Outdoor multimedia totems: maintenance

Outdoor multimedia totems: maintenance
Purchasing an outdoor multimedia totem is an important investment for your business. They are hardware designed to withstand extreme weather conditions and withstand rain, direct sun, hail and snow. Theirs is a major cost. That is why scrupulous maintenance is important: to ensure the totem lasts a long time.

What is different from an indoor multimedia totem?

As we said before, outdoor media totems are able to withstand very high or very low temperature peaks, direct exposure to the sun in the middle of a square continuously for many hours, and even a thunderstorm. This is possible thanks to a number of additional features that indoor totems do not have: fans, air filter, heater and air conditioner. Furthermore, unlike indoor totems, outdoor totems have an external structure (usually steel) that insulates and protects the internal components from the weather.

However, in order for this complex system of components and protections to do their best work, maintenance operations must be carried out periodically. Over time, in fact, temperatures and adverse weather conditions can deteriorate the totem, and if it is not properly checked every year by replacing obsolete or malfunctioning parts, the life of the totem pole risks being drastically shortened.

In this buying guide, we will therefore see what maintenance work needs to be done to ensure reliability and durability of the totem.

Before going any further, a premise is necessary: all checks must be carried out by specialised personnel and with the totem pole switched off (with the power supply cable disconnected) in compliance with current accident prevention regulations.

Ordinary maintenance

In general, for a multimedia totem to maintain optimal performance over time, it is important to prevent dirt from accumulating. Inside and outside.
For the outside, regular cleaning of the outside surface with a neutral detergent and non-abrasive sponges is sufficient, as this could ruin the satin or painted surface.
As for the inside of the totem, it is recommended to vacuum it regularly at least once every 3 months to remove debris and dust.
If it is dusty or particularly exposed to smog, these operations should be repeated even more often if necessary to remove dirt and debris that has accumulated.
The following routine maintenance operations are recommended every three months:

  • Fans: Check the operation of the fans for blockages or malfunctions. If present, replacement or technical intervention is necessary. We will discuss this in detail later.
  • Filters: air filters accumulate dust, smog and dirt. They must be vacuumed and cleaned regularly.
  • Seals: outdoor multimedia totems differ from indoor ones mainly because they are water-resistant. This is possible thanks to the presence of seals in the structure. It is important to periodically check their condition and if they are deteriorated, they must be replaced immediately.
  • Touchscreen: in the case of interactive totems, it is good to check that the touch works properly and that the screen is not scratched, cracked or damaged.

Other useful checks are:

  • Check the screen for grades, damage, signs of wear and tear so that a replacement can be scheduled in time.
  • Check the condition of power cables, mains and other connections that they are secure and free of damage. Replace worn or damaged cables immediately.
  • Check periodically that all screws and fasteners are tight and not worn to avoid unwanted vibration or movement of the totem.

Air conditioner and heater

Before installing a media totem in an extremely hot or cold environment, it is a good idea to check for the presence of a heater or air conditioner (depending on the context in which it will be installed). Once the outdoor totem is installed, periodically ensure that these components function and activate correctly. A blockage risks seriously impairing the operation of the multimedia totem.

Special maintenance

Fan malfunctions

The totem is designed for 24/7 functionality. Turning off the ventilation for an extended period can cause damage to electronic components due to temperatures and humidity outside the maximum thresholds. It is therefore a good idea to monitor the constant operation of the fans and if any anomalies are suspected to proceed with a check and, if necessary, a replacement.


It is also useful to install surge protectors to protect the totem pole from damage caused by storms or faults in the power grid. It is a good idea to regularly check the operation of these protections. A malfunction of these protections could lead to irreparable damage to the totem in the event of electrical surges, necessitating the replacement of all hardware.

As you will have realised from reading this guide, routine and extraordinary maintenance of an outdoor multimedia totem is essential to ensure its proper functioning and longevity. Investing time and resources in preventive maintenance significantly reduces the risk of breakdowns and repair costs in the long term.
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