Make the Most of Your Home Printer
Whether you’re getting a printer for your home-based business or for printing documents that you need for your student coursework, there are great ways to get as much out of your printing equipment as possible.
This short guide will provide you with some guidelines you can take into consideration when you’re in the market for a new printer. We’ll also offer some tips on how you can save a few bucks when you’re finally ready to use the new printer you’ve just purchased.
Choosing the right printer
With so many printer models flooding the market nowadays, choosing the right equipment might seem like a challenging task. To get around this problem, however, you simply have to juxtapose your needs with the features of the printer models you are considering.
When it comes to printers, being “feature-packed” is not necessarily a positive thing simply because additional features will sometimes mean that other factors being considered will also be affected, whether it’s the size, the price, or something else.
We suggest that you take into account the following:
Your available space – The amount of space you have will often determine the size of the household appliances or equipment that you can purchase. Space-deprived individuals can settle for a compact personal printer, but if you have room to spare, you might also want to consider getting one of those bigger, more robust models, especially if you need to print a huge volume of documents regularly.
Color vs. monochrome – If you’re going to be printing mostly text documents, ask yourself whether a fast-printing black-and-white laser printer will be enough for your needs. Color printers are usually only purchased by people who need to print documents in color, like visual artists or those who print formal presentations on a regular basis.
Multifunction features – Why buy a separate scanner or photocopier if you could instead have a printer that incorporates these features?
Speed and printing capacity – If you’re like most people, you’re probably going to need to print just a few pages a day. However, if you have a home business that requires you to print a relatively huge volume of documents every day, consider getting a unit that is designed to handle a good number of pages per minute (40 ppm is a great starting point). Also consider the printer’s duty cycle, which is the recommended number of pages that it can print every month. A printer with a high duty cycle can better serve as your printing workhorse because it will be able to stand the high-volume demands of your workplace.
Print quality – One of the most common ratings manufacturers use to measure the quality of printers’ outputs is the DPI (dots per inch) rating. Checking a model’s DPI rating can be helpful if you are looking for a printer that can produce high-quality images.
Tips for efficient printer use
Once you have chosen your printer, remember that there are still things you can do to optimize your use of it. Here are some of them:
Don’t waste paper –According the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the average annual per capita paper use of Americans is 333 kilograms, whereas the worldwide average is just 48 kilograms. With so many people wasting printer paper, you can just imagine how much of it ends up in the waste stream.
At home, you can prevent paper wastage by practicing duplex printing (printing on both sides of the paper) and by reusing old documents with only one of the sides printed on. Also check the paper products you buy. Look for products made from recycled fibers or those made from wood pulp derived from sustainably managed tree plantations.
Use remanufactured cartridges – Instead of using ink cartridges from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), consider purchasing remanufactured ink cartridges instead. Made from used printer cartridges, these high-quality recycled cartridges are produced using state-of-the-art methods. Their quality and performance are on a par with OEM products, but they cost significantly less.
Buy XL printer cartridges – Many OEM and remanufactured printer cartridges come in XL variants, which contain two or three times the amount of ink commonly found in regular cartridges. These cartridges are not bigger than regular cartridges in terms of size; their ink yield is just much higher.
Print in draft mode – Many printers will allow you to print in draft mode. The printouts may not be as clear as when you print in regular mode, but the printing speed will be faster and you’ll be able to save significant amounts of ink or toner.
Use your printer regularly – Lastly, printers are notorious for easily breaking down, especially if you leave them sitting for too long unused. We suggest that you use your printer at least once a week, especially if it’s an inkjet printer, since the ink could dry up and clog the nozzles of the print head.
Also keep your printer clean. When it’s not in use, you can protect it from dust by covering it with a piece of cloth or with a commercially available printer dust cover. Otherwise, dust and other debris could get into the inner workings of your unit and cause damage as a result.
By : John Newman
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