Technology is not cheap and that means you want your gadgets to last for a long time. Here are a few tips to help you get the most life from your laptop or PC. Nothing on this list is complicated, but they are simple things that we sometimes forget. In the long run, they can save you a lot of money.

First of all, get a can of compressed air. They are specially made for cleaning out electronics, and can help you keep everything running smoothly. Blow off the keyboard regularly to keep buildup from forming under the keys. The fan vents need attention too. Naturally, you do not want to blow the dust into your computer, so if possible, it is always better to remove the fan for cleaning, but using the can of air at an angle works in a pinch.

Do not skimp on your surge protector. This is an item that usually goes by the golden rule of purchases: “You get what you pay for.” You can pick up an $9 protector on Amazon instead of getting a $30 one, and that will work for most applications, but if you buy a cheap surge protector, you may as well plug your computer directly into the wall.

Only use your laptop when you have a hard surface to place it on during operation. Soft surfaces tend to block the vent, which causes heat to build up quickly. If you are used to sitting with a pillow on your lap and putting your laptop on that, then you probably are used to buying a new laptop every year or two. If you really use your laptop a lot, consider getting a cooling station to place it on during use.

Finally, follow good common sense with your computer’s use such as regularly running reliable anti-malware software and not eating or drinking near your computer. By following these basic guidelines, your computer should become obsolete long before it quits on you.