Many people spend hours in front of a computer every day. Although computers don’t consume as much energy as other appliances such as air conditioners or heaters, excessive computer usage can still drive up your home’s total energy consumption and monthly energy bills.
The best way to save energy and money without sacrificing your screen time is replacing your computer with an energy efficient model. Here’s what you need to know about energy efficient computers vs. regular computers:
How Much Energy Does An Energy Efficient Computer Save?
Energy efficient computers perform all of the same tasks as regular computers. The only difference is that they consume less energy when performing these tasks.
The amount of energy that you will save by replacing your computer with an energy efficient model will vary. But in general, ENERGY STAR® computers are designed to use between 25% to 40% less energy than regular computers. This means that this simple upgrade could lead to significant savings on your monthly utility bills.
Do Desktop Computers Use More Power Than Laptops?
If you are thinking about buying a new computer, the first decision you will need to make is whether you want a desktop or laptop. One of the factors you should consider when making this decision is energy efficiency.
Desktop computers consume far more energy than laptops. The difference in energy consumption between desktops and laptops is significant. It’s estimated that laptops consume up to 80% less energy than desktops. By choosing a laptop over a desktop, you could drastically reduce your home’s total energy consumption and lower your monthly utility bills.
Are Energy Efficient Computers More or Less Expensive Than Regular Computers?
Some people assume that they will need to spend more upfront in order to purchase an energy efficient computer, but that’s not the case.
The cost of any computer will vary depending on a number of factors, including the manufacturer, storage space, and more. But in general, there is not much of a price difference between energy efficient computers and regular computers.
Is An Energy Efficient Computer Worth It?
It’s important to consider the cost effectiveness of investing in an energy efficient computer before making this upgrade.
Energy efficient computers consume less energy than regular computers, which means they can help you save energy and lower your monthly utility bills. But you will need to spend hundreds of dollars in order to purchase an energy efficient computer. So, will using an energy efficient computer help you save enough money to cover the initial cost of the device?
The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) conducted a study to analyze the cost effectiveness of energy efficient computers. According to FEMP, an ENERGY STAR® desktop computer will save you money over time if it is priced no more than $43 over a regular computer.
If you are interested in purchasing a laptop computer, look for an energy efficient model that is priced no more than $11 over a regular laptop.
For example, say a regular computer costs $500 and an energy efficient desktop computer costs $520. The difference between the price of the energy efficient computer and regular computer is less than $43. Therefore, according to FEMP, you will eventually recover your initial investment and start saving money if you choose to purchase the energy efficient computer.
How to Save Energy When Using A Computer
If you aren’t ready to invest in a new energy efficient computer, there are certain steps you can take to save energy while using your current computer. In fact, you should follow these tips at all times, regardless of whether your computer is energy efficient or not. Here’s how to save energy while using a computer:
- Turn sleep mode on so your computer automatically goes into hibernation if it is not in use.
- Lower the brightness setting on your computer. The brighter the screen, the more energy your computer will need to consume.
- Do not use a screen saver.
- Plug your computer into a power strip and turn off the power strip when your computer is not in use.
- Disconnect printers, scanners, and other devices from your computer when you are not using them.
- Unplug your charger once your laptop is fully charged. It will continue to consume energy if it is plugged in even if your laptop has a full battery.
- If you have both a laptop and desktop, use the laptop whenever possible.
Investing in a new ENERGY STAR® computer is the best way to go green while using a computer. But fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to make your regular computer more energy efficient as well. This means you can improve your computer’s energy efficiency regardless of whether or not you are ready to upgrade to a new computer!