Computers and various other associated gadgets are becoming big part of our lives. With increasing advancements in technology computers and other gadgets will continue to be important in our homes and offices, and there by will continue to be important part of our electricity bills. As one computer and monitor can potentially consume as much power as an energy efficient refrigerator, it becomes very important that we make sure that we take some steps to reduce electricity units for our computing needs. A few simple steps can help you save substantial amount of money in long term:
- Turn off the monitor when you do not plan to use the computer for more than 20 minutes. Turn of both CPU and monitor if you do not plan to use it for more than 2 hours. Though there is small surge in power consumption when computer starts up but it is still lot better than keeping the computer running for longer periods. Also despite popular belief shutting down a computer and restarting is a good habit for computer maintenance.
- Turn off printers and fax machines as they can hog power. A multifunction printer/scanner and copier typically consumes 300 watts when in use, 85 watts on standby and 10 watts when idle (source: pc world).
- Adjust the brightness of the monitor as the computer uses more electricity when it is brighter.
- Disable wireless, Bluetooth and other connectivity services on your computer when not in use as it can consume about 2-3 watts of electricity.
- Consider using LCD monitor as compared to CRT as it uses 1/3rd electricity (about 70% energy efficient).
- Gamers can consider upgrading to the latest video cards as they are more powerful and energy efficient by about 10% (source: toptenreviews).
- Screensavers are not energy savers. They were designed in initial CRT computers to prevent them from phosphorus ‘burn in’ (source: howstuffworks). But the advancements in technology have eliminated the need of screen savers. Computers in screensaver mode consume lot more electricity than computers in standby mode.
- Use power management features in your computer to effectively manage power consumption of your computer. These features are common in modern macintosh and windows computers and put your computer in sleep mode after a certain period of inactivity. Computer wakes up just by moving the mouse or clicking the keyboard. This can significantly save electricity (about 90% when computer is not in use).
- Laser printers consume a lot of electricity and buying one with energy management features is recommended. Printers with automatic “power down” feature can save upto 65% of energy on laser
New expensive gadgets do dig a hole in your wallets, but make sure that the gadgets are used efficiently so that the hole does not get bigger. Efficiently managing the computers and its peripherals can not just provide saving but also ensure their longer life.
About the Author:
Abhishek Jain is an Alumnus of IIT Bombay with almost 10 years of experience in corporate before starting Bijli Bachao in 2012. His passion for solving problems moved him towards Energy Sector and he is keen to learn about customer behavior towards Energy and find ways to influence the same towards Sustainability. More from this author.