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When Should I Power My Computer Down?

1 August 2012

No one wants to be turning on and off your computer all day- but keeping it on all the time is a huge energy hog.  To make this simple I am going to suggest the US Department of Energy’s recommendation which allows you to maximize energy savings, keep your computer healthy and avoid wasting too much time turning on and off your computer.

  • Turn off the monitor if you wont be using it for 20 minutes
  • Turn off the monitor and hardware if you will be away from your computer for 2 hours or more

All computers have power management options that can save lots of energy without having to turn them off, but you need to manually turn this on. Unfortunately, computers don’t come automatically set for energy efficiency (crazy I think!). Check out Computer Power Management to find out how to set up your computer correctly.

And no, turning your computer on and off multiple times a day wont hurt it. Check out this previous blog that explains that a computer can be cycled on and off about 40,000 times before it dies. This means that essentially your computer could last 36  years if you cycled your computer 3 times a day. so no need to worry about turning it on and off “too much”. After all, I sure haven’t heard of someone keeping their computer for 36 years!

One Comment leave one →
  1. 1 August 2012 10:12 am

    Many people won’t want want to turn it off because that means resetting all their environment (documents, browser windows, etc). And turning it off requires users to remember to actually take that action at every appropriate time.

    I think the best “set it and forget it” solution is to enable power management so the computer will sleep when idle. Sleep states on modern PCs (and especially laptops) can be extremely low-power, with none of the inconvenience of shutting it completely off…

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