When you finally make your dreams come true and build or buy an amazing house with a porch, you start thinking about decorating it and using all its advantages. One of them is to sit outside and enjoy different porch activities, especially if you have decided to screen your porch. Screened porches enable you to sit in front of your house and read a book, drinking a cup of tea, or even watch TV. This last activity is actually the most complicated and the most expensive.
Watching TV on the porch is, without any doubt, quite amazing. Just imagine you and your friends watching a football game on a large screen on your porch, making barbecue and drinking beer. However, using a TV outside the house may cause various problems if you don’t think it through and don’t obey the simplest rules of electronic device use. Sadly, many people decide to ignore them. In order to save some money and provide more fun, they decide to mount a cheap indoor TV in front of the house. Eventually, this causes various problems not only to the TV but to the entire house and all the devices inside it.
This happens because mounting an indoor TV on a porch is the simplest, the fastest and the cheapest solution at one moment. Although outdoor-rated TVs exist, they are very expensive and people don’t decide so easily to spend so much money on any TV, no matter how good it is. However, once the cheapest solution usually turns into the most expensive one.
The Reasons Why You Should Never Install an Indoor TV Outside
Electronic devices always come with a certain level of risk as they can cause different problems and great damage to your house but also to the people who use them. One of the greatest problems with these devices is that they can’t work without electric current and that the smallest damage can cause an electric shock. When you bring an indoor TV outside and expose it to extreme conditions every day, the risk level increases significantly, and we are sure that you don’t want to expose your family, especially your kids, or yourself to the risk of being electrocuted.
Whenever an object is left outdoors, exposed to the temperature variations and different weather conditions, you can’t expect it to last for a long time if it isn’t made particularly for outdoor use. Indoor TVs aren’t made for that and this is why they get damaged so easily when they are used improperly. People often think that leaving indoor TVs under a patio is enough to make them safe from humidity, dirt, dust, insects, and sunlight, which are their greatest enemies, but they are wrong. Even if your TV is outdoor rated, it would be good to protect it physically from all these things but if you’re using an indoor TV outside your house, you really can do nothing to provide long-term protection for it.
When we say “humidity”, we actually think about all the ways that water can use to get into your TV. The simplest way is when it is raining heavily and your porch is not well protected or when you or your neighbors turn hedge sprinklers on. It may seem impossible that water can reach the TV this way but you would be surprised how easily water finds its way to every hole and every crack, and then to your device.
Also, if you live by the sea, you have probably noticed how the sea air comes to your house every day bringing the salt, which can get into the ports and jacks of your TV, causing them to corrode. Don’t forget about the fog because it can penetrate even through your deck cover and reach every object on the porch.
In addition, there is condensation. Indoor TVs usually aren’t meant to be used at extremely low or extremely high temperatures because they are indoor TVs and they are supposed to work at room temperature (approximately 20°C). This is why the manufacturers don’t build big powerful fans into them. When you mount a TV like that on your porch and the temperature reaches 30, 35 or more degrees, condensation can’t be avoided. Also, it can happen in the dawn, when the temperature is getting higher. Water usually condenses, goes inside the TV housing and damages the main circuit board, which causes the complete breakdown.
If you thought that screening your porch will completely protect you from insects, you were wrong. Just like water, they somehow always find their way to the objects they want to destroy. If they don’t find any hole in the screen that is big enough for them to go through, they will find their way through your ventilation grill. Once they reach your TV and manage to crawl inside it, they can seriously damage the cables and installations, which will eventually lead to complete destruction.
In case you have planned to use your TV outside your house only occasionally, we have to warn you about unexpected weather changes. It is likely that you will forget to bring the TV back inside at some point. If a thunderstorm surprises you while you are at work and your kids in school, you are done with that specific TV. It takes only one thunderstorm to destroy it because you can’t really do anything against the mixed effect of water and wind. Once the water/rain gets inside the TV, it will cause micro-bursts that will subsequently cause serious damages.
Also, if you live in a windy area with a lot of dust and dirt, you can’t really protect the device from being completely clogged and destroyed by them. The dust can go through the smallest holes and it manages to reach any place in the world, even the most protected one.
In addition, sunny weather and high temperatures can also harm electronic devices. Extremely high temperatures cause the plastic to melt and water to condensate just like direct exposure to the sunlight causes serious damages on the TV screen.
Cables are a very important part of a TV assembly and you should not forget about them. They should always be well protected and you should make sure that they are tested to survive severe conditions. If you use regular cables, which people usually do, you can’t expect them to last for a long time. However, their damages can cause many problems, especially electrocutes.
When you put on your porch a TV that isn’t equipped to be there, you can expect some black spots to appear after some time due to the exposure to the sunlight. Also, you won’t be able to watch it normally even if you place it in the shadow because outside the house is always brighter than inside and during the day, you will always have that annoying glare on the screen. Just remember how annoying it is when you move your curtains and the sunlight reaches a TV in your living room. Even then, you can you can see the glare on the screen. That is because indoor TVs produce a maximum brightness of 350 to 400 nits, while outdoor use requires brightness of at least 700 nits.
Also, TV speakers are never very loud and this is the reason why many people use speaker systems or soundbars when watching something on their TV. They produce louder, cleaner and generally better sound. When you place the TV outside your house, you have to count on the ambient noise that will additionally decrease the level of audibility. In this case, speakers and soundbars would inappropriate because they would annoy your neighbors.
Warranty is an important part of every big purchase and buying a TV is one of them. Most of us usually don’t read manuals and warranty cards but we really should. If you purchase an indoor TV, place it outdoors and something goes wrong, your warranty will immediately be compromised and you won’t be allowed to get the TV repaired for free.
Finally, we have come to one of the most important reasons – money. Indoor TVs aren’t expensive but if you mount one on your porch and it breaks down, which is highly likely, you will have to spend extra money on repair or on a new TV.
What Can You Do?
After everything we have said, there are only two options left. One of them is cheaper but it requires more time and more effort, and it consists of finding the safest place for an indoor TV on your porch and protecting it with some kind of box, enclosure or cover, which can be made or bought for a small amount of money.
The other option is very simple but it is not so great for your home budget. This option is called an outdoor TV and it is actually amazing. It is brighter than indoor TVs and you will be able to watch it normally even if sunlight hits it directly; it is resistant not only to water but also to wind, dust or pollen and it performs perfectly at all temperatures. The only problem with these devices is their price as it starts at $1000.