The way we use electronic devices has changed drastically over the last twenty years. Whereas expensive electronics used to be long-term investments, many devices today are not meant to last more than a year or two. However, there are still some electronics that should not need replacement for up to a decade (and sometimes longer).
These electronics include things like PCs and laptops, smart televisions, and gaming consoles. While they can and will have issues over the years, these problems should not cause the device to pack up entirely. The thing is, many people end up having to replace their devices simply due to wear and tear that causes them to decay more rapidly than they should.
Wear and tear is unavailable, but you can ensure your electronics last years longer by following these tips.
Insurance and warranties
The first thing you need to know about when it comes to protecting your electronics is insurance and warranties. These are two concepts that people tend to conflate but have very different purposes.
Electronics insurance coverage is included in homeowners insurance policies as part of the contents of your home. However, insurance does not cover wear and tear or system problems. Rather, it covers certain damages, loss, and theft.
A warranty, on the other hand, is a contract provided by the manufacturer of the item promising to fix any issues that come up within the first year (or more, depending on the warranty) that are not due to negligence or external damage. In other words, if the item stops working as it should for no reason other than shoddy mechanics, the manufacturer needs to fix it or replace it.
Neither of these include wear and tear. Wear and tear is always the responsibility of the user of the electronics. This is why it is so important to take proactive steps to prevent it. Here is what you need to do.
Climate control is crucial
The unfortunate reality is that if you live in certain climates, your electronics will decay at a faster rate. This is particularly true in tropical and semi-tropical environments, where humidity is unavoidable. The water levels in the air will cause damage to your devices no matter what you do, but you can take steps to mitigate this damage.
Keeping your electronics in climate controlled rooms is ideal. Of course, you cannot keep your smartphone in a climate controlled room at all times, but try to leave your PC or laptop, gaming console, TV, soundbar, and other expensive electronics in such a space. You can use a dehumidifier, while ensuring that the AC is set at a level that benefits your devices.
One of the most unnecessary causes of wear and tear is dust. Dust is ubiquitous, but it is not difficult to mitigate – if you do not let it build up. A buildup of dust on and inside your electronics will cause them to degrade at a rapid rate. They will malfunction more regularly and are more likely to need repairs and new parts.
Dust can be extremely problematic in humid environments, in which it can clog your devices and become very difficult to remove.
Keep software updated (and clean)
Many people forget that software has a big impact on hardware. This is an easy mistake to make in a world in which we don’t often have to deal with the blue screen of death. However, if you do not keep your software updated, your electronics become vulnerable to viruses, cyber attacks, as well as bugs and processing problems. Since even a TV today relies heavily on software, it can fall victim to similar issues.
This is another reason to avoid downloading from shady sources. It is tempting to download torrents for free, but sites like The Pirate Bay and RuTracker host anything users want to upload, and even seemingly innocuous downloads may come with a nasty surprise that only your OS notices.
This leads to a kind of wear and tear on a software level. The operating system functions more slowly, and the hardware begins to struggle. Before long, you need to reset your entire system – and any damage to the hardware remains.
Wear and tear is unavoidable, but by taking steps to prevent it you can give your electronics a few extra years of optimal performance.