Printer owners often worry about finding a compatible ink cartridge or finding an environmentally friendly cartridge to ensure great-looking prints and a long-lasting printer. However, while it is important to look for high-quality inks, printer owners also need to carefully monitor their printers' mechanical components to avoid overheating. This is especially important during larger print jobs when overheating is likely or when a printer has had problems with overheating.
Some printers have simple built-in mechanisms that allow heat to freely dissipate. Office printers sometimes have fans that blow hot air out of their main chassis, but these fans can get clogged with dust, dirt, hair and other contaminants. All office computer users should regularly clean out printer and copy machine fans with compressed air. To avoid damaging the hardware, users should spray the compressed air in short, controlled bursts. Even in a clean office, clearing out contaminants with compressed air every week or so will greatly improve a printer's performance by decreasing the chances of heat-related problems. Home printers do not usually have fans, but many have large metal panels on their bottoms or sides. These panels allow heat to escape, but they do not function properly if they only contact insulated surfaces. Printer owners should always keep their devices on wood or metal surfaces to allow heat to dissipate effectively.
A printer owner can also decrease the chances of overheating by using a compatible ink cartridge. Modern inks have special ingredients that lubricate print heads, reducing friction and allowing heat to dissipate quickly. While the lubricants in ink cartridges do not protect all of the mechanical components of a printer, a compatible ink cartridge will further reduce the chances of major print issues. A printer owner may also decide to look for an environmentally friendly cartridge or a refill kit to reduce the cost of compatible ink.
Finally, one of the easiest ways to avoid overheating is to simply break up large print jobs. Taking a break every 30-40 pages (or every hour or so for a large office printer) will allow for better heat dissipation and put much less stress on the mechanical components of a printer. Users should also stop printing immediately if a printer becomes hot to the touch and only resume printing when the printer is at normal room temperature. Computer users should also know their printers' per month print load capacity and avoid going over this number. Print capacity is often listed in online product descriptions and in the specifications section of a printer's manual. Paying attention to this number and taking a few common-sense steps help to avoid printer damage and can greatly extend the life of a printer.
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