One of the biggest contributor on our household’s electricity bill is PC/notebook usage. If you are noticing this and would like to cut on your electricity or increase your laptop’s battery life, then it’s recommended to configure your PC or laptop to use less power. There are different ways on how to minimize the power consumption of your computer, which we will be enumerating in this article.

1. Use External Device Only When Needed

Your PC can connect to various external devices like a printer, speakers, or an external web cam. However, these devices require power to stay connected and be able to do their job. Even if they are not in use, they are still consuming a certain amount of power. For example, an average printer on standby can use 5-8 watts, while a high-end printer can go as high as 30 watts.

In order to save electricity, you should remove or turn off all the devices that you don’t need. We are not referring to removing essential input devices like a mouse or keyboard, but a home theater sound system definitely should be turned off.

2. Adjust the Windows Power Options

In Windows, you can save a significant amount of power by tweaking Windows Power Options. You can check out this guide to help show you how to adjust the power management settings of your Windows PC.

3. Configure Your Monitor to Use Less Power

If you are still using a CRT monitor, then it’s probably time to switch to an LCD monitor. The reason is because LCD monitors use far less power and also offer better display quality than the CRTs. A 17″ CRT monitor uses 80 to 100 watts while its LCD counterpart uses only 25 to 30 watts.

Aside from that, you should also lower down the brightness setting of your monitor. 100% brightness isn’t required most of the time. All external monitors have buttons to adjust the brightness. On laptops, there will either be separate buttons, or you will have to use the Fn key. You should also turn off the monitor display whenever you leave your computer. You can do this by simply pressing the power button of your monitor or use the turn-off display button on your laptop (for some computers, it’s Fn + F3).

From the power options, you should also configure the monitor display to turn off automatically after a specific idle time.

4. Use Sleep and Hibernate Options

It is not a practical habit to shut down your PC whenever you need to leave it to do something else. That’s why the Sleep and Hibernate options are available, which are the main power saver options that allow you to save PC power, and then lets you continue from where you left off.

Sleep: In Sleep state, almost all of the components of your PC will be turned off except for the RAM. Your current session is saved in the RAM, and you can easily restore your session when you wake it up later. In sleep mode, your PC will use around 5 to 15 watts of power.

Hibernate: When your PC is on Hibernate mode, the current session is moved to your hard drive storage and saved in a hiberfil.sys file. The PC is then turned off completely, and you can remove the power supply. Hard drive storage doesn’t require active power to save data (unlike RAM), so it can save your current session without power.

In sleep mode, your PC will take 2 to 3 seconds to restore back to your current session. However, in hibernate mode it will take a bit more time, 10 to 15 seconds on average. If you are going away for a few minutes to an hour, then the sleep option is suitable. If you are going away for hours, hibernate is a better option. You can also schedule automatic sleep or hibernate after a specific idle time from the power options.

5. Quit Unnecessary Programs

The programs that are running on your PC use resources like CPU, GPU, RAM, hard drive, etc. The more programs you open, the more work these hardware components have to do. Make sure there are no unnecessary programs running. In Windows, press [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Esc] to open Task Manager. All your active applications are listed under “Applications” and the background processes are shown under the Processes tab.

Look for unnecessary apps and background processes in these two tabs, and use the End Task or End Process button if you want to quit any of them.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 6:41:29 AM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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