Cold Weather Printing Tips
The temperatures are dropping around the country as winter hits with full force. To maintain a comfortable environment, we turn up those thermostats and increase the output of warm, dry air into our homes and offices.
Though many people have humidifiers for relief from the dryness, most do not. This can result in a number of inkjet printer problems.
All papers retain of small amount (3-5%) of moisture to prevent them from being brittle. Most paper is manufactured at 45-55% relative humidity. If the air surrounding the paper falls to a level of 25-35% due to local conditions, it will attempt to regain balance by losing some of its moisture content. Many Red River inkjet papers are only coated for printing on one side, or have different coatings on front and back. When the paper loses or gains water, one side of the paper can flex more than the other resulting in curl and static problems.
The result is curled sheets of inkjet paper that will not feed consistently in your printer. Papers that are printable on one side experience the greatest change in curl as the humidity changes.
If you are seeing curl on a regular basis, here are some tips to reduce the problem.
Purchase a hygrometer. Keep it in your print room and use it as your primary reference. While outside humidity is important, the humidity levels in your home or office are what truly count. You will find lots of choices on the internet. Here are two to consider from Amazon - Link / Link
Use double-sided papers. Products like 60lb. Polar Matte Double-Sided have equal coating on front and back, which helps mitigate curl.
Use resin coated papers. Papers like UltraPro Satin, Polar Gloss Metallic, and Arctic Polar Luster are coated with plastic front and back. The plastic forms a barrier and stabilizes the paper's moisture content.
By using a small room humidifier where you print, a great deal of feeding problems in the winter can be avoided. An improvement of only 10% from 28% to 38% can make a big difference.
We hope that this is helpful and informative.