We love our gadgets. And it’s really annoying when we have to replace them. Apart from any data or work lost, technology can be expensive to replace. We all want our computers, cameras, printers, game consoles, and other hardware to work well and last for a long time (especially if we accidentally threw out the warranty). There are three areas of hardware maintenance that you’ll want to be up to date on to prolong your devices’ lifetimes. Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to avoid most of the dents, overheats, and damages that often come to your tech.
First: How You Begin
First things first—keep the box (and the warranty). The box is fitted to the product and comes with packing sure to keep your gadget safe during trips and storage. If you want to keep your hardware working like new, try to treat it like it is new. Make an effort to be gentle with your initial unpacking as well; there’s nothing so bad as accidentally damaging your brand new piece of hardware.
If your hardware is going to stay in the same place most of the time, be sure to place it where its vents won’t be pressed up against a wall, couch, or any other pieces of technology. You’ll extend the lifespan of your hardware if the vents can do their job properly. This way, your hardware won’t overheat. If you move your technology around a lot, consider investing in protective case for it. A three-foot drop could cost you far more than buying a protective case.
Second: Day to Day
Your hardware will last longer if you treat the battery right. Don’t leave your hardware plugged in and turned on for hours upon hours while you’re not using it. If it’s not in constant use, like your refrigerator, give it a break (you’ll save on your power bill too). On a laptop or similar device, don’t let the battery run down to 2 percent before you start recharging it. Try to get it plugged in before it reaches 20 percent.
Keep the cords and cables organized and untangled. Tangling your chords in a heap behind your device will likely get twisted, yanked too hard, or overstrained. You don’t want to have to stop using your hardware just because one of your chord got ruined.
You also might regularly dust off your devices. Dust leads to overheating, which shortens the life of your hardware. Also, keep your tech away from smoke, as it can be even more damaging than dust.
Tidy software and good virus protection will extend the life of your hardware. Be smart about the software you download, and be sure you update your device regularly, according to the manufacturer’s website.
Third: Moving and Storage
Whether you keep your extra or currently unused technology under your bed or in a storage unit nearby, you’re going to want to keep it from unnecessary dust, jostling, or heat. If you didn’t keep the box your hardware came in, put it into another sturdy box with packing paper, foam, or something else relatively soft in order to keep your hardware from being damaged in the move. Technology left sitting in the open air will certainly accumulate dust.
Avoid storing your hardware next to a central heating unit or anything that could cause it to heat up unnecessarily while in storage. Just find a cool (but certainly not freezing), dry place. Also, remember those cables—if you pack them neatly, they’re more likely to stay in good shape. In fact, it’s a good idea to remove the chords and disassemble what you can when moving your devices into storage; they often aren’t built to travel in their assembled state.
If you take good care of your hardware, you can be sure that your devices will work for you whenever, wherever, and however you need them. You’ll save yourself some stress and maybe enough money to get the next piece of tech you need for your ensemble.