Empowering the Freelance Economy

Heat your home office for less

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The UK and much of Europe has had an unseasonably cold Spring so far. That means our central heating is still on and costing us. For anyone looking for ways to keep your workspace toasty without having the central heating blasting in unoccupied rooms, try these tips and product suggestions to cut your heating costs.

We thought we’d bring to your attention a portable heating product that we came across on Twitter this week, which is a favourite with the freelancer crowd: The RugBuddy, an under rug electric heating system. It’s portable and just needs an underlay cut to size. This is ‘area heating’ we are talking about, which is ideal when you want to heat one room, such as a home office, small shop, converted outbuilding or garden office. If you have an Airbnb property, this is also a money saver.

How much could the RugBuddy cut my home heating bill?

The RugBuddy’s founder, William Haseldine, claims the under rug heater only costs a few pence per hour to run. For example, a typical 125 x 160cm size is 250 Watts and costs 4p per hour. That’s 1/8th (12.5%) of the cost of running a fan heater. Some customers have reviewed the product and said it costs less than an electric oil-based heater.

With a larger sized RugBuddy under rug floor heater, Hasledine claims you could turn down your thermostat by as much as 3 degrees saving you on average £200 a year if the heater is used in rooms where you spend most of your time, affording you to turn down the central heating.

Can I expense it?

The purchase can be considered a business expense if it is being used where you predominately work, such as a home office, small business or shop. It is available in the UK, US, Canada and New Zealand and other markets, so contact them for shopping details or local distributors.

Tips to cut your home office heating bills (some are a bit wacky, but work)

  • Arrange your central heating times and check radiator gauges are not all on max in the house
  • Make sure the seals on all exterior doors do not have any gaps to let cold air in
  • Have your heating go on in your home office a good 10-15 minutes just before you start your work day to avoid getting a chill that you can’t shake for the rest of the day
  • Move your desk away from drafts. Place your desk in the centre of the room or near a radiator or space heater
  • Move your home office upstairs where heat rises
  • Keep the office door closed with a draft excluder and isolate heating to the room
  • Invest in thermal curtains and an under-desk rug
  • Layer up and always have a jumper, hoodie, scarf, or throw on the back of your chair to take away chills
  • Wear wool socks with slippers
  • Fingerless gloves (take off before that Zoom meeting though)
  • Encourage pet dogs and cats to snooze on your feet
  • Do jumping stars/jacks to warm up
  • Every six months do a cost comparison on energy suppliers
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