Should You Mount Your TV Over Your Fireplace?

Custom Homes Saratoga NY

This article comes from The Spruce.

Should You Mount Your TV Over Your Fireplace?

Few things are cozier than watching television next to a crackling fire. But what about when the TV itself is above the fireplace? Both activities seem to fit together. Plus, due to the layout of some homes, this often appears to be the best—and in some cases, only—arrangement.

But is it ever good practice to mount a TV over a fireplace, either from the standpoint of viewing comfort or safety? In particular, will a TV or any other video monitor become damaged from the nearby heat of the fireplace?

Mount TV Over the Fireplace or Not?

Generally, while you can mount a TV over a fireplace, you should try to place the TV in another location, if at all possible, due to viewing and safety limitations. The issues with mounting the TV over the fireplace center more around the quality of the viewing experience and with user comfort than with damage to the electronics. However, in some cases, a fire might become hot enough to surpass the safe temperature range for your equipment’s electronics.

Pros

  • Best if jacks and plugs already mounted there
  • Limited room space may dictate this arrangement
  • More acceptable with gel or other low-heat fires

Cons

  • Raises screen viewing height too high
  • Fire distracts from viewing
  • Heat from wood-burning and other high-heat fires may affect TV

TV and Video Monitor Heat Limitations

Unlike the cathode ray televisions of the past, which drew from 65 to 133 watts, depending on their size, TV and video monitors produce relatively little heat. The operable word is relatively since screens keep getting larger. For a 50-inch screen, LED TVs can use as much as 100 watts. Plasma TVs—no longer sold but still found on secondary markets—can draw as much as 300 watts. Enclosures are vented to allow the heat produced locally by the electronics to escape. So, subjecting the TV to additional heat can counteract the TV’s normal operations. Sample temperature ranges from a few major manufacturers demonstrate just how low the upper ends of these ranges can be:

  • Samsung LCD: 50 F to 104 F
  • Sony LCD: 32 F to 104 F
  • LG 4K LED: 32 F to 104 F

When Mounting a TV Over a Fireplace Is Acceptable

Cables and Jacks Are Located There

Houses and apartments are often built with recessed niches intended for TV placement. These niches also have an electrical outlet, Ethernet cable, and cable TV jack. In our increasingly wireless world, your WiFi TV may be free of the limitations of cable TV jacks and Ethernet cables. Still, many people tend to prefer the reliability and faster speeds of the Ethernet connection. If your home has a recessed niche above the fireplace with all of the connections you desire, there is no reason why you cannot place a TV there.

Room Space Is Tight

When you need to maximize your small living room and pack in as many functions as possible, you may want to mount the TV over the fireplace. Placing the TV in this area frees up wall space for other elements such as bookcases, furniture, or wall art. Small living rooms demand creative thinking to make everything fit together, and placing the TV over the fireplace may be one way to accomplish this.

You Have a Gas or Gel Fireplace

Over time, home fireplaces have increasingly become cooler. Intensely hot wood fires are becoming a thing of the past, as more communities enact air-quality restrictions and fewer wood fireplaces are being built. Natural gas fireplaces with inserts, particularly ventless gas fireplaces, are considerably cooler. At the low end of the temperature scale are gel fireplaces, which put out less heat than both wood and natural gas fireplaces.

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