How to Make Batteries Last Extra Long

By Techwalla Electronics Editor

The remote control dies and you are suddenly frantic, searching the house for a couple of batteries. You're opening cameras, old Walkmans, any piece of portable technology you can find just to get a couple of AA batteries... Here's how to make your batteries last longer.

Step 1

Turn off your electronics, completely. This is by far the best advice for extended life, as every battery is essentially good for a number of hours for use.

Step 2

Change usage. The next thing that drains a battery are the bells and whistles a piece of equipment may have. For instance, cell phones will last much longer on a "ring" setting versus a vibrate setting. The vibrate setting takes significantly more battery power to accomplish. Extrapolate this same idea to things like flashes on your camera. Only use the flash when you must. On your video camera avoid additional uses like "playback" until you can get to an outlet and use the electricity from the wall.

Step 3

Use rechargeable batteries. Use a nickel metal hydride battery if possible. These batteries have a larger capacity to store energy than single use batteries. Let them completely drain before recharging them to keep the integrity of their usage span. Batteries have an energetic memory. If you charge it when it is only half empty, it will start to feel as if that is the base or lowest amount of energy it can retain before stopping it's function.

Step 4

Store batties next to the ice cream. An old wives' tale that works! Alkaline batteries will last 5 percent longer by placing them in the freezer. But they must be warmed up before use to room temperature. It may be more effective to freeze NiMH and Nicad batteries often used for things like electronics or cameras. These batteries only keep their charge for a few days when resting at room temperature. But if you store them in the freezer they will retain 90 percent of their power.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always bring a backup. That way you'll never be short. Also you can get cell phone booster batteries at Radio Shack or online.