Is it Safe to Mount a TV Over a Fireplace?

tv over a fireplace

Picture this: you’ve got the fireplace going, some hot chocolate, and a warm blanket to snuggle up with. All you’re missing is a TV over the fireplace to watch your favorite movie  But before you put one there, is it safe to mount your TV over a fireplace?

Fire is hot enough to melt steel, and your TV only has a plastic covering. Even if it isn’t directly in the fire, the heat is going to rise up to the television. Plastic has a lower melting point, meaning it could possibly warp its expensive components.

The answer to whether you should mount a TV there isn’t a short yes or no. So join us as we discuss everything you need to know about mounting a TV above your new fireplace installation.

How Much Heat Will Damage a Television?

Anyone who has worked with electronics knows one thing: heat is really bad for them. Every electronic device has an acceptable temperature range. Get too high above that range, and you could temporarily or permanently damage a device.

Most electronics have active or passive methods to wick away heat. For example, computers will use internal fans to pull in cool air and push out hot air. This keeps them at an acceptable operating temperature no matter their conditions.

TVs, on the other hand, usually do not have an active cooling system. Instead, they have a design that allows heat to escape naturally. Under normal operation, even in hot and humid climates, you shouldn’t have trouble running a TV.

But you might be surprised by what the temperature threshold is for most TVs. It only takes a temperature of about 125°F before damage begins to occur. For reference, your stovetop can create temperatures of up to 300°F.

Most televisions run just fine inside at hot temperatures. Except in very rare instances of extreme heat, you do not need to worry about cooling them down.

Is a Fire Hot Enough to Damage Your Television?

Yes, absolutely. The heat that wafts up from your fireplace can and will reach 125°F. And unfortunately, you may not notice the effects until it is too late.

If your television overheats, pixels will begin to die. Internal components may begin to expand, melt, or lose their efficiency. Given enough time, these damages may require extensive repairs or an entire replacement.

Your fireplace, whether it’s a gas fireplace, electric fireplace, or wood fireplace, can heat the entire room. It only makes sense that this heat will be most extreme closest to the fireplace. Just stand a few feet away, and you will discover very quickly that it is too hot for you, let alone a television.

Placement matters here. If you were to mount your television off to the side, this would be much less of a concern. Heat rises, so a television a few feet to the left or right should be safe. As a general principle, you shouldn’t put anything too close to the fireplace due to the risk of fire hazards.

However, it’s going to be an eyesore to have a television off-center. Fortunately, there is a way to mount a TV above the fireplace if you’re dead set on that location.

How to Mounted TV over a Fireplace

As we’ve said, the primary enemy of your TV is the heat rising up from the fireplace. As you might have guessed, the solution is to divert that heat away from your television. With the right sort of obstacle, the heat will go around and leave it unscathed.

Use a Mantel

A mantel is often an integral part of the fireplace. It’s an excellent location to place decorations or hang stockings during Christmas. It also just so happens to be an excellent barrier against the heat.

As long as your mantel is thick and protruding, the heat will route around the mantel and pass by the television harmlessly.

We recommend that you check the guide to your television. In some cases, they may have special instructions for mounting your television over the fireplace. If they don’t, you can always contact their customer support and see if they have further guidance.

Of course, you can avoid this problem in the first place by having your fireplace installer account for this. They’ll make sure your television has ample space to allow proper cooling.

Use an Alcove

If you’re not a fan of the mantel idea, or if you prefer a different design aesthetic, then consider an alcove. This is a recessed opening in the wall where you can stand your TV.

Instead of blocking the heat like a mantel, the alcove keeps your television out of the heat’s path. Rather than drifting up around your TV, the heat drifts in front of it to the ceiling.

Like the mantel, not just any alcove will do. You need one that is sufficiently deep to give the TV space from the heat path. Remember, your television is going to vent heat passively to maintain the right operating temperature.

If you’re open to the idea, you can use both. An alcove and mantel is a great design choice. It gives you more peace of mind having two levels of protection against the heat.

Electric Fireplaces 6

Get Your Fireplace and TV Combo Installed Right

The good news is that you can install a TV over a fireplace. However, you absolutely need a mantel or alcove to protect it from extreme heat. If you haven’t yet installed your fireplace, then you should turn to a professional to do it properly.

At Dreifuss Fireplaces, we specialize not just in the fireplace, but in the surrounding decor that makes it blend into your home–TV included! Visit our website and find the fireplace of your dreams.

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