How Many Amps Does a Printer Use

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Updated November 22, 2022

Printers generally only operate when plugged into an electrical outlet, leading some consumers to wonder just how much power their advanced home printer is drawing during use and even when not in use.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Printers are generally not considered to be too outlandish when it comes to energy consumption.
  • An average inkjet printer should use around 30 to 50 watts during use and three to five watts when on standby.
  • To help save on electricity costs, keep the printer powered down when not in use and unplug it.

How Much Electricity Do Printers Use?

The specific amount of electricity used by a printer will depend on the make and model of the printer itself. However, there are some commonalities. Your average home-based inkjet printer should use 30 to 50 watts of power when in use and can use up to five watts of power when the device is in standby mode. If you are curious, you can read our article to learn more about how inkjet printers work.

Commercial printers, such as laser printers, tend to draw more electricity than standard inkjet printers. Note that specialty printers like the Silhouette Crafting printer may use more power than a standard printer, so check the manufacturer’s specifications if this is a concern. Then, printers used in architecture and construction are even more powerful and use a ton of watts. For more on this, read our guide on what is a plotter printer.

As you understand how much electricity your printer is consuming, you should also understand all your printer’s security features. These will help in securing your gadgets from hackers that can access them through your printer.

Insider Tip

Your average home-based inkjet printer should use 30 to 50 watts of power when in use and can use up to five watts of power when the device is in standby mode.

Tips to Reduce Your Printer’s Electricity Cost

The overall cost of a printer can go up significantly if it uses a lot of watts. Here are some general tips to keep in mind if you want to minimize electricity consumption when it comes to household appliances, including your printer.

Power it Down

If you want to eliminate any electricity that is drawn by a printer when it is in standby mode, you should power the device down when it is not in use. A printer that has been put to sleep will still need around three to five watts of power to keep subsisting. A printer that has been fully powered down will not need any voltage whatsoever until the next time it has been turned on. The downside here is that it will take a little bit of time to power the printer back on when needed, so this method is great for home use but not so great for a highly trafficked office environment.

Insider Tip

A printer that has been fully powered down will not need any voltage whatsoever until the next time it has been turned on.

Unplug the Printer

Another simple procedure to help save on electricity costs is to simply unplug the printer from the power outlet when it is not in use. This is similar to the above method of powering the printer down when not in use, but unplugging it entirely will add another layer of protection. This can also be done by plugging the printer into a power strip or surge protector and then simply turning the strip off when you are done using the printer. Like above, turning the printer back on when necessary will take a little bit of time. If your printer is not on consistently, the total pages printed from your toner cartridge will increase. You can also learn more about how long laser printer toner lasts. Lastly, while the printer is powered down, you may want to learn how to clean a laser printer or how to clean the printer heads if it is an inkjet printer.

Make Use of an Energy Calculator

If you want to keep track of how much energy is being used by your printer and other home appliances, you should seek out an energy calculator application. These can be found online via your average web browser, and plenty of apps are available for smartphone users. And if you are concerned about your printer’s efficiency, you may want to consider if it is worth buying one of the latest printer models.

F.A.Q.

What is the printer power consumption measured in?

Typically, these metrics are measured in kilowatts per hour, meaning the number of kilowatts used during one hour of operation or standby mode.


How much power does a laser printer draw?

Generally speaking, a laser printer will be more power-hungry than an inkjet printer, but the actual numbers will vary wildly depending on the make and model and how often it is used.


What affects how much power is used?

A number of variables can impact how much power a printer uses, including the efficiency rating of the printer itself, how properly maintained it is, and how often it is being used.



STAT: Your printer is on standby mode for about 75 percent of the time that it is not printing and sleeping the remaining 25 percent. (source)

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