Nobody wants to waste energy—or money—so we all strive to be as cognizant as we can to shut off lights when we leave the house and unplug chargers whenever we can. Even so, it’s all too easy to fall asleep in front of the TV for hours, or opt to leave the computer on all night, especially when you’re just going to log right back on in the morning. However, if you truly strive to be an energy-conscious consumer, you can probably be doing more. And you might be surprised how much electricity gets guzzled by habits like the ones listed below.
Read on to learn how to start making more energy-efficient decisions to save money on a daily basis!
Different types of computers use different amounts of electricity, but in general, the bigger the device, the bigger its energy bite. On average, laptops consume up to 80% less electricity than desktop models, and get by on between one-fifth and one-third as much energy.
When it comes to wattage, a laptop may peak at a maximum draw of only 60 watts, whereas the average desktop is likely to peak at around 175 watts. Plus, laptops often prove to be 20% more power efficient when running on AC adapter power than on battery power.
Clearly, downsizing is one great way to conserve electricity. To save even more—and protect your PC in the process—consider these three myths about computer use that all too many people believe to be true:
The energy surge caused by starting a computer burns more energy than leaving it on overnight.
The surge in electricity caused by booting up your computer is insignificant and lasts for only a fraction of a second. The burst is so small, in fact, that its cost cannot even be measured. Powering off entirely when you’re done with it for the day will always save electricity.
Turning a computer on and off will damage its internal mechanisms.
This myth has some basis in fact, since back in the early days of personal computers, repeatedly turning the machine on and off could cause undue wear and tear on the power switch. This is not an issue with today’s models, however, because their parts are made by “thermal cycling,” a process that greatly increases their strength and durability.
During manufacturing, repeated heating and cooling of such materials as ceramic and metal eliminates the possibility of small surface cracks and flaws that are most likely to cause parts failure. So, unless your computer dates back to the early 1990s, there’s no risk of damage from regularly turning it on and off.
Shutting the computer down is the only way to prevent wasting energy.
If you’ll be stepping away from your computer to grab lunch, run an errand or take a healthy stretch session, put the device in sleep mode. You can do this manually before getting up from your desk or set your computer to sleep after being idle for 15 minutes. A laptop in sleep mode uses approximately one to two watts of electricity and a desktop will use one to five watts. Get into the habit of giving your computer a break every time you take one, and you’ll save more energy throughout the day.
If you worry that binge watching a hot new show will break the bank, you may want to calculate how much energy your TV actually uses. The good news is that today’s LED TVs are highly energy efficient, with Energy Star-certified models typically 25 percent more energy efficient than old-school cathode ray tube (CRT) models. And Energy Star TVs can include many “must-have” features viewers demand, including ultra-high definition resolution and high dynamic range.
While LED TVs are currently the most energy efficient, there are other things you can do to save money while enjoying your favorite shows. Try these tips:
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