by Gloria Jones
(Miami Beach, Florida, USA)
Working from home brings a lot benefits. It saves you from commute and dressing up everyday, it gives you tine for that extra minutes of sleep and it lets you work from your most convenient hours. But working from home it may also increase your energy bills - unless you carefully choose your office equipment and do some energy saving measures.
Buy energy efficient office equipment – computers, fax machines, scanners, printers, monitors and multifunction devices (scanner, copier, fax). Some ENERGY STAR office equipment can save as much as 90% of the standard energy consumption.
Most ENERGY STAR office equipments consume 50% less energy than standard ones. Aside from energy saving advantage, some office equipments reduce electromagnetic field emissions (for monitors), air-conditioning loads, and noise from transformers and fans.
An ENERGY STAR computer is 70% more energy efficient than computers without this designation. When left inactive, this computer shifts into a low-power mode, which only uses 15 watts of power or less.
Some office equipments that do not have to be turned on all the time should be shut down and unplugged because they still draw power when turned off.
Unplugging unused electronic devices is not limited to office equipments; unplug your television, VCRs, stereos, microwave oven, electric stove and other appliances when not in use.
Do not leave other appliances turned on while working. Avoid leaving unused appliances on "standby" mode.
Turn off the computer monitor if you are going for a break. Manually turn off your computer if you are leaving for an hour or more. Avoid using screensavers because they consume the same amount of energy as with normal computer use. Activating the computer's sleep mode is also a better way to save energy.
Do not believe that office equipment should always be turned on because it will last longer. Practicing this belief may only result to higher electric bill.
On your next upgrade, consider buying a laptop as a computer replacement as they consume less energy than desktop computers.
When the battery chargers are not in use or if the batteries are fully charged, unplug the charger immediately.
Set up your home office where you can utilize the natural light to minimize the use of lamps and room lights.
If you are working at night, prefer task lights that consume less energy instead of using room lights. Close the drapes and shades of the windows to keep cold air out and save energy on heating the room.
If you are alone in the house, make sure that you lock all the doors and windows before working.
Set the thermostat of your cooling or heating system to a comfortable level. A digital thermostat can provide better electricity savings. Work where you can reduce the use of heating or cooling system and lights. Prefer a small room as an office rather than the entire living area. Always maintain your air conditioning system clean.
Make energy saving improvements to your home. Home energy saving improvements like insulation, repairing of crack and holes (on the windows, walls, ceiling, floors, attic and basement) and switching to compact fluorescent bulbs can bring down your electric bills.
Not only that, if you are planning to sell your home, making your home energy efficient is a good strategy.
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