Low Humidity Issues With Printers and Copiers

Is there a difference between a printer and copier when it comes to the long term costs and longevity when it comes to humidity? Is a really humid or really dry room better? What issues can humidity cause which may not be so expected?

We have had to deal with these questions since we have locations in all kinds of different markets.

We will explain some of our experiences when it comes to humidity and printers and copiers.

Low Humidity

Imagine selling a bank 25 color printers to help them bring color in house. The bank was outsourcing a lot of their prints to print shops. We ran the numbers with their help, realized they were averaging nearly 50 cents a sheet when you factored in waste (sheets printed and never used.)

It was a slam dunk, the Ricoh printers we were selling to the bank had great print quality, were about $1200 each, toner worked out to be about 6 cents a page. All was good. The bank was ready to save 44 cents a color page.

About 3 months in, it happened, drums started failing at an alarming rate. We called the manufacturer, and they said that can happen with humidity changes (if the printer was too close to an exterior door) – The issue was it happened to about 12 or the 25 printers in the first 3 months. The drums were about $400, so that completely messed up the cost equation.

To Ricoh’s credit, they gave the bank nearly 50 drums, and covered the drums during the warranty, which gave the bank a chance to relocate the printers. They were never quite as good as we expected, so instead of paying the expected 6 cents a color print, it ended up being closer to 12 cents, but we were never too sure if that was because of drums or coverage on the prints.

What to Do?

The basics are a few fold, ideally, you would want the printer in a room with consistent humidity. Our experience would say an average of 25% to 40% is ideal, but that’s not reasonable for most people. We would suggest consistency is a huge part for the longevity of the parts being put into the printers and copiers. This normally means not placing near an exterior door, not placing under a hot window, and not placing where a lot of direct sunlight hits the copier itself.

If you want us to help you configure your printers, let us know, we would love to help!


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