If you are trying to save energy, there is little reason to turn your computer off. You only save about a watt a day by turning a computer off vs. putting it in sleep mode. The good news is that computers can be set up to go into sleep mode automatically after a period of inactivity. Also, a computer will revive from sleep mode more quickly than from being turned off and on. Still, you should turn off or restart your computer every once in awhile to increase its speed. Here are some other ways to improve its energy usage and efficiency.
Tinker With Power Settings
Play around with your computer's settings in order to reduce the amount of power it uses. The illumination of your monitor plays a large role in how much energy it uses. Also, computers can be placed on high performance mode, which increases energy use. Stop using high performance mode if you wish to use less energy.
Use Sleep Mode Correctly
To ensure that your computer enters into sleep mode, make sure that there is no file that is open on a network. Also, make sure that you do not have a graphics-intensive screen saver on. Instead, simply disable the screen saver and have the computer screen turn off after a period of inactivity. There may also be a processor activity that is above a particular threshold and this indicates that your computer is not idle.
Use A Power Strip Or SmartStrip
When you do turn off your computer, it is easier to make sure that everything is turned off by having it all connected to a power strip. This will provide you with a single switch you can flip in order to turn everything off. When printers and speakers are simply left idle, these can drain a significant amount of energy. Another option is to use a SmartStrip. This is a device that will detect when your computer has been shut off. It will then turn off all of the peripheral devices.
Use Home Energy Management
Even better than having simply a single SmartStrip is to have a home energy management system. You can talk with a company like Craftsman Electric Inc to learn more about this solution. Power strips, power sockets, and a thermostat can all be plugged into this system and manage your home energy use in order to lower your electric bill and reduce the amount of strain that you are placing on the environment.