A smartphone's battery never seems to last long enough. Taking pictures, playing music, making calls and sending texts all come with a price - one that means you should always have a charger handy.

But if you're like most Americans, at the end of the day, you probably put your phone on the charger, leave it charging overnight and don't think twice about it. In fact, some will be using third-party chargers too (chargers not made by Apple or other reputable retailers).

We've told you before this isn't a good idea - iPhones, Samsungs and other Android models have exploded and others have started fires after being smothered by a pillow. But now, there's yet another slew of problems stemming from chargers.

A new report from The New York Times points out that your charging habits could be causing damage to your phone:

  • Habit #1: Charging overnight.
  • Habit #2: Frequent charging.
  • Habit #3: Using the wrong charger.

Why? As a phone charges, the lithium ions in the battery travel from one end of the phone to the other. The more these ions travel, the more wear and tear they cause on the battery, ultimately limiting the lifespan of an otherwise perfectly good battery.

Therefore, if you're using an iPad Pro charger for your iPhone, the ions travel faster since the iPad Pro charger is more powerful than that of the iPhone. Use the wrong charger overnight or all the time, you'll gradually see your battery life diminish - usually after two years.

Don't worry if you're not ready to change your charging habits just yet.

Solutions? The fix isn't guaranteed, but make sure you're using the right charger for your gadget. Charge less frequently and if you can avoid it, don't charge your phone overnight.

For example, don't use an iPad charger for an iPhone. If you can, leave it on a less powerful charger if you're going to leave it overnight.

Or, if you don't want to do anything, you can do that too. A 2015 Gallup survey cited by the Times shows that 44 percent plan to upgrade their phone within two years, which is when battery life begins to show signs of fading. If you fall into that category then you have nothing to worry about.