Ten tips to extend the life of your printer

printer tipsIt seems to be that we live in a “throw away” society. If something breaks, we throw it away instead of trying to fix it. We’d rather buy a new one instead of spending the time making the old one work again.

That’s certainly not the world I grew up in, and landfills full of printers isn’t the legacy I want to leave behind for the next generation of humans!

I have a real problem with the thought of folks throwing their printer away before its time when there are so many things you can do to extend the life of that appliance.

You want to get as much life out of your printer as you can. To get the most out of your printer, read these ten tips:

1. Read the manual. Sounds like a no-brainer, but reading about how to properly maintain and operate your printer will ensure that you get as much life out of it as you can. Most people leave the user manual stuffed inside the box after they set up their printer the first time.

2. Stay cool. If you keep your printer paper in an area with high humidity, sheets of paper can stick together, especially if you have a low-end printer. That’s because its paper-feed mechanisms aren’t finely tuned to separate the pages in the paper tray. Store your printer paper in a low-humidity area.

3. Don’t use torn or bent paper. Using fresh paper right out of the package is a good way to prevent paper jams. Paper jams are a leading cause of printers getting hurled out the window and, besides that, anytime your printer has a paper jam, other parts of the printer can break.

4. Use good paper. Check into your printer manufacturer’s minimum paper standards, and then buy paper that fits within those standards. Did you know that some printer manufacturers don’t provide warranty support if you don’t use their paper specifications?

5. Avoid fanning paper. When you fan a ream of paper, you end up with a build up of static electricity between the sheets. That is not as sexy as it sounds. When you end up with static electricity between sheets of paper, you end up with paper jams.

6. Close the manual feed tray. Your printer’s manual feed tray should be closed when the printer is not in use. It’s easy to bump that tray, causing a break and possibly ending the life of your printer.

7. Keep it clean. Get yourself a can of compressed air, and use it at least once a month to clean the dust and debris from the inside of your printer. Keeping the inside of your printer as clean as you possibly can is a great way to prevent damage to the interior of your printer, extending its life.

8. Use good toner. All toners are not created equal. As tempted as you might be to buy cheap toner cartridges, doing so can put stress on your printer parts. Treat your printer well by using only the toner cartridges that are made by the manufacturer of your printer.

9. Replace old rollers. Worn out rollers get slippery when they’re at the end of their useful life, causing paper to slip off when it goes through the printer, which can lead to  paper jams. Again, paper jams can make printer parts break and they can also cause printers to be thrown out windows.

10. Don’t cheap out. Use good quality labels because cheap labels can ruin your printer parts. When cheap labels go through your printer, they can easily peel off their backing paper and get stuck to internal parts of the printer.

Do you have any more tips to share with our readers?

Photo Credit: Jpl3k – Jipple28 via Compfight cc

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