10 ways to save computing power
Is it really necessary to keep Photoshop, Word, Outlook, Safari and Internet Explorer all open at the same time?
Lurking within your office or home is a group of workaholics that are costing you money. Who are these offenders? They're your computer system.
The average computer wastes roughly half the power it draws from its energy source. This power never reaches the processor or other components, yet it creates heat that places extra demand on your cooling system. These energy vampires translate into higher bills and unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions.
Here are 10 easy fixes to protect your wallet without reducing your computer's capabilities:
Upgrade. Make energy efficiency Job One when shopping for a new computer or peripherals. Look for the Energy Star labels or check out the Climate Savers Computing product catalog.
- Video: Volkswagen unveils new Jetta
Downsize. Switch to a laptop when you don't need the fuller capability of a desktop. Laptops typically consume less power and, hey, they can be used at a coffee house so you can get your caffeine fix.
Take a nap. Use the computer's and the monitor's sleep mode to save nearly half a ton of CO2 and more than $60 a year in energy costs.
Kill the screen saver. Screen savers make for pretty pictures but they aren't necessary on modern monitors. Studies show they actually consume more energy than if you simply dimmed or turned the monitor off when not in use.
Dim the screen. Turn down your monitor's brightness setting. The brightest setting on a monitor consumes twice the power used by the dimmest setting.
Nix the extras. Shut down such peripherals as printers, speakers and scanners when not in use.
Fight phantom power. Plug all your electronics into one power strip and switch it off when you're finished. If you want to avoid rebooting, put processors on a separate strip.
Minimize. Close unused or infrequently used applications. Is it really necessary to keep Photoshop, Word, Outlook, Safari and Internet Explorer all open at the same time?
Monitor energy use. Give your system a once over with a power meter that displays how much energy you're actually consuming.
Create a system. Establish multiple power schemes to address different usage models. For example, create a power scheme to play CDs that immediately shuts off your hard drive and monitor without putting your system into standby mode.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Occupy Wall Street bought and forgave the student loan debt of more than 2,700 Everest College students.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'