- Always keep your PC plugged in to a good quality surge suppressor. One bad voltage transient and it could render your computer inoperable.
- If you're a smoker, do not smoke around the PC. Smoking around the PC will leave a residue on the circuit boards that can cause overheating of parts and eventually can cause various parts to fail. Dirt and dust are also primary enemies of a PC's overall health.
- If your PC is past its warranty period and you're comfortable opening the case, clean the inside of dirt and dust by using a can of compressed air or an antistatic portable vacuum specifically made for PCs. Concentrate on cleaning around the fans and the case vents. Make sure you clean off the motherboard of any dirt and dust displaced by the cleaning process of the other areas. You should clean the inside of the PC every few months and if you're a heavy user or live in a dusty area, clean it once a month.
- If you feel uncomfortable about cleaning the inside of your PC, take it to a computer shop and have them clean it. It may cost you a few dollars but the long-term effect on your PCs longevity will be positive.
- Regularly clean or replace your home's air system filter.
- When cleaning your monitor screen, never use a standard household cleaner or glass cleaner. You should only use screen wipes or a special screen solution formulated specifically for monitor screens. They are available at a computer store or a home office store.
- Pull the power cord from the electrical outlet during an electrical storm to avoid high-voltage spikes damaging the PC.
The following are great tips for keeping your laptop PC in good shape as well as prolonging its life:
- Only use approved battery packs
- Never tightly pack a laptop in a suitcase. The pressure may damage the LCD screen.
- Never place heavy objects on top of a laptop.
- Never pick up a laptop by the LCD screen.
- Do not put the laptop close to TV, large speakers, refrigerator, or any other appliance that generates a strong magnetic field.
- Only use an approved cleaning solution on the LCD screen. Do not use a regular household cleaner or glass cleaner. Generally, it is acceptable to clean the screen with distilled water, which will not leave a mineral deposit residue. Alway power-off the laptop before cleaning.
- Do not leave the battery inside the laptop for a long period of time unused.
- Do not expose the laptop to sunlight for an extended period of time.
- If the laptop ever gets wet on the inside, immediately power it off and give it several days to dry before attempting to use it again.
- Use a power plug strip with a good surge suppressor built into it.
It's pretty clear to see that extending your PC's life isn't just about what to do, but it's also about what not to do as well. Please keep this thought in mind about PC warranties. Except for high end PCs, it is not necessary to buy an extended warranty. Please check out the article I wrote about Manufacturer and Extended Warranties for more details. Adhere to a few basics I've mentioned here and your PC will last you for years. Then you can save the money you would have spent on an extended warranty for something more important. Good luck with your computing!