Skip to Content

Is It Better To Turn the TV Off Or Leave it On?

As a TV owner, I’ve often wondered whether it’s better to turn the TV off or leave it on. Frustrated by my own experience, I decided to do some research and testing to find out. Here, I’m sharing what I learned and the solutions I discovered – to help other confused TV owners out there!

It is better to turn a TV off or switch it to standby mode than to leave the TV on. TVs have lower energy boot-up requirements and fewer maintenance concerns which caused problems in older models. Turning a TV off or on standby mode is cheaper and safer than leaving it on.


  • It is better to turn a TV off or switch it to standby mode than to leave it on.
  • Reasons to leave the TV on or turn it off include software updates, scheduled recordings, white noise, radio listening, and energy reduction.
  • Standby mode is a state where the TV functions on a lower energy level than if left on, and it is faster to start the TV from standby mode than entirely switched off.
  • The cost of running a TV depends on wattage, price per unit of electricity, TV size, resolution, and power settings.
  • Ways to reduce electricity bills incurred by your TV include switching off the TV or enabling standby mode, turning down the brightness level, and buying smaller TVs with lower resolutions.

Reasons To Leave The TV On Or Turn It Off

People have many reasons for preferring to have the TV on or off while not watching it directly. Sometimes people use the TV from a different room, such as when they might listen to the radio while doing chores.

Others might find the TV a distraction and prefer to have it switched off to boost their concentration.

Reasons people might want to leave their TV on:

  1. TVs perform software updates at night, so they are left on to avoid missing any.
  2. When you switch the TV off completely, some scheduled recordings may fail.
  3. To completely switch off the TV, it might be necessary to unplug it, and repeated unplugging from the socket may damage the plug.
  4. Some people like the white noise the TV makes in the background, as it may help them destress or fall asleep.
  5. You might want to listen to the radio while you are busy doing chores.

Reasons people might want to turn their TV off:

  1. Turning the TV off saves electricity and thus money.
  2. It is slightly safer to ensure that the TV is off, as there can be no overheating or short circuits that may cause a fire.
  3. Television can be a severe distraction while people are trying to concentrate on other things. When you are busy with hazardous tasks, it can also be dangerous.
  4. Over-exposure to blue light from the television screen may interfere with people’s health, as it interferes with sleep and hormone production.

Another option for energy reduction is putting the TV on standby mode instead of completely turning it off.

While this doesn’t reduce the energy cost of the TV altogether, it is significantly more efficient than leaving the TV on unnecessarily. It is also a middle road to keeping the switched TV on or off.

Leaving Your TV On Standby

Standby mode is a state where the TV functions on a lower energy level than if left on but keeps all the internal components ready for use.

It is usually faster to start a TV from standby mode than entirely switched off, and scheduled updates and recordings are generally uninterrupted by standby mode.

But how does one engage the standby mode? While the button on your remote says “Power,” it usually only puts your TV into standby mode. If you switch your TV on from this state, it boots in seconds.

The usual loading procedure from an off condition takes a bit longer. You can tell that the TV is on standby when it responds to the remote control and its LEDs shine.

Most modern TVs have an automatic standby initiation timer, where the TV automatically goes on standby if it hasn’t received any user inputs in a given amount of time. Users can usually switch off or change this amount of time if they prefer a longer or shorter time.

The Energy Costs Of Leaving Your TV On

The cost of running a TV depends on many factors, including the wattage, price per unit of electricity, TV size, resolution, and power settings of the TV.

According to a recent international study, the average household electricity price in the US is $0.16 per kilowatt hour. So, for every 1000 watts used in an hour, you would expect to add 16 cents to your electricity bill.

To calculate the number of kilowatts used by your TV, multiply the wattage of the TV with the number of hours it is on, then divide by 1000.

In general, larger TVs and TVs with higher resolutions use more electricity than smaller ones and those with lower resolutions. Thus the exact cost will depend on the specifications of the TV.

How The Cost Of Leaving A TV On Varies By Specification

Based on the observation that an average TV in the US uses 58.6W (0.0586-kilowatt hours) when it is on, the average hourly cost of leaving a TV on is 0.94 cents per hour.

And the price of leaving the TV on for the entire day runs up to $0.23. One can similarly calculate the costs for different TVs based on their size, resolution, and power consumption.

The average running costs for a TV that is on permanently vary significantly depending on the size of the TV. Generally, larger TVs cost more to run than smaller ones, and the cost of running a 75-inch TV is more than six times that of a 19-inch TV.

Like the costs associated with screen size, the costs incurred for running higher resolution TVs are also considerably higher than those of running lower resolution sets.

Energy-Saving Tips For Your TV

With rising costs worldwide and with energy sources sometimes running at a premium, it is always wiser to limit your spending where you can. Unnecessary electrical spending puts strain on your wallet and the environment.

Ways to reduce the electricity bills incurred by your TV:

  • Switch off your TV or enable standby mode when nobody is watching.
  • Turn the brightness level of your TV down, as this will reduce the wattage it runs on.
  • If you use your TV as a radio, enable a feature to turn the display power saving on.
  • When buying a new TV, consider the size and type you buy. Smaller TVs consume less energy, but more recent models of large TVs can also be somewhat energy efficient when using the proper settings.


While some may argue in favor of leaving a TV on, it is generally wiser to put it on standby or turn it off. While the TV is on standby, you can easily switch it back on when you want to watch something, and any scheduled recordings and software updates will continue.

While no one is watching the TV, leaving it on poses some health and safety risks, and comes with unnecessary electrical expenditure.

The larger your TV and the higher the resolution, the higher the costs of leaving it on are. Standby mode is a safe and effective way to ensure that your TV is always ready when you need it and will dramatically reduce your utility bills.