Top Tips to Reduce Your Computer’s Energy Use

Information verified correct on December 9th, 2016

Energy Saving Tips for your ComputerRead these top tips for how to reduce your computer’s load on your energy.

For any of your energy needs, a voltmeter can be purchased and placed ‘in between’ your power board and wall. This way, you can measure the cumulative electricity use from all of your electronics, including your computer. Computers are large consumers of energy, though, and so there are many ways to reduce their strain on your home power.

  • Switch device — There are many alternatives to a desktop, these days. There are smartphones, tablets, laptops, and smart TVs even. All of these devices use less energy than a typical desktop. If you need the functionality of a computer, but are energy-conscious, try switching over to a laptop, instead.
  • Specialised powerboard — If you use a typical powerboard, switching it off causes everything connected to go off. This is fine unless you leave your powerboard switched on because one appliance is being used while half a dozen others aren’t. This might occur if you leave your computer on overnight to perform a task, but have a printer, scanner, and other device plugged in but idle. Smart powerboards, on the other hand, can have each powerpoint switched off separately, and independently to the rest.
  • Automatic shutdowns — You can set your computer to shutdown automatically
    at a particular time. This may be handy if you are prone to forgetting about turning your computer off.
  • Power timers — You can easily purchase power timers: they are cheap (around $10) and easy to use. You plug your device, such as a laptop (or phone), charger into the timer, and then plug the timer into the regular powerpoint. You can set the timer to turn off the flow of power at any point, maybe one or two hours after you begin charging. The benefits are two-fold. i) You are not wasting electricity, and ii) the batteries in your devices will last longer because they are not getting charged for 8-9 hours.
  • Energy settings — Computers often offer various power options for performance, i.e. low power-use, low performance, or high power consumption, high performance. Set your machine to lower settings and see if there is any compromise in functionality.
  • Star rating — Star ratings are an excellent way to find out the efficiency of many appliances, including computers. When purchasing your next machine, keep an out for the characteristic energy stars.
  • Monitor your screen’s brightness — As you may have noticed from your phone’s battery, a lion’s share of energy is used up from illuminating the screen. Try reducing the brightness on your monitor until it is dimmer but still conveniently illuminate.
  • Energy settings — Computers often offer various power options for performance, i.e. low power-use, low performance, or high power consumption, high performance. Set your machine to lower settings and see if there is any compromise in functionality.
  • Switch to a flat panel monitor — Flat panels use less energy than the older CRT ones. If you’re considering purchasing a new computer or switching monitors — take a look at a flat panel.
  • Screen saver — Screen savers don’t save energy. In fact, they could even use up more energy, especially with a new fandangle screensaver such as a digital aquarium or infinite pipe maze. Instead, try switching your monitor to fall asleep quicker.
  • Shut down — Actually turn your computer off when you’re done. You can save your browsing history and documents such that when you reboot they’re ready to go again. If shutting down is impossible, try the hibernation mode.
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And with that, we part ways. We hope you can now keep an ecological eye on your computer's energy habits, spotting beneficial changes that we didn’t even mention — make sure to let us know of any tips you have, in our comments.

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