15 Energy efficiency tips for your computer

Today I want to share with you 15 Energy efficiency tips for your computer. These are some easy ways to save money on your electric bill and how to make life a bit easier.

Your computer system includes your computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, printers and any other peripherals it uses. All of these devices together can cost $300 per year or more in electric costs.  Of course, this is different with a laptop. Here are some smart ways to cut your computer system’s electricity usage:

  1. Turn off your computer overnight. Doing so saves energy and it protects you from hackers, at least during that time.
  2. It might not be convenient to turn it off, so consider using Sleep mode to save energy. Some reasons you might not want to turn it off are that you have a lot of work and a lot of related windows open. If you turn it off, you have to reopen everything tomorrow which could take a long time to get back to where you were. Another very good reason is that your anti-virus and back-up programs can run at night when you are not using it. These can be set to override sleep mode to run when needed.
  3. Turn off your monitor. Your monitor doesn’t need to be left on if your not using it. It has it’s own sleep mode or you can press the monitor’s power button. That won’t have any effect on Windows.
  4. Turn off your printer. Printers never need to be left turned on when not in use. Turning these off will save money and have no effect on Windows.
  5. USB devices If you’re not using a USB device, remove it from the PC.
  6. Gaming PCs should always be turned off when not in use as these computers are built with high-performance energy-eating components.
  7. Turn off your computer sound system. Some of the better quality sound systems use a considerable amount of power.
  8. Upgrade old mechanical hard drives to solid state drives. They are both faster and more efficient with power consumption.
  9. If you don’t game, chances are very slim that you need a graphics adapter. Graphics adapter cards use the most electricity of any computer component. The on-board graphics are more than sufficient for everyday use.
  10. Buy a new computer. The hardware in computers now is far more efficient than those even just a few years ago. This new hardware can also take better advantage of everything Windows has to offer.
  11. If you don’t need a powerful computer, consider using a laptop, All-in-One or a low-wattage mini-computer.
  12. Another option is to simply reduce the CPU power in the PC you have now. In the Windows Control Panel choose Power Options. Here you can choose a pre-made power plan or create your own to save power. It’s possible to cut your CPU use to a very small amount if you’re not using much of it. This will reduce your computer’s energy usage considerably in idle mode. The trade off could be slower performance depending on how you use the computer.
  13. While you’re there, you can change several other power saving settings including how and when your computer sleeps. This will allow you to automate the low power modes.
  14. Use the battery in your laptop everywhere. Even if you are not traveling, you can run the laptop on it’s battery. It uses less power to charge it later.
  15. Purchase a surge protector with an off switch and plug in all of your peripherals that you would manually turn off. This way you can turn them all off with this one switch. I recommend plugging in your monitor, ink jet printers and sound systems. There are some “green” surge protectors that claim to do this automatically. I suggest reading each one’s description carefully before buying.

How do I implement energy efficiency? To make it easy on myself, my office is set up so that when I enter it in the morning, I flip a single switch on a surge protector and all of my peripherals come to life. I touch the keyboard or mouse and my computer wakes up, just as I left it. When I leave at night, I simply put my computer into sleep mode and then flip that same surge protection switch to shut off all of the peripherals. I could also put my computer to sleep by using my voice with Cortana.

I hope you found these tips helpful.