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Seven Tips To Create An Energy-Efficient Home Office

Kimberly Hutchings
April 2, 2024

In a post-pandemic world, working from home is the new normal for many of us, and whether you've got a hybrid set-up where you're in the office a few days a week or a fully remote role where work and home life blend into one, optimizing your home office set-up is likely top of mind.

Is there enough light? The right equipment? Enough storage?

Is it draining our electricity or saving it? For most of us, the hope is the latter, and the good news is that creating a home office that prioritizes energy efficiency doesn't have to mean extensive renovations.

In fact, here are seven tips to create an energy-friendly home office that you can start implementing today.

1. Make the switch to LEDs.

Our first tip is one of our favorites because it's also one of the easiest to execute!

Make the switch from traditional incandescent light bulbs to LEDs.

LED light bulbs have a lifespan of roughly 25,000 hours, which is 50 times longer than their incandescent counterparts!

On top of this longer lifespan (see you later, frequent replacements!), LEDs consume 75 percent less energy than traditional bulbs. It's a savings that can equate to an average of $225 annually when you swap over all of the bulbs in your home — and the home office is a great place to start!

OUR PICK: Opt for smart LED bulbs (like the Philips Hue LED Smart Bulb) to gain added control over lighting styles, schedule lights to automatically switch off when your work day is complete, and control your lighting with Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant.

PRO TIP! Try to prioritize your office layout in a way that maximizes natural light! Not only does natural light boost vitamin D and ward off seasonal depression, but it also means you're less likely to need indoor lighting during daylight hours!

2. Get *smart* about energy vampires with a smart power strip.

Power strips can be a great way to gain extra outlets in a home office — but they're also an energy vampire's dream come true! Often, devices that are left plugged in 24/7 will continue to drain power, even when they're just in standby mode. This means your printer, computer, and other office devices continue to rack up your energy bill even after you clock out for the day.

The good news is that a smart power strip can help! These devices have added functionality that can monitor and detect when connected devices enter sleep mode, automatically cutting off electricity until you turn them on again, helping you to eliminate wasted energy.

For a home office, we recommend opting for a master-controlled smart power strip, where you choose one primary device (like a computer) for the main outlet and plug other devices like your printer, phone charger, and desk lamp into the others. When the primary device is off or enters standby mode, the power strip automatically cuts power to the entire strip, turning off the other devices in the process!

3. Regulate temperature with efficiency in mind.

A comfortable temperature is critical to workplace productivity, and for most people, working from home means more money spent on heating and cooling.

Fortunately, you can take a few steps to help manage your home office temperature so that you're maximizing comfort *and* efficiency all in one go.

Consider the following:

Window Coverings: Well-insulated window coverings like curtains or cellular shades can work wonders at preserving room temperature. Over 75 percent of the sunlight that hits your windows is turned into heat, so drawing the shades in the summer can help keep your space cool. In the winter? Do the opposite! Throw open those curtains and let the sunlight shine in, soaking up that extra heat!

Invest In A Space Heater: During the winter months, if you need some extra warmth in your space, consider investing in a space heater before cranking up that thermostat. Heating the room directly wastes less energy than heating the entire house, and you don't have to compromise on cozy comfort! The same argument can also be made for portable fans during the summer months!

Dress Accordingly: No, no, we don't mean business casual! What we mean is, dress for the season you're in and make sure your outfit will keep you optimally comfortable during the workday! Consider wearing a sweater or using a throw blanket for extra warmth during colder months instead of turning up the heat. In warmer seasons, dial back your layers to keep extra cool!

4. Invest in a standing desk with a hand crank.

The benefits of a standing desk are numerous, and here at OhmConnect, we're big fans! They can help with posture, give you an extra energy boost, improve your focus, and help support good circulation — but electric models aren't always the best choice for energy efficiency.

Instead? Opt for one with a hand crank! These desks can be raised or lowered using a manual crank at the side of the desk, giving you all the benefits of a standing desk without the energy drawbacks!

OUR PICK: The Ergotron LearnFit Mobile Standing Desk has a comfortable workspace, wheels for mobility, and the option to adjust its height with an ergonomic mechanism that can support up to fifteen pounds. Plus, it has a cup holder, backpack hook, and pencil tray to keep all of your necessities close at hand!

5. Show your laptop some love.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), your laptop consumes five times less power than your desktop computer. Try to work from your laptop instead of using your desktop monitors to reduce energy use. Plus, you'll have the bonus of being mobile, so you can take that 3:00 pm meeting from your sunny back garden if you want to!

6. Look for the ENERGY STAR certification.

When it comes to electronics, opt to invest in devices with the ENERGY STAR stamp of approval. These products are designed to work the same, if not better, than their standard counterparts with the added incentive of being more energy-efficient.

Computers, monitors, imaging equipment (like photocopiers and printers), televisions, A/V equipment, and tablets are all part of the ENERGY STAR database, making it easy to assess which models check the box for energy efficiency.

You can browse the ENERGY STAR database by clicking here.

7. Consider your settings!

Depending on your budget, investing in new office tech might not be an option, and we're always big advocates for using what you have before buying new! So here are a few ways you can tweak the settings on your current equipment to maximize home office efficiency.

Ditch The Screensaver: Photo screensavers can be fun, but they're not the most energy-efficient option for your computer's standby mode. They’re also no longer technically necessary because newer monitors don’t work the same way or need the same ‘screen saver’ technology to maintain quality. Instead, ditch the colorful backdrop and opt for a blank screen to save a little extra energy!

Schedule Sleep Mode: Try to minimize the time your computer has to wait before it enters sleep mode. This standby setting draws significantly less energy than when your device is active, so letting your computer sleep after around 15 minutes of inactivity is a good rule of thumb!

Dim Your Screen: The brighter your screen is, the more energy it's consuming — dimming your brightness, even just by 20-30 percent, can help you save a little extra energy!

Your home office may only be one room in your home, but it's an important one, especially when you consider that the average person spends one-third of their life at work.

Taking the steps to make these spaces energy-efficient can have a significant impact, both on the planet and on your wallet in the long term. It's all about small steps to a larger outcome, and we hope that these tips have inspired you to continue transforming your space with energy in mind!

Editor’s note: If you make a purchase through our affiliate partner links, we may receive a commission. This does not impact the recommendations we make.

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