Is All Printer Paper The Same?
Not All Paper is Created Equal
There is a wide variety of papers. Office paper, newspaper, and papers whose job I would never wish on my enemies.
Importantly, do you know the largest portion of printer paper jams and the print quality is directly influenced by the quality of paper one uses? The most probable answer is yes, however, the issue of concern is not just about purchasing papers from the bargain bin.
Other factors you have to consider include the humidity and temperature, which can affect the paper and change the end result of the print. This is a scary thought for Texans, on account of the swift and fast weather changes.
The Environmental Effect
Humidity affects the paper. As the paper absorbs moisture from the air, the width of the fibers that make up the paper also increases. However, the length of the fibers remains relatively the same. This causes paper bloat, which causes the edges of the print to curl during high humidity.
Furthermore, modern printers are calibrated adjust settings to different papers automatically. For instance, when you load 4olbs paper and define the papers as such on the printer, it will adjust itself for this particular type of paper. However, when the absorbed humidity causes the papers to behave like 50lbs, you can expect a tad more printer jamming and service problems to arise.
Conversely, low humidity can result in issues as well. According to the Printing Industries of America, during the cold days, when the humidity levels inside pressrooms tend to be low, there are plenty of paper handling issues. Some issues include the formation of tight edges, which in turn cause sheet wrinkling, mis-registers, and elevated static electricity problem.
Temperature can also affect the quality of paper, especially with regards to press roll paper. For instance, if you store paper in a cold storage facility, and open the roll in a hot room, condensation will form in the paper, just as condensation forms on a glass filled with cold water in the summer. While for office papers this problem might not be a big issue, it is still noticeable.
Preventing Environmental Effects On Paper
The most obvious solution to turn to is to store the paper in a controlled environment space. For instance, if your office space has AC with temperature and humidity control capability, you should store the papers in your office. Importantly, the printer should be stored in the same location at best or in a room with the same level of conditioning at the very least.
However, if you cannot store the paper and the printer in a controlled space, store a new ream of paper next to your printer for some period before using it. This allows the paper to adjust to the correct environmental conditions naturally.
The next thing to consider is where you purchase your paper. Do not just look into the retailer or wholesaler but also the miller. Although going to such extreme measures will be a daunting task, it is important nonetheless. Ideally, you should purchase your papers from a mill within your geographical area. Doing so will leave you with papers with less of print-related problems. Such mills use trees that have acclimatized to your local environment. Importantly, when the mills are testing the papers, the tests are conducted under local weather conditions.
Finally, you should purchase high-quality papers. Always remember, you get what you pay for. Generally speaking, the more expensive the higher the quality of the paper. In turn, the higher the quality the less susceptible the paper is to the environmental conditions. The fibers in high-quality papers are tighter, which leaves less room for expansion caused by humidity.
The above are all the considerations you should have in mind if you are facing a jamming issue on your printer or other printer issues in Texas. This poem is a good reminder for you:
Whether the weather be fine
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold
Or whether the weather be hot,
(Paper will be affected by) the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not.