So much time is spent in front of the TV and with the increase in viewing options, this is not likely to change any time soon. For better or worse, your television is one the most used, most prized, and perhaps even most expensive of your electronic devices. Here are some tips for cleaning and maintaining it to increase its longevity and maximize your viewing pleasure.
1. Turn the TV off
TVs have a lifecycle of about 65,000 hours. Leaving the TV running at all times even when no one is watching compromises its longevity, causing the lifespan to decrease. Running it continuously may also lead to it needing repair after a few years. Simply switch the TV off when you’re not watching it.
2. Use a surge protector
Like with the rest of your electronics, you need to protect your TV from voltage spikes that can damage your devices. Voltage fluctuation can occur after power blackouts when power is suddenly restored. It can also occur when there is a continuous power supply and during weather events like thunder and lightning. You can use one surge protector to protect multiple devices.
3. Optimal brightness
Setting your TV’s brightness at the maximum setting forces your TV to work harder. This can reduce the lifespan of your TV. Too much brightness is also bad for your own vision. Set the brightness to something that works for you, not necessarily the highest possible level.
4. Appropriate use of contrast
High contrast also forces the TV to work harder, using more processing power to deliver the images. This compromises the lifespan of your TV. It is advisable to vary the contrast from time to time and just set what works for you, not necessarily the highest level.
Like the rest of your electronics, your TV needs to breathe. TVs generate a lot of heat due to the amount of electricity used. It is important to leave some room between your TV and the wall and have it a relatively open space so that air can circulate cooling it. Poor ventilation makes the internal circuity remain heated instead of cooling which decreases the lifespan. Heat is the enemy of electronics, give them room to cool.
6. Clean from time to time
Dust is the enemy of electronics in much the same way heat is. Dust is detrimental to your TV’s health, settling not just on the surface but sometimes even finding its way inside the TV. It can cause your device to respond slowly. If you live in a particularly dusty area or maybe near a construction zone that is kicking up a lot of dust, you can use a vacuum pump meant for electronic items or have an electrician do it.
General TV cleaning is far easier not requiring specialized equipment or trained personnel. For simple dust build-up on the screen, just wipe the TV with a dry, soft cloth. Don’t use paper towels or tissues because they can easily scratch sensitive screens. You need soft, anti-static microfiber cloth like the one used to clean eyeglasses and camera lenses.
Begin by turning off the TV. Then gently wipe the screen but don’t press hard. TV screens are really sensitive. If the screen is dirtier or has stains that cannot be removed by the soft dry cloth, then you can use a very mild dish soap solution to wipe the screen. Panasonic recommends a ratio of 100:1 of water to dishwater soap. Do not spray the water or dish soap directly onto the screen. Only apply the solution to the cloth then wipe down using the damp cloth. You can also use a mixture of distilled water and vinegar in a ratio of 50:50 if you think the TV is especially dirty.
Avoid cleaning products that contain ammonia, alcohol, and acetone. This means no window cleaners such as Windex and Everclear. These chemicals can react with the materials the flat screen is made of or coated with, which could permanently discolour the screen or cause other kinds of damage.
Clean the TV housing or frame as well. This part is made of plastic and is not nearly as high stakes as cleaning the sensitive screen. Try cleaning the holes and pots to catch any dust that may have piled up. You can use toothpicks and cotton swabs for the smaller crevices.
Clean the remote as well. The remote is often forgotten when it is one of the devices in the home that needs the most cleaning solely on the amount of contact people have with it. Remove the batteries before you start cleaning. Do not spray any liquid on it. Just wipe it with a damp cloth, not dripping wet. Slap it face down against your palm to remove any debris that may have lodged between the keys or buttons. Clean the area between the buttons with a cotton swab that’s dampened with alcohol/water mix or even sanitiser. Wipe it down with a dry cloth then reinstall the batteries.
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