1) Don’t Store Any Gadget Containing A Hard Drive in Below-Freezing Temperatures
The first thing to keep in mind is that cold temperatures can pose a real threat to any gadget containing a hard drive. This includes computers, portable hard drives, as well as many iPods and other similar hand-held computer products. So, if you live in a cold climate, don’t store your Christmas presents and gadgets in unheated areas like your car or garage.
2) Do Not Start Up a Cold Hard Drive
While it is safest not to expose hard drives to freezing temperatures, a hard drive that is left out in the cold is not necessarily damaged. The damage often occurs when the cold hard drive is turned on before being allowed to return to room temperature. Even tiny contractions of the hard drive components caused by the cold weather can prove disastrous once the parts start to move. For this reason, always give hard drives plenty of time to warm up to room temperature after possible exposure to cold weather. Overnight should be fine in most cases, although be cautious if the device is still cold to the touch.
3) Always Use Surge Protectors, Especially During the Wintertime
Power surges are particularly common during the winter months and can seriously damage your technical gear. Keep your cell phones, iPods, and other gadgets safe by always plugging them into a surge protector.
4) Protect Cell Phones to Avoid Performance Lag
Your cell phone will not be damaged by cold temperatures as easily as gadgets that contain hard drives. However, if you live in a particularly cold climate, where temperatures frequently dip into the negative, it is best not to expose your phone. For example, if you want your phone to remain usable, do not leave it in an unheated car for long periods of time. At about 10 degrees F, many phones will experience dimming screens. Once temperatures go below -10 degrees F, most phones begin to experience more severe performance problems. These problems include slow response times as well as malfunctioning screens and battery problems. As temperatures hit -20 degrees F, most models cease to function. However, cell phones are pretty hardy. Once they are brought back to room temperature, they come back to life.
5) Wear Gadget-Friendly Winter Gear
To avoid leaving your gadgets exposed to the cold, keep them in some tech-ready new outerwear when you head out in the snow. Tech-friendly winter products available include everything from iPod-playing hats, to winter coats with tons of gadget pockets, to gloves with iPod controls built in (allowing your iPod to remain safely tucked away!)
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