When To Replace Batteries In Cell Phones, Laptops, And Other Appliances

Guide to maintaining battery operated portable electronics. Tips on extending battery life and caring for electronic products. Advice on scheduling charging schedules.

The question of when to change batteries in your electrical appliance may at first seem like a no-brainer. Today's electronic accessories are very much a part of our lives. Beepers, cell phones, mobile phones, remote car starters; all have specific everyday uses, and all need one thing: charging. You can extend both the life of the battery and the life of the appliance by reading your user manual. There you will find specific guidelines for your electronic equipment. In case you can't find the little book, though, here are some basic guidelines to follow. These guidelines apply to most electronic batteries as well as the specific instruments mentioned. Camcorder, mobile phone, digital camera, all benefit from the same guidelines.

Wireless telephones usually come with batteries both in the handset and in the base. The battery in the handset is for everyday use, the one in the base, in case of a power outage. You can actually extend the life of your wireless phone by making sure your battery has been correctly charged. Any wireless phone will recommend that the battery be fully charged before your phone is connected. Many people skip this step, impatient to use their new phone. The way I get to perform this step correctly is to charge the handset at night, leaving my old phone set up. In the morning, I usually can't be bothered playing with the phone, so it's left until I get home from work, giving it the full charge required. Usually, 8-10 hours is sufficient, but following my guideline, it gets a good 20 hours of charging before use. Another way to extend battery life is to fully discharge the battery with the first use. This means draining it of every single drop of energy before throwing it on the charger. It may seem so much easier to just throw it on the charger whenever you think of it, but your overall battery life will at least double with this method. After the battery has fully discharged, charge it overnight, or at least 8-10 hours. After that initial charge and recharge, you can charge your battery in any way convenient to your lifestyle.

I have found it easiest to simply recharge everything I use daily at night, whether it needs it or not. The full draining or discharging is necessary on your first recharge only, so my mobile phone, camera, personal music player, beeper, whatever I use daily is simply part of my bedside ritual. Brush your teeth; charge your batteries and go to sleep! Of course, the other part of that particular habit is to replace all the batteries in the morning. I have gone to work missing my mobile phone battery a number of times before learning to fit into the electronic age, especially before coffee.

Many people prefer the spare battery method. This method is practically foolproof. Having an extra battery on the charger at all times is surely very convenient. However, it can also be expensive, so your charging habits may be tailored to suit your budget as well as your lifestyle. Whichever method you choose, a regular schedule of charging takes the guesswork out of deciding when to charge. Using your appliance without daily recharging is like driving a car with a broken gas gauge. You won't know it's empty till you run out of gas. Of course, new electronics usually have a battery meter, but until you get to know your battery's life-span, you may find yourself stuck on a train without music a couple of times until you get that life-span thing down.

Daily recharging both extends your battery's life and saves you unnecessary stress, leaving you happy and able to enjoy your gadgets!

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