The average computer lasts anywhere from two-five years. Eventually, your computer will tear up beyond repair or become so out-of-date that you can no longer use the latest software or accessories along with it, and you’ll have to begin the dreaded, inevitable search for a replacement. Buying a new computer is a hassle if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for and you aren’t familiar with what’s current. And of course, with today’s economy and job market, you’re probably cutting corners whenever possible. New computers can be expensive. Here are a few tips on how you can make your current computer last longer.
If your computer is older and it’s running well, there’s no need to get rid of it just yet. If you’re using it for simple tasks such as word processing, surfing the internet, or manging pictures, age shouldn’t be much of a factor. Routine maintenance will keep your computer running smoothly, save you money, and maybe even extend the life of your PC.
The temperature can have a big impact on your computer and cause a lot of damage. Computers generate a lot of heat and at one time had to be stored in climate-controlled rooms. You don’t need to keep your living room or home office at a set temperature, but you do want to keep your PC from overheating. Make sure it’s not left in direct sun too long and make sure it’s properly ventilated.
You’ll also want to keep your computer clean. Extra dust on or around your PC can trap heat and making your cooling fan work even harder. This can lead to lots of wear and tear, and eventually to your fan giving out all together. Be careful where you place the computer. Putting the machine on the floor can lead to lots of dirt and dust build-up. Also avoid any rooms with heavy dust build-up. Of course, no matter how careful you are, your computer is going to accumulate some dust, so you might want to blow it out with compressed air every so often.
Laptops are becoming extremely popular and generally don’t last as long as desktops. You may leave your laptop plugged in all the time, but leaving it plugged in is bad for your battery. Apple even recommends users don’t keep their laptops constantly plugged in and use the battery at times. A typical battery lasts 300-500 charge cycles, but if you find your battery struggling to stay charged, replacing it is a good idea and an inexpensive way to prevent yourself from having to buy a whole new computer.
Restarting your computer is another way to keep things flowing. Most people reboot when they hit trouble, hoping for a fresh start when the computer comes back on and this is actually a good idea. However, many people also leave their computer running 24/7. There’s no set time as to how often you should reboot, but rebooting can give your computer a fresh start, speed things up, and serves as a small refresher to your PC.