With winter fast approaching, it’s time to prepare for the cold weather. You’ve cleaned out your gutters, wrapped exposed pipes, and changed all the weather stripping on your windows to winterize your home. But, before you hibernate until spring, it’s important to get the AGM battery in your boat or RV ready for winter too.
What is an AGM battery?
AGM stands for Absorbent Glass Mat, and it’s a battery technology that became popular in the 1980s. Unlike regular flooded batteries, an AGM battery has glass mats that cushion the ultra-thin lead plates. An AGM battery is designed to deliver powerful starting amps and to run for a long time. AGM batteries have valves that regulate the amount of hydrogen and oxygen gas that escapes during charging, which allows them to store power for a longer period of time.
Winterizing your AGM battery
You cannot put RV batteries, marine batteries, and other deep cycle batteries away and forget about them when you’re not using them in the winter. All batteries can freeze if it gets cold enough, but AGM batteries can work at temperatures well below freezing. Although AGM batteries are maintenance-free and work well in cold weather, they still need to be checked and maintained during the winter months in storage.
All batteries have a natural state of self-discharge, and the worst thing you can do is put an AGM battery away without first charging it. You can store your battery in two ways this winter. First, you can disconnect the battery completely and make sure your boat or RV AGM battery is fully charged. Second, you can leave the AGM battery connected to your boat or RV, but be sure to put it in maintainer mode. Doing so will prevent your boat or RV from draining your battery.
Key things to remember
The key to keeping your AGM battery safe during the winter is to make sure that it stays fully charged when not in use. If you’re going to use your RV or marine battery occasionally, then you must remember that it will discharge during this time. As it discharges, the electrolytes will begin to change from acid to water as the voltage declines. The more water in your battery, the more likely it will freeze.
The benefits of AGM batteries during winter
AGM batteries have a higher cold cranking amps (CCAs) rating than your average battery. An AGM battery in your RV or boat will crank faster in colder temperatures than a standard battery. Because AGM batteries have a low self-discharge, they stand up to cold temperatures. AGM batteries can also be stored for longer periods of time before a charge is needed than the average battery.
Because AGM batteries have a higher CCAs rating, your battery will be more reliable on those cold days that you need to get your boat or RV moving. AGM batteries have low internal resistance making them capable of providing high currents and long service life. Not only that, AGM batteries charge five times faster than the flooded battery version, and they can be deep cycled as well.
Now that winter is almost here, it’s important to winterize everything, including your AGM batteries. With proper maintenance and a good charge, your AGM battery will be ready for you when spring arrives and you can get back out in your RV or boat.