Rechargeable batteries are commonplace nowadays. Not only do we use battery chargers at home for everyday items like torches, toys, and remote control cars (opens in new tab), we also have fixed rechargeable batteries in many of our electronics. All the best smartphones (opens in new tab) have extremely powerful rechargeable batteries, which can last for a couple of days of use, while the ones we find in the best tablets (opens in new tab) are even more durable. However, these batteries are integrated into the devices themselves, so cannot be changed.
We decided to test a number of conventional battery chargers, to see the effect they had on our day-to-day lives, to see if they really are more convenient and cost-effective than disposable batteries. Not only are they more efficient and cheaper, but rechargeable batteries are also better for the environment, and will save you time when you're looking for a new set of AAAs to pop into your toddler's latest toy. So here are the main reasons why rechargeable batteries are a great choice for your charging needs.
1. They're just more convenient
Rechargeable batteries can easily and conveniently be recharged with a simple battery charger. Battery chargers come in a variety of designs which are continually evolving and becoming more convenient, reliable, easy to use and durable. Some battery chargers will charge a number of different types of batteries - a convenient feature given the many different types of batteries we all use. Also, battery chargers can now charge in a number of ways: through a wall outlet, a USB port and even a car port. So no matter what your resources are, you have more battery charger options than ever before to keep fully charged batteries close at hand.
2. Rechargeable batteries perform better
Rechargeable batteries use 1.2 volts of energy the entire time they are in use. Disposable batteries start at 1.5 volts and progressively get lower until it they are dead. By using rechargeable batteries, you get peak performance at all times, even when the "low battery" signal comes on. Some battery chargers provide a 'refresh mode' which will drain your rechargeable batteries before fully charging them again. This mode and function ensures that you always get the optimum performance and life from your batteries.
3. They're better for the environment
Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries are better for the environment than nickel cadmium (NiCd) rechargeable batteries, but both are better than disposable batteries. Rechargeable batteries produce less waste because they can be recharged with a simple battery charger and reused hundreds of times. They also use less energy because recharging batteries with a battery charger is more energy efficient than the cost and energy of making new batteries.
4. They can save you time
Instead of running to the store or making a trip to the battery section each time you run out of batteries, think how much time you would save by having rechargeable batteries and a battery charger in your own home, ready to use at any time. Simply put the fully charged batteries in the device and stick the dead ones on the battery charger. Even if you don t have extra recharged batteries, in as little as 15 minutes you could have your batteries fully charged again, which beats the time it would take to get to the store, get the batteries, purchase them and get home to use them.
5. It saves you loads of money
Although the initial cost of a battery charger plus the rechargeable batteries may make you feel like making the transformation isn t worth it, think about it in the long term sense. Rechargeable batteries are capable of being used more than 500 times. Imagine buying one pack of batteries instead of 500. Does it seem worth it now?
Although rechargeable batteries and the initial battery charger can be somewhat costly, there are some fairly inexpensive options that will work just fine. For as low as $10 you can get a battery charger with a built-in timer which protects your rechargeable batteries and extends their life.
Additional things to look at when you purchase a battery charger for your rechargeable batteries are shown in our side-by-side comparison of battery chargers. No matter which batteries and battery charger you choose, you can rest assured that it is money well spent. Aside from the convenience and environmentally friendly aspects of using rechargeable batteries, over the course of their lifetime, the rechargeable batteries could potentially save you hundreds of dollars each year.