CAI Managed IT blog
Tip of the Week: Don’t Use Your Keyboard as a Dinner Plate and 3 Other PC Best Practices to Live By
Computers are complex devices that require special attention to keep in optimal shape. Unfortunately, some people don’t pay enough attention to the current state of their computers. Once you’ve cleaned your computer properly, though, it’s important to make sure that it stays that way for as long as possible. Doing so can increase the longevity of your technology, and prevent it from an untimely demise.
Keep in mind that whenever you decide it’s time to clean your computer, be sure to power it down and unplug it before doing so. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially with expensive hardware.
Don’t Eat, Drink, or Smoke at the Computer
Remember all of those crumbs that fall out of your keyboard when you turn it upside down? All of those crumbs got there somehow, and it’s probably thanks to one habit that you might have: eating at your desk. To minimize the amount of crumbs that fall onto your keyboard, it’s best to just lock your PC and go eat somewhere else, like the kitchen, dining room, or break room. Furthermore, smoking in the same room as your computer can gunk up your fans and other components with ash, tar, and other nasty substances that are found in cigarettes.
In general, it can be good to separate yourself from your computer while you eat. If you’re doing it at work, it separates the work environment from you momentarily, which can be helpful for maintaining your sanity.
Clean Your PC Regularly
Giving your PC a thorough cleaning is only the first step toward ensuring that your computer remains in optimal shape. In order to keep it that way, you need to set up regular upkeep cleaning sessions, where you clean out the keyboard, the monitor, and the main body of your PC. Doing so can considerably prolong its lifespan, and it makes it more appealing to look at when you have to sit in front of it for hours on end.
If you need help knowing how often (or how) to clean your PC, ComputerHope has a great calculator that helps you determine how often you should do so. The variables that it takes into account include your lifestyle, where your computer is located, who’s using it, and so much more. We think it’s safe to say that you should clean your PC at least twice a year, maybe more if your lifestyle calls for it.
Give it Room to Breathe
In order to keep your PC functioning at optimal efficiency, you need to give it the space it requires to run without overheating. In other words, you should keep it in an open location, where all of the fans are capable of keeping air circulation flowing. This prevents overheating, and can improve overall functionality of the device. Furthermore, you should keep your PC tower off of carpet if possible, to help with keeping the heat low.
Constantly Clear Dust Collection
Desktop PCs and workstations tend to be a bit on the large side, and therefore, don’t move around as much as laptops or other smaller devices do. This leads to computers collecting dust in the fans, vents, and just about anywhere else. It’s important that you keep your PC dust-free whenever possible; otherwise, it could run into operational issues due to overheating, keyboard stickiness, and so on. In fact, dust can even cause PC components to seize up and stop working.
The best way you can keep your computer dust-free is to keep a can of compressed, or “canned,” air right on your desk. This way, you’ll have a neat tool for cleaning your PC available at your disposal. Please be sure that you don’t spray liquids at your computer, ever. If you have to use a liquid cleaner, use water, and use a damp cloth rather than a spray bottle to directly apply the liquid, but never use water on an internal computer component.
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