It is almost always the way that the energy from batteries run out just at the time when you most need them. Whether it is a toy, remote control or video game, it is always at the most critical point when your battery runs out – miles from a shop or plug to recharge them – and when you need them the most.
Whilst it is a good idea to have some spare batteries at hand – especially if you have something for which batteries are imperative, it is good practise to save money and energy by understanding how to get the most out of your batteries.
- Rechargeable batteries are a much more cost effective as a long term solution as you don`t need to keep replacing batteries, just recharge the ones that you have. The cost on your energy bills is much less than the price of a new set of batteries. Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMHs) are the best rechargeable batteries to use as they can be re-charged thousands of times before they need to be disposed of. If, however, you are planning on buying non-rechargeable batteries, buy alkaline batteries.
- If you have rechargeable batteries, they work better is you charge them little and often as they lose their power quickly – but also charge quickly. Make sure that you remember to take your re-charger out of the wall socket so that you don`t end up with an astronomical energy bill. This is the same with rechargeable alkaline batteries, but a fully depleted rechargeable battery won`t keep recharging for long.
- Keep your NiMH batteries in the fridge. Outside of the fridge they will lose their charge much quicker, and by keeping them in the fridge you can retain up to 9/10 of the charge. Alkaline batteries however don`t make such a drastic different, retaining only 5% more than if kept outside the fridge.
- If you are going to keep your batteries in the fridge, make sure that you warm them up to room temperature before using them.
- If you have a device that you won`t be using regularly, make sure that you take the batteries out of it whilst it isn`t in use. Just by having the batteries connected, you can drain their energy meaning that when you come to using it again, it doesn`t work. Keep them stored in a cool, dry place.
- If you have a digital camera make sure that you use high drain batteries as they use up energy very fast on alkaline batteries. Your digital camera or other high drain appliance will last much longer with high drain batteries.
- Replace batteries in complete sets and don`t mix the battery types – e.g. Alkaline with carbon batteries.
It is important that you know how to make the most of your batteries for both economic reasons, as well as for your own safety and to avoid damaging your appliance. By knowing how to treat and look after them you can get the maximum performance for the minimum cost and ensure that your appliances are running properly.