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Frugal Living Tips - Your Computer’s Power Consumption

Updated on May 8, 2012
Unplug when not in use.
Unplug when not in use. | Source

Living frugally does not mean that you have to abandon modern conveniences like the computer. In fact, for many of you, the computer is more of a necessity rather than a convenience. It is probably switched on the moment you step in the door, and only switched off when you go to sleep. As such, the power consumption of a computer is a significant factor in your power bill, and is a prime candidate for cost cutting measures when money is tight and you need to live frugally.

While you will definitely use less power if you do not have a computer, there are ways and means that you can own and operate a computer, and use less power than you are using now. The following are some tips that you can implement to bring down the power consumption of your computer.

Switch Off The Adapter
Many portable computer peripherals come with another external adapter that converts the mains power to dc power that the peripheral can use. When you switch off the peripheral, also remember to switch off the power to the adapter. If the peripheral is connected directly to the mains power, then make sure you switch off the mains power.

Put Your Monitor On Standby And Your Computer On Hibernate
In Windows XP, when you right click on the desktop and select “Properties - Screen Saver” and then click on “Power...”, you can save power by turning off your monitor and hard disks, and putting your computer on hibernate after a certain period of inactivity. This feature is probably only available on the newer computers, and on other operating systems as well. So, if it is available on your computer, use it.

Switch Off Your Printer And Scanner
Many people use their printers and scanners almost every time they use their computer, and hence the printer and scanner is probably on every time their computer is running. For me, I rarely print anything, and I use the scanner even less frequently. So, if you are like me, it will be a great idea to leave the printer and scanner permanently off. Switch them on only when you need to use them.

Remove Any Unused Addon Cards
You might have some addon cards in your computer’s expansion slots that you are not using. Examples would be cards providing additional COM ports, or parallel ports, or acting as a dialup modem. If you are not going to use them in the next few months, do take the trouble to unplug them as they will consume unnecessary power when your computer is switched on.

Choose LCD Monitors Over CRT Monitors
The performance of LCD monitors have improved tremendously since the old days. While they are still not nearly as good as CRT monitors, their performance is good enough to have mainstream acceptance. However, in terms of power consumption, LCD monitors consume much less power than their CRT counterparts.

So, if you have a choice between a CRT and an LCD monitor, you know which one to choose. In fact, if you are using an old CRT monitor, perhaps it is about time you replace it with an LCD monitor. You don’t need to get a new one, a second hand one would work just as well.


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    • wandererh profile image

      David Lim 6 years ago from Singapore

      quicksand - Good for you. I usually just shutdown the computer and forget to switch off the mains.

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 6 years ago

      My computer, monitor and the router are powered by an UPS. So all I have to do is switch off the UPS and disconnect it from the mains. Cheers!

    • wandererh profile image

      David Lim 6 years ago from Singapore

      Hello, hello, - Quite true. Our modern day habits seems to be so wasteful, but I'm not giving up my modern day conveniences. I guess we just have to find a middle ground.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      We can't save enough these days. Thank you for these fabulous tips.

    • wandererh profile image

      David Lim 6 years ago from Singapore

      dallas93444 - Very true. Let's hope we save many, many pennies. :)

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      A Penney saved is a penny earned. Thanks!