It’s Earth Day…is your computer saving energy?

earthdayIn honor of Earth Day…here are a few easy tips to save energy by updating settings on your computer.

Obviously you can save energy by turning off your computer when you aren’t using it, but even when you are using it there are a variety of settings you can tweak to make the most of your energy usage.

In your computer’s Control Panel, you can find Power Options. You’ll be able to tweak your power settings here, by turning off your monitor and hard drive if you computer hasn’t been active for more than a few minutes.The exact steps vary a little bit between different kind of computers, but it’s usually pretty easy to change these settings so don’t be afraid to try this step.

Lower the brightness on your monitor for another energy-saving boost, as long as it doesn’t strain your eyes. Look for control buttons on the bottom of the monitor, or at the top of your laptop keyboard.

Wireless broadcasting also requires quite a bit of energy, and most laptops have a button that turns wireless on or off. If you are working offline, you’ll find that turning off wireless can great extend your battery life.

That’s it for now…just a few simple steps and you’ll be helping to save the planet!

Does your laptop need a nap? Sleep vs. hibernate

sleeping bearWhen you shut down your laptop, you have two other options: sleep and hibernate. Have you ever wondered what they do and when to use them?

The idea behind both these options is to give you a faster way to wake up your computer, without using up a lot of battery power. If you just want a quick nap, maybe a few hours, put it to sleep. It will continue to use a little battery power but should start quickly when it’s time to rise and shine. Nudge it a little, by moving the mouse or touching a button on the keyboard–that’s all it should take.

If you plan to let it rest for a longer period of time, or if battery power is low, let your laptop hibernate. It takes a little longer to rouse it later, but it won’t use up any power, and it’s still quicker than a full shut-down and reboot. Settings vary by manufacturer but usually hitting the power key will wake it up.

If these options don’t seem to be working for you, you’re not alone. Unfortunately driver issues and differences between equipment lead to problems for a large percentage of laptop users. Visit your laptop manufacturer’s site for the latest software updates. And be sure to save your documents before taking a break. You shouldn’t have to do this, but if you’re prone to sleep disturbances, it’s better safe than sorry.