It seems everyone is searching for ways to conserve energy and save money. One way you might consider involves your computer and other gadgets that are constantly running.
One question computer owners always ask: is better to shut down a computer, to put it into sleep mode, or in hibernation?
The answer for desktop computers might surprise you. By shutting a desktop computer down completely and turning off all external hard drives, you will save electricity because it won't be using any power at all. However, that isn't necessarily a good thing. Turning a computer on and off actually uses more power than just waking it up.
It also can cause problems if your computer is having mechanical or start up issues. There are a lot of moving parts inside your machine, and they have to work harder when the machine is turned on. That can cause a lot of stress on all of those tiny parts.
It is best to shut the computer off completely only if you're not going to be using it for a couple of days. If it is just overnight or during the day, put the computer in sleep mode. It'll use a tiny bit of electricity, but it'll also save everything you've been working on. Waking it up is as simple as pressing a key on the keyboard or moving the mouse.
If you're using Windows 7, the sleep and hibernation options are next to the shut down button. For Macs, click the Apple icon to see the sleep option. If you're using a laptop, you can simply close the lid.
External hard drives should also be turned off unless you're using them. If you plan on walking away from the computer for a few hours, turn off the monitor to save electricity.
If you'd like more energy saving tips, you can check out the Department of Energy's website, and Energy Savers.
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