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Tips for using your laptop in London’s hot weather

It’s that time of year again in London – it’s school holiday time and the temperatures are climbing (finally!). Take care in warm and hot weather to follow these tips to ensure you use your laptop safely and don’t have any problems with it.

1. The “safe range” for temperatures

Most laptops are fine in temperatures 10°c to 35°c. Anything warmer than this is asking for trouble. Laptop batteries are known for not being heat-friendly (even just a few exposures can make your battery life suffer) and the components of your delicate hard drive might expand – sometimes causing permanent damage and hard drive failure.

2. Give your laptop a chance to adjust

If you’re moving from the cool air conditioning to sweltering heat, or from outside to indoors, shut your laptop down. Let it adjust to the new temperature before starting it up again. Condensation can build up inside your machine just like on your glasses.

3. Know how to keep your laptop safe in a hot car

Treat your machine like a pet and don’t ever leave it in a warm car – not even in the trunk. The temperatures in your car on a warm day are almost always going to reach outside the laptop safe range. If you must leave your laptop in a car, make sure it’s been turned off completely.

4. Stay out of direct sun, if you can

Yes, heat usually comes with lots of direct sunlight. We’ve heard all the urban legends about laptop screens becoming damaged from sun exposure, but we can’t find anything to support it. Either way, it’s better to be safe than sorry. But if you have to work in direct sun, make it easy on your eyes. Go for a laptop hood or attach an anti-glare screen cover.

5. Save your files to your data store

Always a good idea, you should be saving all your files to your cloud data storage solution or your server / NAS device. We’ll say it again: Heat can do permanent damage to your hard drive, so your data should not be saved on your machine.

6. Use a heat-dissipating laptop stand

You know how warm your laptop can get in your lap on the sofa, so be careful of where you set it outdoors. At the very least, use a laptop pad or stand. But for an A+ effort, grab a self-cooling stand, like these from LaptopStands.co.uk, click here

More often than not, your computer will deal with heat without any issues. Occasionally, fans need to rotate quicker when performing complicated tasks like maintenance, copying files, streaming data, and sharing files – there are several ways to silence noisy fans if this becomes infuriatingly frequent, although this could indicate an underlying problem.

Yes, heat can affect your computer – both its lifespan and performance – but in most cases, you have little to worry about.

totality Tim
IT Support London