Batteries are our lifeline, if your car battery dies, you’re not going anywhere. And if your phone dies? You can’t call RACV (or tell your Instagram followers that your car won’t start).
There’s a lot of misinformation surrounding battery maintenance. As a result of this, people are hardly getting five years out of their long-lasting batteries.
Luckily for you, there are ways to extend the life of lithium-ion batteries.
1. Avoid fully discharging lithium-ion batteries
If you completely flatten your battery, make sure you charge it back up immediately. It is recommended that you should recharge a battery once it drops down to 40%.
When a lithium-ion battery is discharged below 2.5 volts per cell, an in-built safety circuit in the battery opens and makes the battery look as if it’s dead. This makes the original charger completely useless. Your only chance of recharging your battery is to use a battery tester with the boost function.
It’s also important not to recharge a deeply discharged lithium-ion battery if it has been stored in that condition for several months.
2. ...But allow partial discharges.
Lithium-ion batteries don’t have a charge memory, so deep discharge cycles aren’t necessary.
When it comes to Lithium Ion batteries, most people often leave them to charge for excessively long periods and charge it to 100%.
It’s actually recommended that you don’t do that, as lithium batteries have a limited number of cycles where they can be fully charged and discharged (usually 200-300). After this, the batteries durability and shelf life tends to decline, leaving you in the lurch. You should only charge it to 100% once a month.
3. Think about investing in a high-capacity lithium-ion battery, instead of lugging around a spare
A lot of people carry around a spare battery, but because all batteries deteriorate over time, this is pretty redundant as the spare won’t last much longer than the one currently being used.
When you’re in the market for a new battery, make sure you consider how it’ll age over time. Consider it a long-term investment.
4. Keep the batteries at room temperature
Subjecting a battery to heat is a bad idea, especially when it’s fully charged.
Leaving an iPhone charging in a sun-drenched car is the equivalent to torturing it. Overheating is one of the major factors in damaging lithium-ion batteries.
We recommend that you keep it between 20℃–25℃ (68℉ – 77℉ for you yanks), in a dry room with moderated humidity levels.
5. MYTH: Storing a battery in the fridge can help extend its lifespan.
There are some people out there on internet message boards who will tell you that you should store a lithium battery in the refrigerator to extend its life. Those people are nutjobs. Don't do that.
This is actually really bad for the battery, as the condensation can cause the battery to corrode, and damage the seal. Plus people might think you're insane if they find batteries in your fridge. To add to this, Energizer themselves actually recommend against this.