By Tare Youdeowei
WE have all been in that position where our laptop battery starts to malfunction; that moment when a 10-hour battery life device depreciates to serving you for one hour or less. Insight from the Research and Development Unit of Yudala, shows that while laptop batteries often depreciate with constant use over time, misuse or wrong usage often leads to this happening within a short period of time and at a time when you should still be deriving optimum utility from your laptop battery.
Laptop batteries are made from lithium-ion batteries that have an average of 600 charge cycles and will work optimally for about four to five years without a drastic depreciation on battery life. Hence, your laptop battery should serve you well for at least three to four years depending on how frequently you use the device and recharge the battery.
Research shows that frequent travellers only get a couple of years out of their laptop battery because they tend to charge intermittently and keep their laptop unplugged when on the move which kills the laptop battery faster.
To help you get maximum life out of your laptop battery, the following tips will go a long way in helping you save the cost of investing in a new battery at short intervals;
- Avoid soft surfaces: It is easy to place your laptop on your thighs or bed while working at home or during your rest time, however, if you need your battery to last long or have a stronger life span, it is advisable to place the device on hard surfaces such as tables or desks in order to avoid overheating.
Research has shown that heat is one of the biggest obstacles to your battery’s longevity because your laptop fan cannot circulate air properly when your laptop is placed on a soft surface.
- Practice proper battery storage: It is advisable to store your laptop in a cool place, this excludes cars during dry season. Laptop batteries do not work well with heat and might stop working if exposed to excessive humidity.
Research shows that, if a stored battery is not charged, it starts to lose it energy and might get damaged. Also, for travellers who leave their laptops behind, it is advisable to store your battery with a 40 – 60 percent charge instead of a full charge. Studies show that fully charged batteries depreciate faster than half-charged batteries.
- Avoid ‘battery empty’: A lot of us wait until our laptop dies before we plug it in, though mostly due to acute electricity shortage, it is not good for batteries. You should avoid letting your battery drain and discharge below 20 percent, else, it would reduce the charging capacity of your battery.
- Protect your battery: Make sure to take care of the battery contact points; the battery contact connects the battery to the laptop. If the contact point gets dirty or damaged, it may reduce or disrupt the flow of power to the laptop. If you have a removable battery, you can carefully wipe your battery with a soft cloth to get rid of dust.
- However, you have nothing to worry about if your laptop battery is sealed. Update your laptop: As underrated as this may sound, an outdated hardware may reduce the performance of your laptop thereby affecting the laptop battery.
- The cells in laptop batteries degrade over time, and it is totally normal for old laptop batteries to hold charge less than an hour. Current laptops can achieve up to 10 hours of standard usage because of the software that comes with the perk of a new laptop. Henceforth, upgrading your laptop hardware will significantly improve your laptop battery life.