UK heatwave hits this week – how to keep your gadgets safe
Sweltering temperatures are once again hitting the UK, with the mercury expected to hit up to 35C during the latest heatwave. Met Office warnings are in place for a four day heatwave that will last between Thursday and Sunday, and while your most immediate concern will be making sure you keep cool you’ll also want to make sure your gadgets don’t overheat. That’s because overheating can cause permanent damage to tech such as smartphones, laptops, tablets and even Wi-Fi routers.
Thankfully though, there are some simple steps you can take today to avoid any issues with your tech during the UK heatwave.
Experts at comparison website Uswitch have offered some simple advice for how to make sure devices such as your laptop, smartphone, tablet and Wi-Fi router doesn’t suffer overheating during the heatwave.
Easy to follow tips such as making sure electronics aren’t left in direct sunlight, taking your case off your phone, and keeping tech in a well ventilated room will all help avoid any potential overheating damage.
Also, certain devices like Apple smartphones can alert you if it reaches a certain temperature and is at risk of overheating damage.
You won’t want it to reach that stage but if you do get an alert like this during the UK heatwave make sure you head the advice on screen.
Tech could suffer from overheating during the UK heatwave
Advising people on how to keep their gadgets safe, Uswitch telecoms expert Catherine Hiley said: “Laptops, computers, mobiles, tablets, games consoles and Wi-Fi routers all require good ventilation to get rid of excess heat when in use. So make sure they have enough room to breathe and avoid keeping them in direct sunlight.
“Avoid placing broadband routers close to windows or tucked into corners with poor air flow. If your device is warm to the touch, try relocating the hub to somewhere cooler with less sunlight and more space to breathe. Some gadgets generate heat warnings for users, so you might get an alert when your device is struggling to function.
“Removing 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.
“If your device is regularly overheating even when it’s cool outside, it could indicate signs of an underlying problem, especially if the device is older. If this is the case with your router, it may be worth chatting with your provider regarding a fix or replacement.”
If you’re wondering how to keep your tech safe, here’s more advice from Uswitch on specific products.
You can also turn to this guide on the Uswitch website that offers additional pointers…
Location — Ensure your router is kept away from direct sunlight, particularly during the warmer months. Avoid window sills and 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 make it heat up and potentially impact 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.
Spring clean — Now is the time to remove any dust build-up on your devices. Lint caught in the vents will stop the fans working at full capacity and increase the chance of overheating.
Low level — Turning your brightness down or switching your device to 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 use to a minimum when temperatures are hotter than normal. When it’s too hot, the battery can’t store energy efficiently. You may also notice a lag in the phone’s performance.
Virgin Media offers tips for storing the Hub router
In the background — Leaving background refresh on means that apps can be updated 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.
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.
Good ventilation — The biggest cause of overheating in games consoles is poor ventilation. Modern machines are built with powerful fans and air vents, and if these get blocked by walls, or by storing it in a TV cabinet, it is more likely to get hot.
Take a break — Games consoles are more susceptible to overheating when you’ve been playing them for a long time. Giving it a break and powering off the console for a while, or even putting it in rest mode, will allow it to cool down.
Consider game size — Downloading a big game, or playing a game that has a big open world, can put a strain on your console. It’s worth factoring this in before you get stuck in, as the size of the game could affect how easily the console overheats. If you do need to download a large game, you could try doing it at night, or first thing in the morning ,when the temperature might be cooler.