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Saving Money with Duplex Printing

Justin Kline
01/21/2021
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Every so often, an idea comes around that is so simple and elegant that it is impossible to argue with. If you’re looking to save money on printing costs, duplex printing is one of those solutions.

Printing in duplex (double-sided) mode saves money on paper costs and reduces the number of trees consumed for paper. According to the U.S. Navy, the estimated savings is less than one cent per page, but that could add up to savings of $61 million for the federal government each year, plus saving an estimated 546,850 trees.

Changing your default printer settings to print documents on both sides of the paper and using black ink instead of color will save almost any organization a lot of money in the long run.

Estimating the Cost Savings of Duplex Printing

Just by changing this one setting on your printers, copiers or multi-function devices, you instantly cut the volume of paper your office uses nearly in half. If you have not changed your settings to double-sided printing yet, here is some more information about how to do it and how much you will save:

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average office worker prints 10,000 sheets of paper every year. By that estimate, an office of 30 workers will print 300,000 sheets of paper a year. If that office purchases boxes of paper in 10 reams — or 5,000 sheets of paper — and each of those boxes costs around $40, the total expense for 60 boxes is $2,400.

Cutting that amount in half with duplex printing saves the office $1,200 a year. It also saves 150,000 extra pieces of paper from the landfill or recycling facility. Making this simple change is a quick way to put money back in your pocket while reducing waste.

How to Duplex

The good news is that most printers made within the past few years already include duplex printing features. Some have slower, reverse feed processes, while others use a collating rack to perform the process almost as quickly as printing single-sided sheets.

Depending on your printer you may have the options for either auto duplex printing or manual duplex printing. As you can imagine, the automatic version is much simpler to use and doesn’t require any additional effort once set up, whereas manual duplex printing does require a bit of extra work by turning the page over yourself, although can be worthwhile for the cost savings.

Generally, these settings are turned off by default, but enabling automatic duplex mode will make sure all documents you send to the printer will print double-sided by default. To set up duplex printing for a Windows-based computer, navigate to the Control Panel, then to View Devices and then the Printer panel. If available, you will find the duplex printing option here. A network administrator will have to enable this function for large workgroups or office environments.

Go ahead and give duplex printing a try to see how much paper and money you end up saving. If you want even more advice for decreasing printing expenses in your business, check out our free Guide to Managed Print Services below. GFC can optimize all your printing equipment and systems to save you the most money possible on printing, month after month. Contact Us today.

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