Even if your company no longer has any use for them, your unwanted IT assets should never wind up in a landfill. Everything from desktop and notebook computers to accessories such as keyboards, mice, and printers has some value. The devices themselves may either be refurbished for reuse, or their components can be recycled.
For this reason, it’s important to store your unused IT equipment properly prior to its disposition. By following the practices outlined below, you can ensure the safety and quality of your assets, helping them to stay functional and thus eligible for refurbishment or recycling.
Keep Them at Room Temperature
Room temperature, or 20 to 22°C, is ideal for IT equipment and electronics in general. Circuit systems in devices such as laptops perform best at this temperature range, with internal components actually beginning to break down in excessive heat.
Exposing electronics to excessive heat also presents safety risks. Batteries in laptops and other devices can self-discharge, resulting in leaks, and deform or corrode. In extreme temperatures, batteries could even explode.
On the other hand, you won’t want your devices becoming too cold, either. When electronics reach below-freezing temperatures but warm up again later, condensation can form, leading to internal damage. Cold weather is especially damaging to screens.
Ideally, your IT assets should be stored in a dry, temperature-controlled environment within your facility. Never keep them outdoors or in a storage unit that doesn’t have climate control. Try to avoid placing them in direct sunlight to avoid excess heat. Additionally, don’t stack electronics, as it will impede the airflow between them. Try not to pack them in too tightly as storing items too close together can lead to overheating.
Maintain a Dry Environment
Moisture is damaging to electronics in a couple of ways. Internal components such as circuitry can absorb moisture in the air, then become corroded and fail. Any water within the device can also cause electrical short circuits. This occurs when water breaks the path of electricity within your device, causing issues such as sparks that can damage the device beyond repair.
Make sure any windows in your storage area are closed so that the electronics aren’t exposed to moisture from the outdoors. If needed, use a dehumidifier to maintain a dry environment.
IT devices are “energy vampires” which draw small amounts of power even while idle. A desktop computer, for example, can use 15 to 21 watts when not in use. For every watt of energy your devices use, you could save $1 per year by keeping them unplugged. Moreover, unplugged equipment won’t be vulnerable to damage caused by power surges.
Unplugged devices are also safer for asset disposition technicians to remove. Quantum will only remove equipment that has been previously disconnected, to avoid the risk of unplugging important servers and causing service outages or data loss.
While you may need to put in a bit of effort to store your IT equipment properly before it’s picked up, the payoff is considerable. Not only could your company make a profit on items that would otherwise go unused, but you’ll also be making an ethical decision that reduces your business’s carbon footprint.