Don’t Leave Your Electronics Out In The Cold

Globe-BlizzardMuch of the country has become all-too acquainted with a relentlessly frigid villain this winter that goes by the name of… polar vortex. Even saying it can send a chill down your spine.

But the polar vortex hasn’t just reminded us that we need to look out for our friends and family members during cold weather. It’s also reminded us that we need to protect our other loved ones – our tech devices.

If you’ve left your devices exposed to extreme cold for even relatively short amounts of time, it’s always advised to let them come to room temperature before use. This also goes for items that have been newly delivered in below freezing temperatures – as tempting as it is to put them to use immediately.

And while we’ve detailed on the OWC Blog how hard drives can be adversely affected by cold weather and condensation, other hardware components can be affected, too. For example, Lithium-based batteries, which are found in many electronic devices should not be charged at temperatures below 32° F. If done so, irreversible plating of metallic lithium can occur on the anode. And batteries with lithium plating can be more vulnerable to failure if exposed to stressful conditions like vibration. This can lead to potentially dangerous malfunctions, and worse yet, damage caused by usage in harsh temperatures is typically not covered by warranty.

Of course, we recommend keeping your beloved devices safe from cold conditions all together to prevent potential damage so you’ll be able to enjoy your devices during the glorious polar vortex-free spring.


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  • I just brought my iPhone 4s in from the cold this morning (was only left in the car about 1 hr @ -20°C). At that time it was working.

    I put in in my jeans pocket and about 10 minutes later, dead . . . and still cool to the touch.

    Warmed up the oven for a couple of minutes, turned it off, put in the phone for 20 minutes.

    Aw . . . too bad, it works again . . . I was looking forward to a new iPhone 5s!

    peace,
    Grant