11 Things You Should Never Do to Your TV

Modern TVs require special care and attention. We advise you never to do any of these things to your beloved TV.

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Never Mount a TV Above a Fireplace

A fireplace is an aesthetically pleasing and cozy centerpiece in any living space. The downfall? It may leave you with a conundrum: where oh where to put the television?

Let us help you: Anywhere but above the fireplace!

The fireplace can warm up your TV and consequently shorten its lifespan. Plus, if you use the fireplace, soot can get on and into your TV. And if that doesn’t convince you, then think about how uncomfortable it will be to have to look way up there when watching the big game. Instead of the TV above the fireplace, consider one of these clever TV installation ideas.

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Alexei Korshunov/shutterstock

Never Expect a Home Theater

Nothing is worse than turning on your TV, finding where you left off on your current Netflix obsession, and then cranking up the volume and craning your neck to hear the whispered dialogue. TVs have gotten thinner and sleeker and so have their speakers.

At this point, nearly all speakers aren’t designed to produce excellent sound. Make your life infinitely better with an inexpensive solution: a soundbar. Or, if you feel like splurging, follow this buying guide for a home theater system and then set it up yourself.

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Daniel Jedzura/Shutterstock

Never Clean with Chemicals

If you love a spotless house and smudge-free screens, you may want to take out your most dependable cleaner and give your TV a spritz and a quick wipe with your favorite paper towel. Don’t do it! Harsh chemicals can damage the screen and paper towels and other abrasive materials can scratch it.

Instead, follow the more traditional method for how to clean a TV screen:

  1. Turn off the TV.
  2. Wipe it down with a dry, clean rag or duster.
  3. If absolutely necessary, dampen your dry and clean rag with a solution of equal parts water and vinegar, and then clean the screen.
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Naypong Studie/Shutterstock

Never Assume You’ve Mastered Mounting

Sure, mounting a modern TV on a wall is a great space-saver. But proper mounting requires careful attention to detail and a good understanding of the structurally soundness of that wall.

The worst thing you can do is feign confidence when you’ve never done it before. So, choose your TV placement carefully. Find the studs and follow these reliable instructions. Resist the urge to use wall anchors because they won’t work unless you use this one (stressing only this one.)

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Never Underestimate the Tipping Potential

Today’s TVs may be lighter than their predecessors but they still pose a danger, especially if your kiddos like to climb furniture.

If the TV isn’t mounted on the wall, it’s critical that you have a sturdy TV stand that’s the appropriate size. You can be extra certain of this if you build it yourself! As an extra safety precaution, purchase safety straps that will anchor the TV to the wall. Or mount your TV to the wall and stop worrying about it tipping over.

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Never Expose the Mess o’ Wires

Nothing is less attractive than sitting down to watch your crisp, high-def TV, only to be distracted by an ugly mess of wires. It may be stressful to untangle and organize those wires and cables, but it’s even more stressful to look at them all the time.

Wiring the TV correctly is an important first step. Hiding the ugly wires is a critical second step. Try sneaking them into your TV stand, zip-tying some together, or hide them by DIYing this clever and simply contraption.

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Never Forget the Surge Protector

If you bought your TV from a retail store with the help of a salesperson, it’s likely you heard a pitch for an extra powerful and fancy surge protector. While you don’t need the $100+ option, you definitely need an option.

So if you haven’t purchased a surge protector for your TV, buy one now and set it up correctly. It will protect your TV and other expensive devices from any surge of power that could destroy them. If you really want to play it safe, then consider getting a house surge protector.

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LightField Studios/Shutterstock

Never Choose an Awkward Placement on the Wall

If you gather your crew to watch World Series Game 7, award shows or the Olympics, you’ll need to make sure everyone can settle in and see the screen. Too often, TVs are placed too high or too low, giving your audience stiff necks. Guidelines say 56 inches from floor to center of TV for a 42-inch TV, 61 inches for a 55-inch TV and 67 inches for a 70-inch TV.

Another awkward placement: The TV seems correctly positioned, but glare from the afternoon sun prevents actually seeing the afternoon game. Make sure you considered how natural light affects your viewing, unless you don’t mind covering the windows with shades, blinds or curtains. Try these seven genius ideas to get everyone in front of the TV.

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Never Neglect the Calibration

Most TVs today come with accurate settings for color, brightness, contrast, etc. But if you have the patience and ambition to perfect the calibration, then get to it, because it will ultimately make the viewing experience better. You can hire a professional or DIY it, but be sure to educate yourself first!

While you’re thinking of colors on your screen, consider the colors in your house.

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Syafiq Adnan/Shutterstock

Never Cook Your Gadgets

TVs are only as good as the gadgets supporting them. Well, maybe not all the time, but TV gadgets need just as much attention and care as the TV itself if they’re going to last.

Placing your Playstation, Apple TV and/or Blu-ray player (if you still have one) in an enclosed TV stand or cabinet will limit air flow to the devices, thus raising their temperature and shortening their lifespan. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: High temperatures can kill electronics.

Grow your home gadgets collection with these 19 tech tolls and accessories.

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Never Lay it Flat

If you ever move your TV, keep it upright at all times. They’re designed so the weight is evenly distributed when they’re standing up. If laid down, they’re no longer balanced, so gravity can pull the edges down. Then, potentially, the screen will crack. Talk about a moving catastrophe. Make moving a breeze with these tips.

And check out these 14 clever hints for moving furniture so you can see the TV better!

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Hannah Louise
I help people tell stories, whether that's about themselves, their company, or their product. Every project I take on has one priority: make sure the audience connects with the content. I've fine-tuned this skill over the past decade by creating content for audiences from C-suites to new hires in organizations large and small. I launched my career as a generational keynote speaker (think dispelling myths about Millennials/Xers/Boomers) and worked my way to being a principal of a consulting firm and published author by writing, presenting, and editing books, blogs, white papers, and research analysis. I bring my values of collaboration, humility, and research-driven strategies to everything I do. I'm also a cat owner, coffee enthusiast, and new home owner (you know, your stereotypical Millennial traits.)