Common technology mistakes

You might be making some of these technology mistakes without knowing it. These tips will help you get more out of your batteries, fridge and speakers.

Leaving battery powered devices plugged in
Do you leave your laptop plugged in and charging all of the time?

Rechargeable devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets or anything else, need to be cycled continually if you want the battery to continue working properly.

Cycling your battery means to run it from full charge down to empty, or close to, (modern lithium batteries prefer to be plugged back in at 40 per cent or higher) before plugging it back in again. If the battery isn’t used in this way, the electrons don’t get a chance to move around and parts of the battery can begin to decay, and using your battery while its plugged in at 100 per cent will cause it to heat up more which can also decrease the life of the battery.

Best practice with modern batteries is to try to plug them in at around 50 per cent charge, then charge them back up to 100 per cent and then unplug and repeat as you use the device. Some battery manufacturers recommend running a battery down to 0 per cent once per month to ensure that the estimation for how much battery you have left remains accurate.

Fridge tips
Do you throw things into the fridge without thinking about their placement?

These tips will make food stay fresher for longer and make your fridge cost less to run, saving you in grocery and power costs.

Fridges cool from the back, this means that the back of the fridge is the coldest part of the unit. And as heat rises the top, the top will also be slightly warmer than the bottom. This is why the vegetable crisper is usually at the bottom of the fridge.

Try to think about this when you organise your fridge. Store things with long shelf lives (or that will be consumed quickly) in the door of the fridge. If your milk and eggs are always going bad, try moving them lower section towards the back of the fridge.

If you have separate crisper drawers, you should try to separate fruits and vegetables, setting the crisper to low for fruit and high for vegetables. Bear in mind that there are exceptions to the fruit and vegetable separation rule. Watermelon, unripe bananas, strawberries and herbs should all go in to high humidity (vegetable) drawer, whereas ripe bananas and avocados should be stored in the low humidity (fruit) section.

Remember that airflow is vital to keeping your entire fridge cool; cluttering objects together will create spots of higher temperature and can waste power.

If your fridge never gets full, you can save some old plastic water bottles, fill them with water and put them in the fridge, this will save you electricity and you’ll always have cold water on hand.

Speaker placement
Are your speakers just sitting where they were when you took them out of the box?

If you’re a music, TV or movie lover, you might be surprised by how much your sound quality could increase if you optimise your speaker placement.

Speakers should be placed so that they will be at ear height when you are listening to them, but you can leave the subwoofer pretty much anywhere.

If you have a two-speaker setup, you should try to put the speakers the same distance apart as you are from them (think of a big equilateral triangle between your favourite listening chair and each speaker). You can also rotate the speakers a little bit, so that the face of the speaker is directed towards you rather than just facing out from the wall.

You should also ensure that speakers aren’t backed up against a wall, as this will make them sound a bit muddy.

If you’re listening to the speakers with other people or you move around when you’re using them, then you may not be able to follow all these steps, but just remember the golden rule of speaker placement: do whatever you think sounds best.

Were you making some of the mistakes listed above? Have you got any other tech tips to share?

Related articles:
How to turn off your spying tech
Should I turn off my tech?
Double your battery life

YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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