You’ve probably seen these batteries around. They look like regular RV batteries, but they’re sealed up tight with no apparent opening. They’re called AGM (Absorbed glass mat) batteries, and many people use them for their cars, boats, and other recreational vehicles. So how long do AGM batteries last?
The answer could vary, depending on various factors. It goes down to the weather, construction quality, how you use your battery, and a few other things. There are a few more easy things that you can do to extend the AGM battery life expectancy.
Let’s discuss the average lifespan of AGM batteries and what you can do and avoid doing to keep your battery functioning for years.
What Are AGM Batteries?
An AGM battery is a lead-acid rechargeable battery that uses an Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) separator, which allows the battery to have low internal resistance. It does not have liquid electrolytes but a gel-type material, which prevents spillage, leakage, and decay.
AGM batteries are costly and their price tag is higher than their flooded counterparts. Still, they offer a longer lifespan and are better suited for high-performance applications, such as solar systems and deep cycle uses.
These battery units are great for power-hungry applications. The way they’re designed means you get more juice out of them than you would with a flooded battery—which can be a lifesaver in those situations.
To know whether you battery is AMG or not, there are several ways to check!
How Long Do AGM Batteries Last? Which Factors Affect Their Lifespan?
How long do AGM batteries last? This is a valid question because AGM batteries cost significantly more than their flooded counterparts.
AGM batteries are designed to last longer than other types of lead-acid batteries. They typically have a life expectancy between three and seven years with proper maintenance. On the other hand, flooded batteries last between three and five years.
That said, some factors affect the life expectancy of AGM batteries, such as:
- Construction quality
- Frequency of use
Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors. Consider them before plunking down your hard-earned cash for one of these batteries.
The quality of battery construction significantly impacts how long your battery lasts. There are a lot of AGM batteries on the market, but there are a lot of poorly constructed batteries out there as well.
The construction matters because it affects how resilient it is against corrosion and how well it can stand up against vibration. Look for batteries with solid connection terminals, high-quality lead plates, and a pure lead shell (instead of recycled metal). Also, cast lead straps instead of inter-cell welds work better for connecting the battery cells.
AGM batteries are already better equipped to handle vibration than other battery types, but a high-quality product will be even better. Good batteries have a lot of testing that goes into them before they ever hit the market.
The climate in which the battery is used also affects how long it lasts. Suppose you live in Alaska, and your battery has to work in extreme cold. In that case, it won’t last as long as a battery that’s used in Hawaii, where temperatures rarely drop below 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius).
Similarly, extreme heat is a serious enemy of batteries. The hotter the climate in your living area, the shorter your battery will last—so if you’re in Southern California or Arizona, expect to replace your AGM more often than someone who lives in Long Beach or Tampa.
For this reason, we recommend storing your AGM battery in a place with mild temperature between uses, if possible. Please don’t keep it near a heat source, like an exhaust pipe. Protect your battery from extreme heat and cold by keeping it in an insulated box when it’s not being used.
- Read more: How to Charge RV Battery While Driving
Frequency of use
How long do AGM batteries last? It also depends on how much you use the battery. A battery stays in good health if you use it regularly.
If you let the battery sit around, not doing anything for too long, it will start losing its charge and won’t last as long over time. Make sure you get it out there and use it.
How well you maintain your battery also affects its lifespan. If you keep it charged and clean, you’ll get more life out of your battery than someone who constantly drains its power and lets the terminals corrode. Clean the battery from time to time, and don’t let dust and debris settle on it.
AGM batteries last much longer than their flooded counterparts. They are slightly pricier, but the longer lifespan and better performance make up for the extra price. They are especially good at keeping their juice in check and fantastic at retaining power.