Pick the best AGM battery charger in 3 steps
Shopping for an AGM battery charger?
Follow the three steps below to help you choose the best AGM battery charger.
Step 1: determine your battery type
There are a number of battery types such as AGM, VRLA, wet cell and gel. You first need to check that you are actually working with an AGM battery. More importantly, you need to ensure that you are not working with a gel battery. This is because all of the batteries mentioned above, except for gel batteries, can be charged with an AGM battery charger. Gel batteries are more sensitive to charging and require specially designed chargers. For this reason, gel batteries should not be charged with an AGM battery charger. It is not that an AGM battery charger cannot charge a gel battery, because technically it can, but it is not recommended because it will harm the gel battery in the long-run. After confirming that you are dealing with an AGM battery and not a gel battery, move on to the next step.
Step 2: determine your battery size
We don’t mean the physical size of the battery, as in the dimensions, but rather how many amp hours your battery stores. For example, a typical solar AGM battery is 100 amp hours, so a 10 amp AGM battery charger would take about 6 hours to completely charge it, assuming it is 50% discharged. Alternatively, you can double the amp of the charger from 10 amp to 20 amp, cutting the charging time in half to only 3 hours. How did we calculate the time it takes to charge the battery? Well, it’s very simple actually. Take the amp hour rating of your AGM battery and divide it by the charger’s rating (amps), and then add about 15% for the additional time to entirely top off the battery.
If you want an AGM battery charger that can quickly recharge your battery, you should look for a charger with more amps. If you are not in a rush, you should select a battery charger with less amps. In fact, charging a battery with less amps will help you maintain the health of your battery in the long term. Furthermore, an AGM battery charger with less amps will surely cost you less money, so that is another benefit of using a smaller charger.
Step 3: determine the desired charging performance
In this final step, you will need to determine the level of charging performance you have in mind. For example, if you just need a charger to keep your motorcycle, boat, classic car or aircraft charged during the off season, then a smaller charger with less amps is fine. Charging a battery with a smaller charger would require more time, but that shouldn’t be a problem since you won’t need to use your off-season battery for a while. However, if you are looking for a charger that can quickly restore a battery in a vehicle you regularly use, such a wheel chair, then a more powerful charger with higher amps would be required. It’s probably safe to assume that nobody wants to wait all day for their wheelchair battery to recharge.
After reading the three steps, you should now be able to determine how to find the best AGM battery charger. Let’s quickly summarize the three steps:
- Determine the type of your battery in order to find out what type of charger is required.
- Determine the size of your battery to determine the size of the charger required.
- Determine how fast you want to charge your battery to find the right charger for you.
Now that you’re ready to buy an AGM battery charger, let’s see where you can buy one.
Where to buy?
AGM battery chargers are widely available in brick and mortar stores and online. Generally speaking, the best place to buy a battery charger is from the same place you bought your AGM battery. If you purchased your battery from a store, the same store should have battery chargers. Similarly, if you purchased your battery online, then the online store should also have battery chargers.
If you don’t remember where you purchased the battery from, or if you bought the battery second-hand from someone else, then we suggest you to buy a charger online. Websites such as eBay and Amazon offer a wide selection of chargers. Following the three steps to buying an AGM battery charger above will be a great guide for you. An extra step to helping you select the best battery charger is looking up customer reviews online. Making a purchasing decision online has never been easier. Verified customer reviews will give you real feedback, so make good use of it. Here is an example of a website reviewing deep cycle battery chargers.
Note: deep cycle batteries are a type of AGM batteries, click here to learn more.
If you have any other questions regarding AGM battery chargers, leave a comment below.