Just like automobiles, a computer needs maintenance and general TLC. Many components of a computer are moving, mechanical parts, and in addition the software must be maintained. Any Los Angeles computer repair technician can explain these matters.
The Dangers of Dust
One of the primary damaging things a computer can suffer from is dust buildup inside. This causes issues with heat and can clog the cooling fans directly. In terms of electronics, heat is one of the main factors in performance and reliability. As electrical components get hotter, they transfer electrons less efficiently. This is why computers, and high performance computers especially, have specific modules and systems to cool the electrical components.
If a computer gets too hot, it will either shut down as a safety precaution or basically cook itself into a state of disrepair. A CPU can melt immediately if a heatsink is not in place, or if the thermal compound which helps transfer heat from the CPU to the heatsink is worn out or not applied correctly.
Dust buildup, particularly on the fans and heatsink, prevents these systems from working. Furthermore, dust buildup on the surface of a component such as the motherboard can cause usually “cooler” components by nature to malfunction. General capacitors, for example, can pop or bulge under heat stress. This renders the component non-functional or it operates in a damaged state causing bugs and further damaging electrical surges.
Always be sure to operate your laptop on a flat and clean surface so as to allow proper airflow from the fans. Never put a laptop on a blanket, carpet, or even your lap (oddly enough)! For a desktop, make sure the vents have adequate airflow.
More importantly, as often as possible, remove the side panel (of a desktop) and use canned air, vacuum blower attachment, or an air compressor to remove dust and other dirt from the inside of the machine. For a laptop, utilize same techniques. Blow compressed air into the cooling vents and heatsink seen on the bottom.
Be careful to not have the cooling fan rev too fast, as this can damage the fan. If you need some help, call your IT professional.
OS and Software Maintenance
Besides maintaining a physically clean computer, the operating system and other software requires some maintenance. Be sure to have active virus and anti-malware protection. Furthermore, keeping current with updates will help achieve a more secure and faster operating environment.
Within a Mac operating system, use the Disk Utility application to repair disk permissions and verify the disk. This restores the most efficient file structure. For a windows machine, run a check disk on occasion, and use a third party software, such as CCleaner, to remove temp files (which clogs the computer).
Most importantly, check your computer in for a general tuneup and diagnostic session at least once a year. This gives one the peace of mind that the hard drive in the system is operating well, the computer is free of viruses, malware and spyware, and proper steps have been taken to ensure the most reliable and speediest operation of the computer.