Battery tips and tricks

Battery tips and tricks


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Tips and Tricks for all Types of Batteries

Disclaimer: Batteries are not toys, they just go in them. Be cautious batteries contain toxic materials that can be very harmful.

Until the microverse battery from Rick and Morty is a reality, we are stuck trying to figure out how to squeeze the most life out of our batteries. To keep our gadgets gadget-ing we compiled some of the neatest tips, tricks, and tidbits on batteries that we could find.

apple-watch-battery tips and tricksAPPLE WATCH

  • When your watch is away from your phone it uses Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth to communicate. So keeping your watch near your phone when possible will help save some of the battery life.
  • If the watch is running low, you can put it on power reserve and use it as a watch only.
  • Squeeze some more battery out of your watch by disabling the heart sensor and turning off the workout goal metrics.
  • If you want some more information on extending your apple watch battery life, check out this read.

 

CAR BATTERIES
car-battery-jumpers

  • Did u know that car batteries need water? Well, I didn’t until recently. Most vehicles use what is called a maintenance free battery. However, there is some debate as to whether the maintenance free battery might need to be topped off on occasion. The not-so-maintenance-free battery.Particularly if you live in a hotter climate, the water tends to evaporate. This is simple enough; you add distilled water as needed while wearing safety gear. Batteries have toxic materials in them and you could get injured if you don’t know what you are doing.Here is a good article that shows you how to check the water levels in your car battery.
  • Secure it. Make sure your battery does not jiggle around under the hood. A car battery that is knocking around under the hood will discharge sooner.
  • Clean it. Keep your battery clean from dirt and debris. By keeping your battery and terminals clean, you will prolong the battery lifespan and performance.
  • Baby it. Try to park in the garage. Excessive heat and cold can decrease the life of a battery. However, if that is not an option you can insulate the battery itself under the hood.
  • Salt it? While I have not tried this personally, I have read that adding Epsom salts to distilled water can change the electrolyte chemistry and help you extend the life of a dying battery enough to get you through until payday. I have read conflicting reviews where some people claim to extend the life of their battery by years using this trick. An article here explains the how’s and why’s of bringing life to a dead battery.

iphone-773355_640CELLPHONES

  • The basics for saving cellphone battery life on Androids and iPhones: dim the screen, turn off Bluetooth, turn off the Wi-Fi unless you need the GPS, turn off vibration, location services, Siri, iCloud, Airdrop and turn down the volume.
  • Keep your phone out of the heat. This is good advice for any electronic. Leaving your phone in a hot car for hours at time will drain your battery and can do some damage to the phone.
  • Don’t use the Facebook app. Here is some more information on the super-duper battery draining facebook app.
  • Notification: your battery is about to die. Turn off Facebook, email, and Twitter notifications or set them to notify you every 30 minutes or so. We all have that Facebook friend who posts between 10 and 1000 times a day. It sucks to drain your phone for the 80th game of thrones meme that day. Winter is coming… but Theon isn’t. We get it.
  • Low coverage and low power. If you put an iPhone into airplane mode in areas of low coverage, you will save some juice.
  • Quitter’s never win. With iPhones, do not quit on apps. By quitting on an app, it unloads the app. then it is forced to reload all over again when you want to use it, which will waste more juice than if it was simply left alone.
  • Calibrate it. If your battery is draining faster than it should try to calibrate the battery by bringing your phone down to zero and then giving it a full charge.
  • Reboot your phone every once in awhile. By giving your phone a reboot you are allowing your phone to fix any battery draining situations you may not be aware of.
  • Use the auto-lock or screen timeout feature to save some juice when you are not using the phone.
  • With android phones, getting rid of live wallpaper will increase some of the battery life.
  • If you want more information on how to get more life out of your cellphones battery; here’s a great article on iPhones, and here is a good one for Androids.

DISPOSABLES BATTERIES

disposables

  • Check for signs of life. If you are like me, you have a ton of dead disposable batteries junking up your junk drawer. You can do three things with the deads. You can double check for signs of life, make a sculpture or just throw them away. There are two ways that you can check the life left  on a disposable. You can use a voltmeter or, you watch how it drops. The voltmeter method is basic, but not everybody has one on hand. The drop method is pretty neat-o and free. When alkaline batteries begin to die, they start to pressurize making them bounce and fall over easily. Hold your battery upright an inch or two over a level table, counter, floor, and just let it fall. If it bounces several times and then falls to its side, it dead. Try bouncing it into the garbage. However, if you hear a nice thud, and it does not bounce, it has some juice left in it. With most brands, the battery will stand up when dropped rather than fall to the side. Try doing this with a new battery and a dead battery as a reference and you will notice the difference.
  • There is still life in those old cells yet. Sometimes Batteries can come back to life with this simple trick. There is nothing more irritating than going for the remote and its not working. It is even worse when the TV is stuck on an infomercial. Fear not, if you are wearing jeans rub each end of the battery briskly on your jeans (this will work with any rough fabric but, jeans work best). If you are not wearing jeans, use a pencil eraser on the contact points. Put the batteries back in and celebrate the continuation of your Netflix binge.
  • Here is another battery trick. When you have kids (or just really like toys) occasionally you will encounter a situation where you need D batteries. But, you only have C’s. If you are in this scenario, you can be the hero with only a few quarters. Place the C batteries into the D slot and pad the flat end with roughly 3 quarters per battery.
  • Batteries do not like heat. Store them in a cool place. I live in Florida, and even with the AC running constantly, I did notice a difference in my battery life by storing them in the fridge. Just before you use them, bring them back to room temperature by holding it in your hands for a minute or so.
  • TV remotes are very demanding. Don’t toss out the batteries in your TV remote, they may just work in something else. Television remotes tend to be much more demanding than some other gadgets.
  • Dont you, forget about the D’s. Never leave batteries left in devices that you won’t use for a while. We have all run into the horribly corroded battery that leaked its ick all over our favorite Halloween, Christmas, or nightmare before Christmas décor. What I do to protect my little battery operated Jack Skellingtons and for other hardly used electronics, is tape the batteries together and then use masking tape it stick them to the back of my Halloween toys.

hearing-aidsHEARING AID BATTERY

 

  • If you have to keep your hearing aids in all the time, the cost of the batteries can really start to add up. Getting the most life out of each battery is not only less costly but also convenient.
  • Know the 5-minute rule. When it comes time to change your hearing aid batteries, there is a trick known as the 5-minute rule. After removing the sticker or tab wait a full 5 minutes before putting the battery into the device. This allows the battery to fully activate and will add days to the batteries life. That 5-minute wait is a great time to ask your chatty neighbor how they are.
  • Store your batteries in a cool dry place.
  • Keep your hearing aid away from metal objects. Placing your hearing aid near metal objects can potentially discharge the battery.
  • Keep moisture from accumulating in the battery compartment. When u are not using your hearing aid turn it off, and leave the battery compartment open. By storing your hearing aid with the compartment open, you will help to prevent any moisture from accumulating that will reduce the life of the battery.

Hybrid and electric car battery

prius-engine

  • Babying your car and staying up to date on basic car maintenance, is a good place to start when trying to get the most out of your car and your battery.
  • Take note of when the battery’s warranty expires. Hybrid and Electric car batteries are definitely are on the pricey side. Take your car into the dealership before the battery’s warranty expires to check for any recalls or any repairs that may be covered under your warranty.
  • Coasting to a stop is not only better for your car in general, but it can also generate energy that charges and cycles your battery prolonging its life.
  • Braking also charges the hybrid car battery but don’t ride your brakes or you can cause excessive wear to the pads and rotors.
  • Don’t charge the battery all the way. By charging to only 75% or 80%, you can increase the battery lifespan.
  • Avoid fast charging when you can. Fast charging your battery repeatedly is said to wear out the battery significantly.

  • Try to avoid excessive temperatures. By parking in the shade on hot days, and in the garage on cold days, you will to prolong the life of your hybrid or EV battery.
  • When it is cold outside, if you let your car warm up before driving it will put less wear on the battery.
  • Here is a great article on hybrid batteries even the comments are insightful and helpful.

laptop-battery-articleLAPTOP BATTERIES

 

  • Laptop batteries are like your brains, Use it or lose it.
  • Unplug your laptop once the battery is charged. Many people leave their laptops plugged in with a full charge while they are using them. Then eventually the battery will no longer hold a charge.
  • Every once in a while, let your battery drain through normal use and then recharge fully.
  • Similar to ways to save battery life on your phone: turn off anything you don’t need like notifications and apps, adjust settings like brightness, and keep the volume down to get the most time out of each battery cycle.
  • Here is some tips to get the most life out of your laptop battery.

POWER TOOLS

power-tool-battery

  • At the first signs of your power tool slowing down put your battery on its charger.
  • Do not overcharge your batteries.
  • Use your power tool batteries. Similar to regular rechargeable batteries, when left unused they begin to deplete.
  • Store in a cool dry place.
  • Sometimes you can bring dead power tools back to life. If you place your power tool battery on the charger and it won’t charge or hold a charge there is a chance it can be revived by jump starting it with another battery. There is a great popular mechanics article and video here that walks you through it.

rechargeablesRECHARGEABLE BATTERIES

 

  • Rechargeable batteries have really gotten better over the years. There are several types of rechargeable batteries: alkaline, lithium, NiMH, LSD NiMH, NiZn, and NiCd. NiMH rechargeable are the most common.

  • You can usually use any charger to charge your batteries as long as the type of charger is the same (NiMH charger and NiMH battery) the brand of charger does not matter.

  • Smart chargers can tell battery types and will not overcharge, and can charge several sizes and charge levels at a time without damaging the battery.
  • Every once in a while drain your batteries completely and then recharge them fully to get the best lifespan out of them.
  • Use them often; much like laptop batteries if rechargeable sit around not being used, they lose some of their rechargeable-ness.

  • Keep your rechargeable and charger away from extreme hot and cold temperatures.

  • Unless you have a smart charger, try to make sure all the batteries in the charger are equally in need of a charge. Placing one rechargeable, that is completely dead in with one that is only halfway dead might overcharge your battery shortening its life span.
  • If you want more information, there is a great article about rechargeable here.

Tablets

mr-mouse-tablet

  • Just like most devices with a screen adjusting the brightness and volume, turning off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, unused apps and notifications will help save the battery.
  • Set your tablet to sleep when it is inactive.
  • With iPads, you can turn off spotlight if you don’t use it.
  • Keeping the hold switch on your iPod when you are not using it can prevent accidentally playing a playlist and draining the battery.
  • Keeping your iPod updated will help increase battery life.
  • Here is some more info on kindles. This is a great article on  iPads and heres one on android tablet battery lifespans.

 

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