One of the most common pieces of office equipment is your printer. It’s also one of the more expensive to purchase and replace. The good news is there are plenty of easy ways to save time, money and energy when it comes to printing that you may not have known about! We’ve compiled a list of 7 simple hacks that will make your life easier and less costly.
1. Make sure your printer is in a well-ventilated area
If you have a high-demand printer, you’re more likely to notice smells that tend to leak out of the cartridges. A low-speed, compact printer like the one manufactured by Brother® is ideal for office environments, as it’s designed to be quiet and very energy efficient. If you have an old desktop printer, consider swapping the ink cartridge and manually putting in new cartridges. Some printers, like Brother®, make it easy to test and reprogram the printer when it needs new cartridges.
2. Keep the paper level sensor clean to avoid wasting ink and paper
Keeping your inkjet’s paper sensor clean will help prevent you from wasting ink and paper. When you print, your printer’s sensor detects when a piece of paper is too low in the feeder. This isn’t a big deal if you’re printing in black and white, but you will run into trouble when you’re printing color documents. By keeping the paper sensor clean, you can print even color photos, thus saving ink and paper!
3. Use recycled paper for printing drafts, which is cheaper and more environmentally friendly
While you can’t always print on recycled paper, it is often the case. Because you’re still printing on something that can be recycled, it can be more cost efficient and easier on the environment than buying new paper. To use recycled paper, buy a single color or multicolored pack of paper. Start at the bottom of the pack and sort into colors. The printer will automatically figure out what color to produce and how many colors it should produce. If you have multiple colors, it’s smart to start at the top of the pack and sort the colors in reverse. This ensures the end result is a mixed-color document. Here’s a good trick: when you get a draft back from the printer, look for a mix of colors.
4. Print double sided to save on ink and paper usage
Use a refillable ink cartridge. There are many ways to do this. Any local Office Max store is stocked with cheap ink refills and toners, as well as low cost but high quality printer supplies. Keep in mind that most ink cartridges will have a higher refill cost than toner. While a toner replacement is usually cheaper than the ink, it can also be more expensive to purchase in the first place.
Tip: Many people wonder about printing double sided. While this can sometimes cause problems with paper jams and large quantities of ink left in the printer, you can easily print both sides of the page once the page has been processed through the printer.
5. Clean your print head regularly – this will keep it running smoothly and efficiently
Whenever you print, you need a clean print head to get the best results. By simply cleaning it once a month, you’ll see a huge improvement in the quality and quantity of the prints you can produce. If you haven’t invested in an inkjet printer, you can usually find a disposable cartridge of ink in your local hardware store. When you need to print, simply remove the cartridge and replace it. It’s not difficult to do, and it’ll save you a lot of money over time!
Reuse the packaging from your new printer – simply put the empty boxes in the recycling bin. Whether you bought a new printer, or are on the market for an inkjet, the box it comes in often becomes redundant. Instead of tossing it into the garbage, recycle it. The packaging from your new printer should not go in your waste bin.
6. Update drivers regularly to prevent errors that can cause problems with printing
If you don’t follow the manufacturers’ updates, your printer’s printing capabilities may vary from the latest versions. So, keep your printer software up to date to make sure that all of your important files are kept secure.
Get a new printer? Get a multi-functional one. Get a new printer and get one that can do a variety of things. For example, a printer that can function as a scanner can scan important documents and save you tons of time and energy every month when you have to manually enter data into your computer.
7. Turn off your printer when not in use, using sleep mode or turning it off at night
Turning off the printer when it’s not in use can save time and energy, and gives you more free time in the evening or on weekends. It can be as simple as hitting the power button once the printer is finished printing and then leaving it to shut itself off! If you can’t remember which switch to hit, there are some browser plugins that make this process a whole lot easier. For example, the Firefox browser has a function to automatically turn off your printer when you are not using it.
Invest in paperless backups even though your printer might have paper backups, it never hurts to invest in a more robust backup solution. The advantage of having paper backups is that they can be very easy to find, but you are still able to produce documents from them if you need to.
In Conclusion, maintain your printer is the way to keep it running smoothly and keep the print quality high.
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