Keeping Your Technology Cool

Summer is an important time to keep your cool.

The warmth of summer is a great time to head outdoors and enjoy some fun in the sun, but it also challenges us to find ways to keep cool. And while you’re focusing on keeping yourself cool, it’s important to remember your electronic devices as well. Overheated devices can be an inconvenience, but they can also cause serious damage to your ability to work and communicate. So we’ve compiled a list of ways to keep yourself, and your devices, cool this summer.

“I’m cool all the year round. Dealing with the heat however is a problem. I tend to avoid the sun.” – Matthew C.

Keep Your Devices Out of the Sun
The number one culprit in overheated devices is the sun. Whether you leave your phone or tablet in your car or you work near a window, direct sunlight on your device can cause it to overheat quickly. If your device is stored in high heat long enough, it can actual fail and lose all it’s data..

If your device has overheated in the sun, move it to a cool place as soon as possible and allow it to cool slowly. Never put it in a fridge or freezer, and never hold it in front of the AC vent in your car. An extreme change in temperature can cause condensation to build up within your device, and the moisture is worse than the heat. So allow it to cool naturally and be patient, giving it time to cool down before you try to power the device up again as batteries also generate heat.

“When we went to FL we had some little neck fans we could hang that blew air on us.” – Lynne U.

Make Sure Your Fans Are Working Properly
The inside of your laptop or desktop’s case can heat up quickly, especially when the ambient temperatures are higher. Your machine’s fans are designed to expel the hot air and keep your computer cool. But fans can fail for a variety of reasons, so be sure to check them regularly. Without a properly functioning fan, your computer can overheat and damage your system.

“Cool showers and avoiding cat cuddles. (Seriously! why do they want to cuddle when it is 95?)” – Gretchen Y.

Do a Clean Sweep
It’s not unusual for dust, pet hair and other debris to collect inside your machine. Especially if you’re using a desktop computer, it’s important to check for build up that might clog your air intake or your vents. Make dusting your machine a regular part of your computer maintenance plan, but be especially mindful in the summer months when heat is such a concern.

“Hang the hammock in the backyard under a shady tree.” – Todd K.

Hibernate or Turn Off Your Devices
When you’re not using your devices, it’s best to turn them off to avoid overheating. This gives your device a chance to cool down when it’s not in use. And never place a laptop that is running in an enclosed case or carrier, especially during the summer. Also, avoid leaving your device on the charger when it’s fully charged. Chargers naturally heat up the battery.

“On super hot days, we go downstairs, watch a movie and hang out in the playroom.” – Cathy B.

Be Aware of Where You Put Your Device
Sometimes, the matter of heat is all about your positioning. While the term “laptop” makes it seem like your lap is the best place to use your computer, if your positioning is blocking the vents, it can cause your machine to heat up. Also, while convenient, we don’t recommend placing your cell phone in your pocket during the summer. Sunlight and body heat can combine to overheat your device, and if you sweat, it can introduce hazardous moisture into the mix. Always allow your devices to breathe as much as possible during the warmer months. A good rule of thumb is to keep an average of 2-3″ of breathing space around your electronics at all times, and never stack them on top of each other.

“I always have water in the fridge to drink, cool showers, keep the house blinds down, and when all else fails, crank the AC.” – Carmel D.

Always Have a Backup
No device is foolproof and no plan is either. That’s why it’s important to back up your data. We all do things like forgetting our phones in our cars or leaving those family vacation pictures on the camera’s memory card, and without a backup, a device failure means losing important data. So the best way to keep your cool is to make sure your data is safe in the case of a device failure.

Whether you’re sitting at your desk or hitting the beach, keeping cool is an important part of summer, especially for your devices. So use these tips to help you avoid overheating this summer. And thanks to everyone who participated in our summer series. We hope you had as much fun as we did!