The festive season is almost here which means things are going to get hectic around the office. Many workplaces must be productive during this time to meet increased demand, therefore it’s critical that your printer is running as smoothly as possible. A little bit of attention and maintenance can make all the difference.
However, during the holidays, many businesses shut down for a couple of days. If you are halting operations until the New Year, it’s just as important to pay attention to your printing responsibilities considering that you won’t be using your printer for some time.
This guide is meant to cover all the ordinary checks you’ll want to carry out to maximise the life and performance of your inkjet or laser printer.
Stock up on supplies
Do a pre-holiday supply check for your printer, and make note of the items that need to be restocked. The last thing you’d want is to return to the office and discover there are no supplies to meet your printing requirements. Buying your supplies now will prevent a heavy ordering situation after the holidays.
It’s tempting to replace a printer cartridge only when you’re back from the holiday break, but leaving an empty cartridge in the printer for too long can clog up the printer heads. This is why it’s best to have a replacement ink cartridge available before the holiday closing.
Keep enough ink in the cartridges
You should leave enough ink in the cartridges, including your maintenance cleaning cartridge if your inkjet printer model has one, to ensure automatic maintenance cycles can be performed while you’re away. To enable the automatic maintenance, keep the printer plugged in and switched on in standby mode while you’re away.
Store your printer correctly
If you’re planning to pack away your printer, it must be done in such a way that it will not damage any components. What you should do is switch off the printer but leave the ink cartridges inside. Shutting down will safely seal the print heads and prevent them from clogging, leaking, or drying out.
Then, remove any paper from the tray, unplug the power and USB cables, wrap the printer in a large plastic bag, and seal it inside a box. It should be stored in a cool dry place on a level surface.
Perform a manual clean
Dust and grime can cling to the parts inside your printer, eventually leading to reduced performance. Take a few minutes to clean it out on your last day in the office. Always consult the user manual when cleaning to ensure that you are using the recommended cleaning equipment. As most of the parts are delicate, remember to be gentle when touching the inside of the printer.
Connect your printer to a backup power system
If you are not planning to disconnect and store your printer, and expect it to perform an automatic maintenance cycle while you’re away, now is the time to ensure your office has access to a backup power system. The possibility of load shedding over the festive period should not be ignored. A backup power system is a means of providing a supply of energy that will enable your printer to service itself. For more information on backup power systems, read our article The difference between a UPS and a backup power system.
Consider moving your printer
You may think it’s easier to just leave your printer where you’ve set it up as you close for the holidays. But it’s possible that this may not be the best placement for your printer for the holidays. Be aware that direct sunlight can affect the ink cartridges so check that the printer is placed away from a window in a cool, dry environment. You should also keep it covered — as no one will be around to clean the printer for a while, dust can build-up inside the machine which may damage it.
The above is a checklist of items to remember when planning your printing maintenance around the holiday shutdown. Following these instructions means you won’t have to deal with frustrated employees and clients upon your return because something has gone wrong with your printer. To recap, here are our printer maintenance tips: