Charging Your Phone Overnight
You've heard the warning before: Never leave cellphones plugged in overnight. The rechargeable lithium-ion batteries will lose their capacity over time, becoming "dependent" on their chargers. Cellphones may also overheat if plugged in for too long, and the power cord will draw lots of wasted electricity to boot.
Related: 50 Great Gadgets for a Smarter Home
Eating at Your Keyboard
If you take a "working lunch" to watch cat videos online, avoid munching directly over your computer. Crumbs can lodge themselves in your keyboard, which is very difficult to clean, and they can even affect the tracking on your mouse.
Leaving Devices in the Car
Electronics function best at room temperature, but cars rarely maintain this temperate range, often becoming unbearably hot in summer and teeth-shatteringly cold in winter. Resist the urge to leave your laptop in the car while you're running errands, which could result in shorter battery life or failed components.
Using Household Cleaning Products
Even if the bottle says "all purpose," household cleaning products aren’t meant for electronics. The chemicals can seriously damage screens or cause devices to malfunction. Put down the spray bottle and wet wipes, and rely instead on a simple microfiber cloth as your first line of defense.
Bringing Your Phone into the Bathroom
Admit it: You’ve taken your phone into the bathroom. It’s time to flush this bad habit out of your life. Beyond the likelihood that your phone will collect all manner of germs, you also run the risk of dropping your phone into the toilet—ew!
Tangling Your Cords
A tangled mess of cords is a dangerous tripping hazard—and, if your outlets are maxed out, it’s also a fire hazard. Manage the situation by taming chaotic cords with twist ties, keeping an eye out for frayed sections, and relieving overburdened outlets that could spark a flame.
Not Using a Case
You may balk at the extra bulk in your pocket, but getting a case for your smartphone saves money in long run, as it protects against drops, scratches, and even water damage. Laptops, tablets, and e-readers also benefit from the extra protection of a case.
Keeping up with regular updates can feel daunting, but they’re vital for ensuring that your electronics keep working properly. Ignoring cellphone or computer updates negatively affects your apps, slows down your device, and makes it more susceptible to hackers.
When you spend your hard-earned money on big-ticket items, you want to know that they will last for more than just a couple years. Just as you are unknowingly damaging your electronics, chances are you’re making mistakes that are ruining your car as well. Be a bit more conscientious about your actions from here on out.
Money-saving, time-saving—and yes, sometimes even life-saving—the latest and greatest smart home technologies span from self-programming thermostats to voice-activated TV controls to video doorbells and beyond. Raise your home's IQ!