Should You Keep Your Printer On or Off?
Thursday September 7, 2017
When it comes to technology, you may get conflicting advice about how to best maintain it. Is it better to leave my printer on or turn it off when I’m not using it? Should I use low-power or standby mode? Here are some things to take into consideration when determining what is best for your printer:
- Print Head Health
All inkjet printers have semiconductor print heads. These print heads are typically the first thing in a printer that requires replacement, so you want to preserve their life as long as possible. Keeping your printer on all the time will keep your print heads cleaner, making them less likely to break.
Regularly cleaning and maintaining your printer are essential in ensuring it continues printing high-quality documents for a long time. The difference between leaving your printer on or turning it off is generally insignificant in terms of energy costs. For healthier print heads and more efficient ink consumption, however, it’s better to leave your printer on. Constantly switching your printer off and on will decrease your printer’s lifespan, so try to keep the off/on to a minimum.
- Ink Consumption
During maintenance cycles, your printer uses up ink – sometimes 20 to 30 percent per cartridge. This can add up quickly, especially given the high cost of ink. Using ink to clean print heads is important to maintain your printer and ensure it lasts longer, but sometimes maintenance cycles may occur more often than necessary. The frequency of each cycle depends on the manufacturer, but turning on the printer triggers a maintenance cycle regardless of manufacturer. For this reason, to minimize ink consumption, it is recommended that you keep your printer on. This will reduce the number of maintenance cycles, and keep your ink usage to a minimum.
- Power Consumption
Energy costs are often one of people’s biggest worries when it comes to leaving their printer on. Your printer obviously uses more power on than off, but energy costs stay relatively low regardless. The average printer in standby mode consumes about 3 watts of power – less than a typical nightlight. If your printer operates in standby mode continuously, it only costs about $2.50 a year.
In power-off mode, your printer will consume less than 1 watt, and probably cost about $0.85 a year. Standby mode costs almost three times as much as a printer in off mode. But at under $3 a year, the cost of keeping your printer on is negligible. Long story short, when it comes to power consumption and energy costs, it won’t really matter if you leave your printer on or turn it off.
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