Cold weather bad for battery

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Cowabunga, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. Cowabunga macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Someone told me cold weather isn't good for cell phone battery. Unfortunately, my entire area lost power due to the snow storms this past weekend, and may not be back for some time. I can charge the phone at work, but when I'm home it's very cold and my cell phone, thus, gets cold. Am I doing any permanent damage? I left it in airplane mode over night and it went from 87% to 85% so I assume it's OK but I had left it by a window not thinking.
  2. Thetonyk123 macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2011
    About how cold was it? Apple says not to put it below 32 degrees Fahrenheit
  3. r2shyyou macrumors 68000


    Oct 3, 2010
    Paris, France
    I live in the Northeast and my phone's definitely gotten quite cold a number of times but I've never had any issues related to that that I know of.
  4. steveca macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2005
    extremes are not good according to what I read...
  5. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010

    Generally speaking, at lower temperatures the usable capacity of any battery is lower, but thats not a permanent reduction, just applies while the battery is cold. Unless you're storing your phone below -20C I don't think you are risking any permanent damage.
  6. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Cold isn't good for batteries in general (cell or otherwise).
  7. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    I don't think the battery is as much a concern as condensation. Cold environment may not be ideal for a battery's current state of charge but it won't really "hurt" anything, just discharge the battery faster. What you need to be worried most about is condensation in the electronics, which can happen if the air temperature is 32F or below. If the phone is on, the heat generated by the electronics will pull moisture out of the air.

    I'm assuming you want to leave the phone on in case of emergency calls. If the air temp in your house is dropping below freezing then you could keep the phone on your person (in a pocket, etc.) to keep it warm - or wrap it in some cloth to keep it a little warmer.
  8. Jason black macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2011
    Cold weather is actually good for your battery. Extremely cold weather is bad. Your battery might drain less in cold weather.
  9. antman2295 macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2010
    Lithium batteries will always drain faster in "Cold" weather, but as long as is about 50 - 90 degrees, you shouldn't have a problem
  10. mreg376 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    I think you're better off just using the phone when you need it and worrying about the battery later.
  11. cababah macrumors 68000

    Jun 11, 2009
    SF Bay Area, CA
    I'd rather have my phone cold than warm. Heat is a bigger enemy to your phone's battery than the cold.
  12. Wrathwitch, Oct 31, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011

    Wrathwitch macrumors 65816

    Dec 4, 2009
    Most places I know used to store battery in fridge to keep it reasonably fresh. It is at higher temperatures that batteries are not their best.

    Most electronic equipment works best when kept cool. Thus the A/C in server rooms etc.

    Extreme cold or heat is never very good. Also if you have it exposed to cold for a long time. Allow it to reach room temp before turning it on for a couple of hours to avoid condensation issues with the device.
    (unless of course you are keeping it in sleep mode the whole time, then I don't think you have much to worry about)

  13. nyjets macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Yeah my house is around 30 degrees right now because we haven't had power since we got 16 inches of snow on whole town is out and school was cancelled this week. My battery has definitely been going down faster.
  14. ET iPhone Home macrumors 68040

    ET iPhone Home

    Oct 5, 2011
    Orange County, California USA
    It's correct as some pointed out. Cold is good, just not freezing cold. Hot is very bad. In fact, it was recommended to me that I store my extra laptop battery in the refrigerator when not in use. Over supply of batteries are also stored in the fridge to prolong longevity. Its leaving your iPhone or laptop in the car, in hot heat weather conditions, that will deteriorate your battery.
  15. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    Sorry bout the power outage. I'm south of Boston and we only had 3" of snow and few, if any, power outages. (Lost power for five days after Irene - so I know it's a giant pain in the ass.):(

    About your battery - a suggestion: tuck it in your BVD's (or whatever you wear). That will keep it warm - and easily available.:)

    And you can always set it on vibrate...:D :p
  16. Cowabunga thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Thank you guys very much for the replies! I was concerned with long-term/permanent damage but you've eased my mind.

    Shrink, glad to hear Boston didn't get hit too hard. I'm in Western Mass and it was pretty chaotic this weekend. They're saying 3-5 days before power in many places!!

    On a 180 degree turn here, if I want the battery to drain faster so that I can do a full charge, is it bad to turn brightness up and play a movie, etc? The phone seems to get quiet hot so I turned the movie off and brightness down because I didnt want to do any harm. What's the best way to drain the battery safely?


    It got down to 18 outside last night but probably 40's in the house. Sounds like I should be ok!
  17. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030


    Oct 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    There's not a battery manufacturer in the world that would recommend storing batteries in the refrigerator.

    This is an old wives' tale. Please don't help it to continue. Refrigerating batteries at best has no benefit at all, and at worst encourages condensation as the refrigerated batteries warm up.
  18. Stealthipad macrumors 68040


    Apr 30, 2010
    Cold temps do NOT drain you battery quicker!

    Cold temps slow down the chemistry in the batteries and reduce their capacity to make electricity. Warm them back up and they make more power. If your battery is below 32 degrees it would only have a fraction of it's room temperature capacity.

    I hate to tell anyone to keep their phone is their pocket, but I would seal it in a zip lock and put it in your front pants pocket against you leg. That would keep it warm enough to keep working.

    That is all.:cool:

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