If we have to keep buying ink, we’re darn well using all of it.
Printers are usually built to last, but when coupled with the kind of junk that people like to print off on a regular basis, they can take quite a beating. When I still lived with my parents, I’d often act as my mom’s repair guy for her home office’s printer. Even when she didn’t seem to be doing anything especially wrong, her printer would still find new and interesting ways to break itself, presumably out of spite. If you’re printer’s being fussy, you might need to change up how you use it slightly in order to maximize its lifespan.
First, try to only utilize high-quality paper and ink in your printer. I know, I know, the ink cartridge business is the worst, you won’t get any argument from me on that, but the fact of the matter is that if you want to use a printer, you gotta play by their rules. At the very least, you should only buy new, name brand ink cartridges. Knock-offs are cheaper, yes, but they may not be entirely compatible with your printer. They may work at first, but there’s a much greater chance of ink jams and leaks if your cartridge wasn’t designed specifically with your model of printer in mind. The same goes for paper; every printer has an ideal size of paper for its tray. If you use cheap loose leaf that isn’t sized properly, you’re more likely to get tears and paper jams.
If you’re not actively using your printer, you should put on standby mode, or just turn it off entirely. Printers have to warm up to do their thing, but if you leave them in that warmed-up state constantly, the parts could become overly-warm or start sticking. It’s also important to give your printer a periodic break so it can update its firmware and security protocols. While having your printer hacked is less common that having your computer hacked, it can happen, which in addition to endangering your network, can also void your printer’s warranty.
As with any other piece of hardware in your home, treat your printer with care and respect, and it will return the feelings in turn. If it feels like it.