Have you ever wondered why electronics are packaged with packets of silica gel? The answer is simple: the silica gel helps protect electrical circuits from humidity. Almost everyone knows to protect their computer with a sturdy firewall. But if you keep your computer in a warm, humid environment, it won’t take a hacker to crash your hard drive. It could happen as a result of something as simple as warm air. But while you don’t need to turn your computer room into a meat locker, you do need to ensure that your central air conditioning is maintaining a cool temperature and low humidity.

Keeping your home cool will spare your computer. But it will also spare stereos, video game consoles, telephones, and a variety of other electrical products. When seasonal heat and humidity are their height, keeping your house cool is a no-brainer. Yet, there are some common situations where people still violate the “cooling rule” and end up compromising their electronics.

One situation is when people go on vacation. If you’re going to be away for a few weeks, you could definitely lower your electricity bill by turning off your AC. But that temporary cost savings to your utility budget won’t be enough to buy a new laptop. A second situation that commonly violates the cool rule is when people opt for outside air instead of air conditioning on a temperate summer night. While the air might be cooler than usual, chances are that its humidity is too high for electronics.

If you value your electronics, keeping them in a cool, dry environment is essential to preserving their lifespan; and to keep your home cool and dry, remember to have your heating and cooling system regularly serviced.

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