One of the latest trends is to place a television above the fireplace. While this is beautiful and a good use of space, there are some practical considerations before making that move.
Have you ever sat in the front row at the theatre and left with a sore neck after the movie? In smaller rooms, consider what angle you will be viewing from and for how long. For maximum comfort, the TV should be at a level without needing to raise your head. Will most of your viewing occur sitting or standing?
Heat output of your fireplace
Being in a northern climate we tend to rely on our fireplaces more so than our southern neighbours. Is your fireplace used as a heating source or just for occasional use? Is it a heater rated fireplace or an ambiance fireplace? How frequently do you use it? You need to consider the heat output effect on the appliance directly above. Heat and plastic usually don’t do well together. You can lessen the heat reaching the TV by installing a mantel to deflect the heat away and maybe recessing the TV avoiding the direct path of rising heat.
Fireplace manufacturer’s recommended clearances
There are certain clearances to combustibles that need to be followed above and around your fireplace opening. Review your fireplace’s installation manual to ensure they will be met for safety reasons.You may not be able to install your TV as low as you had hoped and maintain minimum clearances. Will your viewing angle still be comfortable?
Your television’s warranty requirements
Review the television warranty to ensure you don’t void it by subjecting it to high temperatures. Most manufacturers define an optimal operating temperature range with maximum temperatures ranging from 37 to 51 degrees Celsius. Tape a thermometer to wall where the bottom of your TV would be and test what temperature readings you are getting with the fireplace at the highest setting or maximum output. The TV will work in the higher temperatures, but the real question is how long and if it does stop working within the warranty period, will the manufacturer honor it. Many televisions have built-in heat sensors as a safety feature that will shut it them down if overheated; that could get frustrating while watching your favorite program or movie.
Electrical provisions for the TV
For existing fireplaces it may be difficult to get electrical wires safely to where they are needed. Keep wires away from hot surfaces behind fireplace walls by using a conduit or cable trays that are firmly secured.
Proportions and Aesthetics
The size of your TV in relation to the size of the fireplace opening are important if you are concerned with the design aspect and potentially resale value of your home. The fireplace opening should ideally be the same width or wider than the TV for good balance and proportion. If reversed, it could feel top heavy and unstable.
When buying a new fireplace, these are factors that need to be considered in your fireplace design. At Nordic Energy we can guide you through this process to determine if it is the best alternative for your room and how to make it safe, for maximum comfort and maximum life for your TV investment. Stop by our showroom at 2324 Long Lake Rd., and explore your alternatives.