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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

Person in headphones playing video game via the television

©Getty Images

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.

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