6 Ways to Save Money and Improve the Performance of Your Printer
Looking for ways to save money and improve the performance of your printer? Here are 6 easy ways to effectively get the job done.
- Set the print quality to its lowest setting for day-to-day printing.
Most printers automatically default to the printer’s high-quality image setting to make sure the pages come out looking good. However, these clean, crisp, high-quality images require a lot of ink or toner which can cost you a pretty penny over the life of your printer.
For most print jobs, the lowest-quality setting will work just fine. When you need a sharper print job, you simply change the setting for that one document.
The path to change your printer’s setting will vary depending upon your printer and operating system. If you are using Microsoft Windows, go to the “Start” menu and click on “Control Panel”. From there, click on “Printers and faxes”, right-click on your printer and chose “Properties”. While there, set the default to black and white to save on your color ink and toner. Again, black and white is just fine for most day-to-day print jobs and will save you in the long run.
- Print more on every page.
This will not only save you on ink, but also on paper. All you have to do is reduce the font size in a document by a point or two and you could save reams of paper over the year. If you are using Microsoft Word, you can use the “Pages Per Sheet” option to get more printed on every page. When printing out web pages, cut and paste the text into a Word document and reduce the spaces and eliminate the pictures.
- Don’t let your printer go for more than 5 to 7 days without use.
Let sitting for long periods of time, the tiny jets in a printer cartridge can dry up causing print jobs to have white streaks or to not print at all. To keep your printer in good working order, simply print a full page of text (with color) or a test page once a week.
- Clean your printer’s nozzles frequently.
Faint output, unprinted lines running across the page, or simply no visible printing at all indicates clogged nozzles. Most inkjet printers come with a built-in nozzle-clearing function you can run. Check your printer’s users’ guide for more information as this will vary depending on the make and model printer you are using.
- Refill your own ink cartridges.
You can refill an inkjet cartridge several times before you have to throw it away. Refilling your own cartridges not only saves you money but is also a more “environmentally friendly” option. Refilling your cartridge is easy; just make sure you don’t let the cartridge run completely dry before refilling it for two very important reasons.
First, if you wait until it’s empty, you may dry out the sponge contained in the cartridge rendering it useless. Second, you can damage the resistors (the circuitry on the cartridge).
When a cartridge runs out of ink, the resistors can overheat and burn out. Most printers will warn you of a low cartridge before it completely runs out of ink to prevent this from happening. At the first sign of low ink, refill or top off your cartridge to ensure a long life.
- Turn OFF your printer when not in use.
Turning your printer off when you are not using it will also help prevent the ink from drying up in the print nozzles. Most printers have a ‘capping’ mechanism that seals the print head from outside air when it’s turned off. Just be sure to turn off your printer using its own power switch instead of turning it off at the power strip. This causes the capping mechanism to fully engage.