There is a rumor going around that you can save a significant amount of money on your energy bill each month by switching your computers and laptops off at night (or whenever they are not in use). Now, as to whether or not this is true is up for debate. Recently, there was an article in Yahoo News that claimed that Americans waste over two billion dollars each year on energy that is wasted by leaving computers and laptops on. It forces you to ask yourself whether or not you are among the millions of people who leave their computers on at night after you’ve gone to bed.
For most people, leaving their computers on or in “sleep mode” is the much preferred method because it saves them the trouble of having to turn it on and wait around for all of their programs to reboot. In the case of those of us who work from home, this especially true when we are accustomed to having several screens up at once. Sometimes when you’re in the middle of doing work, you don’t want to have to shut all of your windows. Rather, you want to be able to pick right back up where you left off the next time you sit down at your computer.
In addition to the idea of computers being left on at night, there is also the general issue of things being plugged in. Many of us don’t think about how many electrical outlets in our homes or apartments have things plugged into them. Did you know that even when you are not using something that is plugged in, there is still electricity being used? However, is it really practical to go around unplugging every single thing from each outlet when you’re not using it? Could you imagine what that would be like for someone who owns a fairly large house? You would never get anything done!
There are, of course, other things that we can do to try to save energy. For instance, when you’re not using a light, make sure that you turn it off. If you’re not watching the television, make sure that you turn it off. The same rule applies for fans, air conditioning and heat. It is typically during the winter months as well as the summer months when people see their electric bills skyrocket. This is because in the wintertime, people are turning up the heat, while in the summer they’re cranking up the air conditioning. Instead of turning the air conditioning on and off (which some argue wastes more energy), try lowering the heat or raising the thermometer for the air conditioning prior to exiting your home for the day.
Regarding computers, especially laptops, whenever possible, it is always a good idea to shut your computer off when you are not using it. If you’re in the middle of a really important document that you absolutely have to finish, why not try writing yourself a note or leaving the document somewhere on your computer where you can easily access it the next time you turn your computer on? It may not always be convenient, but in the end, you’ll wind up preserving the life of your computer.