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Winter and Your Copier

Every winter, when a cold snap hits, Eakes can have up to a 25% increase in service calls for printing devices. The combination of the cold winter weather outside and dry heat inside can affect your printing performance. But it usually isn’t the copier that’s the culprit, it’s the paper.

The best way to limit printing issues is by taking proper care of your paper. It is the environmental change to the paper that can cause a loss of moisture as we crank up the dry heat. As paper loses moisture, it is more susceptible to picking up static as it runs through your copier or printer, which can result in a paper jam.

Here are some tips to reduce your chance of a wintertime paper jam:

Leave paper wrapped and in the case.
It is best to store copy paper in the ream wrapper in the box until you are ready to use it in your printing device. This helps to maintain the proper moisture content of the paper.

Maintain an even climate.
Store your paper and toner in an even temperature similar to your office. Never store paper or place equipment in any direct air flow. This causes an environmental fluctuation that impacts both the paper and the equipment’s performance. Maintain a humidity level around 30-32% if possible in the winter time.

Let paper acclimate.
If your paper is stored in an unheated storage area, keep it in the case and let it acclimate to the office conditions before using.

“Break” the ends of the paper.
Don’t fan your paper – especially in the winter – before placing in the printer drawer. This allows dry air between the sheets, which places more static in the paper. The proper way to reload paper is to “break” the ends of the paper. Hold one side of the unwrapped ream with two fingers and gently flex the paper on the other end with two fingers.

Use a grounding pad under equipment.
If your printer or copier is placed directly on carpet and you experience problems with static, consider a grounding pad. This will eliminate static shocks when touching equipment.

By following these simple tips you should minimize the effects that the cold outside and the dry heat inside can have on the performance of your printing equipment in the wintertime.