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Turn it off or leave it on?

by | May 6, 2019 | Blog | 0 comments

 

We all want to save energy and get the best performance from our electronics, but nobody tells us how to do it. For example, should you turn off your computer at night?

Some people believe that shutting down and starting up again wears out components, but at the same time, leaving them switched on might be causing wear and tear, too. Tech experts say that if you use your computer several times a day, then the best idea is to leave it switched on, but if you only use it for one or two hours a day, then you should switch it off. Every time you switch on, there is a surge of power as everything starts working, but this surge only lasts a fraction of a second. The impact is so small that it is impossible to measure.

There are also ecological considerations, since our PCs and laptops emit CO2 into the environment. A desktop computer uses around 200 W/hour when in use. If you use it for eight hours every day, it will use almost 600 kWh and emit 175 kg of CO2 per year. If you use a laptop, those figures are between 30 and 100 W/hour during use and it will emit between 44 and 88 kg of CO2 per year.

How about is the cost of using your computer? Electricity companies recommend switching off loudspeakers and printers when they are not in use, as well as the screen. You might also want to switch off your router at night. The fact is that leaving your equipment running will always use more power than turning it off when you are not using it and starting it again when you need it.

Considering energy efficient products is an excellent way to save electricity. Choose appliances with logos like the Energy Star when buying hardware. Your existing machine probably has power saving features that put the monitors into idle or sleep mode when they are not being used. Enabling them will mean you consume between 20 and 50 times less energy.

You can also turn down the brightness of your monitor just like you would your phone or tablet when the battery is running low, and if you work with other people, then why not share resources like printers, scanners and routers.

Lastly, you can technically leave your laptop plugged in because instead of continuing to absorb power when at full capacity, the battery in your laptop should be bypassed even if it is plugged in. The electricity from the outside source will power the laptop instead of going into the battery. However, if there is too much heat coming off the bottom for too long, this can cause serious damage. Then there’s the risk of fire. Perhaps switching off and unplugging is the best option after all!

Juliet Allaway