Nintendo has surprised these days with an announcement made through its official twitter account in Japan where it reminds its users that they should not use their console with temperatures above 35°; a recommendation that, on the other hand, should not surprise, since it is included in the manual of the device. “Playing Nintendo Switch in a hot place may cause the console to heat up. Please use the console in areas between 5 and 35 degrees Celsius.” The reason? The extreme heat typical of heat waves like the current one (which is also happening in the Japanese country) can damage the battery and other components such as the screen.
However, the reality is that this is not an issue exclusive to this console; in fact, it’s something common to all electronic devices, especially those that incorporate batteries. So with laptops, smart phonestablets, e-book readers… care should be taken that they are not affected by heat.
What can be broken?
One of the components most affected by heat is the battery. They are normally made of lithium, a material that tends to swell when it reaches very high temperatures (above 50º). This reduces its lifespan and has the potential to break other components such as the screen or the motherboard: in the worst case, it may even burn.
In addition, the heat deforms the plastic materials of the housings of the devices and impairs their use: thus, for example, a USB key you may have difficulty entering or exiting a computer port. It is also possible for the screens to burst and even parts inside to unsolder and damage the electronics.
What can we do?
To prevent extreme heat from damaging our equipment, measures such as the following can be taken:
– Do not expose the equipment to direct sunlight and heat, as this will cause the temperature to rise rapidly.
– Nor leave them inside a parked vehicle: the DGT calculates that the temperature inside a car can reach up to 70° in half an hour when it is 39° outside .
– Preferably use original chargers and components; furthermore, do not leave devices plugged into the mains longer than necessary and do not use them during charging periods. On the other hand, fast charging should not be used, which generally generates more heat.
– Try not to block the vents so they can cool properly; In this sense, it is also advisable to make sure that the covers or cases do not obstruct them and, if possible, not to use them.
– Avoid using the appliances on a bed or sofa, on feet and other elements that do not contribute to heat dissipation.
– It is advisable to close programs and applications open in the background and pay attention to those that are in use: games or Software video editing, for example, requires a lot of system resources and therefore the temperature will rise.
– If we notice excessive heat in a computer, we must turn it off immediately and wait until it is cold to turn it back on.
A few curiosities…
The technical specifications of all electronic devices contain their optimum operating temperatures. For example, in the case of smart phones It is usually between 0 and 40º (due to its batteries), while the devices of the Apple firm -iPad, iPhone and Watch included- recommend a maximum temperature of 35º. On the other side, hard drives and USB flash drives They are the most resistant to heat, which allows them to be used as a rule up to 60º.