|Without some special treatment, your printers could end up costing you more than you expected. Inevitably, tending to any problems that occur will eat into your working day – consuming both time and money. But by following these handy tips you can help keep your printers more healthy and efficient, so that you’ll be more productive.
1. Print in ‘draft’ mode
If you’re just printing documents for yourself and don’t need a high-quality output, consider printing a draft version. This method will produce a slightly lighter, less precise print, but it also significantly reduces your ink usage.
The wording and location of this option may vary a bit from printer to printer, but generally speaking you should be able to go into the printer options from the Control Panel on your PC, select the Properties button and choose Draft mode under Print Quality.
In Word 2000, just click the File menu and select Print. On the Print dialogue box, click the Options button on the bottom-left of the dialogue box. In the next dialogue box, under Printing Options, check Draft Output and press OK.
2. Keep the print nozzles and cartridge cradles clean
DeskJet printer drivers include a feature called Toolbox, which provides a function to clean the print nozzles of the printer, removing any debris or clogs that may prevent the printer from printing normally. You should perform this maintenance procedure at least once a week, depending on the volume of printing you normally do.
Keeping the inside of your printer clean is important too, especially the cartridge cradle. Whenever you see any ink or debris in the cradle, you should clean the area with a can of compressed air or an alcohol wipe.
3. Consider web-based printing options
To minimise needless printing and reduce waste, HP Smart Web Printing is a free downloadable application that allows you select, store and organise content from multiple web pages and print only what you need – saving you time, ink and paper.
4. Store cartridges correctly
Keep print cartridges sealed in the original packaging, stored at room temperature in an upright position, until ready to use. Ink can evaporate through the nozzles and through the plastic print cartridge body.
After removing a cartridge from the original packaging, always store it in the printer in the "home position" to help prevent ink from drying out in the nozzles. This will minimise the risk of contamination with airborne dust particles.
5. Power down the right way
It’s not a good idea to shut your printer off by flipping the switch on your power strip. This can cause the printer to skip its normal shut-down process, which means the printer heads may not park properly. This dries out the print head. Always use your printer's own power switch to turn it off.
6. Use high-quality paper
To save money, it’s temping to buy lower quality paper. However, it can cause paper jams, which in turn can cause mechanical problems for the printer.
Not sure exactly what kind of paper you need to use? HP offers a paper buying guide that will help you select the paper that’s intended for use with your LaserJet, Inkjet, copier or other printing device. And for other HP printing supplies, visit the HP Supplies Finder.
Armed with these tips, your printers can be less wasteful and prone to technical problems. It just goes to show, with a little tender, loving care it’s easy to keep your printing costs down and your productivity up!