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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    The green home PC: How to use less electricity




    BEST PRACTICES

    The green home PC: How to use less electricity

    By Lincoln Spector
    Our love of digital devices has a cost: vampire energy consumption the electricity used when a device is not in use.
    Here are ways to measure how much AC power our gadgets soak up and how to put them on a power diet.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/best-practices/the-green-home-pc-how-to-use-less-electricity/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
    New Lounger
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    Great article Lincoln on an important topic

    But, and I hate to have to say this, but you fell into a very popular trap regarding watts and watt-hours. So popular it has its own Wikipedia section “Confusion of watts, watt-hours and watts per hour” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watt#C...watts_per_hour

    In brief, what you called a watt is in fact a joule, and what you called watt-hours, is just plain watts. This confusion arises, due to joules per second, being called watts, instead of just joules per second. Its a bit like miles per hour being called bob. <grin>

    Hope that’s helpful

    Merf

  3. #3
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    One thing to be aware of is that if you completely cut off AC power to a desktop PC when not in use, you'll need to make sure that the backup cell (often a CR2032 lithium cell) on the motherboard is fairly fresh. When the PC is disconnected from AC, the button cell is the only source of power for the memory that keeps track of BIOS and clock/calendar settings. These cells last a long time (i.e., at least a couple of years), but when they finally go, they go suddenly. A weak cell may not be a problem if the PC is usually left plugged in, but regularly cutting off AC power will eventually push it over the edge, leaving the user to reset the clock/calendar and restore BIOS settings (or accept defaults) when the PC is reconnected to AC and turned on.

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Thank you for the information on available power management equipment.
    Please, anyone, tell me/us if I am wrong about this vampire energy use. I have assumed that if a room with this energy consumption is being heated (with a home furnace, for example) that the energy is not wasted. The vampire energy is released in the form of heat. This heat reduces demand on the heating unit? So, it is a wash?
    Of course, if the room is being cooled (with home air conditioning) the vampire energy is wasted, and more energy is required for additional cooling when electric costs are seasonally high. Also, localized comfort level may be compromised.
    .

  5. #5
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    My solution is a little simpler. I have a couple of good APC surge suppressing power bars. After I shut down the system, I turn off the one power bar. Then everything is completely off. Have done this for years. The other power bar is for router, ATA and such that need to be on. Some such bars have pass-through plugs that are not turned off with the switch so if you have fewer devices, a single may be all you need.

    Its an extra switch but avoids the need for fancier power bars or watt meters. And then you don't have to turn off all the accessory devices each time.
    Last edited by DavidFB; 2014-10-02 at 17:59.

  6. #6
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    Bibblelc
    The energy is wasted because while they may produce heat, thats not their design so they're very inefficient about it. Trickle-level power also produces very little heat, except for in larger screens and such.
    Last edited by DavidFB; 2014-10-02 at 18:01.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quite often after powering down the system for 12 hrs or more I'll turn the power off at the surge protector too.
    It all adds up, especially if you're on a tightly metered service. (RV park)
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  8. #8
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    The Green Home PC

    Good article, and the equipment comparisons were interesting.

    But you might have expanded on this sentence a bit "I'd waste 0.02 watt-hours a month an amount of power hardly worth worrying about" by noting that it is something to worry about when +30 million homes are doing it.

    And that may just be in New York State, eh?

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