Batteries are rarely talked about, at least until they’re drained, and then we’ll tell everyone as we beg desperately for a charger, hoping to get enough juice to last the day. The truth is, they’re a miracle of engineering that gets taken for granted when full and cursed when flat. If it feels like your battery is running out faster, you might be right. But it’s not because of ‘battery memory’ and needing to be cycled (that’s an issue for an older battery type called NiMh or Nickel-Metal Hydride), it’s because the modern Li-ion (or Lithium-ion) batteries in phones and laptops just simply wear out over time. Fortunately, extending your battery life is easier than you think! Which of the following GOOD battery habits do you have?
1. Charge whenever you can: Lithium-ion batteries don’t like being charged all the way up and then drained all the way down. No wonder, it even sounds exhausting. Give them a little charge here and there, and they’ll be happy.
2. Leave your laptop plugged in all the time: You can’t over-charge the battery, it will just sit there waiting to be used. The laptop also helps by cutting the flow of power when the battery registers as fully charged. Cell phones also
3. Watch for overheating: High temperatures degrade battery performance and in extreme cases can cause significant damage. Since many of today’s laptops do not have a removable battery, a laptop cooling pad is a good idea for desk-bound laptops. You might also consider removing the battery if you’re using your laptop plugged in all the time. Sure, you might lose data if there’s a power outage, but overheating is a far more common occurrence and it’s been proven to degrade battery life considerably. Check your vents are clear with good airflow, and if necessary, help it out with a cooling laptop stand.
4. Leave your phone plugged in all night: Just like your laptop, your charger knows to stop when the battery is full. Those chargers do generate heat though, so make sure you have enough airflow around both charger and phone, and never sleep with it under your pillow.
5. Charge batteries before storing: If you’re blessed with backup batteries, make sure to give them a half charge before placing them in storage. They’ll naturally discharge and age over time, so this gives them a fighting chance to still be viable when you need them.
6. Keep your cool: We know to avoid water with our phones, but we’re less careful about exposing it to heat. This includes leaving it in your car all day, placing it on top of your PC, or even in a sunny spot by the window. Wireless and rapid chargers can also be an issue, as the amount of heat they generate will affect your battery. That being said, very cold temperatures also negatively affect lithium-ion batteries. They should not be charged in temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit as this can cause electroplating on the negative electrode. For this reason, most devices will prevent charging at these temperatures to prevent damage to the battery.
How did you do? Is keeping your lithium-ion battery happy easier than you thought? Your battery will wear out over time, but you can push that day a few years into the future if you remember to keep it charged and keep it cool.
Having battery issues? We can help! Call us at 715-255-0325