As people groan about high temperatures of summer, it’s important to remember that they aren’t the only ones suffering from the heat. Electronics and heat don’t mix and the combination can be disastrous.

Many areas lost power or experienced brown outs during last week’s heat wave. During that time, countless people flocked to their wireless devices to keep up to date on power repairs and entertain themselves. What they didn’t realize was – the heat could be damaging their devices.

Circuit systems within electronics work best at lower temperatures. Allowing systems to run for prolonged periods of time in high temperatures can decrease the longevity and reliability of devices. Solid state electronics actually begin to break down and fry at temperatures much above 120 degrees. However, the hotter the temperature – the less functional the machine will become. Most systems tend to run 10 to 20 degrees hotter than room temperature.

Within the era of technology, cell phones and laptops have dramatically decreased in size. This causes a lot of systems to run with a higher heat density. While many companies have worked to include cooling systems within their products – cooling systems cannot keep up when devices are left in areas without air conditioning. Surfing the web on your cellphone or playing games on your laptop may sound like the perfect idea during a blackout, but don’t forget to give your devices a break!

It is also important to never leave devices in hot cars. A recent study found that cars left in 90-degree weather can get as hot as 133 degrees within an hour.

When the power is off and rooms temperatures are high, use mobile devices for shorter time periods. The longer the user, the hotter the object will get.

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Jennifer Cline

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