AED Batteries: Rechargeable vs Non-Rechargeable

The truth behind the value...

This is a Cardiac Science AED Battery

If you’re thinking about implementing an AED program or looking for potential cost-saving measures for an existing program, you may have wondered about whether a rechargeable battery would make sense. Great question!

The short answer is that rechargeable batteries make more sense for paramedics, EMTs, or other medical professionals to use. For the non-professional or in a setting like an office where the AED doesn’t get regular use, a non-rechargeable, long-life lithium battery is the better option. Let’s look at some of the considerations for both types of battery.

Non-Rechargeable Batteries

Lifespan: Non-rechargeable lithium batteries generally have a useful life of four to five years in standby mode. “Standby mode” is when the AED is ready for use and the only drain on the battery is from the AED performing its daily, weekly, or monthly self-tests.

Maintenance: These batteries are also low maintenance (or no maintenance) when compared to rechargeable AED batteries. You place the battery in the AED and it’s ready for service for the next several years.

Cost: AED batteries range from $149 to $398, depending on the model and manufacturer.

Rechargeable Batteries

Lifespan: Replacement every two years is not uncommon. Most AEDs will alert you when the battery needs to be replaced.

Charging time: Charging time for the various models can be anywhere from two hours to 10 hours (depending on which AED you have), and while the battery is charging it is not in the AED. Unless you have multiple batteries, this means your AED is not in service.

Charging frequency: Rechargeable AED batteries need to be recharged often, at least monthly in most cases. Rechargeable batteries need to be changed every two or three years or after a finite number of charging cycles.

Cost: The cost of the battery by itself is nearly identical to a comparable non-rechargeable battery, but when you’re using a rechargeable battery, you don’t need just the battery. To operate safely, you need:

  • Battery
  • Charging station: This is not included with the battery. It’s an extra expense, ranging from $155 for a Cardiac Science Powerheart G3 Pro RECHARGEABLE Battery Charger to $2275 for the ZOLL SurePower Charge Station.
  • Extra battery: While not technically necessary, a second battery is highly recommended because a charging battery is out of commission and unavailable for use until it is charged. If you don’t have a second battery to alternate, you effectively don’t have an AED while your battery is charging (remember, charging takes between two and 10 hours).

Maintenance and Use

The rechargeable battery is more often found in the realm of the professional rescuer, where the AED is in a high-usage environment. Recharging is more practical and efficient than regularly replacing a non-rechargeable battery, which might happen as often as on a monthly basis if an AED was being used daily.

Professional responders also possess the diligence to ensure the batteries are being recharged regularly and are always ready for use. Maintaining the readiness of their equipment is an essential part of the job, but is definitely not the case for a lay user. How many times have you gone to use one of your infrequently used electronic devices, only to find the batteries have drained?

Most lay users will find keeping a schedule of charging AED batteries is tedious or they may not realize its importance. It’s necessary for the AED to be ready for use when needed. Having an AED with a non-rechargeable battery, which only requires occasional maintenance like replacing electrode pads and the battery every couple of years, and otherwise requires little consideration at all, is surely preferable in a low-usage environment.

The Bottom Line

We recommend the rechargeable battery option for professionals, where the AED is used often, either in multiple rescues or patient monitoring. For non-medical infrequent usage, non-rechargeable batteries are the way to go. When choosing a battery, please consider the environment in which your AED will be deployed. Take into account the various factors involved in maintaining your AED.

Remember: High usage, high maintenance. Low usage, low maintenance.

Need to pick up a replacement battery? AED Superstore has both rechargeable and non-rechargeable replacement batteries for all AEDs with fast, free shipping on orders $99 and over!

13 Responses to “AED Batteries: Rechargeable vs Non-Rechargeable”

March 03, 2017 at 2:45 am, KURT ZION V. TORRES said:

our company purchased a HeartSine Samaritan Pad Defibrillator some time in 2010.

it has a pad-pak-01 (battery and defibrillator pads).
It says here that the battery could only be used until apr 2013.

My question is, if we purchase new battery can we now use the AED?
How do we know that the AED is still usable?
by the way, the AED was not used even once.

Thank.

Reply

March 03, 2017 at 8:04 am, AED Superstore said:

If you replace the PAD-PAK, which is a battery/electrode pads combination cartridge, the AED will begin to perform its programmed self-tests again. If it encounters a problem and cannot pass the self-test, it will let you know by beeping (like a smoke alarm with a low battery does), and the status indicator will not show green. If the status indicator is green, then the AED is ready for use.

If you encounter any issues, or if you have further questions or need additional information, please call us at 800-544-0048. We’re here to help!

Reply

February 27, 2018 at 5:12 am, George Spaulding said:

I just ordered and received a rechargeable battery with a production date of 2015-11-16. After charging it fully, I put it into the heartstarter and was told that the charge was too low. Is this because the production date is too old?

Reply

February 27, 2018 at 8:44 am, AED Superstore said:

Thank you for your comments. Please call us at 800-544-0048 so we may help troubleshoot your battery issue. When you call please have your AED with you along with the battery and charger. Thank you.

Reply

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June 25, 2018 at 10:20 am, Raymond E Smith said:

I am looking for a rechargeable battery for Medtronic AMCO 5L500 .

Reply

June 25, 2018 at 10:36 am, AED Superstore said:

This battery has been discontinued by the manufacturer, but we have a very limited supply left. The battery charger for this battery has also been discontinued, and we have none in stock. In order to charge this battery, you must already possess the battery charger designed for this specific battery. The LIFEPAK 500 Rechargeable Battery can be found at this link: https://www.aedsuperstore.com/physio-control-lifepak-500-replacement-rechargeable-aed-battery.html

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