Does Putting Laptop Batteries in the Freezer Make Them Last Longer?

Every battery has its service life that is usually limited. It is natural that laptop users are interested in prolonging it. One of the most frequent recipes encountered when you start searching in the Internet is putting batteries in the freezer. Does that really help to put off their inevitable death?

Table of Content:
  • Scientific Reasons?
  • Profit Against the Risks
  • How Can I Get It Work Longer?

Let’s dig a little bit – does it really make sense? Where does the idea come from? Is there any substance behind it? If you make a search about battery storage or revival – you will definitely find tons of advices, including much misleading and outdated facts regarding different ways of storage or even revival as well as ways of making them live longer.

Scientific Reasons?

From the first sight that sounds quite scientific and well founded.

Everybody knows: the hotter is the battery, the faster it loses the energy.

This fact is the guiding motive for those who offer freezing batteries as a method of slowing the rate of its discharge. There exists a self-discharge rate for any battery type. Every battery keeps on losing its charge energy even when it is not used and just lies in your drawer or backpack. Chemical reactions keep on flowing although it is not loaded. Those reactions so-called «side reactions» become the main reason for self-discharge. You cannot avoid self-discharge, although the modern technologies have improved technical characteristics and so substantially reduced the rate of energy loss during storage.

Lithium-ion batteries, mostly used in laptops, loose roughly 5% of their charge energy per month being in storage mode at room temperature. The hotter the ambient temperature the higher is the self-discharge rate. That is the point where you might come to the idea to retain it as cold as possible – and you turn to your fridge.

Profit Against the Risks

However, coming back to practice, putting batteries in refrigerator has no legitimate reasons to be considered a good instrument to prolong their lives. Most significantly – the risk of potential problems far outweighs the profit in storage time you might gain. Trying your best to win a longer service time for your battery the last thing you want to happen is getting it wet. Moisture and micro condensate that is hardly evitable while freezing and unfreezing back your device, can significantly damage the leads and provoke corrosion inside. In case you are lucky enough and avoid ruining your battery, than any way you will not be able to use it immediately after taking out from the fridge. You will have to wait until it warms up to room temperature before use, with all precautions taken to avoid humidity and condensate during warming.

Another argument: manufacturers do not officially recommend storing in fridge. The risk from putting batteries for storage in the fridge is much higher than the gain.

How Can I Get It Work Longer?

What can we do than? There are a few simple ways to get it working as long as possible:

  • Try not to run it down empty. One or two occurrences of going the charge energy to the full zero will not kill it, but frequent emptying will have a cumulative effect and significantly reduce the service life of your battery.
  • Try to keep it cool. Make sure the vents are unblocked, when you are using the laptop. Do not put it onto soft surfaces like pillows or plaids. Keep the vents cleaned on the regular basis.
  • Give it a rest. Do not keep the battery constantly in charged/discharged mode for a long period. If you are planning to work long on AC power, take the battery away.
  • Remove for storage. When you prepare your notebook for storage the battery should be removed (ideally charged for 40%) from the laptop and kept it in a cool dry place, best +10 – +15 Celsius degrees.
  • Avoid freezing.
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