Having batteries ready for when they are most needed means proper storage in the right locations to keep lifespan high. Avoiding detrimental conditions like heat and humidity is essential for extending battery life and is central to choosing the ideal locations for battery storage. Basements, refrigerators, and other cool areas are your best bet. Whether a car battery, 9 volt, 2032 cr, or rechargeable batteries, location matters. This guide will tell you the factors that impact storage, where to store them, and where not to keep them.
According to Panasonic, batteries need to be stored at room temperature or below. The perfect temperature for battery storage is about 60℉, but slightly warmer temperatures will not affect your batteries. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight because heat causes the most significant damage to batteries.
High and low temperatures can harm battery life, and high temperatures cause the battery to self-discharge, reducing battery life. Low temperatures are great except when coupled with high humidity, which shortens their lifespan.
A dry environment at around 60℉ is the best storage temperature for maintaining your batteries’ life spans.
Keep Them In a Container
Storing batteries under conditions that significantly benefit their lifespan can be further helped by storing them in their own plastic container.
The container will keep batteries from other metals that could short circuit your batteries if they come into contact. Any storage solution but metal is the way to go.
A storage container can separate old and new batteries. If an appliance needs batteries, it is best to know they are the same age and capacity. Store them by battery type to prevent a short circuit. Having separate containers is a must.
Humidity is less of an issue when stored in a container. A storage container with a tight lid is great for reducing the impact of moisture. If you store food in it, that’s a good sign it’ll be effective. Any airtight container is the best solution.
Use the original packaging if you can, even inside the container. It is additional protection against humidity, you won’t mix old and new batteries, and it keeps them from coming into contact with metal objects.
Let’s Talk About Storage Locations
Now that they are in their containers, there are several great places to store batteries in or around your home. Remember that cooler areas and lower humidity are the primary considerations for storage. A well-ventilated area is also ideal because it will have lower humidity.
If you are one of the lucky ones with a basement for storage, it can be a great place to store batteries as well. Basements tend to stay cooler and do not have direct sunlight coming in. Humidity can be higher in the basement, and tight plastic storage is highly encouraged. A bonus is that room in the refrigerator is no longer being taken up.
Humidity can cause mildew and be detrimental to many things stored in the basement beyond your batteries. A dehumidifier can be an excellent tool for reducing humidity, and it is not especially expensive. On Amazon, they can range in price from $100 – $400 depending on how many pints of water can be stored and the square footage they dehumidify. Commercial options are also available but can run from $600 to over $1000.
Basements are also great because, typically, they are well arranged with all of your gear, meaning the batteries are out of the way but easily retrievable when needed. Also, it doesn’t hurt to label the storage containers by type, size, and whether or not they are old or new to make them more discernable.
Cellars are also great for keeping batteries cool and out of direct sunlight. Like basements, the humidity will be higher in a cellar because it is below ground where water and water vapor can seep in. Again, airtight storage is the way to go.
Garages are where you are most likely to store your gear and items for later use. The problem is that garages can get really hot. Lack of insulation, lack of ventilation, and the potential to become humid in the southern and eastern states mean the garage can be the place to avoid. Only consider the garage if yours is well insulated and has fans or air conditioning. If your garage is typically cool, it can be a great place to store batteries.
In the Closet
While not the recommended 60℉, room temperature isn’t a bad option for battery storage. If there aren’t other options,a ground-floor closetwith air movement is OK for storing your batteries. Try to avoid upstairs closets or attics because heat rises.
One of the most pervasive myths around batteries is that the refrigerator is the best place to store them. While the refrigerator is certainly cool enough, an airtight container is crucial. The problem with using the refrigerator is that humidity is quite high and can damage your batteries. You’ve undoubtedly seen condensation form inside food containers and don’t want that happening to your batteries.
There are some great options for storing your batteries and extending their life to be available when you need them. Most importantly, avoid heat and humidity, and plastic sealed containers are the best way to organize and protect them. If you have other suggestions and ideas for battery storage that we have missed, we’d love to have your comments.