Energy Efficient Computer Practices
Do you always leave your computer running? A common belief is that equipment will last longer if it is never turned off. Due to advances in technology, this is not the case. Most personal computers actually reach the end of their useful life long before the effects of being switched on and off will have a negative impact on their service life.
When Should You Turn Your Computer Off?
For energy savings, it is best to turn the monitor off if you will be away from your PC for more than 20 minutes. Turn both the monitor and computer off if you will not be using it for more than two hours. Though there is a small surge in energy when a computer starts up, this amount is still less than the energy used when a computer is running for long periods of time.
Screen Savers Do Not Save Energy
Screen savers are not energy savers. In fact, using a screen saver can actually use more energy than not using one at all! Certain graphics-intensive screen savers can cause the computer to burn twice as much energy. Additionally, the power-down feature may not work if you have a screen saver activated. Modern LCD color monitors do not need screen savers. When your computer monitor is not active, let it switch to sleep mode or turn the monitor off.
Activate Power Management Features
Instead of using a screen saver, activate the sleep mode or power management features on your computer. Power management features allow monitors and computers to enter a low-power sleep mode after a designated period of inactivity, reducing energy consumption. The computer is awakened in a matter of seconds by simply hitting a key on the keyboard or moving the mouse. Equipment that is set to automatically switch to sleep mode uses less energy, saving up to $50 per year in energy costs. The equipment will also run cooler, helping it to last longer and saving you money on air conditioning. Learn how to activate the power management features on your computer.
Energy Efficient Alternatives
Next time you are purchasing a new computer, consider shopping for an ENERGY STAR certified model. ENERGY STAR computers can use up to 65 percent less energy than computers without this designation. Consider purchasing a laptop, which uses much less energy than desktop computers.