It turns out that batteries aren't as "perishable" as we thought. "You can buy batteries in value packs and store them up to five years witout fear that their energy wll drain," says Mark Connelly, Consumer Reports director of appliance testing. Just don't toss loose batteries into a shoebox with metal objects. They can touch and lose power. As for putting batteries in the fridge, the chill does not preserve or extend their life by much, Connelly says. Here's a battery-buyer's guide:
Alkaline: Single-use battery best for low-drain electronics such as remotes and many toys.
Premium alkaline: Lasts longer than regular alkalines. Good for high-drain devices such as digital cameras.
Rechargeable nickel-cadmium: Less powerful than alkalines but can be recharged. Most suited for remotes, toys and small radios.
Rechargeable nickel-metal hydride: Ideal for high-drain items thanks to its extended life.
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