With all the gadgets around here, I have spent a fortune over the years on mobile electricity, a.k.a batteries. I can’t seem to get the family to set up a new battery for longest life, nor take care of it effectively for longevity. Maybe it’s because I recondition batteries at home that the “fam” doesn’t even think about it. Maybe you will hear me?
I’m specifically referring to Lithium Ion batteries in this post – laptop batteries, cell phone batteries, gadget batteries. You can also recondition car, motorcycle, deep cycle RV, marine batteries, and golf cart batteries – but that’s a different animal.
New (Li-Ion) Battery Setup
Charge it completely before first use. I know many people open the new toy and get right to setting it up with the factory charge. Don’t do it. I know you’re excited. Plug it in and walk away. Full charge.
Moving forward, Lithium Ion batteries are best suited to shorter charges more frequently. Running them low then charging up can effect longevity in a bad way. That being said, it’s still a good idea to run the battery low, then completely recharge about once a month or so. This helps the memory effect that everyone seems to think no longer applies. It does.
Here’s what my kids just absolutely will not concede, and is certainly a major cause for me having to revive batteries as often as I do: Do Not Use Electronics While They Are Charging! Heat is the number one enemy to a Li-Ion battery. Using the energy needed while it is trying to charge causes tremendous heat. the heat thing is also why shorter, frequent charging works best. Less charge time, less time for heat to build.
3 more tips to extend battery life:
- Despite everyone always being in a big hurry, use a lower voltage charger. Yes, it takes longer. Yes, it creates less heat so you can have a working battery much longer. Hint: charge it while you sleep.
- If you aren’t going to use it for awhile, the battery should be at least half charged so it won’t go completely dead while not in use. Completely discharged = no bueno.
- Do not leave them in the sun (heat).
Oh yeah – once you are absolutely convinced your batteries (Including Car Batteries!) are toast, I’ll take em!