Cold Weather Printing
Cold Weather Printing Alert
When its cold it is usually very dry. Low humidity conditions can affect paper, causing it to curl as it loses water content. Curled paper may then have trouble feeding into your printer. This has been a problem in the commercial printing industry forever. Now that we inkjet users are all “printers”, we have to deal with simlar issues.
So what can we do to minimize cold weather printing problems? The best solution is to humidify the room where your printer resides. A humidifer can be found at any local drug or hardware store and usually costs between $15 and $50, depending on its capacity. Another approach is to leave a pan of water in the room. Simple evaporation can help to raise the local humidity. Even a small increase in relative humidity can make a very large difference. The ideal relative humidity for printing is 50% at 74 degrees. Knowing your relative humidity is certainly helpful. You can by a personal hygrometer like this one for between $10 and $30.
Also in cold weather, static electricity becomes much more prevalent. That static can make paper stick together and misfeed. Here again, adding moisture can help reduce the problem as well as utilizing a fabric softner. Products such as Bounce can relieve the built up charge in a stack of paper. Lightly rubbing Bounce on a stack of paper, or attaching a sheet to the back paper tray of your printer will lower the static charge of paper.
A possible quick fix if you have trouble feeding. Take a look at your paper. If you notice a dominant curl in one direction, try to bend the paper the opposite way just before printing. This should flatten out the paper enough to begin the job. You will need to do this to each few sheets as your printing job continues.