Putting together a weather appropriate outfit may cost you fashion acclaim but could result in energy savings. There are also other benefits of dressing warm in the winter — there’s comfort and overall health.

Though it may sound more primal to focus on insulating your body over your working space — it can really be a more energy-efficient approach to winter.

“Because of its excellent insulating properties, modern thermal underclothing makes it possible to burn the heating at much lower temperatures without sacrificing comfort or sex appeal,” reports Low-Tech Magazine, “The potential energy savings are huge and the costs are almost nil.”

The benefits of having a cooler office

According to Direct Energy, just by putting on a sweater and lowering your thermostat by 2 degrees Celsius — you could be saving as much as 4 per cent on your heating bill.

While ideal temperatures vary from person to person, dressing to accommodate your own preference only makes sense. If the office is consistently set to a lower temperature, people will adjust and the environment, though less toasty, will be more energy-efficient!

In fact, studies have shown that lower temperatures in offices actually lead to higher productivity levels in workers (people do poorly when they’re way too hot). Of course, extremes are excluded in this point as no one wants to work in a freezing office either.

According to About.com, research has suggested 71.5 degrees F (21.9 degree Celsius) to be the optimal temperature for the highest productivity levels.

Back to saving energy with clothing

While it’s been proven that heated-clothing can consume more energy outdoors, apparently it can be used as a strategy indoors.

“A fully heated wardrobe — pants, socks, underclothing, shirt and vest — has an energy output of 100 watts maximum,” reports Low-Tech.

If sporting heated-clothing really isn’t your thing, layering clothing is simple and effective. It sounds pretty old school and like something that would come out of a grandfather’s mouth — but that extra layer of long underwear really does wonders. And, let’s be honest, a warm sweater is always in during the winter.

There seems to be a trend with personal comfort systems

Targeting the individual’s ideal temperature can certainly be more energy-efficient than trying to please a majority in a larger space. People will always have their own idea of what the perfect temperature is — but your heating and cooling costs shouldn’t have to break the bank to accommodate a small percentage.

It’s true; we did cover Personal Comfort Systems earlier this fall. Even the folks at UC Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment are on board with targeting the individual instead of a working space. Those low-wattage space heaters are pretty brilliant.

For those making the effort to reduce energy consumption, there are incentives.


Image credit: hilary