Connect with us


How Long Do Batteries Last? The Factors That Affect Their Lifespan



How Long Do Batteries Last? The Factors That Affect Their Lifespan

Batteries play a crucial role in modern society, as they’re used to power everything from mobile phones to electric vehicles and homes. The origins of the battery go back to 1800 with the inventor Alessandro Volta, and the types of batteries have expanded ever since. One of the tricky aspects of batteries is the battery life cycle.

It’s natural to wonder do batteries expire and what causes battery discharge for old batteries. One look at the packaging for batteries will show you an expiration date. You deserve to know if batteries expire and how to preserve them until you’re ready to use them.

The good news is that you’re in the perfect place to learn about the causes of battery discharge and the best tips to use when extending the lifespan of your batteries. Continue reading to learn more about the battery life cycle today!

Do Batteries Expire?

Batteries expire when they sit unused, but the expiration differs from what you’d expect compared to food expiration. The expiration date listed on the packaging is the date the manufacturer recommends for full power and storage capacity. The expiration date is set when the battery’s capacity drops below 80 percent.

The longer your batteries sit, the more extensive battery discharge becomes. Different types of batteries have different discharge rates. These batteries use several chemical reactions to produce power for your appliances.

It’s safe to say that your battery will continue discharging if you store it without using it. Monitor your batteries to get value from them before releasing their stored energy.

What Causes Batteries to Expire?

Several factors cause batteries to expire and lose their power. Batteries produce power based on a chemical reaction inside the battery. The battery will continue consuming energy when you’re not using the device or appliance powered by the battery in question.

The chemical reaction will continue whether your battery is in storage or used. No matter what battery you’re using, it’s safe to expect its energy and capacity to drop with time.

Alkaline batteries are an excellent option if you’re worried about longevity. You can store these batteries at room temperature for nearly ten years before seeing diminished returns. If your alkaline battery discharges, avoid attempting to recharge it, as the process is dangerous.

Lithium batteries are another popular option, bringing an impressive battery life cycle. The shelf life of a lithium battery is up to 12 years, though the lifespan varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Store your lithium batteries at 70 degrees to improve their life cycle.

Lead-acid batteries are a wild card when shopping for different types of batteries. They’re rechargeable for up to 600 cycles, but the lifespan of a charge lasts only six months. Consider using a battery shredder when your batteries are at the end of their lifespans.

Factors for Premature Battery Failure

Different types of batteries have longer lifespans, but it’s critical to know the factors that cause batteries to go bad when shopping for your next battery. Understanding these factors makes it much simpler to prevent battery discharge and get the most value from your investment.

Here’s a closer look at the most significant factors when purchasing and storing batteries.


Batteries are susceptible to temperature changes, so you must store your batteries in a place with stable temperatures. Hot temperatures cause batteries to expel more energy when sitting.

Your batteries will lose electrolytes, which encourages battery discharge. The loss of electrolytes will put your batteries on the path to failure.

Cold temperatures also harm your batteries. Your batteries use more energy to power up when exposed to extreme cold. When stored or used in freezing temperatures, the strain put on the battery will lead to premature failure and discharge.

Incorrect Charging

The charging methods you use also impact a battery’s lifespan. One of the worst things you can do is attach your battery to the charger and crank up the voltage. You’re putting your expensive battery on a path toward premature failure.

Check the manual from the battery manufacturer to ensure you’re using the proper amount of voltage. Charging at too low a voltage results in the sulfation of the battery. The battery plates lose what they need to continue working.

Charging at too high a voltage has consequences, too. You’ll accelerate corrosion on the battery and increase the battery discharge.

Poor Storage Practices

Most batteries face issues with expiration due to poor storage conditions and practices. There are several things you must know when storing batteries for future use.

It’s best to ensure the battery is clean and fully charged before storing it. Batteries with dust, dirt, and corrosion will self-discharge much quicker than clean batteries. Slow the battery discharge by ensuring the battery is clean before finding a spot on the shelf for it.

The charge level is also vital to consider. A battery that is only partially charged could fall into deep discharge. It’s almost impossible to revive a battery after it enters a deep discharge.

The temperatures are worth considering when learning how to prevent batteries from expiring. High and low temperatures will discharge your battery and cause it to expire prematurely. Store your batteries in a room with climate control and shade to prevent dead batteries.

Poor Installation

A proper installation will prevent your battery from expiring before its advertised lifespan. You risk premature failure and other severe consequences like electrical fires. Ensure you’ve connected the proper terminals with the corresponding posts to use your batteries as designed and prevent hazards.

Make the Most of the Battery Life Cycle

Investing in batteries for your home, boat, RV, or car is essential to keep the power flowing. If you’re wondering do batteries expire, the answer is yes, but there are several things you can do to prevent battery discharge.

Keep your batteries clean and charge them thoroughly before storing them. Maintain consistent temperatures to avoid a leaking battery, and learn the best charging technique.

Technology is becoming essential to maintaining the modern way of life. Dive into our Technology blog content for the latest news and tips to help technology work for you!