Your electric wheelchair is like any piece of equipment: it needs regular care and maintenance to last as long as possible. Keeping the battery well maintained ensures you won’t find yourself stuck without power when you’re out and about. Stay as independent as possible by learning how to extend your powerchair’s battery life in Binghamton, NY:
- Get the right charger: Using the charger that came with your wheelchair is the best way to ensure you’re using the right charger. If you have to replace it, make sure you get a high-quality replacement. Cheap chargers have the potential to damage your battery and powerchair, especially if they overcharge the battery. Look for a charger that automatically disconnects when the battery is full. When the battery falls below 100 percent, a “trickle charge” is applied to keep it full.
- Fully recharge your battery every day: Never let your batteries go multiple days without recharging—that can cause your battery to deteriorate before it normally would. Recharge the battery each night. If you don’t plan to use the chair for several weeks, disconnect the battery—the chair will continue to drain the battery even if you’re not using it. Don’t leave the batteries charging for more than 24 hours, either, as that can damage it, too.
- Don’t drain the battery: Ideally, you should never use more than 80 percent of your battery charge at a time. If your chair has a battery life indicator, monitor that carefully throughout the day. Should you need more power than your battery can provide, consider getting a spare battery as a backup. (Remember to keep that one charged, too.)
- Keep your battery at room temperature: Temperature affects battery life, so it’s important to keep it in a climate controlled, dry area. Ideally, the indoor temperature should be around 77 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll find that the battery charges slower in extreme temperatures, and very high or low temperatures may kill it entirely.
- Always check for corrosion: When disconnecting or reconnecting your batteries, check the charging plates for corrosion. Keep them greased with petroleum jelly, and if you notice any signs of dirt and corrosion, clean them thoroughly with a wire brush. The petroleum jelly should completely cover the terminals, wire clip, wires and terminal nuts and screws.
- Keep driving patterns in mind: Did you know that your driving patterns can also affect the battery life? The key is to maintain a constant speed while operating the wheelchair. That won’t put any undue stress on your battery, so you can use your chair longer.
Understanding battery maintenance for your powerchair in Binghamton, NY can make a huge difference in how long your battery lasts. Why keep replacing your battery when you don’t need to? Follow these tips to make sure you always have power—and your independence—when you want it.
For a wide variety of home medical equipment, including powerchairs, scooters and more, Penn York Medical can help. Reach out to us today to learn more about our selection.