- A Lithium Ion battery should never be charged to 100% or fully Discharged. The famous 80-20 rule is applicable here as well, though in a different way. Charging to 80% increases battery life. Most newer Laptops have this feature of “preserve battery life” by limiting it to 80%.
- Don’t wait for full discharge, charge it frequently. Keeping the battery near to 80% always, gives better life. This is also what many vendors claim as “memory effect”.
- Every battery has limited Full charge-discharge cycles. Of the order of 300+. In other words a typical phone/laptop battery can be fully charged/discharged 300 times. Doing more frequent charges, as specified in point #2, will increase overall life.
- During First time use (when the battery is new) don`t use it till its fully charged. This is why it is always written on manuals “let the device charge for 2-3 hours”.
- Best way to increase battery life is Not to use it. If you keep AC power plugged in on your laptop, keeping the battery at 80% (as in #1), your battery will last longer. Though discharging it once in a month would be must in such cases.
- Surrounding temperature contributes a lot. Colder weather gives better battery life. So make sure your cellphone/laptop doesn`t overheat, if it does, find ways to keep it cool.
- When not in use for long, store the battery keeping pt 1 and pt 6 in mind.
Most-Important: Never leave the machine plugged in all the time. Laptops are meant to be portable. Using it as a desktop that never runs on the battery will destroy your battery life.Discharge-Cycles are your friend. Never letting the battery complete a cycle will greatly diminish your run-time. Try to avoid charging the battery unless it’s drained past 30%. Any time the battery drains past 50% and charges more than 50% counts as a cycle. The farther you let it drain before the charge – the better its overall health will remain. 30 cycles in a year is not a good thing.
Apart from this there are specific tips to elongate battery life which are related to user’s usage:
- Keep the screen brightness to as low as possible. This can reduce battery consumption by upto 40%.
- Don’t do heavy tasks like gaming when running on battery. This often uses High CPU,graphics which drains battery faster.
- Kill background processes that you are not using, multitasking is one serious battery killer.
- For Cellphones only: USe headsets for long conversations. This will give you 40-70% improvement in talk time. Why? because when you hold the cellphone in hands, your body absorbs most of the RF. [Also See: Cell Phones WiFi and Health Effects]
- For Laptops: Use tools like NHC: Notebook hardware control which can let you adjust CPU clock and hence save battery.
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