How to save energy when working from home
A great many of us are either working or staying at home right now. As a result, we’re using more energy around the house.
Heating, lighting, cooking, charging gadgets and using radios, computers and televisions more – all these things add up.
The time we’d usually spend at work or out and about is now spent indoors, often using energy of some kind. But there are ways we can try and reduce our energy consumption. Read on and find out how to save energy when working from home.
How to save energy when working from home… using your devices
TIP 1: Unplug chargers when not in use
Many of us use our laptops most of the day to work from, or for personal use. We can’t avoid charging them more, but we can always unplug the chargers after use. Laptop chargers waste energy while sat idle – the same goes for phones chargers and other devices.
TIP 2: Don’t leave anything on stand-by
Electronics on standby use lots of energy. TVs, set-top boxes, game consoles and computer screens are examples of household items that silently run up your bill on standby. It’s good to get in the habit of switching everything off once you’re done with it, even if you’re going to use it later in the day.
TIP 3: Monitor screen time
If you’re working on your laptop and phone all day, you could set aside hours over lunch and the evenings where you cut out screen time. This is not only good for reducing your energy consumption but is better for your eyes and concentration too.
TIP 4: Switch things off and down
Easy small changes to save energy include reducing the volume on your radios and speakers, and the brightness on your laptop. Consider the things you have on in the background – are you listening to the radio in the kitchen? Does the TV need to be on in the background? These are small things to be conscious of, but they add up over time.
How to save energy when working from home… and staying warm
TIP 5: Let in natural heat
We’re having a lovely spring right now, but the temperature isn’t always high. Rather than reaching for the heating straight away, open all the curtains and blinds and try work near a window. Sunlight is the ideal way to warm a room up fast – and is totally free.
TIP 6: Get moving when you can
Another way to avoid switching the heating on is to make sure you’re moving around enough. Short burst of light exercise, stretching or even walking to the kitchen to make a brew are easy ways to warm your muscles and feel the benefit of your body’s natural heat.
TIP 7: Have layers handy
If tips 3 and 4 fail, stick on another jumper, slippers and a knee blanket. Once the morning chill has passed, you’ll be nice and warm and won’t have had to rely on your central heating. The upside of not being in the office is no one can judge what you’re wearing while you work.
How to save energy when working from home… in the kitchen
TIP 8: Don’t overfill and re-boil the kettle
We’re all guilty of starting to make a hot drink, getting distracted, remembering and re-boiling the water. Many of us automatically fill the kettle whenever we use it too. These everyday habits are slow drains on your electricity. Try and kick them while you’re working at home. Small changes like this add up eventually.
TIP 9: Defrost food and leftovers on the side
If you’re cooking something from frozen or reheating leftovers from the fridge, take them out several hours before to thaw on the side. Leaving them to get to room temperate drastically cuts down the time and energy expended heating them up.
TIP 10: Fridge and freezer overhauls
Is your freezer compacted with ice? Now is the ideal time to tackle defrosting and clearing it. Once you’ve done this, you can repack it efficiently. The same goes for your fridge – the better packed it is, the less electricity it wastes.
If you can find what you’re looking for more quickly, you leave the door open for less time. The fridge-freezer is one of the biggest consumers of electricity in the home, so it’s worth keeping on top of.
Are you clued up on the biggest household energy users? Read this blog to see if your right: Revealed: the hidden energy wasters in your home.
TIP 11: Cook in batches
We’re all preparing more meals at home than usual. To limit the number of times you’re using the hob and oven, it’s a good idea to cook in batches. For instance, you could cook lunch for three days in one go and save the portions in the fridge.
TIP 12: Use the right pans
Pick a pan size relative to what you’re cooking and keep the lids on where possible, as this conserves heat. If you have a steamer, steam vegetables on top of other pans, rather than using a separate hob ring.
How to save energy when working from home… and keeping clean
TIP 13: Air dry laundry
Now is the perfect time to make the most of spring sunshine and breezes, drying laundry on the line or drying rack, rather than using a tumble dryer. Tumble dryers are expensive to run and damage the fibres of clothes and linen over time.
TIP 14: Time your showers
Put an egg timer or digital clock near your shower. This will make you aware how long you’re taking in the shower and should encourage you to cut it down if possible.
TIP 15: Let steam out the windows
We’re used to having the fan running during and after showering to let steam escape and prevent mildew. Now we’re at home, it’s possible to leave the windows open while using the bathroom and afterwards to let out the steam. In daylight, this saves you having to switch the fan or light on at all.
Hopefully we’ve provided some useful ideas for how to save energy when working from home. We hope you’re staying safe and finding time to relax!
Are you looking for ideas to keep busy during this time? Check out this blog: 17 Easy DIY projects to give a go at home