If you use your laptop or desktop PC a lot, you likely have a question or two about just how much power you’re using. Many users have their PCs running 24/7, but of course a lot of this time can also be simply idling while they aren’t using it.
In the grand scale of things, your PC generally isn’t using that much power. However, it’s still good to have a ballpark of your power consumption, especially on older, less power-efficient hardware.
How To Measure Your PC’s Power Usage
There’s a few different ways to do this. The most accurate way to do it is with a tool like Kill-A-Watt, which plugs into your wall outlet and gives you a real-time feed of your power usage. There’s some other tools like it out there (so you don’t have to use it), but Kill-A-Watt seems like the most reputable. However, you might not want to spend money at all.
In those cases, you may be well-served by a tool like Power Supply Calculator, which is used for desktop PCs and measures power consumption by identifying hardware components.
Ask Your Electric Company The Cost Of Power Usage
Once you figure out how much power your computer is using, you might want to find out how much you pay for that power. (Most power companies measure in kWh- use this calculator to convert watts to kWh.) Once you know the number of kWh you consume by keeping your PC on, you can accurately measure how much you should be paying for keeping it on.
Expect the final amount to fluctuate a bit, of course.
Doing The Math
Finally, it’s time for you to just sit down and do the math. Once you know your average kWh consumption in a day, multiply that by 30, and then multiply that by how much you pay per kWh. This should put you in the price range you’re paying for your PC’s power.
I’m primarily a writer, so I’m pretty terrible at Math. Here’s my idea of what a formula like that might look like, though:
Overall Cost per Month = kWh per day x 30 x Cost per kWh [For Annual Total: Multiply Result by 12]
And there you go! With this article, you hopefully know how much power you’re consuming on a regular basis. If this calculation doesn’t look good to you, it might be time to start reconsidering your PC usage habits. For me, though, it’s not a big deal.
What about you? Feel free to sound off in the comments below.