Computers and monitors come in a close second after lighting in terms of power consumption in the office space. Even at home, gaming computers in particular take up as much power annually as three refrigerators. Apart from placing a major dent on the electricity bill, this level of consumption takes a serious toll on our environment.
Fossil fuels are the main source of electric power globally, and also the major cause of global warming and acid rain due to air pollution. Renewable sources like hydropower, wind mills and solar energy also have a significant impact on our environment.
Seeing as electric energy comes from natural resources, it would be in the best interest for mankind to find ways to reduce consumption through optimization and thus minimize damage to the environment. Here are a few tips to help you cut down on your environmental footprint and make the world a much better place:
Make Good Use of Sleep and Hibernate Options
When not in use, computers continue to draw up almost as much energy as they would in use. You don’t have to shut down every time you need to take a break, but by choosing sleep mode or hibernation options you cut power consumption to almost zero. When you get back to your PC you simply pick up from where you left off as your open programs won’t be lost.
Stop Using a Screen Saver
Contrary to what the name suggests, a screen saver does not reduce consumption even in the least. Therefore, it would be much better to completely switch to power-saving mode. This shuts down both the monitor and hard disk and after an extended period will even shut the computer down.
Adjust Computer Settings
The simplest adjustments to your computer’s settings help in optimizing its consumptions. Reduce the brightness to the lowest comfortable level and alter the energy settings to reduce on power usage. Reduce the wait period it takes during inactivity to put your PC to sleep.
Change Your Habits
Many laptop users keep them plugged in for as long as they are in use regardless of the battery charge levels. This translates to power wastage and also damages your laptop battery. Another harmful habit is leaving your computer on overnight to get updates or complete downloads. Choose software that can manage such activity intelligently, turning off the computer when the download or update is done.
Make Use of the Latest Technology
The older your computer is, the higher its power consumption. This is because the latest innovations make extensive use of technological advancements to optimize on performance with reduced consumption. For instance, a Solid State Drive (SSD) consumes a fraction of the power needed for a Hard Disk Drive (HDD). Consider either upgrading such parts or even getting a new computer as this is at times cheaper in the long run.
Separate Myths from Truth
There is a common misconception among IT “gurus” that the amount of power it takes to shut down a PC system and restart it from scratch is much higher than leaving it on. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it has been proven that a complete shut-down in effect extends the life of your computer’s hard disk and overall performance. Less stress is placed on the various components when the system is off and this enhances longevity.
These little things might make small contributions to your energy savings but they do add up in the long run. They help in conserving the environment and keeping your hardware in top shape for a longer time. Implement them today and enjoy the difference.
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