A flat screen television hanging over your fireplace, particularly a built in fireplace, would create the perfect ambience and look fantastic in your living area. But is it sensible to have such a sensitive piece of technology so close to heat? Is it a problem if the room heats up or is it only a problem if your television is under duress from direct heat? This article will try to address some of those questions.
The most obvious and compelling reason to mount your TV over a fireplace is to conserve space. It’s true that TV stands or entertainment centres are becoming increasingly streamlined but so is the desire for homeowners to occupy minimalist spaces. If you can reduce the need for furniture that occupies floor space then that’s a good idea. Your living space will appear far more open and spacious.
It also gives your room a focal point. If you need to ‘dress’ the space around a fireplace and then ‘dress’ a separate space around your television, suddenly your room is cluttered, probably disjointed and lacking a focal point. Having the two together makes the room’s focus very clear.
Aesthetically, and this goes to the point of having a minimalist living space, wires, cords and cables hanging out of your TV are unsightly. TV units contain all the wiring but they are cumbersome and it’s unlikely you could have your entertainment unit close to your fireplace which recreates the focal point of your living space. A wall mounted TV over your fireplace allows the wiring to be hidden in the wall and behind a wall plate – a very tidy alternative.
You should be cautious
New generation TVs can withstand up to 51 degrees Celsius. That’s more heat than you and your family or guests could handle so you may think that your TV over your fireplace is a safe option. However, your television generates its own heat and that combined with the heat generated by your fireplace could tip your TV over the recommended heat limit.
This is what you should do. Firstly. When you purchase your fireplace consult your professional fireplace installer. Hopefully you’ll have consulted and purchased your fireplace from Fireside Heating and visited their fireplace showroom in Sydney.
They will tell you to maintain a distance of 152 to 172 centimetres between the base of your fireplace and your television.
There needs to be plenty of insulation between your TV and fireplace. It’s worth having a thick wall of non-combustible material between your TV and the fireplace to make absolutely sure your TV isn’t in contact with more than 37 degrees celsius heat. If your fireplace wall heats up, cover the wall with a non-combustible material like fiberglass, cork or mineral wool. This will not only protect your TV but also wires, cables and cords.
And on the subject of cords and cables. Hide them in a cable plate. Not only are they likely to melt, they are also flammable. Wires, switches, switch boxes, sockets, and electrical plates should be made of high-quality and inflammable materials. A high-quality emergency MCB (Miniature Circuit Breaker), which automatically trips off if there is some fault in the electric circuit and electronics is a great precaution.
Watch out for soot. Wood that produces large amounts of soot have a high acidic levels which are damaging for TVs. Buy firewood that doesn’t produce a lot of soot.
Finally, you can purchase TVs that include a fireplace mounting warranty. Without this warranty inclusion TV manufacturers are likely to decline warranty claims based on their non compliance with ‘basic care policy’.