It’s Blog Action Day and today’s post is about the environment.
What’s a super-easy way to reduce energy consumption, lower your energy bill, and feel good all-over? Put your computer to sleep.
For some of you, its already second nature to tuck your computers in at night. The rest of us, however, are still seduced by screensavers like flying toasters, swimming fishes, and flurry lights. When we leave work, we turn off the lights and turn on the screensavers. It’s hard to resist, because they’re just so darn pretty. Also, screensavers do prevent “burn-in”, right?
Turns out, they don’t.
Here’s what my trusty Wikipedia friend says:
Modern CRTs are much less susceptible to burn-in than older models due to improvements in phosphor coatings, and because modern computer images are generally lower contrast than the stark green- or white-on-black text and graphics of earlier machines. LCD computer monitors, including the display panels used in laptop computers, are not susceptible to burn-in because the image is not directly produced by phosphors… Additionally, using a screensaver with a flat panel or LCD screen instead of powering down the screen can actually reduce the lifetime of the display.
Screensavers also waste energy, costing you more money when the utility bill comes:
Monitors running screensavers consume the same amount of power as when running normally, which can be anywhere from a few watts for small LCD monitors to several hundred for large plasma displays.
Basically, screensavers are nothing more than evil but deceptively pretty lights.
Need more convincing?
If you use a Mac, check out Apple’s little-known Energy Usage Calculator. It shows you how much money you’re saving each year with the default Energy Saver settings. For example, a Mac Pro running for two hours a day on weekdays with Energy Saver will save you 91% percent off the cost of running the computer each year.
All Macs come with Energy Saver’s automatic sleep settings already installed and enabled. To save even more energy, adjust your computer and display to go to sleep after a shorter period of inactivity than the default.
Windows XP and Vista also has sleep AKA “hibernation” settings. But can anyone ever get these to work properly?