How to Extend the Life of Electronics

Electronic devices are long-term investments — depending on the product, they can last from four to ten years or more. To get your money’s worth, it makes sense to protect your gadgets from avoidable damage and breakdowns. Follow these tips to extend the life of electronics and keep them in good working order.

Keep Gadgets Clean

Buildup from dust and dirt can damage electronics, so keep your devices clean. Use a can of compressed air to blow away dust. If keypads get sticky or screens become smudged, dampen a microfiber cleaning cloth in a solution of equal parts water and rubbing alcohol, then wipe off the dirty areas. Just make sure to turn off and unplug devices before cleaning them.

Prolong Battery Life

A common misconception dictates that it’s better to let a device’s battery run down before charging it. In fact, the battery will last longer if you charge more frequently. As the Telegraph reports, lithium-ion batteries like the ones in smartphones and tablets retain their capacity longer if they’re depleted by only 50 percent and then charged, rather than being depleted by 100 percent before charging. So if you see your device’s battery at 50 percent after a day’s use, go ahead and charge it — don’t wait until the battery is fully drained.

And make sure your device’s battery isn’t working too hard. Turn on battery saver mode in your device’s settings and lower your screen’s brightness level, if possible. Frequent app notifications can overwork your battery, too, so turn off any notifications that aren’t essential.

Avoid Extreme Temperatures

To extend the life of your electronics, keep them out of extreme conditions that could harm them. Try to keep devices indoors at room temperature, and don’t place them in direct sunlight for long periods of time. Similarly, don’t leave a smartphone or laptop in a car on a hot day.

Use a Case and Screen Protector

Protect handheld devices like smartphones, tablets and e-book readers with a case and screen protector. If you drop your device, a case will mitigate the force of the impact, and a screen protector helps prevent scratches and dents to the device’s screen. After several months’ wear, you can peel off the screen protector and put on a fresh one, which is much cheaper and easier than trying to replace the screen itself.

Dry Out a Soggy Phone With Uncooked Rice

Getting dunked in water doesn’t always have to mean the demise of your device. If your phone was dropped in a puddle or otherwise got soaked, remove its battery right away. Use compressed air to expel as much water as possible. (Don’t reach for the hair dryer, since the heat can damage your phone.) Then, fill a plastic bag or a bowl with uncooked rice and let the phone sit fully covered by the grains overnight.

Following these tips means your devices will be more likely to be in working order when you need them most. And taking precautions now will help you avoid budget-bursting unexpected expenses later.

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