In honor of Earth Day I am re-posting my article on The Green Machine.
Did you know that going green with your PC can save you some green? By powering down your PC or using power management correctly you can save up to $60 a year per machine. For the Planeteer that equals a half a ton of CO2 a year that will not be adding to global climate change. Go planet…and wallet!
Turn off your PC and Monitor
To maximize energy savings turn off your PC and monitor every night.
If you want to make Captian Planet really fly high, unplug your PC and monitor when not in use. An easy way to do this is to use a power strip (with surge protection) and turn it off after powering down your PC gear.
MYTH – Turning your PC on and off wears it out.
Today’s PCs are can handle an average of 40,000 power cycles. That’s a power-up and power-down once a day for almost 55 years. Perhaps at the dawn of the PC era (the mid-1980s) there may have been some truth to this. So if your PC looks like this
Complete with dual 5¼ floppy drives and green text-only monitor, then you may want to leave it on…or put it in a museum.
MYTH – It takes more power to turn on your PC.
The small electrical surge used when a PC turns on is far less than the drain of a PC that keeps marching 24 hours a day. I won’t overload your circuits with specs on amps used on power-up vs. over time, but if you think about it, it makes sense to give your PC a rest.
Give It a Rest
Even those with the best green intention may not be able to power-down the PC every night. The next best thing is the proper use of power management. Here are the recommended power management settings:
- Monitor/display sleep: Turn off after 15 minutes or less
- Turn off hard drives/hard disk sleep: 15 minutes or less
- System standby/sleep: After 30 minutes or less
Also, you should enable hibernate. The hibernate mode only use about 5 watts of energy for your monitor and 2.3 watts for your PC. This is virtually the same as a powered down PC. To do this go to Control Panel, click on “power options,” and set your PC to “hibernate” after a specified time (most recommend 30-60 minutes).
Here are some other green tips that will help save you money while saving the planet.
Screen Savers Don’t Save
Those cool 3D screen savers do not save energy. It is expense wallpaper. If you like fish, put a picture of Flipper by your PC and use the recommended power management settings.
Flat Screen Use Less Power
Not only do flat screens save power, but they save your eyes. Flat screen users notice less eye fatigue. Flat screens are easier to move and take less space. And the price barriers have dropped making these cool looking devices fit into even the tightest of IT budgets.
Just don’t forget to give you old CRT a proper burial by appropriately disposing of it. Click here for more info on how to dispose your monitor and other PC equipment.
How to Dispose of Computer Equipment
Laptops Use Less Power
If you are looking for an excuse to go mobile with a new laptop, play the green card. And low laptop prices make this almost a financial wash for the accounting department.
Clean and Green
When you go green with your PC, you also go clean. An orderly shutdown of a PC allows it to run maintenance clean-up routines that keep it humming along. Think of it as giving your PC clean underwear. Dirty underwear is just gross!
There are few win-wins in this world and give and take world. But going green is one of those no-brainers that appeals to the hippie and yuppie in us all.
For more on going green check out the Energy Star website at http://www.energystar.gov/.