Save Your Gadgets and Power Bill This Christmas

At this time of year many of us will be doing the rounds to see family, friends and relatives and, in some cases, this may involve a decent amount of travel (intrastate, interstate or international). If you are going to be away from home you might consider doing the following:

  • Completely shutdown your computers (as opposed to leaving them in standby or hibernation modes):
    • Sometimes strange things can happen such as when drivers misbehave or unexpected activity occurs on the local network. You could leave home to go on holiday and come back to find that your computer has been left on the entire time which adds up to money wasted on electricity.
  • Consider switching off at the socket or unplugging devices completely:
    • To further safeguard against your computer being woken up unexpectedly whilst you are away you can turn off the power completely at the socket. This measure will help to prevent your computer being woken unexpectedly whilst you are absent.
    • You may also wish to completely unplug your devices from the socket. Given that you won’t be at home you will be unable to do anything should inclement weather affect the electrical supply to your home causing power surges or repeated blackouts or brownouts. Unplugging your devices from the wall will eliminate the potential for damage to devices.
  • Consider power normalisation or protection solutions:
    • As covered in a prior entry, Erratic Electricity – The Silent Killer, a UPS can be instrumental in protecting devices that will be left on (such as routers or a Windows Home Server which you may use for VPN connectivity. Leaving these devices exposed to an unregulated power supply is a risk and one to which you should give serious consideration as we approach enter the hottest part of Summer in Australia.
  • Set devices to go to sleep if left idle:
    • If you are going to leave devices plugged in you can minimise ongoing power consumption by setting them to go to sleep if left idle for a given period of time (perhaps 15 or 30 minutes).

These are just a few tips to help minimise impacts to your electricity bill this Summer as well as keep your gadgets alive and functional for when you get back home. It can be a hassle to try and claim on home and contents insurance or under warranty – prevention is the best measure!

Finally, if you are travelling this Christmas then have a safe journey and an enjoyable time with your loved ones.

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