I think we’ve all heard rumors about not being able to charge phones overnight without damaging the battery. Or that leaving a laptop constantly plugged in does the same. There are so many truths, half truths, and straight up myths about how your battery charges and what does and doesn’t impact its quality. We’ll discuss which of these rumors are true and which ones are just a bit fabricated and give some real tips on how to keep your battery charged.
Battery Myths Dispelled
Let’s get a couple of myths out of the way first. The whole thing about having to charge your phone all the way up then not charge it again until it’s drained is not exactly true. Although this was the case with older model NiMH batteries, which resemble disposable batteries, the lithium-ion batteries in all current-day gadgets don’t require this type of attention to detail. In fact, the opposite is true. Lithium-ion batteries work better when you give it periodic charges and don’t let them drain all the way down.
Keeping Your Phone Charged Overnight Will Damage Your Battery
Another myth worth dispelling is whether keeping your phone charged overnight will damage your battery. Again, it’s been shown that not charging your phone passed the charge limit is better for the device’s battery than letting it drain and charging it back up.
Closing Apps Improve Battery Life
You’re not alone if you thought this was a fact. Really, it’s just a myth. Closing your apps does not improve battery life. Even more interesting is that it actually takes up more energy to reopen an app after closing it than it does clicking on an app that was already open. Turning off the notifications for apps is a better way to save battery life.
You Can Only Use the Charger that Came with Your Phone
This is another myth worth debunking. Manufacturers will “strongly suggest” you use the charger that comes with your phone. But as long as you’re not using some low-grade charging equipment, substituting your original charger for a similar one won’t impact your battery life. It may affect the amount of time it takes for your phone to charge, but that’s it.
Disabling Wi-Fi or Bluetooth Will Do a Lot
False. While Wi-Fi and Bluetooth do demand a lot of power, software technology has made this so there is very little impact on the battery life of your phone. It’s certainly not worth you toggling these apps on and off in an attempt to save some battery power.
You Shouldn’t Use Your Cellphone while It’s Charging
Most cellphone users will be happy to hear that this is a myth. Truth is, there is not, nor has there ever been, any evidence suggesting that using your cellphone while it’s charging is a no-no. It won’t burn, it won’t shut down, and you’ll get through your phone call just fine. Your ears might get a little hot, but your battery will be A-Okay.
Always Charge a Device before Its First Use
No need to pull out the charger when heading home after purchasing a new phone. It does absolutely nothing to impact your battery’s life either way. Manufacturers only say that because charging the phone to full strength starts the calibration process. Thing is, most phones are cell calibrating anyway, so there really is no need to charge new phones.
It’s Okay to Store Your Batteries in the Refrigerator
Not only is this a myth, but you’re bringing unnecessary danger to yourself every time you put a phone battery in the fridge or freezer. Extreme temperatures and batteries don’t do well together. The best thing to do for your battery is to just store them at standard room temperature. You’ll get up to 10 years of shelf life this way.
Keeping Your Laptop Plugged in All the Time Will Kill Its Battery Faster
The final myth that a lot of people believe to be common knowledge is that leaving your laptop plugged in all the time is bad for the battery. We have to give technology some credit here. Batteries are smart enough now to stop accepting charge once they are full. That means we can all breathe easy when we run out the house and forget to unplug our laptops.
Tips for Maximizing Your Battery
Now that we’ve rid your mind of some of the more popular battery myths, let’s get into some tips that actually help. The first point that’s good to know is that lithium-ion batteries don’t need to be charged all the way up. In fact, they work better when you charge them a little here and there when you can.
Another tip to keep in mind is that although batteries don’t mind being overcharged, they definitely don’t like being overheated. Find a way to get some cool onto your device, be that using it less or being proactive and getting a fan to keep it cool.
A good practice to follow for those of you with excessively busy lives is to carry an extra battery. This works well if you’re always on the move and don’t have many opportunities for charging while travelling throughout the day. This leads to the next piece of advice which has to do with storing batteries. Make sure where they are being stored is cool and that they are at least halfway charged up.
The Charge M.E.
When discussing solutions to keeping your battery life strong, Ohming Technology’s “Charge M.E.” is a great option. The Charge M.E. is a portable charger able to charge up to eight devices through a single power source. It is versatile enough to charge both legacy devices and newer model devices, and doesn’t require any connection to a computer to work.
Visit the Ohming Technology web site for more details on the Charge M.E.
Source: Limer, E., “How to Keep Your Phone’s Battery Healthy,” May 26, 2015 http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/a15731/best-way-to-keep-li-ion-batteries-charged/.
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