Making Sense of the Battery Aisle
You’ve finished your family Christmas shopping. You found a camera for your hipster sister, an alarm clock for your ever- late brother, but you have noticed a few gifts are “battery not included.” Of course you have your Interstate® battery organizer and tester fully stocked at all times. But, standing in the household battery aisle at your local Interstate All Battery Center® your eyes begin to dart around the huge selection of batteries. Since when did companies start making so many kinds?
What are the different battery chemistries? Any size of household batteries primarily comes in two chemistries: carbon zinc and alkaline. Carbon zinc batteries are sometimes labeled as heavy duty or super heavy duty. The names don’t mean anything specific. Whether heavy duty, super heavy duty or the heaviest duty of them all, they all have a similar performance level. Carbon zinc batteries belong in low drain devices such as television remotes or alarm clocks. These batteries are also most likely the cheapest option. Carbon zinc batteries have a moderate shelf-life but won’t last in high-drain devices, like cameras and portable DVD players.
Alkaline batteries may cost a little more, but they have a much longer shelf-life and stand up to any drain rate. They’re popular for a reason. When buying batteries for toy cars or other regularly used electronics, use alkaline batteries and save yourself the headache of constantly running out of juice and draining your wallet. Alkaline batteries can also survive any temperature as opposed to carbon zinc batteries, which work best at room temperatures. Put carbon zinc batteries in your flashlights at home, but stock the emergency flashlight in your car with alkaline batteries.
You may notice a third chemistry: lithium. Household lithium batteries only come in AA, AAA and 9V sizes. They offer the longest-lasting run time in high-drain devices and perform excellent in low temperatures. With an excellent shelf life, 10 years or more, it makes sense lithium batteries cost more than the other two chemistries. Check each device specification carefully before using lithium batteries. They have a slightly higher voltage and can damage some devices; however, they are the best, non-rechargeable power source for heavy drain and frequent usage devices like a camera flash.
Go to Interstate All Battery Center or interstatebatteries.com and grab some lithium batteries for your sister’s camera, carbon zinc for your brother’s alarm clock and an alkaline for the remote control car you bought your nephew. With this newfound battery knowledge, buying batteries is a breeze. The only question left is, “What did they get you?” After all, you’re just trying to help them prepare with the right battery.
Posted in All Battery, Technology, Tips
Tags: AA battery, AAA, AAA battery, alkaline, Alkaline battery, batteries, heavy duty, household batteries, lithium, Lithium battery, Shelf life, Zinc–carbon battery