As winter settles in around most of the country, a question we often receive is, “do I need to do anything special for my AED?”
Cold weather can significantly affect the performance of an AED. From draining the battery to freezing the water-based gel found in the pads, the way you store your AED in winter can make a difference in your AED’s rescue-readiness.
How do you know what temperate is safe? Each AED manufacturer lists an operating temperature range and standby temperature range on the AEDs technical data sheet or operator’s manual. Operating temperature refers to the range in which the AED will perform in a rescue situation and is normally listed at 32° to 122°F (0° to 50°C) for most units. In order to maximize the life of your AED pads and batteries, the AED unit should not be stored in temperatures that exceed the specified standby temperatures, which can vary by manufacturer.
Most public access defibrillators are stored outdoors in cabinets to make them available all day. If you choose to store your AED outside, make sure you get an appropriate cabinet for your device. This is because extremes in temperature, which are much more likely outside, may compromise an AED’s ability to function properly. Direct sunlight exposure in summer, for example, could raise temperatures in a glass-fronted storage cabinet above 65°C, the point at which batteries can become dangerous. Meanwhile, being exposed to sub-zero temperatures in winter could affect battery performance, freeze the gel in the defibrillator pads, and/or reduce the life of the electrodes. AED.us offers an indoor/outdoor cabinet to store your AED in any condition.
For AEDs stored in vehicles, make sure to routinely check the unit for readiness. If the AED is chirping or displaying a service needed status indicator, take the unit indoors. Once it has a chance to warm up, if it’s still beeping, feel free to give us a call at 800-695-1209 and we can troubleshoot over the phone. Contact us at AED.us for any questions you have about taking care of your AED this winter!
Written by Blaire Czarniecki
Customer Service Director
Fact checked by Phillip Woods, BA, NREMT-P, FP-C
Blaire attended the University of Tennessee where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology- Child and Family Studies. She has been in the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) industry for over eight years and is the Director of Customer Service for Coro Medical. Blaire is also an American Red Cross-certified CPR/AED/First Aid Instructor, highly trained by each manufacturer on their specific AEDs, and knowledgeable regarding ALL State AED regulations and legislation.
“I know that every day I come to work, I am playing a part in saving someone’s life. I am passionate about these devices and am always looking for new and innovative ways to spread awareness and knowledge about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). I look forward to the day when everywhere I go, I will see an AED—when SCA will no longer take any lives.”
Last updated January 14, 2019