Technology

UK heatwave warning: Avoid these simple mistakes to keep your phone, laptop and tablet safe – Express

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UK heatwave hits this week – how to keep your gadgets safe (Image: APPLE GETTY)

Sweltering temperatures are hitting the UK once again, with the mercury expected to hit 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 stay cool, you’ll also want to make sure your gadgets don’t overheat. That’s because overheating can cause permanent damage to tech like smartphones, laptops, tablets and even Wi-Fi routers.

Fortunately, though, there are some simple steps you can take today to avoid problems with your tech during the UK heatwave.

Experts on comparison website Uswitch have offered some simple advice on how to ensure that devices such as your laptop, smartphone, tablet and Wi-Fi router do not suffer from overheating during the heat wave.

Easy-to-follow tips like making sure electronics aren’t left in direct sunlight, removing your case from your phone, and keeping tech in a well-ventilated room will all help prevent potential damage from overheating.

Also, certain devices such as Apple smartphones can warn you when it reaches a certain temperature and is at risk of overheating damage.

You won’t want it to get to that stage, but if you get a warning like this during the UK heatwave, make sure you heed the on-screen advice.

uk heat wave

Tech could suffer from overheating during the UK heatwave (Image: GETTY)

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 need good ventilation to get rid of excess heat when they are in are in use.they have enough room to breathe and avoid keeping them in direct sunlight.

“Avoid placing broadband routers near windows or in corners with poor airflow. If your device is hot to the touch, try moving the hub to somewhere cooler with less sunlight and more room to breathe. Some gadgets generate heat warnings for users, so you might get a warning if your device is struggling to function.

“Removing protective cases, lowering screen brightness and switching to low power mode are all simple tricks to reduce the load on devices in hot weather.

“If your device regularly overheats, even when it’s cool outside, it may 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 about 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 which provides additional instructions…

Wi-Fi router

Location – Make sure your router is kept away from direct sunlight, especially in the warmer months. Avoid windowsills and try a cooler space in the center of your home.

Air circulation – Keep your router in a ventilated area to regulate the device’s temperature. Do not place it behind furniture or other large items, which can heat it up and possibly affect your broadband strength.

Unplug unused devices – Turn off Wi-Fi on gadgets you don’t use, even if they’re in a drawer. They can add unnecessary strain to your bandwidth.

Laptops, computers

Spring clean – Now is the time to remove dust build-up on your appliances. Lint caught in the vents will stop the fans from working at full capacity and increase the chance of overheating.

Low Level – Turning down your brightness 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 are comfortable with, be sure to unplug the charger. Keeping the device plugged in and charging unnecessarily can generate additional heat.

Mobiles and tablets

Keep it cool – Try to keep usage to a minimum when temperatures are hotter than normal. If it is too hot, the battery cannot store energy efficiently. You may also notice a lag in phone performance.

Virgin Media offers tips for saving the Hub router

In the background – Having the background refresh means that apps can be updated even when you’re not using them. This can put extra strain on your phone’s system during a hot day, so turn it off temporarily.

Take it off – By removing all the extra layers of your devices, such as leather cases, silicone skins or other sleeves, your gadget will make room for ventilation.

Game consoles

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 are blocked by walls, or by storing it in a TV cabinet, it is more likely to become hot.

Take a break – Gaming consoles are more prone to overheating if you’ve been playing them for a long time. Giving it a break and turning off the console for a while, or even putting it in sleep mode, will allow it to cool down.

Consider Game Size – Downloading a large game, or playing a game that has a large open world can put a strain on your console. It’s worth factoring this in before you sit in, as the size of the game can affect how easily the console overheats. If you need to download a large game, try to do it at night, or first thing in the morning, when the temperature might be cooler.


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