We live in a world where we are constantly replacing our smartphones and computers to stay on the cutting edge. But what about our printers? Shouldn’t we be looking to replace them at the same time as we replace the rest of our IT?
Leaving a printer to die can ultimately be a costly exercise, so it is important to know how to get the most life out of these devices before you land yourself in hot water. While the world is quickly becoming predominantly digital, these gadgets are still a handy feature that we’d miss in the office if they weren’t around. So, here’s the low-down on just how often you should replace your outdated printer.
Replacing the consumables
There are two types of ‘consumables’ involved with printers, in which you should monitor continually. These include ink and toner. Your printers should give you notice that they are running low so that you have time to replace them, although it is always best to keep them on hand.
Refer to the manual for instructions on how to replace these, but take special care with the toner. While toner is not toxic, it is effectively a fine dust which can cause irritation of the eyes, sinuses and lungs, if dispersed in the air.
Why regular maintenance is important
Most modern machines have built-in limits or alerts once you reach a certain number of prints so you know that it is time for the machine to be serviced. While these alerts are handy, they should not be relied on absolutely as different parts of your machines can degrade at different rates.
It is wise to regularly check inside of your machines and look for signs of wear or parts that are making noises they shouldn't, or not performing as they should. Additionally, as part of the service and care of these devices, you should have a printer repair kit on hand.
This contains the vital parts that are most likely to wear and you can replace these parts when the alert on your machine comes up. Usually you can expect to replace the fuser assembly, transfer roller, pickup rollers, separation pads, corona assembly and fan.
However, it’s important that this should not exclusively replace regular maintenance and services from professionals.
When should you replace your entire printer setup?
Of course, nothing lasts forever. There will always be tell-tale signs that your printers are no longer up to the task.
Firstly, you will notice the number of pages printed before parts begin to fail will start to shorten, until it reaches a point that it is no longer viable to continue using the machine at all.
The gadget may also stop working, despite having been fully restocked with paper. In some cases, the only way it will resume operating is if you reduce the load – which isn’t sustainable.
These devices are designed to be electronic, but the components do age over time. A PC you used a decade would not cut it today, so neither would your printer. Finally, the quality may decrease to the point that your device isn’t producing copy of a high enough quality, no matter what the toner and ink levels are at.
If you notice any of these signs, it is time to consider replacing your machine – be it a refurbished printer or brand new – before it breaks down completely and leaves you with costly downtime.