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Energy Saving Myths: Part 2!

8 February 2012
  • Leaving my computer on all the time instead of power cycling is less energy-intensive – and better for the computer.

LaptopThis is a myth that maybe used to be true many years ago, but as I am sure you have noticed there has been huge improvements in computer technology.  It is true  that there is a small surge of power when you turn on your computer – but it is way less than just keeping it on all day. If you don’t want to turn off your computer, set the energy-saving settings so that the monitor AND hard drive go to sleep when it is not in use.  Important note – a screen saver is not going to save energy.  In fact, some even use more energy.

In terms of affecting the life of your computer – don’t worry. The end life of your device is often reached because of advances in technology before the effect of turning on and off your device would.  A good way of thinking of it is:

I don’t know a single person who leaves the TV on 24 hours a day. TVs contain many of the same components that computers do. TVs certainly have no problems being cycled on and off.::how stuff works

::MN Energy Challenge Action  ::US Department of Energy

  • Keeping your home’s temperature constant cost less than lowering and raising it throughout the day.

Actually it does take more energy for your heating system to stay at a constant temperature than to set it back when your home is empty during the day and/or when you sleep at night. This is especially true when the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures are greater:

In fact, as soon as your house drops below its normal temperature, it will lose energy to the surrounding environment more slowly. The lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. So the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save, because your house has lost less energy than it would have at the higher temperature.

Since this can be a confusing concept to grasp, this is a really great site that explains common mental misconceptions of how heating your home works, and the scientific evidence behind how heat actually works.

::Home Energy Saver

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