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How Your Work Environment May Be Hurting Your Printer

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What workplace conditions may contribute to poor printer performance?

Though an experienced printer technician can likely remedy any issue with your office printer, there can be several reasons why problems may reemerge. Perhaps your machine is wearing out. Maybe you’re not loading the paper correctly. 

Despite these, the conditions of your work environment may be contributing to premature wear of your printer or copier devices. 

Varying Climate Conditions

Regardless of their industry, most places of business need onsite printers. This includes sterile hospitals, but also open-air welding shops, less-than-spotless factories, and busy automotive garages. If your place of business has lots of in-and-out traffic, even the slightest changes in climate from foot traffic can wreak havoc on the quality of your prints and the performance of your printers. Though most machines can tolerate these environments to varying degrees, changes in temperature and humidity can warp the paper stored in the device. 

Exposure to Debris

What may not seem like a lot of debris to us can be detrimental to a printer device. Though we may not even see the debris, if an office printer or copier is exposed to outside air or connected to dirtier work environments (factories, shops, etc.), this can result in an accumulation of debris on and inside the machines. Over time, this accumulated debris can result in paper jams and premature wear on any mechanical components. 

Proximity to HVAC Vents

So, you’ve moved your printer devices away from the “action” of the shop, factory, or the foot traffic of the outside world. Good job! Now, how close are your devices to HVAC heating and cooling vents? Though the machines’ electrical and mechanical components won’t likely be adversely affected, any stored paper in your printer devices may become warped by the fluctuations of cool, dry air or warm, humid air. Warped paper can result in improper feeding and persistent paper jams. 

What is the Ideal Printer Environment? 

Let’s say that your company just moved into a new facility, and you’re not sure where to place your printer devices. Here are a few printer placement tips to best preserve the function, quality, and longevity of your printers. 

Keep Your Printers in Low Traffic Areas

Though it makes sense to place your copiers and printer devices in an easily accessible space, make sure that this space is somewhat withdrawn from where employees walk from place to place. Dust and debris kicked up by frequent foot traffic can impact the function of printer devices. More traffic also means an increased likelihood of someone accidentally kicking the printers or running into them with other objections in transit. 

Keep Your Printers Away From Windows

Like HVAC vents, even the slightest variation in temperature or humidity from a drafty office window can impact how the paper feeds within the device. It’s best to keep printers away from places with potential climate variation. Near inner-positioned storage closets or conference rooms make for excellent printer locations. 

Make Sure Your Printer Has Enough Space

Though space may be tight in an office environment, it is essential to leave enough room for all printer device doors, drawers, and panels to be able to open fully. Because paper jams are inevitable, it’s important to be able to access any place where a paper jam may occur to be able to quickly and easily remedy the issue. 

Keep Printers Near a Dedicated Electrical & Network Source

Ideally, all printers and copiers should be plugged into a dedicated electrical source without the need for extension cords. For hardwired network connections, the proper system of conduits should be installed to keep cords neat and organized to facilitate maintenance and prevent workplace tripping hazards. 

Is all of this really worth it? 

Creating a dedicated area for your office printer devices may seem like a hassle. You must consider this an investment in the longevity of your printer equipment. Like a garage for a car or a case for an expensive musical instrument, your office’s print environment will contribute to the long and stress-free function of your printer devices. 


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