August 8, 2022

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How to protect your gadgets in hot weather

a woman working from home on her bed

Keep your tech out of the sun (Picture: Getty Images/Maskot)

Infrastructure in the UK is not really equipped to handle the heatwave that’s currently spiking up and down the country.

Air conditioning is not a staple in our homes, so one of the many things we’re going to want to be careful with is our tech.

After all, many of us are still working from home, and if we’re all following expert advice and staying inside if possible as the temperatures peak, plenty of us will rely on our devices for entertainment.

Catherine Hiley, telecoms expert at Uswitch.com, said: ‘As well as taking steps to keep ourselves cool and safe from extreme weather, it’s important to remember that not all tech can keep up in the heat.

‘Most modern devices are built to withstand temperatures up to 35 degrees as long as they’re well ventilated – but unusually hot weather, or leaving a device in the sun, could mean those temperatures are quickly exceeded.’

That’s why Catherine has shared some tips on how to stop your devices from packing it in in the heat.

Wi-Fi router

Location —  Catherine said we need to make sure our routers are kept out of direct sunlight and off windowsills. ‘Try a cooler space in the centre of your home,’ she recommended.

Air circulation —  Opt instead for a ventilated area to allow the device to regulate its temperature. Catherine said: ‘Don’t tuck it behind furniture or other large items, which could impact temperatures and potentially your broadband strength.’

Disconnect unused devices — It’s also a good idea to lessen the pressure on your router. ‘Turn off the Wi-Fi on gadgets you’re not using,’ Catherine said, ‘even if they’re in a drawer. They may be adding unnecessary strain to your bandwidth.’

a latinx woman drinking an iced coffee and holding her phone

Give that phone a rest (Picture: Getty Images)

Laptops, computers and games consoles

Give them a clean — It’s time to grab your duster. ‘Now is the time to remove any dust build-up on your devices,’ explained Cathering. ‘Extra lint caught in the vents will stop the fans from working at full capacity and increase the chances of overheating.’

Low level light — Again, easing the pressure your devices are under will help. ‘Turning your brightness down or switching your device into low power mode will ease the strain on your gadgets,’ said Catherine.

Unplug — Don’t charge your laptop up all the way if you can help it. Catherine said: ‘Once your laptop reaches 100% battery or a level you’re comfortable with, be sure to unplug the charger. Keeping the device plugged in and unnecessarily charging could generate additional heat.’

Mobiles and tablets

Use it less — Yes, your phone can overheat too, so it’s a good idea to make an effort to use it a bit less. Catherine said. ‘When it’s too hot, the battery can’t store energy efficiently, so you’ll start to notice a lag in the phone’s performance.’

Check what’s going on in the background — There are also things you can do to make your phone work a bit less hard. ‘Background refresh being left on means that apps can be updated even when you’re not using them,’ explained. ‘This can apply extra pressure on your phone’s system during a scorching hot day, so turn this off temporarily if you can.’

Take it off — You wouldn’t wear any more layers in this kind of heat, so why make your portable devices do the same? ‘Removing any extra layers from your devices, such as leather cases, silicone skins or other sleeves will allow your gadget room for ventilation,’ said Catherine.

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