How to Get the Most Out of Your Batteries

batteries.jpgEngery is getting more and more expensive and those little packages of energy that we call batteries are getting more expensive too. The number of items that we use, that requires battery power, is growing each day. Digital cameras are one of the most used items that need batteries to work. They are also a great drain on battery life. Extending the life of your batteries once they are in the camera can be difficult, but with a little care your batteries’ life can be extended by taking action taken before the batteries are installed in the camera. Use these simple rules to get the most from your batteries:

Don’t expose them to heat. Keep batteries out of your car. Your car can become an oven during the day. Storing your batteries in heat will shorten their life. Remember to never try to charge non-rechargeable batteries. They could overheat and cause a fire.

Store your batteries in a cool, dry place. Don’t store your batteries in your refrigerator. The refrigerator is cool, but not dry. They can be stored in the refrigerator, to maximize their life, by using those little silica gel packs that come in the packaging of some items. The silica is used to keep the batteries dry. This is too expensive and it is extremely inconvenient. You have to use a container with a lid to store the batteries in. Also, please beware that the silica is a hazardous item. You don’t want it to touch any food items at all. This is why this method is not really viable. A good general rule is to keep toxic items away from your food. There are other cool, dry places in your house that you can store your batteries. Look around and be creative.

Don’t short out the connections. Your batteries should be stored in an organized fashion. The ends of batteries should not touch the wrong thing (usually metal) or the battery will be shorted. Many people lose battery power this way in their junk drawers or tool boxes. The best container to store batteries is the packaging that the batteries come in. They are oddly shaped but they are designed not to drain the batteries during long storage. Perhaps the battery companies will figure out good packaging that will fit in a drawer.

Don’t mix and match brands or rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries. Different brands use different chemistries to manufacture their batteries. Mixing brands can pull energy away from the more powerful batteries. Mixing rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries also drain power from the non-rechargeable.

Finally, don’t throw your used batteries in the trash. Batteries are filled with toxic chemicals that should not be put in landfills. There are now recycling locations that accept old batteries. Visit RBRC.org to find a recycler who accepts used batteries near you.

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