Saving Energy In Your Home Office

Lights on, computer humming, A/C droning? How to beat the high cost of home-office electricity

Working from home cuts some costs, like dry cleaning, gas forcommuting and office rent. But powering up the home office can puta drain on your monthly electricity bills, unless you'rekilowatt-wise.

Here are some tips for conserving energy-and stayingcomfortable-in your home office:

  • Purchase computers, printers and other equipment with the"Energy Star" high-efficiency logo. Make sure theyfeature a sleep mode when not in use. All-in-one machines draw lesselectricity than separate units for the same functions.
  • Turn off equipment when leaving the office for longperiods. Use a surge protector and uninterrupted power supplyto protect expensive equipment-and work-from power spikes orlosses. Even a momentary "brown out" can erase hours ofunsaved work. It's a good practice to supplement an automaticbackup with a hard save every few minutes.
  • Don't overload individual outlets with too manyappliances. Rearrange the office if necessary to find moreoutlets for your office equipment.
  • Set the thermostat at 78 degrees on warm days and useceiling fans to cool your home office. Similarly, on cold days,set the thermostat at 66 and reverse the spin so the fan forceswarmer air off the ceiling. Insulate attics and walls to providegreater savings.
  • Replace incandescent and halogen lamps with fluorescentlighting, dust off dirty bulbs and turn off lights when you leavethe room. Use sunlight to illuminate the office and windowshades to block direct sunlight and insulate against heating orcooling loss. Also, plant foliage outside windows to provideshade-and shield expensive office equipment from the view ofoutsiders. Money saved on power goes directly toward your bottomline-so power down and save.

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