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Operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows and Macintosh OS, have built-in energy management features that can be accessed via the control panels that enable them to be configured to turn off the monitor, the hard disks and the system. For Windows based PCs select the Start Menu, then Settings, then Control Panel and finally Power Options. This should bring up a Power Options Properties dialog box that allows you to set the time to elapse until separate components power down. This is the same dialog box that can be accessed through the Display Control Panel under the screen saver tab.
The table below gives some suggestions for turning off components after a specified amount of time has passed without any activity. However, these suggestions should be adjusted according to individual preference and computer usage.
|Hard disks||30 Minutes|
|System standby or hibernation||90 Minutes|
ENERGY STAR PROGRAM
The federal government's Energy Star Program offers a free download that enables your monitor to sleep when you are not using your computer. If you are using Windows, access the Energy Star website.
- Click on the “EZ Wizard Application”. This will start the download, which includes step-by-step pop-up windows that will appear on your monitor.
- Once you have run this software, your monitor will automatically fall into “sleep mode” whenever your computer is idle.
- To “wake” your computer, move your mouse or press any key on your keyboard.
For Macintosh computers, you already have the energy-saving software you need. Follow these steps to enable the sleep function:
- Select the Apple Menu, Control Panels or System Preferences
- Next select Energy Saver. This will also bring up a dialog box for setting sleep times for the entire system, the monitor or the hard disk.