Using Laptop Batteries Efficiently

Laptop batteries are highly useful allowing you to finish your work on the go wherever you are and preventing you from having to search for power sockets in every coffee shop you visit. At the same time they are great for saving energy – they charge in the background while you are plugged in and that then means that you can use your laptop later without being plugged in at all – almost a two for one deal on your energy and of course great for going green.

Over time though they are also notorious for losing their ability to hold charge and this obviously is not good for going green as you then end up using energy to charge your battery constantly but only getting a few minutes of use out of it (it’s also annoying from a productivity perspective when you’re on the go). On top of this many people don’t realize how to get the most out of their batteries when they aren’t plugged in and so still end up using more energy than necessary. If you are really interested in going green, saving money, and being more efficient, then you need to take care of your battery. Here we will look at how…

 

Making Your Charge Last Longer

 

In order to make a fully charged laptop battery last longer there are several things you can do and these are:

 

  • Turn off your wifi if you aren’t using it – this is a huge drain on the power
  • Don’t plug in your phone – many will automatically charge from your stored laptop energy
  • Turn down the brightness – turning the screen down on devices is one of the simplest yet most effective tips for going green there is
  • Disconnect the mouse – yep this too can use up energy
  • Run fewer programs – anything running in the background in your ‘system tray’ (on Windows computers) will drain your computer’s battery life. As you’re not connected to the internet most likely you can even turn off your firewall for now. This will be good for going green but it will also make your laptop faster.
  • Don’t use the CD drive – instead install anything onto the harddrive and run it from there
  • Change your power options – you can alter the screen brightness and the screen saver settings etc here in order to save optimal amounts of energy without ruining the user experience

 

How to Improve the Battery’s Life

 

At the same time though you need to treat your battery well to prevent it losing efficiency over time. The following tips will be great for going green with your laptop:

  • When you first get out and use your laptop, make sure to fully charge it before use. It takes a little control not to launch into playing with your new toy, but by being patient you’ll maximize how much you can get out of your battery from then on.
  • Remove the battery pack if you are not going to be using the laptop for a long amount of time. Likewise if you intend to leave it plugged in for an extended period you can remove the battery – otherwise it will be constantly charging and this will wear the battery out. So in other words if you’re not traveling anywhere – take the battery out and leave it out.
  • However if your battery has been left in the cupboard for a long time occasionally fully charge and run down the battery. Doing this every month will be like good practice for the battery and keep it efficient. This is important specifically for nickel-metal hydride batteries.
  • Do not expose the battery to extreme heat or cold – when you store it make sure to keep it at roughly room temperature.

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