An Uninterruptible Power Supply or UPS is one of the most significant investments you can install in your home. A UPS battery provides power for short periods of time during a power outage. It gives you time to save documents, shut down computers, and protect your devices from damage. Power surges from lightning can cause immediate damage such as frying circuits and melt plastics and metals. These power surges or momentary spikes in voltage are more likely to start inside your home.
UPS batteries can supply electric current to computer servers, lighting, electronic devices, and all sorts of home appliances. The batteries in your UPS device are also called Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) or Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries. In order to protect your appliances from power surges, make sure the UPS batteries are in a good state of life. Here are some tips and tricks to extend UPS battery life:
1. Install your UPS unit in a cool and dry place
Your UPS must be kept in a location with a temperature not exceeding 77° F (25° C). Every 8° C rise in temperature may cut your battery life in half. Leave at least 2 inches of space on each side of the unit for proper airflow. Do not place your UPS device near open windows or high-moisture areas.
2. Store replacement batteries properly
Buying replacement batteries is a good idea, but avoid storing your spare for extended periods of time. Newly-purchased batteries can be stored for up to 12 months. Batteries that are kept for too long will have a shorter lifespan. Permanent loss of capacity may occur within 18-30 months. To maximize the life expectancy of stored batteries, keep them in a place with a cool temperature of – 50°F (10°C) or lower.
3. Calibrate your UPS batteries once or twice a year
Executing runtime calibration will also extend the life of your UPS batteries. Once or twice a year is enough to keep your batteries in good health, since excessive calibration can significantly reduce battery life. UPS batteries are expensive so make sure to avoid this mistake.
4. Perform regular maintenance
Fully discharged batteries must be recharged within 48 hours to prevent damage. Be mindful of your batteries’ discharge status because over-discharging and excessive charging – like in the case of weekly battery cycling – can cause charging problems and shorter battery life. The internal resistance of a battery eventually rises due to corrosion and normal aging factors. Replace your battery if the increase reaches 30%. You can also measure the internal resistance through capacity testing. Dropping 80% from its original capacity is a sign of “cooked” battery.
5. Use energy saving devices
Power saving devices will extend the life of your UPS unit. Ordinary bulbs provide a similar level of brightness compared to CFL lamps, but they use up 75% more power. LED lights are more efficient because they consume less power and last longer. Use good quality wiring to avoid high resistance and increased load on your UPS backup. Devices with low power consumption will keep the temperature of your UPS under control, thus extending your unit’s lifespan.