PC Man’s Top Green Computing Tips

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Save on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint

We can’t all afford to install solar panels or buy a Prius, but there is one place we can go green without spending huge sums of money or making radical lifestyle changes – the computer. Chances are you spend much of your day sitting at the keyboard, and a few small changes can go a long way toward reducing its negative impact on the environment. As an added bonus, doing your part for the environment will save you money too.

Check out our top tips:

Get a Service

If your computer takes forever to boot up and seems to be getting slower for just about everything, not only is it aggravating, you’re wasting energy. General day to day use, installing and removing programs and internet browsing can all affect your system. It’s recommended that your computer should be cleaned inside and out at least once a year and your system checked regularly. Maintaining your computer will add to its longevity and help to keep it working efficiently. PC Man can perform a health check of your machine removing dust, cleaning the build-up of old files, removing unwanted software and optimising your machine’s performance. If you haven’t had your computer cleaned up in the past year or two, getting it serviced will lower your blood pressure and reduce the power consumption.

Reduce e-Waste by Upgrading

Your PC is regularly serviced but it still takes too long to start up, programs take forever to load, and everything seems to be getting slower – the usual response is to start shopping for a new computer. Before consigning older spec machines to obsolescence, try upgrading the components. This will not only be easier on your wallet, but on the environment as well! When older computers are performing slowly it is often only the RAM that needs upgrading. If it is more disk space you need, instead of replacing your PC, buy another larger hard disk or external hard drive. Unfortunately as much as PC Man can successfully prolong the life of your machine, computers don’t last forever. When buying a new computer make energy efficiency a priority and look for the energy star label.

Most computers have the ability to set power saving options for the monitor, the hard drive(s) and the entire system. One of the biggest turn-offs (no pun intended) about shutting down or sleeping your computer is that you miss out on some of the things your computer provides even when you’re away. For example, you may need remote access to your machine or perhaps you are downloading a large file that you don’t want interrupted. Luckily you can continue using your computer during these times but still conserve power the rest of the time. By enabling Wake-on-LAN, you can turn your computer on over the internet from anywhere – so there’s no reason not to shut down your computer when you leave the house.

Turn it off

Your display screen is the biggest power consuming device, especially if it’s one of the older CRT monitors. Today’s flat panels consume less than half the power of older CRT screens, so consider replacing if you still have an old display. Turn your monitor off when you are going to be away from your computer for a while or if you aren’t going to be using the computer overnight, shut the entire system down instead of letting it go to sleep.

So you’ve remembered to shut your computer down, but even when computers are shut down or in stand-by, they can still be wasting energy. In the average home 40% of all electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off! This is equal to about 10% of total home electricity consumption. This applies to anything that doesn’t completely switch off when not in use, such as computers, mobile phone/laptop chargers, computer monitors, printers, TVs etc. By taking the time to unplug things you can knock a considerable amount off your electricity bill and help the environment. The easiest option is to connect multiple devices to a plug bank and then simply unplug that.

If you have a laptop, use it more. Laptops by design are more efficient users of electricity, so if you own both a desktop and a laptop, use the laptop as much as you can.

When it comes to the environment, one of the first places most homes and offices can improve is the pile of discarded paper by the printer. If you do have to print you can save paper by previewing before printing and printing in duplex.

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle…

Never dispose of any electronic device by throwing it away, as the toxic waste in all electronics is substantial. PC Man is committed to helping our customers recycle or pass on equipment to charities for refurbishment whenever possible and can also ensure that all your personal information is removed before donating or recycling. Contact us for more information.

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