Q. Should I turn my computer off at night?
A. This is one of the most frequently asked questions I come across.
Lets look at it from different points of view.
If you turn your PCs off at night you will save some $$$ on your electric bill. If you have multiple computers running you may want to save the extra dough. There is also the possibility of extra wear on your components from extra dust collection in fans and overheating. Turning it off will slow the buildup of dust and allow components to cool.
From another standpoint lets look at updates, backups, virus scans and scheduled maintenance. It is more convenient to run these operations at night so it does not interfere with your work. It is also very convenient when you don’t have to wait for your system to boot up. With some older systems you might wait up to 5 minutes before everything loads.
Personally, I set my monitor to turn off after 20 minutes of inactivity and leave the PC on. I run regular backups at night and virus scans as well. Setting the monitor to turn off will save a little electricity and ultimately prolong the life of your monitor. The back light tends to burn out after a year or two on the LCD screens.
It is really your choice whether you want to leave it on or not. If you leave your computer off for too long you may fall behind on security updates. If you leave it on all the time you will need to blow out the dust from your cooling fans more often.
What works for you?