Each week renowned gadget expert Peter Rojas from gadget Q&A site GDGT.com answers your questions about green technology in our Ask A Tech Geek Series. Read on for this week’s installment and submit your questions below!
QUESTION: What are some easy ways to reduce my laptop’s energy consumption?
– submitted by Cliff Champion
PETER ROJAS: There are definitely a few very simple things you can do to reduce your laptop’s energy consumption and extend its battery life. Here are my suggestions:
1. TURN DOWN YOUR SCREEN
Turn down the brightness on your screen. The screen is one of the biggest power hogs on a laptop and reducing the brightness even just a bit will help. Read on for the other 4 super easy tips.
2. CHECK YOUR POWER MANAGEMENT SETTINGS
Adjust your power management settings. This will vary depending on whether you use a Mac or a PC. In Macs you’ll see a handful of options under Energy Saver in System Preferences – click “Energy Saver”. You can set your computer to sleep or dim the screen after a short period of time, as well as chose to put the hard disk to sleep whenever possible. All of these will help preserve your battery life. In Windows go to your Control Panel and select “Power Options”. You’ll be able to select different power plans here, pick the one that says “Power saver” – it’ll optimize your laptop for battery life over performance.
3. AVOID OVER-DOING PROCESSOR-INTENSIVE TASKS
Don’t do anything processor intensive. Avoid doing anything that requires your laptop’s processor to work overtime, like editing or rendering video, playing games with fancy graphics, or watching HD video.
2. BE JUCIDICIOUS WITH YOUR WIFI
Switch off WiFi when you’re not using it. Obviously if you need to be online there isn’t much you can do, but getting into the habit of turning off WiFi (or 3G if you have a 3G modem in your laptop) whenever you don’t actually need to be connected will make a difference.
5. DISABLE FLASH
Disable Flash in your browser. Flash can be very processor intensive, and while this is more of an issue for phones and tablets, using a Flash block plug-in or extension for your browser will help minimize its impact.
From simply changing one setting on your computer to turning off unnecessary programs and WiFi when you don’t need them, these 5 easy pointers should help you make your laptop a lot more energy efficient. And considering that billions of people in the world use their computers on a daily basis, think of the difference it would make if we all followed these tips.
WANT TO ASK A TECH GEEK? Do you have a green technology question you’d like to ask Peter? Submit it to him by leaving a comment on this post or tweeting it to @Inhabitat and/or @peterrojas with the hashtag #AskATechGeek!