How to Make Your AA Batteries Last Longer

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AA batteries are probably the most popular battery around and are used to power most cameras, children's toys and remote control hand controllers, to name a few. Rechargeable and nonrechargeable AA size batteries are available using different chemical compositions such as alkaline, nickel and lithium. The best method of keeping down the cost of constantly buying replacement batteries is to get them to last longer.

  • Buy a reputable brand of AA battery. The storage life is longer, they don't discharge as much, and they usually power your electrical devices for longer.

  • Check the date stamp on the AA battery. Never purchase a battery that is close to or past the date stamp. A battery that's near its date stamp indicates that the manufacture date is possibly a year or more ago and has been sitting on a store's shelf. Additionally, battery technology is constantly improving.

  • Store your AA batteries in a cool, dark place. If they are exposed to heat and bright light, the shelf life can deteriorate.

  • Turn off the electrical equipment your AA batteries power. Leaving batteries in devices that are on standby uses unnecessary energy.

  • Remove batteries from electrical devices if you are not expecting to use them for some time. Batteries that are left in electrical devices, even if they are turned off, still discharge.

  • Never mix brands of battery. Different AA battery brands all produce 1.5 volts, but the energy, known as milliamp hours, can vary considerable. For example, if one battery produces 800 mAh and another 600 mAh, the 800 mAh discharges into the 600 mAh, reducing the overall time the batteries power your device.

  • Don't mix old and new batteries; always completely replace the set. If you mix a new battery with an old battery, the new battery attempts to charge the old battery to equalize power, meaning the energy is wasted.

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  • Photo Credit Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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