Consumer Alert: Rochester, Listen up. Cold weather can damage your phone. Here’s how to protect it.

Think about this for a moment. What’s the most expensive thing you carry with you all the time? If you said your smart phone, you’re like most of us. And the frigid weather News10 NBC Meteorologist Stacey Pensgen is forecasting could seriously damage your phone.

And the mistake we too often make is slipping our phone into our coat pocket. This is the coldest place you can store .Instead, experts say you should put your phone in an inner pocket next to your body to keep it warm.

The cold affects everything from your battery to your screen. Your phone is designed to work optimally in a specific temperature range, 32-to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Most phones are designed to shut off when it gets too hot. But cold temperatures can be just as damaging by literally freezing your LCD screen, making it glitch or appear blurry. Your touchscreen sensors can also stop working. AT&T phone expert, Jason Komenski says severe cold affects your phone’s battery.

“Your battery is going to drain real quick,” Komenski said. “That screen, it’s glass. I’m going to get real brittle. Remember, we might be from Rochester. We’re born and raised here so we’re kind of prepared to conquer these elements. Your cell phone? Not so much.”

That’s because your phone is powered by a lithium-ion battery which is constantly carrying out chemical reactions to generate energy. And remember the rule you learned in high school chemistry class: When the temperature goes down, usually the rate of chemical reactions slows or stops. So if it’s really cold, your battery can’t generate enough energy to power your phone, so it will drain your battery or just shut off.

“Turn on battery saver mode,” Komenski said. “I keep battery saver mode on all the time. It is a great way to maintain the full life of your battery, and again with this cold weather draining the battery, that low battery saving mode will really optimize the performance of your battery.”

So here’s Deanna’s Do List for cell phone use in cold weather:

· Put your phone in low power mode while you’re outside.

You also need to make sure your phone is fully charged before you go.

Close any apps you’re not using to save your battery.

Carry your phone in an interior jacket pocket next to your body

Make sure your phone is in a hardy insulated case like Otterbox

Consider an additional thermal pocket case to keep your phone warm.

Time Magazine recommends the brands Burton’s case, Salt case and Climate case. That’s what I have. It was 25 bucks and machine washable. Also important to note, when you come in from the cold, you need to wait 30 minutes before you charge your phone. Attempting to charge a cold battery can permanently damage your phone.

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