Home entertainment and technology
Video game consoles are now among the biggest power guzzlers in the home. Switching off the game console after use could save you up to $193 a year—enough money for some great new games.
Use your console efficiently
It's not just about what console you buy—it's also about how you use it. You can significantly reduce the amount of energy your console uses by taking a few simple steps.
- Turn off the console when you're not using it (if you're taking a break in the middle of a game, save it so that you can pick up where you left off). A game console that's left on continues to draw almost full power.
- Check the operating menu to see if your console has an automatic power-saving auto-shutdown feature. Enabling auto-shutdown will help in case you forget to turn it off after use. Set it to go into 'sleep' after 15 minutes or 'auto-off' mode after 1 to 3 hours of inactivity. If your console doesn't have this option, you can look online for downloadable software applications to do this.
- If you're not using the power-saving settings because you're worried you'll lose your place in the middle of a game that can't be saved and reloaded in the same place if the power is turned off—look for games that offer the ability to save the progress at any point.
- Avoid using your console to play movies. Movie playback uses up over three times as much energy as that of a stand-alone Blu-ray player and a DVD player uses considerably less power than a Blu-ray.
- Maintain the cooling mechanism. Regular dusting and vacuuming can help keep the system temperature down as well as improve overall performance and lifespan.