New batteries for laptops are hard to find and expensive, if you are not looking for a Chinese battery, which have disputable performances and life. There are also services that replace cells within your original battery, but who can say if they don’t put inside the same Chinese low quality cells? So, what should you do? With few easy steps I can show you how to extend your battery life.
If you use laptop on battery power rarely, and most of the time it’s on charger, acting as Desktop Replacement, then you can take it out and use it only when you need it. But wait, there are tricks for this as well. Experiments have shown that battery is best preserved when it is charged 40%. Charged at around 40%, put it in plastic bag, seal it best you can, and put it in refrigerator. Make sure that air cannot come in, because condensation can than enter, which can both corrode contacts and discharge battery. Li-Ion batteries must not be completely discharged, or they lose its capacity. Do not put the battery in freezer, since 4 degrees Celsius in refrigerator is good for your battery, but going below zero is not. This way, your battery will be as good as new.
If you use laptop battery often, follow these easy advices on the next page.
- Hibernate instead Standby. On Standby computer still uses battery.
- Keep the contacts clean. Contacts are made from copper, and they can corrode making green, mold-like surface. You need to scratch the contacts with something sharp if this happens. To prevent this from happening, every half a year clean contacts with 100% alcohol (sorry, you could get those in pharmacy, but today it is likely that you will not be able to, the law in some countries prohibits selling of 100% alcohol).
- Keep vents clean and use a laptop stand. Heat is the major problem for a battery.
- Use the battery at least once a month, so that it discharges i.e. even if you are using your laptop as a Desktop Replacement, you need to actually use your battery if you want it healthy
I stated above something that may or may not be true. It is true that Lithium-Ion batteries lose their capacity permanently if they are discharged completely, but most of the manufacturers implement electronics that stops discharging when there are only few percent left. So, don’t worry so much about that.
The third option is to just don’t care as much. After a year your battery will probably become almost useless, but depreciation on your hardware is great as well. If you are not living in the third world countries, it will cost you more to worry about your battery than to buy yourself a new one. Chinese batteries do not sound as a bad option than, since even if they last for 6 months, it’s a good deal for your “old” computer.
Finally, you can attempt to repair your battery yourself. In the next article, I will show you how to do this. It takes two dead batteries of any manufacturer to make one solid one.