When it comes to laptops and desktops, replacing a poorly maintained system isn’t cheap. Computers are an investment, and like any investment it is important to protect. Unless you are looking for an excuse to buy a new and shiny computer you will love to hear that there are many ways to make your laptop last longer. Discover the five Cs of computer care:
1. Keep it Cool
A cool computer is a longer-lasting computer. Whether it’s a laptop, tablet or desktop, excessive heat is the enemy. When metals heat and cool, they also expand and contract. In principle, all of the wire and metals in your device are being stretched and compressed, which could ultimately lead to the failure of any number of key components.
2. Keep it Clean
Dust and dirt are your worst nightmare. One of the best ways to keep your computer running over the long term is to keep it clean. A dirty keyboard will eventually stop working properly, and the same applies for a dirty mouse. Don’t neglect laptop and desktop ports and crevices either. Dusty or particle-clogged ports reduce airflow into and out of the device, increasing the risk of overheating.
- Use canned air to remove dirt and debris, especially from fans and ports.
- Clean your screen with screen cleaner, never window cleaner, as the ammonia will dull the screen.
- Don’t eat or drink next to your computer, one accident can have serious consequences.
3. Avoid “Cold booting”
“Cold booting” is holding down the power button until the system shuts itself off. Properly shutting down a computer only takes a minute and it could prolong its life. Turning it off once per day is ideal but don’t treat the off button like a light switch. Repeatedly powering on and off stresses the computer’s components – as the temperature inside the system to rise as fall, causing the hardware to contract and expand.
4. Keep it Current
Keep your operating systems, apps and virus protection all up to date. While those updates may seem like a pain when you’re trying to get work done, they are necessary maintenance for your system. If you have an Apple computer, the updates will not only update your computer, but also defrag the system. If you have a PC, you will need to do defrag and disk clean up manually (at least once per month).
5. Avoid Continuous charging
Don’t leave electronic devices plugged in all the time, unnecessary charging puts undue stress on batteries and inhibits their regenerative capabilities. Not only is it a needless drain on the ZESA grid but also a preventable bloat on your utility bills. The ideal charge rate for laptop batteries as stated by Battery University is to charge to 80%, then let it drain to 40%. This can prolong the life of your battery by as much as four times.
The bottom line
Computers are big investments. Like any expense, it makes sense to get the most use out of your computer. With some basic computer care, you can extend the life of your computer by years and enjoy more efficient performance, too. Keeping your hardware humming for a few more years will mean good things for your finances and your sanity. Don’t just remember but always apply these computer care tips.