Consumer Reports tests double-A batteries to see which last longest

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Shirleen Allicot has details on a Consumer Reports survey of the longest-lasting batteries.

As you shop for electronics and toys this holiday season, does it matter what brand of batteries you buy for them?

Consumer Reports tested 15 different double-A batteries to see which last the longest, but there are so many brands to choose from.

"Double-A batteries range from 62 cents a pair $5 a pair," Consumer Reports' Gerard Catapano said. "And that's a big price range."

Consumer Reports put 13 alkaline and two lithium brands though a battery of tests that simulate typical use in toys and flashlights.

"Overall, the lithium batteries were tops in our tests," Catapano said. "But so were some of the alkalines at half the price."

Duracell Quantum is the best alkaline performer in Consumer Reports' tests and sells in packs that cost about $2.50 per pair.

Consumer Reports' best buy for batteries is Kirkland Signature Alkaline from Costco. They are sold in large value packs, so a pair of these batteries ends up costing only $1.

When it's time to change the batteries in your devices, always use batteries that are all the same age, brand, and type. And that old wives' tale about keeping batteries in the fridge to prolong their life? Consumer Reports says don't bother. Keep your batteries in a cool, dry place, and they'll likely last for about seven years.

Consumer Reports says not to keep batteries or your battery-powered devices in extreme heat for extended periods to avoid leaks and ruptures. Also, don't keep batteries in your pockets because they could rub against spare change, causing them to short-circuit.
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