Unplugging electronics

Irvine, KY(Zone 6a)

I have seen several suggestions lately for unplugging appliances and other electronic equipment to save energy when you are not using them frequently. This may be a fine idea in some cases, but you must be sure you are not being penny-wise and pound-foolish by doing so.
My DH is an engineer for a major printer manufacturer. We have both laser and inkjet printers with our computer system in our home office. I suggested unplugging the ones we use infrequently; he suggested that in saving a bit of money we might be drastically shortening the life of the hardware. In the case of the laser printer, it periodically stirs the toner in the cartridge to keep it from caking and clumping. In the case of the inkjet, it "spits" a bit of ink periodically to keep the printhead nozzles clear so the ink will flow when needed. An older model used to waste ink cartridges if we didn't use it for several weeks, as it would "gum up." The periodic purging of a small amount prevents this from happening. If either were left unplugged we might find both that the expensive cartridges had become unusable while still full or even that we had damaged the printers themselves. Either would be far more expensive than the few watts of electricity used in the standby mode. Something to think about.

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