If you use hearing aids, you might know the zinc air battery. It's a special kind of battery that requires special care. Treat it well and you will be able to use it for a long time. Find out below everything you need to know about these batteries!
What makes the zinc air battery such a special battery?
The way the zinc air battery works is very different from other standard batteries. The zinc air battery is completely filled with zinc, which reacts with oxygen from the air when the seal is removed (see below). Even as a small battery, it has a lot of energy stored. Moreover, it holds its voltage for a long time. With these two properties, this battery proves itself to be a very good battery.
What you should know about the battery
Before you insert the battery in your hearing aid, you should always keep these tips in mind.
1. Wash your hands
When dirt or grease touches the battery, this could cause faster discharge, or – worst case scenario – short-circuit, which can be harmful. Both kinds of problems can be prevented by washing your hands before touching the battery when you want to replace the batteries.
2. Remove the tab
Most importantly: do not forget to remove the tab before inserting the battery in your hearing aid. This tab is on the backside of the battery and closes off 4 little holes. Without removing the seal, the battery already has a voltage of 1,1 V to 1,3 V, but removing the seal will cause oxygen to flow into the battery, which will increase the voltage to 1,45. When you do not remove the seal, the hearing aid will work, but only for 1 to 2 days. Be sure to remove the seal to guarantee a long lifespan and optimal functioning.
3. Let the battery breathe
When you have removed the tab from the battery, you should always let it 'breathe'. What does that mean? It's simple: without air, the battery won't work optimally. After removing the tab, let it breathe for at least 1 minute or, for the best results, 5 minutes. Then, put it in the battery holder of your hearing aid. By respecting this 'breathing time', you will extend the lifetime of your zinc air battery up to between 30 and 80%. If you remove the tab and immediately put the battery in your hearing aid, this will have a negative effect on the lifespan of your battery.
4 tips to take the best care of your zinc air batteries
Now you know that zinc air batteries are special batteries that need special care. Washing your hands, removing the tab and letting it breathe are the most important usage tips, but here are four more tips. If you take these into account, you will be able to prolong the shelf life of your zinc air batteries.
1. Oldest batteries first
Always use the oldest batteries you have on hand. The longer you store batteries, the more energy they lose. This rule also applies to zinc air batteries, even though they have a very long shelf life. If you can choose between an older and more recent battery, use the older one first.
2. Store them in adequate conditions
Store your batteries in a dry, cool place or at room temperature. If you store your batteries at too high temperatures, the lifespan and especially the shelf life of your batteries will lower drastically. Too low temperatures could cause condensation, also resulting in a shortening of the lifespan of the batteries. Humidity also plays an important role: high humidity could cause condensation. A dry place, cool or at room temperature, is the best place to keep your zinc air batteries in the best possible shape until you start using them.
3. Open the battery holder at night
If you're not using your hearing aid, for example at night, turn it off and open the battery holder. That way, the battery is cut off from the circuit and can add additional oxygen, thus prolonging its life. Of course, keep in mind to do this only in the conditions described above: dry and cool or at room temperature, in order to avoid condensation and other effects that could lower the shelf life of your zinc air battery.
4. Remove the battery when the hearing aids are not in use for a longer time
If you won't be using your hearing aid for a longer time, remove the batteries and store them in a dry place at room temperature. Both your hearing aid and the batteries will benefit from this. It will also counteract corrosion and condensation in the device and on the battery.
In the zinc air battery, zinc and oxygen from the air work together to generate a steady level of power, which makes it the ideal battery for new generation digital hearing aids. Always keep the tips and tricks above in mind when using this type of battery and you won't be deceived by the capabilities of this battery!