It’s finally summer. Friday is the summer solstice, which marks the first day of the summer season, welcoming sunshine and good times.
Some people celebrate by gathering at Stonehenge to watch the sun rise, a tradition that’s been going on for thousands of years, while in Iceland, there is a three-day music festival complete with 96 straight hours of sunlight. (That being said, the music festival does offer the opportunity to party in an actual glacier, so maybe they aren’t quite ready for summer.)
Meanwhile, over at Google, there’s no glacier, but the company is celebrating the summer solstice with a new doodle. The Google homepage features a sketch of a smiling Earth gazing at a beach chair, and the palm tree atop is awash in sunlight. But while the doodle is worth a smile, your personal technology isn’t ready for the heat to come.
Summer features the most extreme heat of the year, and that can wreak havoc on your personal electronics if you aren’t ready for it. You’re likely used to your phone slowing down and getting hot from time to time when you’re running a lot of apps on it, or your laptop’s fans are working overtime while it sits on your bed. But the heat of summer can cause significant damage to your personal technology if you aren’t careful.
The systems that power electronics work best at low temperatures, even if humans don’t. Having your tech running constantly in the heat can impact its longevity and reliability, whether that be a phone, computer, or something else. Apple doesn’t recommend using its devices in heat that’s over 95 degrees. Doing so can permanently decrease the battery life.
Most solid state electronics will begin to degrade at about 120 degrees, which will damage your central processing unit, and with it, overall functionality. You likely don’t encounter that kind of heat all the time, but keep in mind that most electronics tend to run 10 to 20 degrees hotter than the surrounding temperature. Additionally, how often have you left your tech in your car? Even if just for a bit? A car parked in the sun on a 95-degree day takes just an hour to reach a scorching 116 degrees, according to a 2018 study in the journal Temperature.
It’s already 90 degrees in Atlanta, Georgia, this solstice, so the heat can definitely reach dangerous levels for your devices. That’s not even accounting for increases in average temperature due to climate change.
So when it comes to taking care of your electronics this summer, take the case off of your phone (it’s like a sweater), don’t charge your tech in direct sunlight, and do not leave devices in your car for extended periods. Your tech will thank you — or you could just suffer irrevocable damage to your hard drive. It’s your call!