Tips and Tricks for Making Your Computer “Greener”

green computing

Everyone these days is looking to lower their energy bills and find ways to reduce their carbon footprint on the planet.

Claims have been made that stated the manufacturing and use of computer hardware may be contributing to such environmental factors as global warming, in some cases being so extreme as to rival the cost of operating a refrigerator each month. Not only is this not good for your utility costs, it’s also not good for the environment. This is why Green PCs have always been a topic in the media.

Here are some useful information you can use to help understand what is meant by eco-friendly hardware, as well as ways to save you money in the process of “going green”.

1. Power Supply

Using a power supply that is 80 Plus Certified will assure 80% efficiency across 20%, 50%, and 100% loads.

2. Monitor

A flat panel LCD monitor uses around 1/3 less energy than CRT monitors of the same size. The configuration of your monitor can also help to conserve energy. By selecting the “turn off” or “power saving mode” after twenty minutes of inactivity, you can cut down on wasted energy. You can also choose for the hard drive to shut down after thirty minutes of inactivity. To make these adjustments, simply go the Power Options icon on the Widows Control Panel.

Adjusting the brightness of the computer monitor is also another great energy saving tip. Not all situations require the use of the brightest monitor setting, for example, in darker rooms less brightness is needed because the screen can be seen clearly. Reducing the brightness reduces the amount of energy consumed, and in turn saves you money.

Enabling the power saving feature on the monitor is also a good energy saving idea. This will allow the monitor to go into a “sleep” state and the monitor will then “wake” automatically when it detects motion from the keyboard or mouse.

3. Turn The Computer Off When Not In Use

In spite of popular belief, shutting down the computer on a daily basis can actually be a good habit when it comes to proper maintenance of the PC. When away from the computer either at home or at the office for a period of longer than two hours, shut the machine down to save energy and money. If you don’t want to actually shut down the machine, consider using the standby or hibernation mode instead. Both are good alternatives to leaving the computer on constantly.

4. Upgrade Video Card If Computer Is Used For Gaming

If you use your computer a lot for gaming, consider upgrading to a newer video card. Video cards made by manufacturers such as AMD and Nvidia are now not only more powerful than older models, but also more efficient and use less energy. This means a better gaming experience that leaves less impact on the environment and on the pocketbook.

[Read also: Are Video Games Draining My Power Bill?]

5. Learn The Truth About Screensavers

Some people think that screensavers actually save energy. In fact, the exact opposite is true. A screensaver actually constantly uses the full power of the monitor. These were originally designed to prevent the images on the screen from “burning into” the monitor, not to save energy.

6. Choose A Laptop Over A Separate Computer And Monitor

Laptops use much less energy than a desktop PC and monitor combination. For most people, they serve the same purpose. Plus, the laptop is highly portable, making it almost more desirable than a standard PC set up. To make your laptop even more efficient, when not in use, disable the computer’s Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities to preserve longer battery life. You might be able to get several more minutes or even hours from the battery by doing so.

As you see, there are several things you can do with your existing PC or laptop to make it “greener”. By making a few adjustments, or upgrading certain components, you can save on utility costs while leaving a smaller carbon footprint on the environment. This is good news for both you and our planet.

So how do you make your computer “greener”? Let us know in the comments.

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