No matter whether dealing with an inkjet or laser printer, they all require proper care to survive the rigors of daily use. When you rely on a printer at work or in your home, it can be very frustrating when it stops working. Fortunately, you can help to extend the life of your printer just by taking the time to maintain it. The following maintenance tips will assist with keeping your printer churning out documents for longer:
Perform Regular Maintenance & Cleaning: Cleaning and running maintenance processes with your printer on a regular basis will help avoid errors and extend its overall life. Removing dust, debris, and ink or toner buildup will help your printer to perform at an optimum level. With a small vacuum, you can easily suck out particulates that may build up and shorten your printer’s lifespan. It is important to occasionally run your printer’s automatic cleaning function to clean moving parts and prevent an inkjet printer from developing clogged print heads. Removing ink cartridges and clean them with a damp, lint free cloth can help prevent ink build up. Cleaning the rollers and replacing the fuser according to your manufacturer’s requirements can also extend its service life.
Be Sure Not to Overwork It: All printers have a monthly duty cycle. This determines how many pages you can print per month without causing damage to your printer. You can find this information typically listed in the printer’s specifications at the store, online or within the user manual. Typically, the lower the quality of the printer, the less productive the cycle will be. Pushing a printer to output more than the monthly duty cycle allows for will shorten its lifespan. When purchasing a printer, determine how many pages you will need to print each month and ensure that the printer you are purchasing can live up to those standards. If you are going to need a workhorse of a printer, it will be more cost effective to invest in a high-quality model with a larger monthly duty cycle.
Use the Right Paper: As a cost saving measure, many organizations purchase medium to low grade paper to use in their printers. Most printer manufacturers publish minimum paper standards for each machine. If the paper you purchase does not meet these specifications, it can cause undue wear to the moving parts of the printer over time. Review the user’s manual that came with the printer, or visit the manufacturer’s web site to learn the paper specifications.
Store Paper in a Low Humidity Environment: High humidity can cause paper to stick together that can lead to paper jams and paper feed errors. This is especially true for lower end printers or smaller table top printers which may have paper feed mechanisms that are not as finely tuned to separate pages in the paper tray. To help prevent pages from sticking together and feeding at the same time, store paper in a cool, low humidity environment as well as keep your printer in a low humidity environment and away from extreme temperatures.
Have it Regularly Serviced: Many issues can be fixed or prevented by having your printer serviced by an experienced repair technician. Regular, thorough cleanings and other maintenance will help avoid inconvenient errors or jams and extend the overall life of the machine as well as alert you to potential problems down the line.