Your devices could easily overheat as temperatures rise (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
With the prospect of summer on the horizon, many of us have been left to wonder whether we might have a repeat of last year’s super-hot temperatures when the mercury soared past the 40C mark for the first time.
There’s already been talk of the first heatwave of the summer courtesy of the ‘African plume’, with suggestions we could be basking in the sunshine very soon.
But of course, a heatwave comes with its own set of problems – aside from trying to keep yourself, your pets and your car cool, it can impact other possessions – such as your mobile phone, tablet and laptop for example.
With that in mind, how can the heat affect your gadgets – and how can you keep them safe in the warmer temperatures?
How can you tell if a gadget is too hot?
If you think your laptop, phone or tablet might be faring badly in the hot weather, you should look for the following signs:
If your device is hot to the touch then it’s probably overheating, which can be a big problem, as when devices get too hot, the heat could damage the internal components of the device
You may find your battery life on your smartphone or laptop runs down faster if the device becomes too hot – which can become a problem in very hot weather.
Overheating can cause your battery to drain (Picture: Getty Images)
This is due to the extra effort required by the device to run, which has a knock-on effect on the battery.
If your laptop is too hot you’ll notice it runs slower than usual, or applications will shut down or crash unexpectedly as the device attempts to prevent internal damage. Accessories such as your mouse may stop working also.
Extreme heat can also cause performance issues with a smartphone, and overheating can lead to data loss – as well as permanently damage the performance of the handset if it keeps overheating.
Hot weather can also cause damage to a smartphone as the heat can cause the screen to crack.
If your laptop is making loud whirring sounds that you haven’t heard before, it’s likely that it’s overheating – which could equally be caused by hot weather as by other factors such as running too many applications at one time.
How to keep your gadgets cool in hot weather
If you notice your handset, tablet or laptop is hotter than it might usually be, there are steps you can take to cool it down and avoid damage.
Denise Timmis, expert at mobile phone recyclers Envirofone tells metro.co.uk: ‘If your phone is overheating, it is important to take the right precautions. Stop using your device and let it cool down.
If your phone gets too hot the screen could be damaged (Picture: Getty Images)
‘You can take several precautions to avoid your device overheating, including switching it off when not in use, taking off the case and keeping it out of direct sunlight in the shade.’
You could also consider dimming the screen of your phone, tablet or laptop – a hot screen may mean your device’s CPU is overheating, so adjust the brightness.
And it pays to check out your apps on your devices also – as well as how many browser windows you are using on your laptop as these can cause devices to work overtime and heat up. Make sure your apps are updated – as this will use less of your device’s energy, close down anything you’re not using and uninstall any you are not using at all.
Make sure you keep your laptop on a hard surface to ensure airflow (Picture: Getty Images)
Make sure you have the correct charger – preferably one from a reliable manufacturer – to prevent overheating risks and don’t use your phone while it’s charging as this can make it even hotter.
In the case of a laptop, make sure you’re using it on a surface such as a table or a desk rather than on a soft surface such as a bed or sofa. The latter risks blocking the fan at the bottom which ensures air flows into the device – and this can cause it to overheat.
If all else fails, switch the device off and let it cool down – but if the problem continues you may need to have it repaired – or, if it’s beyond repair, consider selling it to a recycling company such as Envirofone, to prevent it from becoming landfill.
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Cool them down when it’s warming up.