How to keep your tech cool during a heatwave
With a heatwave on its way to the UK tomorrow, spirits are high and pub gardens are filling up. Friday temperatures are due to hit 34 degrees in some areas of the UK, which will be a welcome treat for sun worshippers working from home.
While joining a Zoom meeting from the comfort of a sun lounger or giving your boss a call while having a stroll might seem simple enough, it’s the gadgets we need to worry about.
Tech can often struggle in excessive heat – just like us – so we’ve teamed up with USwitch.com to offer some advice and tips on ways to help keep your gadgets cool this summer.
- Location — Ensure your router is kept away from direct sunlight, avoiding window sills during the warmer months. Try a cooler space in the centre of your home.
- Air circulation — Keep your router in a ventilated area to allow the device to regulate its temperature. Don’t tuck it behind furniture or other large items, which could impact temperatures and potentially your broadband strength.
- Disconnect unused devices — Turn off the Wi-Fi on gadgets you’re not using, even if they’re in a drawer. They may be adding unnecessary strain to your bandwidth.
Laptops, computers and games consoles
- Spring clean — Now is the time to remove any dust build up on your devices. Extra lint caught in the vents will stop the fans working at full capacity and increase chances of overheating.
- Low level — Turning your brightness down or switching your device into low power mode will ease the strain on your gadgets.
- Unplug — 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
- Keep it cool — Try to keep usage to a minimum when temperatures are hotter than normal and sun rays are strong. 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.
- In the background — Background refresh being left on, means that apps are updated for content even when you’re not using them. 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 — Removing any extra layers from your devices, such as leather cases, silicone skins or other sleeves will allow your gadget room for ventilation.
Adds Catherine Hiley, telecoms expert at Uswitch.com: “Temperatures are set to soar this Friday, with some areas of the UK hitting well over 30 degrees. And while opting to work from the garden to catch the rays might be a treat, be mindful that not all tech can keep up in the heat.
“If you’re planning to log-in from the garden, or if your home struggles to keep cool when the sun is shining, be cautious with where and how you use your gadgets.
“Laptops, computers, mobiles, tablets, games consoles and Wi-Fi routers all require ventilation to get rid of excess heat, so make sure they have enough room to breathe and avoid using them excessively in direct sunlight.
“Many of us often place broadband routers close to windows or tucked into corners. But if your device is warm to the touch, try relocating the hub to somewhere cooler with less sunlight and more ventilation.
“Similarly, direct sunlight can take its toll on laptops and mobiles. So while joining a team meeting from a sun lounger might seem easy enough, you could be triggering your device to overheat. Most modern devices should be built to withstand temperatures up to 35 degrees, as long as they’re well ventilated.
“Some gadgets generate heat warnings for users, so you’ll get an alert when your device is struggling to function due to an increase in temperature. Although we don’t often get heatwaves in the UK, the same applies when using tech abroad in tropical climates.
“Removing any protective cases, turning down the screen brightness and switching to low power mode are all simple tricks to help ease the load on devices in hot weather.”
To read more about how to keep gadgets cool in hot weather, visit the Uswitch guide here.
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