There’s plenty we can do to keep our home energy costs down when working from home. With a small tweak in habits and by using our top 8 energy-saving tips, you can have a cosy workspace while keeping your energy bill at a minimum.
1 - Turn down your thermostat. If you turn the thermostat down by just one degree, you can reduce your heating bill by 10%. The thermostat for your living/working area should be set at 18-20°C, while hallways and bedrooms can be cooler, ideally between 15-18°C.
2 - Invest in a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat gives you greater control over your heating system, tracks your energy usage – which is very useful when working from home – and lets you control your heating remotely via phone or tablet.
3 - Plug out all appliances when not in use. Pay particular attention to computers and printers. Even in standby mode devices from TVs to toasters are using 20% of the energy they would consume if they were switched on.
4 - Don’t fill the kettle. If you’re stopping work for a coffee break, only boil the kettle with as much water as you need. It’ll boil quicker and use less energy. A good rule of thumb for appliances is: if it makes things hot, then it uses a lot of electricity.
5 - Don’t heat empty rooms. turn your heating off 30 minutes before you finish work. radiators will keep your home warm for some time after the central heating is turned off Turn off or turn down radiators in other rooms. Set your heating to fit your new routine, making sure you’re not wasting energy needlessly throughout the day.
6 - Use radiator reflectors. If you put a reflector behind the radiator, it will reflect the radiator’s heat back into your workspace instead of letting it seep out through the wall. Radiator reflectors can be bought by the roll, are available in most hardware stores and can contribute to a 35% decrease in heat loss.
7 - Switch to LED lights. If you need electric lighting when working from home, switch to LED lights. They use about a fifth of the energy of halogen bulbs. They may be more expensive than halogen but will save you money in the long term. According to the SEAI, switching a single 42-watt halogen bulb to a 9-watt LED, will save about €7 a year. And LEDs last up to 10 times longer. Where possible, make the most of natural light throughout the day.
8 - Tackle draughts. Now that you are spending more time at home, you might feel draughts you hadn’t noticed before. Cold air can come up through the floor and from around your skirting board. . Close the curtains in the evenings to keep heat in. Put a chimney balloon in an unused chimney to keep the draughts out and the heat in.