One of the perks of working from home is saving money on transportation and eating out. You can also have more time for yourself and your loved ones because you don’t have to waste precious hours battling through the daily traffic.
However, a home office can spike up your household’s electricity bill, especially during the summer months when the sweltering heat leaves you no choice but to turn on your airconditioner. Having said that, here are some home energy saving tips you can do to minimize your electric consumption:
How to Save Electricity at Home: 12 Home Energy Saving Tips
1. Unplug gadgets when not in use
Your plugged gadgets and appliances, even when not in use, still consume electricity. Standby electricity loss is often associated with electronics on idle mode. You can save as much as 15% on your electricity consumption when you unplug devices you're not using.
2. Work smarter hours
Another way you can save on your energy consumption while working from home is by cutting down the hours you’re on the computer. Instead of surfing the web every so often, organize your tasks and maximize your workday productivity. If you can complete your work in seven hours instead of eight, you can get off of your computer a bit earlier and save an hour of energy consumption. This is one of the top home energy saving tips for freelancers and for those who spend a lot of time working from home.
3. Use a power strip
Aside from a laptop or a desktop computer, your home office set up may include a printer, a router, and a scanner that always needs to be plugged in. Using a power strip ensures that these electronics aren’t consuming energy when not in use. You can also turn off all of the devices plugged into the strip with just one button.
4. Change your light bulbs
Consider switching from incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs. LED bulbs can save energy by up to 85% compared with incandescent bulbs, and up to 20% compared with compact fluorescent lamps. You can put these in the most used light fixtures in your home to reduce energy consumption.
5. Check for air gaps
If you rely on an air conditioner to keep your house cool, you may be paying as much as PHP 6.27 per hour or around PHP 1,141 a month, if the appliance is used for nine hours a day. The cost may be higher if your house has air gaps or areas where the air can escape like an open window.
To save on electricity at home, check for air gaps. Make sure your home is well-insulated. If your home office is the only place that needs air conditioning, make sure to close the door so that the air won’t escape.
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6. Consider painting your walls
Another energy saving tip you can try is painting your walls with lighter colors which can reduce heat absorption. Dark colors can absorb 70 to 90% of the sun’s radiance and can be then transferred into your home. On the other hand, light-colored paints can help reflect the heat away from your abode.
7. Turn on your computer’s energy saving features
A computer is the most important device you should have when working from home. However, it is also one of the electronics that consumes the most energy in your household. You can save electricity at home by turning on its built-in energy saving options.
8. Take advantage of natural lighting
Aside from reducing your energy consumption, natural light can boost your mood and productivity. Open your curtains or blinds even if it doesn’t get direct sunlight. If you’re using a laptop, move to a spot with the strongest natural light so you don’t need to turn on the lights or use a desk lamp.
9. Mind the kitchen
It’s likely you’ll be consuming more energy to cook meals when working from home. You can save on your electricity consumption by using the correct cookware on your stovetops and keeping the cover on to retain the heat which helps cook your meal faster. Additionally, you can defrost frozen food in the refrigerator ahead of time instead of using the microwave to defrost.
10. Invest in smarter home office equipment
Instead of getting a cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor for your home office, go for a flat-panel liquid crystal (LCD) monitor. The latter consumes about 43 watts less than a CRT monitor. Alternatively, you can opt for a laptop instead of a PC as laptops use considerably less energy than desktop computers.
Read more: 10 Power Saving Tips for The Summer
11. Insulate your ceiling or roof
Working during hot days in the Philippines can be gruesome, with the temperature rising up to 42 °C. You may also find that your electricity consumption is higher than usual as it takes a lot more energy to keep your house cool, especially if your roof isn’t properly insulated. Consider having your insulation fixed by a professional to reduce your home’s heat retention; otherwise, you may end up trapping the heat instead. Take note of these two home energy saving tips.
12. Clean your appliances
Your air conditioners and fans use more energy when they have a fair amount of dirt caked onto them and can even cost you an extra 10% annually on your electric bill. In the case of air conditioners, this can cause damage to the unit itself. Fans run slower the dirtier they are. The coils behind your refrigerator also allow it to run better when cleaned.
Working from home gives you more time to bond with your family and do the things you love. While this new setup may rack up your electric bill, you can make a few tweaks to minimize the increase without sacrificing your productivity and comfort. Take note of these home energy saving tips for a lower electricity bill.
-  Should I unplug my appliances and, if so, will I save money on my electric bill? (MNN, 2019)
-  Switch your bulbs to LED, save electricity: company (Basilan, 2015)
-  Meralco Orange Tag Appliances