How often do you leave your computer on sleep mode when you’re not working? We are sure most of you tend to do that until you resume your work, but this, in turn, goes heavy on your wallet. When it comes to electricity consumption, the first few appliances that come to mind are heaters or air conditioners. But some of you forget that a computer is an object that also consumes too much power.
Let’s dig further to see how much electricity does a computer use in its day-to-day operations, we’ll also share some useful tips to save energy so that the bills don’t burn your pocket.
How Much Electricity Does a Computer Use?
To understand how much power your computer consumes, you need to acknowledge the factors that determine the electricity usage. These include:
- Area/Location: Not every area or city has a definite cost per hour. On average, the cost per hour in the U.S is approximately 13 cents/hour. However, it varies as per the area or state you live in. So, to determine how much electric energy your PC system uses, you need to find out the rate per hour.
- PC Components and Features: Well, you must know not all computers consume the same amount of energy. The built, features, and components of the PC signifies the power intake, to a great extent. That means, a gaming PC will consume more than a regular PC, as the former has a more powerful RAM and processor to support heavy tasks.
While these factors help you determine the PC’s electricity usage, it is also true that the exact calculation of the consumption isn’t possible. However, finding the average amount of consumption will surely help. Since most computers are engineered to consume 200 to 400 kilowatts of energy, it depends on how you use it – that means the tasks/programs you run or work on. But it’s usually less than the maximum range, which is 400 kWh.
That being said, we tried to break down the energy consumption by a computer into parts – primarily the CPU and the monitor. The CPU uses electricity as much as a light bulb on average. So, if you have a Pentium processor, the consumption is nearly 100 kWh. Just the processor though! But in case the monitor is on and you are working on some program or software, your computer will consume more than 100 KWh. And if your internet, printer, or speaker is connected to it, then the rate goes higher. Considering that all these connected devices are running along with the monitor and processor for a minimum of 8 hours a day, then the overall consumption will stand around 600 kWh.
Needless to say, as you turn on the monitor the electricity usage increases but it differs with the PC models. Not all systems consume the same amount of energy because these devices are distinctly different in terms of features and components, as mentioned earlier. Take for instance, when you’re working on a program per se Microsoft Word, the computer will use less electricity. But if you’re gaming or downloading software/movies, it will consume more and cost you more.
Besides, if you want to make an approximate calculation of the cost, then all you need to do is find out your computer’s maximum electric capacity. Check the user manual or else Google it; you can even look for it in the hardware box of the computer. All devices along with the PC use specific amounts of energy only. So once you find the rate for all, sum it up.
Also, keep a track of the average kilowatt per hour cost in your state. Once you get the average cost in your state, just directly multiply it with the kilowatt usage of your computer inclusive of all devices. This will reveal the cost you have to bear to power your computer for an hour.
Well, the cost that you get through the above-mentioned calculation is not the exact one but this will surely help you to know the maximum cost. After all, your computer including the other connected devices might consume less energy and cost you less than the estimate.
Moreover, you can take a step further and multiply this estimated cost by the number of hours you use your system every day. As a result, you’ll know how much electricity your PC consumes in a day and also the cost. Not to mention, doing a bit of groundwork will surely come to your aid in figuring out the power consumption of your computer and also the cost leading to the usage.
How to Save Energy When Using Your PC
Now that you know how much electricity your computer uses, you can at least try a few ways to reduce it. So, here’s how you can lower the energy usage of your PC and in turn, the cost.
- Turn Off When Not in Use: If you think putting the computer in sleep mode will save energy, then you’re under the wrong impression. Even when the system is in Sleep or Hibernate mode, it can use up to 60 kilowatts per hour. And in case your computer consumes 100-200 kWh in a day then you’re hardly going to save any energy in the Sleep mode. So, the best you can do is turn it off once you’re done with your work.
- Malfunctioning Hardware: At times, you might notice that your system is turning too hot or running slow. It might be due to some malfunctioning hardware, blocked vent, or rather any other reason that slows down the computer, thereby, using more energy. This requires a proper fix so that you don’t end up spending more on the electric bills.
- Malware: If you’re using your computer for quite a long time, then your system is prone to malware, especially when you go online. It might not be a virus but possibly be a marketing program on a website you visited some time ago. But the sheer presence of malware makes your PC energy-hungry. Hence, to control energy consumption do a malware scan frequently.
Now that you know how much electricity does a computer use, we hope you can utilize it to calculate the amount for your system. Also, adopt the above-mentioned ways to keep energy usage in control. So, do your math beforehand to save on those hefty electricity bills!