Smelling burned plastic coming from your TV will have you instantly worried. But should you be? Find out what could be causing the smell and what to do in this article.

Why Your TV Smells Like Burned PlasticWhat to Do
It is new. New TVs often release an initial burning odorWait 3 days for the smell to pass
Poor ventilationRemove clutter
It is old. There is an unknown problemTurn it off
It has a short circuitTurn it off
It is overheatingAdjust the settings
It is dustyDust it

A burning smell on your TV could be normal, or something very dangerous. Keep reading to find out what causes the burning smell and put your mind to rest.

Family watching TV
Any burning smell on your TV should be checked out for safety!

Solving A Plastic-Smelling Television

There’s nothing that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck faster than the smell of burning at home. And if the smell is coming from your TV, it could be an expensive problem.

As crazy as it sounds, not all burning smells that come from TVs warrant panic. So let’s jump right to it so that you can find out whether your TV needs immediate attention or not. We will discuss some of the possible reasons why your appliance smells like burning. We will also see what you should do.

Your TV Is New

Do you have a brand new TV? Then you no doubt were ecstatic while you unpacked it and set it up. There’s nothing more exciting than sitting down to watch a movie on a brand new television. But that initial excitement may have quickly changed to fear if you smell burning coming from your new appliance.

Why does the TV smell?

If your TV is new, it is likely to give off a smell during the first few days of use. There are a couple of reasons why new televisions give off an unpleasant burning smell. Here are some of them.

  • TVs are made up of parts with plastic coatings. These may produce a smell the first time they are warmed up. Electronics contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). These compounds smell as they dissipate into the air the first time you use them. The smell should disappear after a few days and not return.
  • The TV doesn’t have enough room to ventilate. Is your new TV packed tightly against other furniture? The heat of the fan against the furniture could create odors.
Brand new TV
Your new TV might smell like burning for a few days

Ok, we’ve now figured out some of the reasons why a new TV could smell. So, what should you do if yours does? Take a look. 

ScenarioWhat You Should DoWhat You Should Do If the Smell Persists
You have a new TVThe burning smell coming from a new TV set is normal. It may smell for the first few days you use it.  If the smell persists for more than a few days, you should stop using it and call a technician. This could indicate that there is a larger fault at hand.
The TV doesn’t have enough room to ventilateMake room for the TV to ventilate properly. You can do this by trying the following.  

– Remove some of your furniture away from it
– Ensure that the fan is not obstructed
– Is your TV fixed to a wall? Then make sure there is a small gap between the wall and the TV for air to flow.
If the smell continues even when the TV has enough ventilation room, you should stop using it. Then call a technician. There may be a larger fault at hand.

Your TV Is Old

Is your TV more than 5 years old? Then you may start to experience some problems with the unit. One of the most concerning is a burning smell coming from the television. Let’s have a look at why this happens and what you should do if it does.

Why does the TV smell?

If your TV is old, it could give off odors for many reasons. Take a look at some of them.

  • The electrics in the TV short circuit. During a short circuit, the television will dissipate a strong odor. This odor is not harmful.
  • The TV overheats. If your TV overheats, it could begin to release a burning smell. This is especially true of older models.
  • The TV is dusty. Your television may have collected dust on the outside and inside. When the electrical components on the inside of the TV heat up, they also heat up the dust. This could be the cause of a musty, burning smell. This is more common in older models.
  • The TV doesn’t have enough room to ventilate. Is your old TV packed tightly against other furniture? Then the heat of the fan against the furniture could create odors.
  • There is a major problem with the TV. It is likely a problem with the capacitor components.

We’ve now seen a couple of reasons why an old TV might start to smell like burning. So what should you do if yours does? Here are some tips.

ScenarioWhat You Should DoWhat You Should Do If the Smell Persists
The electronics in the TV short circuitUnplug the TV immediately. Call a technician.  Unplug the TV immediately. Call a technician.
The TV overheatsIf your TV is overheating, then it could be because it is working too hard. Changing some of its settings may help it to cool down. Try doing the following  

– Lower the video resolution. To do this, go to “Menu”, “Settings” then, “Picture Settings”. Take the video resolution down one setting.
– Lower the brightness. To do this go to “Menu”, “Settings”, “Picture Settings”. Take the brightness down to 80%.
– Allow the TV to run for a little while to see if the problem has improved
If the TV still smells after you have adjusted the settings, unplug it immediately and call a technician. There could be an underlying fault with it.
The TV is dustyYour TV may smell like burning because it is dusty. You should remove the dust from the outside and the inside of the unit. To clean it do the following.
 
– Unplug the television. Never spray chemicals directly onto the TV.
– Use a duster to remove the dust from outside the TV
– Use compressed air to spray the dust out of the inside of the unit as you would from a computer  
(For more tips on cleaning your TV screen, check out this video.)
If the TV still smells after it has been cleaned, unplug it immediately and call a technician. There could be a more serious problem with it.
The TV doesn’t have enough room to ventilateMake room for the TV to ventilate properly. You can do this by trying the following.  

– Remove some of the furniture away from it
– Ensure that the fan is not obstructed
– Is your TV fixed to a wall? Then make sure there is a small gap between the wall and the TV for air to flow.
If the smell continues even when the TV has enough ventilation room, you should stop using it. Then call a technician. There may be a larger fault at hand.
There is a major problem with the TVIf none of the above mentioned fixes match your TV’s problem, unplug it immediately. Then call a technician.Unplug the television and call a technician.

Conclusion

If your TV starts to smell like burned plastic, you will immediately feel alarmed. But as we’ve seen in this article, if you have a new TV, the smell may not be something that you need to worry about.

If this article has helped you, then why not check out some of our other articles and free guides? You could even sign up to our email list!

Have a great day!

-Craig