SMART Blog

Tip of the Week: Follow These 4 Best Practices to Keep Your Computer Clean

b2ap3_thumbnail_clean_your_pc_400.jpgA computer is a complex machine that demands routine maintenance and caretaking. If ignored, the machine’s lifespan will be cut short. Here are four best practices to ensure you get the most out of your PC.

Eat, Drink, and Smoke Somewhere Else
For many users, eating, drinking, and smoking at their computer is a way of life. This is a big no-no for proper computer maintenance. Crumbs can make their way into the keyboard and the insides of the computer itself, grease from fingers gets all over everything, and there’s the risk of accidentally spilling food and drink on the machine. All things considered, it’s better to dine elsewhere.

Smoking, too, isn’t good for computers. Computers utilize fans to circulate air and keep the machine cool. If that air is filled with smoke, then a disgusting, tar-like residue will coat the inside of the machine and can cause performance issues.

Give Your Computer a Good Cleaning
While it makes sense to clean a dirty computer, not every user understands just how often they should bust out the cleaning supplies. The truth is, it varies a lot, depending on factors like environment, lifestyle, how much the computer is used, etc. One tool to help users determine how often they should clean their machine is an online calculator from ComputerHope. Generally speaking, giving a computer a thorough wipe down every two years is adequate, but heavy PC users will want to do this more often.

Another common-sense rule is to always power down your computer before popping the case open to clean it. If you are unsure how to do this, you can ask one of our IT professionals by giving us a call at (586) 258-0650.

Give the Computer Some Space
Be mindful of where your computer’s fans and vents are located, and be sure to place your PC where the machine has “room to breathe.” If any of these vents are obstructed, the machine will overheat and potentially cause critical damage, perhaps even data loss. Additionally, you should not place a PC or laptop on a cushy surface like a carpet or blanket.

Give Your PC a Good Dusting
Dusting your PC should be done more frequently than the thorough cleaning we mentioned earlier. While a small layer of dust can be annoying, a significant amount of dust can actually risk coating the insides of your PC and cause overheating and performance issues. The best way to dust off your PC is by using compressed air, found in cans that you can purchase at most electronics stores. Whatever you do, do not apply cleaning liquid directly to your PC. Liquid of any kind and electronics don’t mix, period.

For more great tips on how to take care of your technology, subscribe to the SMART Services blog.

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