Weary Workhorses: 3 Home Office Machines You Might Need to Replace

Nothing in your home office works harder than you do — but that doesn't mean that your office machines don't work hard to save you a little time and effort and let you do what you do best. But just like you need to step away and reinvent yourself sometimes, your home office machines too sometimes need to be replaced in order to ensure that your home office works at top efficiency.

So if you're wondering what machines are the most likely to need replacing sometime soon (and how you can tell when they're ready to give up the ghost), then here's what you need to know.

Paper Shredder

There are lots of things you can do to make your little paper shredder last as long as it can – oil it regularly, don't overcrowd it, etc. — but even the most loved paper shredder will break down eventually, just due to the sheer amount of use it gets and the fact that there are so many moving parts that can dull, rust, or break down.

While there are techniques to try to stretch the life of your shredder, if you use it with regularity, it's a good idea to replace your shredder somewhere between five to ten years, or when it stops shredding well, and none of the aforementioned techniques do anything to help it. Listen to your shredder — if it won't stop making that high-pitched whine no matter how well you oil it, it's time to move on.

Color Printer

Your color printer is probably the item you use the most, using it to print charts, graphs, papers, presentations, and other things necessary to your line of work. If you work in graphic design or a similar field, your printer becomes even more important. Every three to five years, however, your printer will begin to give up the ghost and you'll need to pick out a new one.

It's pretty easy to tell when your printer needs replacing — it'll stop printing out quality pages and start marking pages with horizontal bars of ink, faded text (even if your toner/ink is full), and can become incompatible with your computer's technology. Once this happens, your best bet is to look online or head to the store and pick up one that will work for you, not against you.

Laminating Machine

Perfect for keeping your papers straight and un-crinkled, making your presentations or portfolios look professional, and preventing a late-night coffee spill from wrecking your pristine print job on your 40-page proposal, a laminating machine is one of the most unsung heroes of your home office's machines. But when the reverse button stops working, letting paper jams build up, or when your laminator just refuses to warm up to work, it might be time to replace it.

Laminating machines can last a while, depending on how often you use it, so forget about a specific timeframe and watch for issues like a laminator refusing to warm up — or, worse, refusing to cool down — or issues in the laminating job itself that show up consistently to know when it's time to move on.

Contact a company like Carrel's Office Machines for more information and assistance.