There are 6 ways people regularly damage their lithium-ion batteries and reduce their battery’s lifespan...

Some of these things seem harmless and people don’t realize they’re making mistakes. But the truth is, the 6 actions we’ll tell you about in this guide will reduce a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery’s lifespan (sometimes cutting the battery’s lifespan in half)!

So we wrote this guide so you can avoid these 6 simple mistakes and instead maximize the lifespan of the lithium-ion batteries in your devices, phone, laptop, and even electric car:


(Mistake #1) Exposing the Battery to High Temperatures

If your lithium-ion battery gets too hot, it will shorten the lifespan of the battery. So one of the best ways to extend the life of any Lithium-Ion battery is to minimize exposure to high temperatures.

That means when the battery is in use, if you feel the battery getting extremely hot, give the device a rest so it can cool off.

And while the device or battery is not being used, store your device and lithium-ion battery in a cool, dry place. 

The maximum safe operating temperature for a lithium-ion battery is 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius) or below. Higher temperatures than this will cause the battery to stop charging and potentially damage the battery. So keeping the battery at 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) or below is recommended.

If the battery is regularly too hot, it will bloat and be rendered useless.

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(Mistake #2) Exposing the Battery to Low Temperatures

On the other hand, exposing lithium-ion batteries to really cold temperatures will also shorten their lifespan. Your battery may even stop working at freezing temperatures.

  • Interesting Fact: The performance of ALL batteries (not just lithium-ion) drops dramatically at low temperatures.

The safe operating temperature for a Lithium-Ion battery is above 42 degrees Fahrenheit (5.5 degrees Celsius).

Battery capacity is reduced as temperatures decrease (due to the increase in internal resistance). When this happens, more regular charging of the battery will be required.

By not exposing your batteries to extreme heat (#1 above) or extreme cold temperatures, you won’t damage the battery or be forced to charge the battery more often and use up the charging cycles.

  • Electric Car Pro Tip: If you have an electric vehicle, it’s best practice to turn the vehicle on for a few minutes before using it to warm up the battery if it’s cold out. 


(Mistake #3) Not Keeping the Battery’s Charge in the “Sweet Spot” 

You want your lithium-ion battery’s charge to be in the “Sweet Spot” as often as possible. The “Sweet Spot” is between 20% to 80% charge.

To explain, you should not leave your battery on charge when it reaches the 100% charging capacity for too long and too often.

When your battery charges when it’s at full capacity for too long, it will stress the battery. This will decrease the lifespan of your battery. That’s why we recommend charging the battery up to 80% and then taking it off the charger.

Additionally, do not let the battery capacity run down to zero too often. This also stresses the battery and regularly doing this will decrease the battery’s lifespan. This is why we recommend charging the battery when it gets down to about 20%.

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(Mistake #4) Fast Charging the Battery

Fast charging will cause the battery to heat up quickly, which will decrease the lifespan of your battery (*see #1 above). Even though fast charging is convenient, it will degrade the battery, and reduce the lifespan of your battery.

When charging your battery with a fast-charging option (or a fast charger), it will increase the voltage, increasing the heat and; therefore, heat up the battery.

It is much better to be patient and charge the Lithium-Ion battery at normal speed if you want it to last longer.

(Mistake #5) Bringing the Battery in a Room (like a bathroom) That Gets Really Humid

You should avoid using the battery in areas where there are high amounts of moisture in the air or a wet environment. For this reason, we recommend not taking your device into the bathroom when you take a shower because the steam will heat up the small room and cause a lot of moisture.

This moisture will decrease battery lifespan as the moisture is absorbed by the electrodes and separators inside the battery.

This will increase internal resistance and; therefore, affect the overall capacity and lifespan of the battery.

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(Mistake #6) Quickly Discharging the Battery

When a battery quickly discharges, it will also cause damage to the battery and may decrease the lifespan of your battery. Quick discharging will also cause you to recharge the battery more often, which will use up your Lithium-Ion battery's charging cycles.

So for example, if you are using your phone and you are putting a heavy load on the phone and you notice the phone heating up and the battery meter rapidly dropping, we recommend setting the phone down for a bit to let it cool off and to prevent this rapid discharge.

Lithium-Ion batteries do not have an unlimited charging capacity, meaning that it only comes with a certain amount of charging cycles. When you start using up those charging cycles, the battery will need to be disposed of or reconditioned. However, proper maintenance, reconditioning as it ages, and avoiding mistakes will greatly increase the battery’s lifespan.


Summary

Hopefully, this guide was helpful and you can now avoid these 6 simple mistakes that shorten your lithium-ion battery’s lifespan.

Proper battery maintenance and reconditioning will increase your battery’s lifespan, but also avoiding the 6 mistakes we mentioned above will increase your batteries lifespan as well.

Good luck! We hope you have better performing batteries that last longer after reading this!


    3 replies to "6 Ways You’re Damaging Your Lithium-Ion Batteries & Reducing Their Lifespan"

    • John

      Love this. I was making three of these mistakes

    • Thomas M

      Thanks for this. Now I know why my lithium ion batteries are dying early.

      -Thomas

    • Terry Polte

      Every person who uses solar panels needs to know these 6 tips too. Good stuff

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