A lot of everyday items, products, and machines require specific types of maintenance based on the time of year it is. For example, people will put winter tires on their vehicle for better traction, and maybe even swap their windshield wiper fluid for a mixture that is less prone to freezing. In the summer, an air conditioner recharge might be necessary.

Printer service is a lot like vehicle service in the sense that printers and vehicles both have unique service needs to consider based on the season. With that said, seasonal printer service is a lot less intensive than seasonal vehicle service. A few basic maintenance activities can help ensure a long operating life for printers, avoid common printer problems, and keep quality printed pages coming – no matter what the weather is like outside.

All About the Paper

As Spring and Summer arrive, most people are thinking about road trips, golf games, and family vacations. Printer maintenance is not often near the top of anyone’s summer plans. However, a little bit of printer maintenance can go a long way, and perhaps even prevent a more costly and time-consuming printer repair job down the road.

As the weather warms up, humidity also tends to rise. Paper is meant to be kept very dry for optimal performance. As a result, humidity could negatively affect printer performance. Paper exposed to high humidity can become more prone to jamming and the quality of print jobs can drop significantly.

There are a few ways to help ensure that humidity doesn’t affect print quality. First, businesses should maintain humidity levels in between 40% and 60%. This also happens to be in step with occupational health and safety recommendations. If humidity begins to rise too high in the warmer months, then deploying a dehumidifier may be necessary for both the comfort of the staff and the performance of printers.

Storing paper can also have a huge influence on humidity levels. Keeping paper off the ground at a similar level to the printer in which the paper will be used is an easy way to avoid any unnecessary exposure to humidity, which tends to read at higher levels closer to the ground.

In the winter, the opposite can happen with humidity and the air becomes dry. As a result, the moisture levels within paper can go below optimal levels and lead to many of the same problems that high humidity causes including jamming and reduced performance. Simply swapping out the dehumidifier for a humidifier in the winter and maintaining optimal levels can be a very effective solution.

Too Hot, Too Cold, Just Right

Temperature is an obvious consideration when discussing seasonal printer maintenance. Of course, most printers are stationary so indoor temperature changes should be nominal. However, users must consider more than just ambient air temperature in order to avoid some common printer problems.

In the summer months, it’s nice to have the curtains open and the sunlight shining in. However, it is important to keep printers and other electronics out of direct sunlight. The sunlight shining through the window can create significant heat and cause performance issues with printers. It’s important to enjoy natural light during the summer, but printers would be much happier when they’re placed in a more shaded area around the office.

In the winter, the main temperature concern is when transporting printers. A new printer that has been delivered off a truck may have been exposed to freezing temperatures and, as a result, built up internal condensation. Allowing a printer a few hours to get up to room temperature is advised before powering on. This may also be important to consider for businesses that transport smaller desk printers between sites or to offsite jobs.

Cartridge Care and Other Printer Maintenance Considerations

Both inkjet and laser toner cartridges can be affected by the weather. For example, high humidity in warmer months could lead to clumping of inks and toners which ultimately could reduce performance or even clog sensitive parts.

In colder weather, static can greatly increase and lead to damaging static discharges. A humidifier can help prevent against this but it may also be wise to stock up on some additional cartridges just in case. One very simple way to defend against cold weather static is to do regular cleaning with anti-static wipes. These can help neutralize static charges and potentially prolong the life of cartridges and other components that may be damaged by a static discharge.

Printer Care Year Round

A few printer maintenance steps can help avoid some of the most common printer problems and even potentially help businesses avoid requiring a costly printer repair. AIS Ink offers printer maintenance kits for a wide range of printer brands and models.

To learn more about seasonal printer maintenance or inquire about printer repair, please contact AIS Ink today.