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Every now and again I will write an entry on how to make your computer more green.  Today’s entry is about saving energy by optimizing your system’s fan speed, temperature, and voltage. A free and excellent way to do this is to use SpeedFan 4.35. It is a great monitoring system, where you control the setting to save energy.

You can find this freeware on FileHippo.com.

Cool down.

-Cara

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According to the company, Intelligent Forms Design, Inc. (I.F.), who manufactures three laptop pillow designs, “Each laptop pillow is constructed using sustainable materials and methods.“, which is why it made it into Friday’s shopping entry.

My favorite visually is the Terrapin Pillow. The Terrapin Pillow’s stats, according to I.F. are as follows,” [The pillow is] supported by the recyclable polyethylene panel – a felt and foam sandwich – the Terrapin Pillow provides comfort while maintaining a flat and firm work surface for stable computing while reclining. Aluminized felt deflects heat while the quilted work surface offers improved cooling and air ventilation for the computer.

This is an entry that will be helpful to Marine, who owns a laptop that within 5 minutes is hot enough to cook an egg on. She has tried many things, and nothing has worked. This laptop pillow could be the answer to all her problems.

As far as I can see, the pillow is not for sale yet, but you can give your name and email to be contacted when available for purchase in Canada! :| I don’t know if I can wait that long. I might make one for Marine.

I will keep you updated.

-Cara

I went to a billion different websites to find tips I thought were simple enough not to stress over. Maybe just some time is needed to get into the grove with some of them or a plan to make it super simple. Plus saving money is always a good thing.

Computers
Enable the “sleep mode” feature on your computer, allowing it to use less power during periods of inactivity. In Windows, the power management settings are found on your control panel. Mac users, look for energy saving settings under system preferences in the apple menu.

Configure your computer to “hibernate” automatically after 30 minutes or so of inactivity. The “hibernate mode” turns the computer off in a way that doesn’t require you to reload everything when you switch it back on. Allowing your computer to hibernate saves energy and is more time-efficient than shutting down and restarting your computer from scratch

Shut down your PC if it will be idle more than 2 hours. The idea that turning a computer off and on shortens its life is a relic of the mainframe era.

Plugs and Switches

Unplug Your Cell Phone Charger. A charger left plugged in is a continual drain of energy, whether the phone is attached or not.

Unplug Appliances When Traveling. If you plan on being away for an extended period of time there is no need for your appliances, especially those with clocks, such as your stove and microwave, to continue to be plugged in and run up your bill.

Turn Off Those Lights. With just two lights on in unoccupied home, you are wasting precious money. If you feel a light must be left on when you come home in the evening, invest in a solar-powered light or battery-powered nightlight to show you the way in. The minimal amount spend will be saved in a very short period of time.

According to PopularMechanics.com, “Many devices — including anything with a remote control or clock — continue to draw current when they’re not in use. This graph shows how many watts of electricity common devices use when they’re at work, standing idle or turned off. On average, idle machines use 11 percent of a home’s electricity. Want to reduce your footprint? Get unplugged.”

electric-use-sleep-graph-06.jpg

 

There are power strips they called Smart Strip. According to treehugger.com, “The Smart Strip monitors power consumption and can sense the difference between when computers and other devices are on or off. Upon figuring this out, it shuts off the power, eliminating the idle current drawn from them. There are a couple different models and options (including fax/modem and something called “extended sensing”) and they run from US $32 to $35; Smart Strip claims it will pay for itself in as little as six weeks, and it’s available from their website.

Kitchen

Keep your refrigerator or freezer full; it operates more efficiently that way. Low on food? Keep a container of ice in the freezer.

Don’t “peek” inside the oven more than necessary. Check the seal on the oven door.

Wash only full loads in your dishwasher, using short cycles for all but the dirtiest dishes. This saves water and the energy used to pump and heat it. Air-drying, if you have the time, can also reduce energy use.

Washer/Dryer

In your clothes washer, set the appropriate water level for the size of the load; wash in cold water when practical, and always rinse in cold.

Clean the lint filter in the dryer after each use. Dry heavy and light fabrics separately and don’t add wet items to a load that’s already partly dry. If available, use the moisture sensor setting. (A clothesline is the most energy-efficient clothes dryer of all!)

Water Heater

Turn off your water heater while you are on vacation. No need to heat the water when there is no one to use it. When you are home, lower it to 120º

Ok, that is all for now…I don’t want to get overwhelmed. :P

Lights out.

-Cara

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