Tips to Save on Energy Costs During Winter

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During the winter season, the largest home office expense is usually the energy bill. This annual rise in overhead expenses directly affects you, the home office worker, by throwing your office budget off-track and ultimately slashing into your profit margin. Fortunately, there are several simple and inexpensive ways to cut those energy bills down to size.

A programmable thermostat is an efficient and inexpensive way to regulate the temperature in your home office. Lowering the temperature when your office is not in use can dramatically cut heating costs. Programmable thermostats can be picked up at any hardware store and the connection wires are color-coded which makes installation a breeze. Program the thermostat to warm up the room before your normal work hours and lower it when you are not in the office.

Check the heating vents every six months. Heating vents can quickly become clogged with all sorts of debris, dust and pet hair. Vacuuming the vents regularly ensures that heat that the furnace is pushing out is actually getting into your office. Also check for vents that may have been blocked by file cabinets, boxes or office furniture.

Put those drapes & blinds to work. Open the drapes and blinds when the sun is on that side of the house. Sunlight can significantly raise the temperature in a room and is a natural light source. Close the drapes and blinds when the sun has moved to the other side of the house; thick drapes can be extra insulation and help keep the cold air from seeping in through the windows.

Heat rises, so consider installing a ceiling fan. Having a ceiling fan on low can lower heating bills by distributing the warm air throughout the room, which means less work for the furnace.

Look for the energy vampires that lurk in your office and unplug any electrical appliances that are not in use. Office machines, battery chargers and other appliances can consume energy even they are in stand-by mode. These energy suckers may not use a lot of energy by themselves, but its estimated that combined they cost the average consumer a couple of hundred dollars every year.

Caulk windows and weather-strip doors throughout the whole house but in the office also check for holes that may have been drilled through the floor or outer walls for Internet and phone cables. Work the caulk in and around the cables to block the cold air coming in from the basement or outside.

Switch from regular light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs; they have a significantly longer life, use less energy and provide the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs.