Small electronics are getting cheaper by the day; you can use them and dispose of them when you’re done. But what do you do about maintaining expensive electronic items such as home theater systems, video camcorders, DVD players, Sony PlayStations, and a million other gadgets? If you use them roughly, they’ll start showing wear and tear pretty soon. The best way is to ensure their reliability and then look after them at home. Read on for the savviest tips on maintaining your electronic equipment.
1. Ensure Wires and Cables Don’t Get Damaged
Power supplies such as cables have fragile and thin wires inside. Don’t wrap them tightly or bend them in weird angles to save space. By doing this, you’ll be damaging the wires and hampering your device’s reliability. Use cable ties to tie electrical cables neatly, and label them according to the device. Keep cables away from pets and children; children can cut into cables without understanding what they’re doing. They can put themselves at risk of an electric shock if you’re not careful. If possible, hire a professional electrician to inspect and repair cables and cords at regular intervals.
2. Use Your Electronic Appliances with Respect
Don’t lock your sensitive audio and video devices in cabinets; this restricts air flow and causes them to overheat. When your device starts to overheat, turn it off immediately and let it cool. Keep your fridge at least 25% empty, so that it does not overheat. Washing machines come with complex electronics, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to prevent overheating.
3. Unplug Your Chargers When Not in Use
People tend to keep their devices charged in even when not in use. You see this everywhere – emergency lights, laptops, mobile phones, audio equipment – they continually absorb power even when fully charged, which works against the delicate electronic parts within. Put the chargers away when not in use, and keep them organized without bending the cables.
4. Dust Your Equipment Regularly
Dusty electronic gadgets tend to malfunction before their time is up. Take care to wipe all your household electronic devices with a piece of clean cloth. Don’t use strong chemical cleaning agents as these may seep into the device and ruin the parts inside. Be sure to wear protective gear when cleaning electric cables and chargers and replace worn out or broken cable ties.
5. Use Proper Cleaning Cloths
When you want to clean delicate, sensitive monitors and touchscreens, always use the microfiber cloth that comes with the device. If you lose the cloth, purchase the best-quality microfiber you can find at stores. Do not use any other kitchen cloth, paper towels or even soft napkins to clean these surfaces. They tend to scratch easily and dust can collect within these scratches.
6. Consult User Manual
All electronic devices come with clear, detailed user manuals that are meant to guide owners. Even if you find them utterly boring, make it a point to consult them when in doubt. Check with the manuals if you are maintaining your valuable electronic gadgets in the prescribed manner. Another suggestion is to join an online forum on electronics maintenance. You’ll get a lot of useful information that’ll help you protect your investments better.
7. Keep Them Dry
Dampness is the number one enemy of all electronics and electricals. Always take care to keep the areas around your gadgets totally dry. If you spill water or any other liquid around your electronics, there’s always the danger of serious short-circuit, which can totally damage sensitive electronics. Get your home checked regularly for moisture and mold.
8. Give Them a Good Airing Now and Then
Electronic devices, especially if used heavily, need to be taken apart and aired now and then. If you’re well-versed with dismantling and putting your electronic devices back together, go ahead, or hire a professional to do it. Airing them removes moisture and dust that may have accumulated within. Use electronics-friendly cleaning equipment to give your devices a good cleanup. Use a can of air to remove the dust from inner circuits to keep them clean. By doing this, you can increase the life span of your equipment.
9. Get Your Device Serviced on Time
Follow up on all the free services and checkups indicated in your device’s warranty car. You can pick up several useful tips from watching the professionals handle your device. When your device is out of warranty, sign up for reasonably-priced service visits from a good firm. If one or two components need replacing, go ahead. By doing just that, you ensure prolonged health of the device, which is cheaper than buying a whole new set.
10. Extend Device Lifespan
Just because your fridge can hold 10 more dishes doesn’t mean you should go ahead and overload it. In the same way, don’t turn the dial on your amplifier all the way up if a lower volume is sufficient. Use each electronic device respectfully and never push it beyond its limits. Such respectful care will ensure that your device gives you better service than you expect.
11. Protect Your Electronics
Keep your electronic devices covered to protect them from dust, moisture and fire. You can purchase waterproof, fire-retardant covers for smartphones, laptops and similar devices. Use purpose-made protective sheets to prevent cracks and scratches on sensitive touchscreens. Clean your monitors and touchscreens only with special cleaning liquids. Speaker cones are made of a delicate paper-based material, which can soften over time. Spray them with a special purpose-made hardening spray to keep the original sound intact. When not in use, cover your speakers with plastic covers so that dust does not enter the tiny openings.
12. Keep Them Away from Unpleasant Threats
Did you know that cat piss can never be washed off? Imagine your cat pissing on your favorite Sony PlayStation. Disaster? Yes! Keep your pets and kids far away from your treasured electronics. Don’t allow a child younger than 10 years of age to use your laptop, computer or smartphone. If your kid manages to dunk your electronic device in water, wipe it off quickly with a cloth and submerge it in a bag of raw rice. By doing this, you’ll give the rice a chance to extract the remaining water before the water can do permanent damage to your device.
13. Maintain Your Computer
One of the most expensive electronic devices we invest in is the computer, whether PC or laptop. When it comes to your computer, maintenance is more than just keeping it clean on the outside. You have to keep it clean on the inside as well. Here are a few tips for this:
- Don’t allow your hard drive to max out. Delete all unnecessary data, temp files and graphics that take up too much space.
- Your computer’s C drive is where the operating system and all your system tools are installed. Always make sure that your C drive comprises a good amount of free space. If your C drive is maxed, your computer will become exceedingly slow and hard-to-use.
- Back up your important data so you don’t lose it if the hard drive crashes. Use this opportunity to check if you’re holding on to files that are no longer needed. You can back up files to a cloud drive, an external hard drive or even use high-performance CDs.
- If you want your computer’s mouse to live a long life, protect the underside with a mouse pad. If you use your mouse on a harsh table or any random surface without a mouse pad, the electronic reader at the bottom gets scratched and this shortens its life.
- Install antivirus and update it regularly. Your system may seem to be running just fine, but you may be harboring viruses and malware by the bucket load. Run a hard drive scan every day and a boot scan every week to ensure good health.
- Use only licensed software; unlicensed software allows viruses to enter via unprotected back doors, putting your computer and data at risk. Also, be sure to install all the updates the software manufacturer recommends for each software you use.
- Do not download anything from the internet unless you’re 100% sure of its authenticity. The things we download tend to bring unwanted guests into our computer.
- Allow your computer’s operating system to install updates regularly. All operating system manufacturers are constantly developing protective code to protect your computer from attacks. By updating your O.S., you can ensure that your computer’s basic level of protection and your firewalls are shipshape.
The old adage, ‘A stitch in time saves nine’ holds very true, especially in the case of electronics. Treat your treasures with respect and they’ll reward you with long life and excellent service output over the years. There’s no reason to buy the latest electronics if your existing devices are serving you as they should, unless you have a fetish for buying new devices.