Summertime is finally here, and many of us are rejoicing about finally having the opportunity to spend some time outdoors soaking up the sun, lounging on the beach, and hanging out with family and friends. One thing that many people don’t think about, however, is how summer temperatures can affect the performance of their printers. While your printer itself can probably handle a good bit of heat, high temperatures can have a negative impact on your inkjet cartridges. And when the temperature soars, humidity is another thing that needs to be taken into consideration. Keep reading to learn more.
How Heat Impacts Inkjet Cartridges
The ink inside your inkjet cartridges is, of course, a liquid, and liquids are affected by changes in temperature. When it comes to printer ink, heat is the main enemy. It can cause the air bubbles inside the cartridge to expand and can result in leaks. These leaks can cause damage to the cartridge itself and result in stains that are impossible to remove. If they occur inside of a printer, they can damage the device too. High temperatures can also cause ink cartridges to dry out faster.
The Impact of Humidity
During the summer months, humidity is often a bigger problem for printers and inkjet cartridges than heat. It is problematic for laser printers too. In laser devices, high humidity can cause pages to stick together, excess saturation in color areas, and toner peeling from the page. In inkjet printers, humidity can prevent the ink from drying as it should. This can cause it to spread, show through the paper, or smudge before drying. High humidity affects paper too. It can cause paper to become wavy, which could cause it to jam.
Keep in mind that low humidity can be problematic, too. Air conditioners dry spaces out and, if yours is running at full blast all summer long, the humidity in your office could be too low. If it is, pages may have ink that appears too light or faded because it dried too quickly. Pages may stick together due to static electricity. Your text or images could even come out looking spread out due to the paper shrinking during the printing process. Low humidity can tighten the paper can cause paper jams too.
Dealing with Summer Temperatures and Humidity
When possible, your best option is storing and using your printer in climate-controlled areas. They shouldn’t be kept or used anywhere where it is excessively hot and/or humid, such as in an attic. Monitor the temperature and humidity and make adjustments as needed. You may need to invest in a humidifier or dehumidifier.
Store inks properly when not in use. They should always be stored at room temperature. Avoid tucking them away in basements or garages. Keep your cartridges inside of their original packaging until you are ready to use them. This will reduce their exposure to air. Ink that is installed in your printer should already be in an ink-friendly environment. If, however, you are storing your device in an area with high temperatures or humidity, you may want to consider removing the ink and storing it somewhere else. Ideally, though, you should move the entire device to a safer area.
Failing to use and store your printer in an area where the temperature remains at a reasonable temperature and the humidity is not too high or too low could lead to serious problems. You should also be mindful about where you store your paper, as it is especially susceptible to humidity. Keep it in its original packaging until you are ready to use it, and store the package in a comfortable, semi-dry area.
Summer may be your favorite time of the year, but it isn’t the best time of year for printers, ink cartridges, and other electronic devices. High temperatures can cause numerous problems with inkjet cartridges, and both high and low humidity can cause their share of issues.
Whether your printer is currently in use or in storage, make sure it is kept in an area where it will not be exposed to high temperatures or humidity. Be careful when storing consumables, such as ink cartridges and paper. By exercising a little bit of caution, you can get through the summer without experiencing any printer problems.