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How to maximize battery life of household (rechargeable) batteries

Batteries are a reliable source of energy. They provide a certain amount of energy for a certain amount of time. Battery manufacturers, like Panasonic, therefore try to keep a battery’s lifespan and performance as consistent as possible.

A single cell has a maximum capacity - which cannot magically expand. Thus, a battery’s operating time can technically not be "extended". From its maximum, it can only go downhill: over time, a rechargeable battery loses some of its capacity.

Luckily however, there are a few things you can do to maximize battery life efficiency, both in terms of discharge (i.e. the rate at which energy leaves the battery) and capacity (loss).

Avoiding complete discharge

The first and most important thing is to avoid a complete discharge. Draining a battery entirely is one of the main causes of damage to a cell - jeopardising its lifespan. Theoretically speaking, batteries should be recharged as soon as 70% of their charge is spent. Of course, this is difficult to keep track of if you lack specialised equipment.

Maintain charge levels

Try to keep track of how long batteries last in a specific device, and act accordingly to avoid complete discharge in the future. Try recharging your batteries regularly if you know you’re using them often. For more efficient charging, use a smart charger. It will charge batteries with the required energy and make sure every cell is charged up to the same level.

If your device needs four AA batteries, try to insert four batteries of the same brand, type, energy level, and, if possible, package. To keep track of this, mark your batteries with permanent marker. That way, every battery can provide the same amount of energy at all times.

Other measures to maximize battery life

Small measures can make a tremendous difference on the long run. Other things you can do to maximize battery life include:

  • Keep batteries, chargers and device terminals clean. Dust or dirt may interfere with the contact area between battery and device terminals.
  • If possible, don’t operate batteries in extreme temperatures. The chemical reaction causing energy flow may happen faster in very high or low temperatures.
  • Not using your device? Take out the batteries if you can. This will prevent the battery from over-discharging.

Are you still looking for a smart battery charger to keep track of your batteries’ energy levels and maximize battery life? Have a look at our battery charger range here.