Does shutting down a computer shorten its life?

Does shutting down a computer shorten its life?
Here's a question I get asked this all the time: Does shutting down a computer that's not in use hurt the machine; does it somehow shorten its life?

This is one of those subjects were various experts disagree, but I'm going to stick my neck out and go with the folks at HP.

"Our data would suggest, no, you don't shorten it at all," says John Frey, HP's Manager for Environmental Strategies.

Frey tells me there's no reason to keep your computer running all the time. "That was a common perception in the early days of computers," he says. "But actually many years of service and support suggest that that's not actually factual."

Computer makers, including HP recommend that people turn off their computers and monitors when they're not using them for extended periods of time - such as when you leave for work or go to sleep.

The U.S. Department of Energy, through its Energy Star program, recommends turning off both the CPU and monitor "if you're not going to use your PC for more than 2 hours."

Turning off an unused computer will not only reduce your energy bills, it will reduce system-wide energy demand, which will help cut carbon dioxide emissions.

John Frey says HP ships all of its desktop computers will energy-saving features enabled. For every 12 machines left in this mode, he says, the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions (needed to generate electricity) is equal to taking a car off the road for a year.

For More Information:

When to turn off personal computers

Is it better to turn my computer off when I am not using it or leave it on all the time?

HP: Energy Saving Tips