These days it’s hard not to rely on computers especially when they’ve become so integrated into our daily lives. From communicating via emails to buying stuff online to using it for school or work, and more, the computer is more than just a piece of equipment designed for our convenience, it is a need. The best way to get the most out of our PC is to look after it with great care.

Computer maintenance is important and should be something that users of it must do religiously. Without proper maintenance, the PC will inevitably get slower due to it accumulating dust which will then result in loss of productivity, frustration and even permanent damage to the machine. The good news is, simple routine maintenance can help lengthen the life of your PC. Here are some of the ways you can take care of your computer:

Keep it Cooled

In its simplest form, energy generates heat and as such, electrical energy is used to turn on the computer. It is normal for computers to heat up when they are being used but there are levels of heat that are safe and unsafe. The ideal CPU temperature should be between 45 to 50 degrees, but anything more than that will cause it to overheat which can cause computer crash and even irreversible damage to the hardware.

The best way to cool down the CPU is by cooling it on the inside. Most people usually use CPU fans to cool down the processor because it is the most accessible and cheapest. The downside is that when it acquires dust, it cannot generate as much airflow and when left unchecked can cause the computer to overheat. Another way is to use a PC liquid cooling kit for their system.

Perform Routine Software and Hardware Updates

Getting alerted to new updates can be annoying at times because it almost always happens during down times, when watching a video, or when playing the computer. It is important to not delay the download and installation of updates because it actually helps keep the computer working well and more. Updates usually contain helpful patches or fixes for existing glitches and bugs.

For those who don’t know, computers that run on old software and hardware updates run the risk of being exploited by hackers and cybercriminals. Since documents have gone digital, they are at risk without the latest updates. Furthermore, when a computer becomes infected by malware, the hacker behind it is capable of controlling your computer to wreak more havoc by spreading the same virus, spyware, worm, and many more to your family and friends. A bonus tip is to schedule routine anti-virus scans to detect and remedy any problems caused by malware.

Remove Old and Unused Programs

It is important to do spring cleaning even inside your computer – digital clutter can accumulate over time and will take up precious storage space. There’s no reason to keep old and unused programs and apps inside the computer because it will only make the operating system work harder than it should. Furthermore, even old and unused programs continue to receive updates so everytime you install routine software and hardware updates, you’re also adding unnecessary files.

If you’re unsure where to start, determine first what programs you no longer need and uninstall them. If you find yourself unsure whether you will need them in the future, worry not because it can be installed back later on. Furthermore, by sifting through the current programs, you will find forgotten ones that you may use from then on.

Run Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter

If you recently uninstalled programs, it may be a good idea to follow up with a system disk cleanup to completely remove the files left behind. Using disk cleanup is a safe way to delete old and unnecessary files from the system. It also gets rid of temporary files. It is inevitable that junk builds up especially when you use your computer frequently so running this program helps take out the digital clutter to make your PC run smoothly.

The next step would be to run the disk defragmenter to help optimize the computer. Data in hard drives are written by computers in “blocks” as they represent data on the spinning disc. Those blocks are ordered in sequences, but when programs are uninstalled or deleted, those blocks also disappear. The defragmentation program basically reorganizes the existing blocks again to prevent the system from “reading” different spots in the hard drive making it faster and more efficient.

Get Food and Drinks Away from the PC

There’s a reason why food and drinks don’t mix with computer hardware. A lot of accidents and spills have rendered multiple damages and casualties in PC’s but it can easily be remedied when you don’t put food and drink anywhere your set up. Choose to have your meals at a proper table instead so that in case you have spills, your computer will be spared. Furthermore, ants and other bugs or insects won’t be attracted to crumbs and leftovers that would have been left on your computer table if you dine there.

Keep the Computer Clean

Computers, like any piece of equipment, should be kept clean and free from any foreign objects, obstructions, and most importantly, dust. Overheating is mainly caused by decreased airflow which happens when the CPU’s internal fans can no longer function fully because of too much dust. Always remember to clean your computer with a soft cloth or even dampened cloth, but never with just water.

Unplug your computer first before doing any cleaning. For best cleaning results, use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the monitor, the CPU, and mouse and keyboards. You can even swab the peripherals with isopropyl rubbing alcohol to sterilize them. Dust blower can be used to blast the dust off of the CPU ports and even fans, but remember to be very gentle as parts in the CPU are very sensitive.

The more you maintain and care for your computer, the fewer difficulties you’ll have with your computer. Most systems cost at least several hundred dollars so it is just right to protect it as an investment so you could get your money’s worth. Do you have simple tips for caring for your PC? Join the discussion in the comment section.