TVs can sometimes get warm to the touch. They can even become too hot to touch in extreme conditions. If your TV gets hot when you use it continuously for a few hours, you might wonder whether that’s normal.
In this article, we discuss whether TVs emit heat. We also compare the heat generation of different TV types, including LCD TVs, OLED TVs, and older plasma TVs.
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Do TVs Emit Heat?
TVs, like other electronic devices, are not 100% power efficient. When electric current flows through the electronics inside your TV, it generates heat due to resistance. The amount of heat a TV generates depends on a few factors.
Different TV technologies generate different amounts of heat. For example, LCD TVs generate less heat compared to plasma TVs.
TV size also affects its heat generation. Larger TVs have higher wattages and generate more heat compared to smaller TVs.
The power efficiency of electronics inside a TV also affects how much heat it generates. Newer TVs are typically more power efficient and generate less heat than older TVs.
Different TV features can also affect the total heat generation. For example, additional features in smart TVs can generate more heat.
A rough method to estimate the maximum heat generation of a TV is to look at its wattage. A significant portion of that rated power will convert to heat in most TVs. However, this is only an approximation, and the actual heat generation depends on the TV’s power efficiency.
Heat Emission Of LCD/LED, OLED, And Plasma TVs
Plasma TVs pass electricity through a gas mixture to create plasma that emits heat and UV light. The UV light then excites the phosphor coating to produce visible light. In a plasma TV, most of the input power converts to heat. Therefore, they generate more heat than other TV types like LCD TVs and OLED TVs.
Both LCD TVs and LED TVs currently refer to LCD TVs with LED backlights. Thanks to the LED backlight, they are more power efficient and generate less heat than older CRT TVs and plasma TVs. In most cases, LCD TVs are also more power efficient and generate less heat than OLED TVs.
OLED TVs use organic light-emitting diodes and don’t require any backlight. They generate significantly less heat than CRT TVs and plasma TVs. However, they are generally more power-hungry and produce more heat than similar-sized LCD TVs.
The heat generation of different TVs can also depend on many other factors.
The heat generation of LCD TVs depends on the brightness of the LED backlight. When you use a higher brightness, they will generate more heat. Older LED backlights also produce more heat than newer LED backlights.
On the other hand, the heat generation of OLED TVs depends on the brightness and the images they display. They generate more heat when displaying brighter colors, like white.
Features like HDR and Smart TV functions can also increase the heat generation of a TV.
Do Smart TVs Emit More Heat Than Regular TVs?
Smart TVs can generate more heat than similar non-smart TVs. They have a processor that runs their Smart TV OS. They also have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other additional electronics. All these electronics increase the total power consumption and heat generation. Therefore, when all else is the same, a smart TV will generate more heat than a non-smart TV.
However, the additional heat generation of a smart TV is typically negligible. You can also turn off unnecessary features of a smart TV to lower its power consumption and heat generation. It is also possible to turn your smart TV into a regular TV using the TV settings. Refer to your TV’s user manual for the exact steps.
Do Large TVs Emit More Heat?
Large TVs emit more heat than small TVs. They have larger displays that need more electricity. Therefore, they typically have higher power consumption and generate more heat.
However, newer big-screen LCD TVs and OLED TVs have significantly lower heat generation compared to similar size older TVs.
Can Your TV Heat Up Your Room?
Big-screen TVs with higher wattages can heat up your room. Older plasma TVs can heat up a room significantly. Newer LCD TVs and OLED TVs are more power efficient and won’t usually heat up a room.
Whether a TV will heat up your room depends on a few factors. TVs with higher wattages can heat up your room because of their higher heat generation.
The room size and the airflow also matter. Larger rooms with good airflow will not heat up due to a power-hungry TV.
Can Your TV Overheat And Cause Internal Damage?
TVs can overheat due to several reasons. Overheating can damage their electronics and lower their lifespan.
High ambient temperatures can cause your TV to overheat. Therefore, your TV is more likely to overheat in summer than in winter. Using a TV continuously for long hours can also cause it to overheat.
Poor ventilation can also increase the likelihood of overheating. When there’s not sufficient airflow around the TV, there’s no way for the heat to dissipate. For example, if you place your TV inside a cabinet, it may overheat due to poor airflow.
Dust accumulation can also cause your TV to overheat. Dust and debris can clog the TV’s air vents and block the airflow.
Malfunctioning TV electronics can also cause it to overheat. Short circuits, for example, can generate heat inside the TV and cause overheating.
Direct sunlight can also cause your TV to overheat.
How To Prevent Your TV From Overheating?
When watching TV for extended periods of time, turn it off occasionally and let it cool down. Simply touching a corner of the TV will reveal whether it is overheating. If the TV is too hot to touch, then immediately turn it off and let it cool down.
On the other hand, it is ok for the TV to become slightly warm to the touch. In that case, you don’t have to worry about overheating. Refer to your TV’s user manual and find its safe operating temperature range.
You should also make sure that the TV gets good ventilation. Do not place the TV inside closed cabinets or any other closed enclosures.
Unclog dust from the TV’s ventilation openings. Use a soft brush to wipe away the dust.
Also, ensure that the TV doesn’t get direct sunlight for long durations. You should be careful with this when you place your TV next to a window.
If you’ve checked everything else and the TV still overheats, you can use an external cooling fan to keep it cool. USB cooling fans are available for this purpose. You can power them using your TV’s USB ports or using separate USB power adapters.
Similar to all other electronic devices, TVs also emit heat. Their heat generation depends on their technology, size, power efficiency, and features. Modern LCD and OLED TVs have much lower heat generation than older CRT and plasma TVs.
The wattage of a TV is a rough indication of its maximum heat generation. Therefore, higher-wattage TVs generally emit more heat.
To prevent your TV from overheating, you should make sure that it gets good airflow. Also, clean the TV regularly and remove dust from the air vents.