Computers, Monitors & Imaging Equipment

Whether you work from home or not, you may be using more electricity than you realize when it comes to your home office equipment1. Here are a few facts and tips to help maximize energy efficiency and cut down on electricity costs.

Sources: 1. U.S, Department of Energy; 2. ENERGY STAR®

Screen Savers

Screen savers do not reduce energy use. Be sure to turn off your computer monitor or set it to sleep mode if you plan on being away for more than 20 minutes.

Home office

Shut Down

Shut down your computer and monitor completely if you’re going to be gone for more than 2 hours. There is a common misconception that equipment lasts longer if never turned off. The truth is most PCs reach the end of their life due to advances in technology long before the effects of being switched on and off can have a negative impact on them. The less time a PC is on, the longer it will “last.”

Person pressing the power button on a laptop

Sleep Mode

Use the sleep mode or power management settings on your equipment. Power management features are not typically enabled at the time of purchase so you’ll likely need to go in and manually set them up. Visit ENERGY STAR® for assistance activating power management on your computer2.

Home office desk with computer in sleep mode

Laptop Power Usage

Laptops use much less energy than desktop computers but keep in mind that the AC adapter draws power continuously, even if the laptop is not plugged in so be sure to unplug it when not in use.

Closeup of a power cord plugged into a laptop

Phantom Load

Unplug monitors, printers and other accessories when not in use for extended periods to prevent them from drawing power even when shut off – an occurrence also known as Phantom Load. A power strip makes this easier by allowing you to flip a switch and cut off power to multiple electronics all at once.

Household Electronics

Unplug Electronics

Unplug as many household electronics as you can when not in use, such as home office electronics, DVD players, TVs, stereos, and small kitchen appliances. Most devices draw power even when shut off or while they are in stand-by mode – an occurrence known as “Phantom Load.”

Power Strips

Plugging home theater devices such as DVD players and TVs into power strips creates an easy way to cut power to multiple electronics all at once.

Cord being plugged into a power strip

Battery Chargers

Unplug battery chargers when not in use or when the batteries are fully charged.