A Computer Myth BUSTED

I was surfing the web when I found a Q & A from Herb Weisbaum of MSNBC on an issue related to this blog, turning your computer off to save energy. Here it is...

Should I leave my home computer running 24/7 or turn it off when I am done with it for the day? I want to save energy, but I’ve heard it’s hard on the machine if you keep turning it on and off. Which is better?— Gary W.
I contacted several experts on this one and they all agreed that you won’t hurt your computer by turning it off when you’re not using it.

Dean Gallea, test program leader for computer technology at Consumer Reports, says “it is no more strain on a PC to shut it down and restart than it is to put it into standby mode and resume.”

The U.S. Department of Energy’s “Energy Star” Web site states, “The less time a PC is on, the longer it will last.” They recommend turning off both the CPU and monitor if you're not going to use your PC for more than 2 hours.

John Frey, HP’s Manager for Environmental Strategies, told me there is no reason to keep a computer running all the time and every reason to turn it off when it’s not in use for extended periods.

Turning off an unused computer will not only reduce your energy bills, he says, it will reduce system-wide energy demand, which will help cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Frey says HP ships all of its desktop computers and monitors with the energy-saving setting enabled. Just one PC with the power saving setting enabled, he says, saves enough energy to power a 75 watt light bulb continuously for over a year.

For every 12 machines left in this mode, Frey says, the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions (needed to generate electricity) is equal to taking one car off the road for a year.

By the way, screen savers do not save energy. They can actually result in greater energy use if they keep the power-down feature from activating.

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