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Go Green, don’t leave your chargers plugged in?

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There are certain appliances that suck power even when they are shut off like TVs, microwaves, and gaming systems. Anything with a little light or digital clock on it is sucking power unnecessarily, and that costs you money.

The other set is the chargers and the most popular are the mobile and laptop chargers. Because of our laziness and ignorance, we often leave these chargers plugged in when disconnected from the gadget. I too used to do it earlier. I would leave my mobile charger hanging out of the power socket or leave the laptop charge plugged all night, while the mobile or laptop was not connected. But it seems leaving the appliance plugged in even after its charged is worst than leaving the charger plugged in.

According to a study a mobile phone charger draws an average of 3.68 watts when the phone is on and charging; 2.24 watts when it is on and charged; and 0.26 watts when it is just hanging out in the socket. So leaving your charged phone attached to the charger uses 10 times the energy that leaving the charger dangling would. Now the wastage in terms of cost may not seem to be significant for you, but when you accumulate it across all the mobile users it becomes very significant.

Laptop too is no different. It draws an average of 44.28 watts when it is charging; 29.48 watts when it is charged; and 4.42 watts when we let the charger dangle. However dealing with laptop is little different than laptop, because keeping them plugged in can actually be a good thing – it’s more efficient to use that power to run the machine than to use it to charge a battery which then runs the machine. There is something else you need to consider for laptops – HEAT. The temperature can shorten the battery life. So having the battery fully charged and the laptop plugged in is not harmful, because as soon as the charge level reaches 100% the battery stops receiving charging energy and this energy is bypassed directly to the power supply system of the laptop. However in a normal usage, if the laptop doesn’t get too hot (CPU and Hard Disk around 40ºC) you can leave the battery in the laptop, but in an intensive usage which produces a large amount of heat it’s better to remove the battery from the socket in order to prevent unwanted heating and let the laptop run on direct power. In fact if there is not much of power problem one should remove the battery and run the laptop on direct power to get a better battery life.

So here’s what you can do:

  • Do not leave charges hanging on the power socket when not in use

Written by Sushil Katre

February 6, 2013 at 1:09 PM

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