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The Truth Behind Shutting Down Your Computer and Putting It in Sleep Mode

One person recommends you shut your computer down for the night to save energy.

Another says shutting your computer down too frequently causes damage. They say that shutting down and starting up your computer more frequently actually uses more energy.

…Who’s right?

You’ve certainly had the conversation in your own mind before. And perhaps you’ve debated with friends or family.

So here’s the reality:

Your computer does not use more energy when powered on and off. And while it does cause harm to your computer to turn it off and on, you’d have to do so hundreds of times for hours on end to actually cause damage.

Unless you’re planning on doing that for some reason, your computer won’t get damaged. Any damage it experiences is merely coincidental and would truly be due to a manufacturer defect or an accident caused by a pet or family member that you weren’t aware of.

The Truth about Desktops, Laptops, And Sleep Mode

Back when sleep mode first came out over a decade ago, savings did exist. But they were minimal.

Today, sleep mode’s effectiveness has risen greatly. The typical laptop uses 15-60 watts of power when in use, but just 2 when in sleep mode. For the average desktop computer and monitor, the typical use is 80 – 320 watts, but just 5-10 in sleep mode.

So, shutting down your computer at the end of the day (or forgetting to) isn’t a huge deal. Instead, set your computer to go to sleep after a certain period of inactivity (like 15-30 minutes or so).

And screensavers?

Don’t even waste your time there either. Originally, they prolonged the life of monitors. However, today’s monitors and screens are built so well (and with such awesome energy efficiency) that it makes no sense to use a screensaver anymore.

In fact, the only thing a screensaver does is waste more energy!

And What If You’re One of Those Who Shuts Down Every Night?

Well congratulations. You’re a real trooper! You deserve an award (no, really).

This isn’t necessary. But, it is a help.

And after all, every little bit counts, right?

Whether you do or don’t shut down your computer at the end of the day, now at least you understand the significance of your choice.

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