When you have a plasma TV it is a good idea to maintain it in a good state. You should do this with any device, but especially with a plasma TV since it is much more expensive than other devices you might have around in your house. Plasma TV maintenance is not a complicated thing and it doesn’t cost you much. Part of this maintenance is about knowing how to clean a plasma TV because I assume you will do this most often.
Water, Humidity and Condensation
First of all, the obvious things should be mentioned because they are also the most important to know. Plasma TVs as any electronic devices don’t go well with humidity so make sure you don’t expose it to excessive humidity, spills or rapid changes in temperature that can produce condensation. Also under no circumstances leave your beer can or glass of water above it or on it. That is like begging for something bad to happen. Also don’t install fish tanks above or very close to your plasma TV and don’t keep plants above it. Normally it doesn’t affect it but if by accident water spills or you break that fish tank you can say good bye to your expensive plasma TV.
Heat, Airflow and Fireplaces
Plasma TVs produce a high amount of heat. This heat must be eliminated and the plasma TV must not overheat or its life will be shortened. In order to allow your plasma TV to run at a healthy temperature you must leave room around it for air to flow. You should find in your plasma TV manual the minimum distance that should be kept around it. If it is not specified, 8 inch (20 cm) is a safe bet.
Many people wonder if installing a plasma TV over a fireplace is a bad thing. If the wall on which you mount the plasma TV emanates heat or if that particular place above the fireplace gets heated more than the rest of the room it’s probably a bad idea to have your plasma TV there. Many fireplace walls however, are isolated so they don’t get hot and it is safe to have your plasma TV mounted there. If you have doubts, maybe you should ask a professional installer to help you with this.
How to Clean the Screen
The proper way to clean the screen is not obvious for many people. The plasma TV screen is a very sensible surface and can get damaged fairly easy. It won’t get damaged in such way that the screen won’t work, but you can damage the anti-glare coating or scratch it.
Manufacturers recommend against using strong cleaners. Usually a micro fiber cloth or mop is enough to remove the dust. It is also effective to a certain level against fingerprints – which you should avoid having on your plasma TV screen. Also, don’t apply to much pressure on the screen. Be gentle.
If you have stubborn dirty spots on the screen and you need a more aggressive approach, you can use cleaners made specifically for plasma or LCD screens. They will not damage the screen so you can use them safely. They are also anti-static so they will prevent dust to adhere to the surface of the screen. Note that you should not spray them directly on the screen but on the cloth. Don’t omit reading your plasma TV manual because the manufacturer might recommend a specific cleaning product.
Calibration and Break-In
Also related to plasma TV maintenance is the calibration and break-in process. By properly calibrating your plasma TV you can extend its life and more importantly help it maintain its colors for a longer time. Calibrating your plasma TV normally involves reducing its brightness and contrast ratio to about 50%. As a side effect this also will reduce the amount of power consumed. The break-in is a process that should be done first thing after buying the plasma TV. Basically it means using your plasma TV in conditions that are not stressful for the screen. The break-in process should be performed for the first 100-200 hours. This is not imperative but it is highly recommended.