6 mistakes you make that shorten the life of your gadgets
Have you ever noticed that a year after getting your new tablet, laptop or phone, the battery mysteriously starts dying at an alarming rate? The batteries of these mobile devices don’t last forever, but there are ways to make them last longer.
There are many techniques that you can use to improve the battery life of your mobile gadgets. We broke them down into the top six for your convenience.
Let’s take a look at some of the best techniques for conserving your batteries.
1. When to charge
Battery manufacturers measure a battery’s charge by the number of complete discharge cycles it has. This means the number of times the battery can go from full charge once to uncharged. To increase the number of discharge cycles we recommend that you charge your battery from 10 percent to 20 percent before the battery life drops below.
The ideal charge level for a stationary battery is in the upper mid-range. Keeping the battery charged between 40 percent and 80 percent as often as possible will help you get the most out of its lifespan. This is because high-voltage batteries are under significantly more stress, and the stress can potentially have degrading effects on overall battery life by deteriorating the battery’s internal chemistry.
The myth that overcharging a battery to 100 percent once will damage it is only partially true. Modern batteries have mechanisms that prevent excess voltage once the battery reaches its maximum charge. However, there are also some known as “trickle charges” that continuously seep into the battery to maintain its 100 percent charge level. Keeping the battery at 100 percent all the time puts more strain on the battery overall, so it can still affect its overall lifespan.
Verdict – Instead of sleeping overnight, charge the battery frequently throughout the day. This will allow you to maintain 40-80 percent charge, which is the battery life sweet spot.
2. Which charger to use
You can find many second hand deals on chargers that claim to charge the battery much faster than standard ones. There are two problems here.
First, secondhand or “off-brand” chargers often (not always) lack a voltage control mechanism designed for your particular device. The charger that came with your device will have been optimized for the chemistry of the device’s battery, so appropriate voltage control measures will be taken. This is important because without a proper mechanism to control the voltage, more than ideal stress can be placed on the battery.
Next, faster chargers naturally put more strain on the battery, whether made by the manufacturer or not. Just like with a human, as a battery gets older, the chemistry inside starts to deteriorate and has a harder time dealing with stress. While a new battery should be no problem using a fast charger, older batteries can wear out even more quickly with the use of these products.
Verdict – Use the charger that came with the device or an alternative charger certified by the device manufacturer.
3. Temperature Control
Since you should be understanding the concept of “stress” in a battery by now, it’s time to bring up one of the biggest battery killers ever. Temperature. High temperatures are literally the biggest enemy of lithium-ion batteries. These types of batteries can easily overheat, destroying them completely, or the added heat stress can cause damage on its own.
Along with being a problem of summer, winter can also be a problem. The cold itself won’t damage the battery, but can heat up quickly. Because of this, it is recommended that you do not turn on an appliance immediately after bringing it out of extreme cold conditions.
We should add that storing batteries in cool areas like the fridge is actually recommended to promote their longevity. It is even more ideal to store them at around 40 percent capacity.
Verdict – Maintain a normal temperature environment for your battery when in use. If it’s comfortable for you, it’s comfortable for the battery. Avoid extreme heat and direct sunlight whenever possible.
The brightness of your laptop screen or mobile phone screen has a huge impact on your battery life as well as the longevity of your overall device. It is common for users to crank up the brightness on laptop or mobile screens that have been damaged, or are blurry enough to obscure the image. Increasing the brightness will obviously hurt your battery life, so let’s think of ways to avoid doing so.
One way to completely destroy any screen is to leave it open to direct sunlight. Since doing so will also drain your battery, as mentioned above, just make sure that your device is protected from direct sunlight, especially the screen.