Rechargeable vs. disposable
It’s an age-old question, but it really depends on how you’re using them. For low-draw items, like a clock or smoke detector, consider buying disposable batteries; they have a longer lifespan because they drain power slowly. “In applications where the device is very low power, such as a TV remote, it may make sense to use non-rechargeable batteries because the battery could last six to 12 months or so,” said Maynard Guadiz, an electrical engineer from Cleveland, Ohio, in an interview with Reader’s Digest. Just make sure you replace those smoke detector batteries at least every six months—here are some other crucial home-care tips to keep in mind.
For things that you use every day—especially for photographers who use a digital camera or emergency medical technician’s equipment—rechargeable batteries make more sense. Their lifespan is shorter, but you get more power for your dollar. “It would be more expensive to use non-rechargeable batteries if you have to purchase, remove, install, and dispose of the battery in something like your cell phone or your car every day,” says Guadiz. “Second, non-rechargeable batteries would generate a lot of landfill waste—or energy cost in recycling them.”
Trust name brands
When looking for reliable and steady batteries for your household or work, look for name brands that have a reputation of high quality like Duracell and Energizer, advises Guadiz. (Check out what those brands are called in other countries.)