NEWS

5 tips to keep your portable electronics healthy this winter

01/20/2015 03:33 EST | Updated 03/22/2015 05:59 EDT
Winter cold can be hard on your portable electronics. At about -15C, the chill can cause your smart phone or tablet to freeze up and could make it stop working altogether.

So what can you do to keep them running well?

CBC's Homerun spoke with Benoit Granata from Best Buy's Geek Squad, and he had these tips to share:

1. Keep your phone warm 
Cold zaps the batteries in phones and tablets. Keep your device warm and close to your body in an inside pocket to prevent it from losing its charge. If you normally keep your phone in a purse or exterior pocket, you may want to move it. 

2. Avoid taking tech out when possible
Taking your phone out to check it frequently while outside will bring down the device's temperature, running down the battery. Avoid texting and, if you must talk on the phone, consider investing in a hands-free headset.

3. Never leave your tech in a cold car 
Not only will leaving your phone or tablet in a cold car run down the battery, it could lead to condensation build up inside the device. That can cause short circuits and breakage. 

4. The type of phone you have matters
Modern, large-screened smartphones use more battery and will run down faster in the cold. Same goes for smartphones in aluminum shells, like some iPhone models. The metal cools down faster than plastic, increasing the risk for battery drainage. No matter what kind of phone you have, it's a good idea to keep a charger with you during the day in case you do find yourself out of juice. 

5. Watch where you walk 
Dropping your phone is riskier in the winter. The cold makes the screen more likely to crack if it hits a hard sidewalk. Slushy, snowy streets come with their own hazards. If you do drop your device in the snow, turn it off right away. If electricity continues to run through it, it could short circuit and break.

Take it home and do your best to dry it off. Some people submerge their phones in a bag of rice to suck moisture out. Do not attempt to turn it on again until you're sure it's very dry. 

Do you have any tricks to keep your electronics humming through the winter months? Share them in the comments below or Tweet us @CBCMontreal.

Tune in to Homerun at 4:20 p.m. ET on CBC Radio One or listen live online to hear more tips from the Geek Squad's Benoit Granata.

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