Wednesday, January 29, 2014

5 Tips to Prolong Printer Life

While standard inkjet printers for home and personal use are now much less expensive than they were in years past, people should still treat them as investments and take steps to prolong their life. This is especially true for professional-grade printers that can cost upwards of $1,000 or more. Whether or not you have invested a considerable amount on a printer for use in your home or business, it’s in your best interest to get the most out of the device as possible. Unfortunately, some people purchase another printer whenever their current printer shows the first signs of trouble.
MSR Head Cleaner for Printers

Here are five tips to prolong the life of your printer, allowing you to keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket and get the most from your investment.
  1. Keep the Dust Away - Dust is a printer’s worst enemy, because it places added weight on a printer’s internal components, which leads to heat build-up and speeds up the wear on its electronic and mechanical parts. Thankfully, a simple can of compressed air can be periodically used to keep the dust away and keep your printer running smoothly and efficiently. Another good tip to limit your printer’s exposure to dust is to close the paper feed tray whenever it’s not in use. This will help prevent dust and other foreign matter from making its way inside your printer and minimize potential damage from spills or other accidents.
  2. Replace Ribbons and Rollers - Printer ribbons and rollers, especially those found in laser printers, become dirty over time. This build-up in grime and old ink residue tends to cause paper feed errors and jams. Therefore, they should be regularly replaced to keep your printer running smoothly time and time again. Since they are inexpensive and can easily be found online, you should always keep a few extra so you can replace old rollers and ink ribbons as needed. 
  3. Check Print Heads on Inkjets - Inkjet printers often suffer from clogged print heads, causing blurry and streaky output. To solve this, the print heads should be periodically cleaned according to the printed instructions found in the user manual. A double-sided MSR head cleaner can also be used to make the process quick and easy. These typically only cost $16.00 for a 10-pack, so you will be able to clean the print heads several times for a minimal investment. Also, try to avoid cheap third-party inks as these contribute greatly to print head problems. 
  4. Don’t Fan Paper - Fanning paper prior to putting it into your printer tray can induce static charges that become discharged throughout the printer, damaging its electronic components. Statically-charged paper can result in more paper jams as well, so it’s best to place paper into the paper tray as-is. 
  5. Use Quality Toner - Quality toner will help expand the life of your printer’s system. Thus, you should avoid cheap toner and non-compatible cartridges that lead to premature wear and tear. You should properly maintain your computer by only using toner cartridges that have been made by the same manufacturer as your printer or a trusted, compatible one. Most brands have a list what printers they are compatible with and make this information readily available. 
Do you have an additional tip for prolonging printer life? Share your ideas in the comments below.