Hearing Aid Batteries Last Longer with These Tips
All modern hearing aids rely on batteries. But batteries being what they are, they tend to run out just at the moment when you need them the most. To call it annoying is an understatement.
Most hearing aid batteries are the alkaline variety. Alkaline batteries have the advantage of being the most energy-dense on the market. You can fit more power into the same volume in a cell with alkaline chemistry than you can with any other. The downside of alkaline batteries, of course, is that once you’ve used them, that’s it: they can’t be recharged. You have no choice but to throw them out and insert a new one.
Do you want to make your hearing aid batteries last longer? Check out these tips.
Don’t remove the plastic tab until you’re ready to use the batteries
If you’ve ever bought hearing aid batteries before, you’ll notice that they come with a removable plastic tab. The tab is to make sure that the cells don’t lose their energy content during transit or while they wait for you to put them in your device.
If you remove the tab early, the battery will start losing energy into the surrounding environment. The amount of power escaping from the cell is small, but throughout a couple of weeks, you can lose a significant amount of charge.
The best thing to do, therefore, is to leave the tab on until you’re ready to use the battery. Then take it off, wait half an hour for it to activate the chemistry of the cell, and install it. That’s it.
Store your batteries in a dry atmosphere at room temperatures
Extremes of heat aren’t good for batteries. Too cold, and the battery has to overcome more resistance to deliver its charge, too humid, and you risk the battery leeching power.
If you want the batteries in your hearing aid or the packet to last for a long time, keep them out of icy, hot or humid environments. Don’t take them into the shower with you, and certainly don’t put them in the fridge or shed during winter, where temperatures can fall to below freezing.
Use a hearing aid dehumidifier
Hearing aid dehumidifiers are devices that remove all of the moisture from the atmosphere surrounding your hearing aid, helping to cut the likelihood of damage to the internal components and batteries. Many hearing aid users put their hearing aids in dehumidifying units overnight so that their hearing aids are fresh and ready to use in the morning.
Use the oldest batteries first
If you like to buy your batteries in bulk, then always use the oldest batteries in your collection first. Batteries naturally lose their charge over time, even when wearing the small plastic tab, and so using older ones first prevents you from installing duds.
If possible, buy hearing aid batteries as you need them instead of buying in bulk at the start of the year. Buying as-needed lets you get the maximum performance from each battery you purchase.
Don’t use features on your hearing aid that you don’t need
Today’s modern hearing aids come with a host of features - everything from smart sound sensing technology to Bluetooth connectivity. All of these features, however, require energy to operate - energy, which will drain your battery faster.
Let’s say, for instance, that you have a WiFi-enabled device. If you switch the WiFi on, the receiver needs the energy to scan for incoming signals and then process it. This scanning process uses charge. Using power for WiFi is okay if you’re using it for some purpose, such as listening to music, but it’s not good if you’re not using it for anything.
Many people, therefore, turn their WiFi connectivity off while they’re not using it to cut down on passive energy use.
Don’t let your batteries come into contact with contaminants
Batteries aren’t good when they get dirty. Moisture, dirt and grease from your hands get onto the surface of the batteries and increases electrical resistance. The more resistance, the more energy from the cell gets converted into waste heat.
If you’ve ever pressed on a clean window, you’ll have noticed that your fingers leave a residue. While this is perfectly healthy, the residue doesn’t conduct electricity very well. When it gets on the surface of the battery, it forces the battery to work harder to deliver the same current, sapping it of energy faster. Most experts, therefore, advise that you wear gloves when taking the cells out of their packaging and inserting them into your device.
If you want to learn more about hearing aid batteries, call Audiology Associates at 573-332-7000.