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Extend The Life Of Your Electronics

Feb 2, 2008
At our website, we get a lot of questions from customers who want to learn how to properly care for their electronics in order to extend their lifespan and maintain the quality of their performance. So I thought I'd take a few minutes to pass along some tips.

It probably shouldn't need to be said, but considering the number of people who do absolutely nothing in the area of caring for their possessions, I'll point out the obvious anyway: It's a good idea to take care of your electronics. There I said it. Even if you already have a manufacturer's warranty and an extended warranty in place, it's still a good idea. The warranty will cover you if the item breaks down, and of course anything can break down, but wouldn't you like to minimize the chances of that happening if you could?

OK, so hopefully you understand the importance of proper maintenance. Now, maybe you're wondering how to do it. Well below is a list to get you started.

First of all, keep them clear of dust. Dust is one of the great killers of electronics. It gets inside the casing, attaches itself to wires, motherboards and pretty much anything that produces an electric pulse, then it fries them. Keep dust away. There are right ways and wrong ways to clean off dust.


1. Use a damp, lint-free cloth and either water or a mild cleaning agent. Don't use any harsh cleaning solvents because they can do a lot of harm, especially to your expensive LCD or plasma television screen.

2. In order to clean your plasma or LCD screen use a special cleaner and anti-static cloth designed specifically for those screens (which you can find at most electronics retailers). Don't use regular glass cleaners.

3. Gently. Don't apply too much pressure or you might damage your component, especially fragile TV screens.

4. Spray the cleaning solution onto the cloth first and then wipe. Never spray it directly onto the item you're cleaning. Electronics and liquids don't mix.

5. If you do spill liquid onto anything electronic, unplug it immediately and have it looked at by a qualified professional before you plug it back in.

6. Never use a vacuum to pick up dust. Vacuums create static and can severely damage your electronics.

7. Get yourself a can of compressed air. They work great for safely removing dust from your gadgets.

Your electronics are also very vulnerable to their environment. Make sure that you store or display them properly. Here are some storage tips.


1. Do not keep you electronics in an enclosed space. They create a lot of heat when they are on, and they need proper ventilation to keep from overheating.

2. Do not stack them directly on top of each other. You may notice that many of your components have holes on the top and back of their casings. Those holes provide ventilation for the parts inside. If the ventilation holes are covered, the component can overheat and break down.

3. Keep them out of direct sunlight. Once again, they can overheat.

4. Keep them away from radiators or any other heaters.

5. Keep them away from damp or humid places. Get yourself a dehumidifier if you need to.

Almost any user's manual that you have will include directions for care of that specific item. Be sure to look through your manuals to see if there are any special instructions that you need to know about.

Well, there you go. While I don't consider this an exhaustive list of everything you can do to care for your electronics, it is a good review of the basics, and a good checklist for you to follow.

If you follow the advice listed above, then most of your electronics should stay healthy for a long time.
About the Author
Mark Yarrobino is the president of Maroon Enterprises. One of their websites (www.warrantydomain.com/warranties.htm) specializes in providing top of the line warranties for electronics and appliances at competitive prices.
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