsible for all of the electricity you use during the workday. Fear not – there are some really simple ways to cut your energy bill while working hard in your bathrobe.

1) Trade Out Those Light Bulbs

Simply telling you to swap out your old incandescent light bulbs for more efficient options is so 2013, but then again so are CFL bulbs. Over the past year, the cost of extremely efficient LED bulbs has dropped dramatically (I recently purchased LED bulbs on sale for $4.60 each), so it is time to ditch the CFL’s. The best part, LED bulbs last so long that you’ll upgrade your smart phone several times before replacing one of these.

2) Check Your Lighting

Even with energy efficient bulbs, you’re still running up your power bill lighting the room where you work, so what else can you do to save money? For starters, pick up a couple of accent mirrors and place them around the room. They will help to magnify the existing light and make your office seem both larger and brighter without running all the lights all the time.

3) Use Those Windows

Another way to save money is to make use of natural light. If possible, move your desk to a window.  If you want to avoid glare on your screen, face outward and enjoy the view! Also, consider installing a solar light tube or a skylight, as they make great aesthetic additions to your home.

Six Handy Tips to Help Young Entrepreneurs Create an Energy-Efficient Home Office4) Ceiling Fans are Your Friend

Heating and cooling also drive up the cost of a home office. Many new thermostat solutions automatically turn down your heating and cooling when you’re not home during the day, but that  smart bit of technology won’t help you much. If you have a ceiling fan, using it on a low setting can give you a gentle, soothing breeze during the summer, and switching it to winter mode during the cooler months will recirculate the warm air resting at your ceiling, helping you to minimize your use of the furnace.

5) Turn It Off!

Another way to save energy is take a good look at the electronics that you use. Start by turning off what you are not using frequently. I have only recently broken my habit of turning on the printer every time I sit down at my computer – whether I’m going to print something or not. Next, make the most of the power-saving features available in most modern office equipment, including your computer, printer, and associated hardware. And when it’s time to replace your electronics, make sure that energy efficiency is at the top of the list of desired features.

Six Handy Tips to Help Young Entrepreneurs Create an Energy-Efficient Home Office6) Use Power Strips

Most consumer and office electronics use power even when they aren’t turned on – yes, even on sleep mode. Sure, there are things you’ll never power down when you leave the office – your router, for instance – but for everything else, switch them off when the day is done or you leave for an appointment. Also, if you’re easily distracted like me, it helps to put your entertainment system on a power strip. Simply turning off the entire strip during the day saves me energy and dissuades me from taking those little TV breaks when I should be working.

One great power strip to help you get into the swing of things is the Belkin Conserve Switch. With a remote control switch, it’s easy to power down from the convenience of your workspace, rather than crawling behind your desk each time you want to leave. And this fantastic device lets you control a few outlets independently of the others, allowing you to keep a couple on while the other are turned off. Talk about energy efficiency in action!

What recommendations do you have for improving your energy efficiency in the home office? Share your favorite ideas and products in the comments!

 

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