Consumer Electronics & Appliance News, Reviews & Information.

Jul 12

How to keep your flat screen TV cool this Summer

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Even your flat screen TV thinks it's getting a bit hot. Background image by gr33n3gg, used under Creative Commons.

I’m not sure if anyone has noticed, but the weather is starting to trend towards the warm these days (some might even say hot).

Amidst all this heat, there’s a silent sufferer in your midst. Stoic, they will never complain about the heat, and won’t mention how hot they are until it may be too late.

I’m speaking, of course, about your flat screen TV.

While you may not think of it much while you try to beat the heat, here are a few simple tips that you can use to keep it cool during the warmer months. Then you can get back fanning yourself, safe in the knowledge that your TV is doing just fine.

Pull it out from the wall

If you have a stand, this might be pretty easy to do: just pull it forward a little bit so that it’s not directly back up against the wall. This will allow air to flow more freely, and lets heat safely dissipate instead of gathering near the top of your flat screen TV, and staying there.

If you’ve got a wall mount, this may be a bit tougher.

For those with cantilever mounts (the pull out kind), you’re already set, go ahead and move onto the next tip. If you’ve got a tilting wall mount, try angling your TV downwards. This exposes more of the back of the TV to the air above it, and since heat rises, it allows the TV to cool down more easily.

For those with fixed mounts. . . well, we’ve got more tips.

Point fans across the back

Now, I’m not suggesting putting up industrial fans around your flat screen, but small 12v fans (commonly used in computers) can help to keep air moving around your system.

While it might seem like the best way to do this would be to point it right at the back of the TV, imagine pointing a fan directly at your face, and turning it on full blast: hard to breathe, huh? It’s the same way with your TV.

By pointing them across the back of your TV, you get better heat dispersion, and that leads to a happier TV (in a purely anthropomorphic sense — I make no claims to knowing how your TV actually feels about this).

Turn off your home theater system

It’s not just the ambient heat that may be contributing to your TV getting warmer. If you’ve got a large home theater system connected to your flat screen TV in a small space, it may be putting off some additional heat.

If you’re not spending the day watching movies that require epic surround sound (the news or the 15th time you’ve watched Spaceballs this month, for example), turning off your home theater receiver can help reduce heat rising up to your flat screen TV.

Because they’re generating power for speakers, these devices can run fairly hot. Despite the pain of listening to TV speaker audio for any length of time, if you need to cool your TV down, it may well be worth the time.

Clark Fork River, Missoula, MT

Can you get this from your TV? Technically, yes, but let's not ruin a beautiful thing.

Watch TV at night

. . .and get outside a little, gol’darnit! It’s Summer after all!

Joking aside, watching your flat screen TV at night, when it’s generally cooler, is one of the easiest ways to keep the heat down not only in your TV, but in your house as well. Just make sure it’s actually turning itself off (look into a green surge protector, just to make sure).

So what do you during the rest of the day? Maybe it’s the perfect time to curl up with your favorite e-reader or tablet? Or you could go outside and enjoy the weather (just saying).

Oh, and if you have any tips to beat the heat — whether it’s for yourself or your flat screen TV — let me know in the comments!

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