Hot Weather Is Just Around The Corner
Now is the time to put away your cold-weather gear correctly.
As the temperatures rise, you'll find that you use your battery-heated items less. Don't just throw them in a drawer for months; follow these simple tips to extend the life of your rechargeable Lithium-ion battery.
How do Li-ion batteries work? Your rechargeable lithium-ion battery performs when ions move between the positive and negative electrodes. In theory, this system should work forever, but cycling, elevated temperature, and aging decrease the battery's performance over time. Manufacturers take a conservative approach and specify the life of consumer-level Li-ion batteries around 300 - 500 discharge/charge cycles or two to three years, whichever occurs first. One charge cycle is a period of use from fully charged to fully discharged and fully recharged again. The charge-discharge cycle eventually wears out the cathode, resulting in a reduced capacity. Also, lithium-polymer batteries degrade even when you don't use them.
Avoid heat, which degrades the batteries. Storing your heated items and their rechargeable batteries in your car or trunk until fall is a recipe for a bad battery! Always read your owner's manual to check their instructions for long-term storage of your specific Li-ion battery. Set a schedule in your calendar to periodically use the Li-ion battery in your heated products and then charge the battery again.
When you use your rechargeable lithium-battery heated item next fall/winter and the battery has no 0% charge remaining when you check it, consider the battery to be dead. Time to replace with a new battery!
To sum up:
Do not store your battery in a hot area.
Charge and discharge your battery on a regular basis over the summer.
Accept the fact that your rechargeable battery will eventually need to be replaced. Rechargeable does not equal eternal.
Read your owner's manual.