Overheating of tech devices is well-known. Less understood is the effect cold weather has on smartphones and other technologies.
However, did you know that cold weather can cause issues too? It’s a problem that most of us rarely encounter unless we live in a frigid climate, but it happens often enough to warrant a few words of advice. So, if you follow these easy tips, you’ll significantly lower the risk of damaging a mobile device or laptop when temperatures plummet to near freezing.
Keep your smartphone close to your body when outdoors
Since our bodies produce plenty of heat, the simplest way to protect your smartphone is to keep it on your person as much as you can while outdoors. Still, if you have to use it when it’s cold outside, don’t lay it down anywhere because the surface may be colder than you realize. Additionally, laying it on a freezing surface can cause condensation to build up underneath the screen once you return to a warmer area.
Generally, smartphones don’t work as well when it’s too cold. You might notice symptoms like slower performance or a battery that’s draining much faster than usual. In a worst-case scenario, the device may get so cold that it doesn’t boot at all because the battery won’t be able to hold any charge, so if you keep the device in your pocket when outdoors, it should still work well.
Never leave a device in a cold vehicle overnight
During the day, a little cold weather shouldn’t affect a smartphone or laptop too much as long as you don’t expose them to the elements for an extended period. So, leaving your device in a cold vehicle overnight is not advisable, even if you leave the car in your garage. You might not know that the temperature inside a car can remain steady long after the temperature outside changes.
If you live in Texas, you already know what it feels like to sit in a scorching hot car in the summer months, and the same principle applies to cold weather as well. When it’s freezing outside, it takes a while to heat a vehicle’s cab area because the cold air simply remains trapped inside for a while. If you leave your device in this kind of environment for too long, you’ll have more problems than not when you try to use it.
Wait for the devices to warm up before using them
If you’re not sure whether or not your smartphone will stand up to the elements – and know you won’t necessarily need it right away – it’s OK to power down the device until you can get inside. However, wait a while to turn it back on because the device itself will generate heat, and if it’s still cold to the touch, you may notice moisture starting to form along the edges. A quick hack is to hold the phone to your chest and rub it gently until the chill goes away.
Usually, high-end devices are more secure and come with a better seal between the glass and the plastic parts, but those can build up moisture, too, with sudden changes in temperature and humidity. So, another way to protect your device is to wait about 15-20 minutes before turning it back on. That way, you can lower the likelihood that the device will start to “sweat” once it returns to room temperature.
Use a quality protective case
There are sturdy, tough cases available, but often, people only shop for a case based on looks, not function and protection. Cold weather is precisely why it’s an excellent investment to use a high-quality case. While price is a factor, the benefits are worth the cost, particularly in winter when you have to protect against snow and ice damage.
By following these simple tips you can help avoid damaging tech devices when it’s freezing outside, especially moisture accumulation that can damage sensitive parts.
TIPS & TRICKS
Keep your device close to your body and away from the weather elements.
Don’t leave your technology devices in your car during cold weather for extended periods of time.
Invest in a quality protective case to keep moisture away from sensitive tech parts.