Should You Leave Your Printer On

Discussions about which office equipment should be turned off at the end of the day and which should be left running range from PCs and monitors to printers and copiers. Many of these components just waste electricity if left on after hours unless you operate a 24-hour business. Understanding the fundamentals of how these devices work is necessary to decide which printers should be turned off.

Solid Ink

Consumables for solid ink printers resemble big, vivid jigsaw puzzle pieces. These wax and colour mixtures are loaded into the apparatus through slots modelled after the ink particles themselves to prevent them from loading in the incorrect location. Solid ink devices have a standby mode that maintains them ready to use without running at full power because they only start printing after their ink melts and they waste some ink each time they start up. With one exception, you can leave these gadgets turned on throughout the week and turn them off entirely, if at all, on the weekends. Before attempting to move your hardware from desk to desk or from building to building, turn it off and let it cool to prevent contamination of the printer’s interior and device failure.


However, these start-up processes take less time than making the office’s morning pot of coffee. Laser printers go through an initialization cycle when you turn them on, and their fusing hardware must achieve operational temperature before it can bond toner to paper. Your hardware may have a low-power standby mode for off-duty use depending on the printer model. You can turn off laser devices at night to conserve energy because their consumables don’t need to be preheated and their warm-up cycles are short.


With the exception of the possibility of a cleaning or calibration process when you first turn them on, inkjet printers begin up without any reluctance. If you leave some of these devices operating for extended periods of time without producing any output, you risk printhead failures. When left idle, whether powered on or off, for extended periods of time, some devices are susceptible to ink blockages. For advice from the manufacturer on how to handle downtime without endangering your device, refer to your hardware documentation. If your usage patterns don’t align with an inkjet printer’s recommended operating procedures, these factors may function as a deterrent.

Impact and Thermal

Daisy wheel, dot matrix, line, and thermal printers all turn on almost instantly after being unplugged. Impact printers make imprints on paper by applying force, therefore their output mechanisms don’t need to be heated or calibrated, and their supplies last as long as the ribbon does. Thermal printers don’t need a warm-up period because they only need to temporarily heat the surface of specific paper or a colourful ribbon that marks the paper. These technologies don’t require off-duty power to continue operating properly.

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