Shut Down Computers At Night

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Q: I have multiple computers with printers attached to each. I am wondering if I should turn them off at night?

A: Many people think that turning on and off their computers will wear out the computer due to the electrical surge and/or the spin up of the hard drive. While computers have very few moving parts (fans and hard drives) leaving them on when you don’t need them is a bad idea. Monitors are your biggest problem though as they use up the most electricity and the light sources in them can only last for so long. So anytime you walk away from your computer you should hit the power button on your monitor or at least set your power settings so that if your computer is not used for 5 minutes the monitor turns off.

The next thing we need to realize is that computers have electrical current running though them when the power is on and the fans and hard drives are spinning whenever the computer is on. At some point something is going to fail just due to age and the longer you keep your computer on when you are not using it the sooner that will happen. So your best bet is to turn off your computer and all peripherals when you are not using them. Some people even suggest unplugging any peripherals, even down to cell phone chargers, because as long as they are plugged in they are using some electricity.

The next thing you will want to do is make sure you are not using a screen saver. Most people don’t realize that screen savers usually make your computer work harder than you ever make it work therefore using more electricity. So you will want to remove your screen saver and just have it display a black screen, which will make your computer last a little bit longer and use a lot less electricity.

This question came just in time for Earth Day (Sunday April 22, 2007) and this was a great question. Do your part to save some electricity and have your computer last longer.
10:43 PM

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