How Much Does It Cost To Leave Your Computer On?

Lifehacker points us to a post on Coding Horror that details how to determine the cost of leaving your computer on all the time. Unsurprisingly, it involves the use of the Kill-a-Watt (power meter), but the post also gives some tips that anyone can use to cut the costs involved in keeping that computer running. —MEGHANN MARCO

The cost of leaving your PC on [Coding Horror via Lifehacker]

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  1. YodaYid says:

    I’m more interested in how much it’s costing to leave my DSL modem and router on, since those are much more of a hassle to turn off and on…

  2. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I have an HTPC and I just put it in suspend mode. Unless you’re running a server at home, there really is no need to keep it turned on all day/night.

  3. dwarf74 says:

    It drives me nuts that my company leaves the computers on 24/7. I can only imagine the money and environmental benefits of shutting off the PCs during the 80% of the time they’re not being used (evenings & weekends). Since updates are pushed to the computers overnight, somehow shutting them off isn’t an option.

    I disagree, but I’m a peon. :)

  4. ooh! ooh! I got one of these:

    http://www.smarthomeusa.com/ShopByManufacturer/Bits-Ltd./I

    It’s paying itself off faster than advertized. I’m still drawing to the computer itself (although I set it to sleep more quickly than before), but I’m seeing huge savings from having the peripherals all turned completely off and not “allowed” to draw when the computer is asleep.

    We’re so pleased we’re getting one for the TV/DVD/TiVo/X-Box/etc. extravaganza in the basement next. I can wholeheartedly reccommend it. There was a marked drop on our monthly kWh usage as soon as we installed it.

  5. mathew says:

    If you’ve got a Mac, just put it to sleep instead of turning it off. I did the math for that one and it turned out to be about $2 a year.

    If you’ve got an Energy Star PC, ditto. If you’ve got a ghetto PC with no deep sleep mode, I guess you have to turn it off.

  6. Negative says:

    Turning your computer on and off is also harder on the components. You’ll find yourself replacing your power supply and motherboard more often.

  7. gunnk says:

    In regards to “Negative”s comment about powering off a computer causing extra wear on the system:

    Yep, it does. The changing temperature levels in the system cause components to expand and contract which degrades them over time (especially connections between them).

    Then again, sleep modes do much the same damage and hibernate modes are 100% as bad because the you are changing the internal temperature.

    Even with all this, however, modern computers should last a good 4 years or more before the stresses become a problem (and as a sysadmin watching hundreds of systems come and go for the last 11 years I’ve been around long enough to know). Be nice to the planet and wallet and put it to sleep or off.