A well-maintained laser printer will produce cleaner output, have fewer jams, and last longer. Any office can take some simple steps to keep its printers in good condition.
Use the right kind of paper. Cheap paper is more likely to jam or double-feed. Paper that isn't right for laser printers won't hold toner well and can cause damage. In particular, avoid inkjet printer in a laser printer.
Be careful reusing paper. It may seem economical and environmentally friendly to print drafts on the back of paper that has already been used. However, it's apt to jam, and the toner may come off the old side. If you want to save paper, a duplex printer is a better way to go.
Toner and drum
Cleaning the inside of the printer periodically will produce better output. Laser printers use toner, black or colored plastic particles which fuse to the paper. If the toner doesn't get hot enough or the fuser mechanism doesn't work properly, it can get into everything, and it's hard to remove.
Periodically clean the inside of the printer to remove any dust and stray toner. Before cleaning, unplug it and give it time to cool down.
Some printers have a replacement cartridge which contains both the toner supply and the printing drum. Others have a separate toner cartridge and drum. A color printer has multiple cartridges. All of these have a limited life, and the toner cartridge and drum are on separate replacement cycles.
When the toner cartridges need replacement, you'll get a warning from the control panel, and the print will start getting light or miss places on the paper. Follow all instructions, being careful not to spill any toner or touch sensitive parts of the new cartridge.
The drum, on a printer that has a separate drum unit, needs changing less often than the cartridges. If printing is blurred or smudged and toner levels aren't low, it may be time to replace the drum. Performing this replacement is slightly more difficult than replacing toner cartridges, but on most models it's not an overwhelming task.
A printer should get its current through a surge suppressor. Voltage spikes can reduce the life of a printer or terminate it abruptly.
Keep the printer and the paper supply in an area near room temperature, where it isn't too humid. Make sure the printer has clearance on all sides so it doesn't overheat.
Printers can last much longer than the typical computer. Take good care of your printer, and it will provide you with high-quality output for a long time.