In the past decade, it’s become increasingly popular to mount televisions above the fireplace mantel. For years, the fireplace has served as the focal point in every home. This is the place where we unwrap Christmas presents, enjoy company, and celebrate everyday living. In the past, we would see a canvas, framed mirrors, or family photo’s placed above the hearth. Our increasing dependence on technology has changed this staple in home design.
There’s a few reasons that it is not recommended to place your television above a fireplace. If you don’t like replacing your television set every few years, you may want to listen up.
Why You Shouldn’t Mount Your Television Above the Fireplace
1. Heat Will Cut Down The Life Span of Your Television
Heat is bad for electronics, plain and simple. Most electronic devices operate best at cooler temperatures and TV’s are no exception. High operating temperatures can increase the wear of internal components overtime and cause shorts. Televisions produce heat naturally and that’s why projection screens have fans inside of them.
Many people aren’t aware that mounting your TV above the fireplace could actually void a manufacturer’s warranty. Manufacturers can reject a warranty if they notice internal damage that is consistent with mechanical wear attributed to exposure to abnormally high temperatures. This is the last thing you want to hear when you have to call in for an expensive flat screen, plasma, or LCD television.
2. Viewing Angles
LCD screens are made up of tiny shutter windows that project an image via a backlight. The best image is seen when the screen is straight ahead of you. If you place your flat screen above the fireplace, this angle will decrease picture quality and you won’t be getting the most value out of your TV. Anti-glare technology can also inhibit you from attaining the best picture quality. Try it for yourself, you might notice a darker screen from a 45 degree angle.
Mounting your television above the fireplace will also strain the muscles in your neck and could potentially cause headaches and dizziness. You want to place your TV at eye level to keep it in the natural line of sight. Otherwise you will always be looking up to watch TV. Think of this, when you get to choose your spot in the movie theater, why don’t you choose the front row? Nobody likes looking straight up. Thirty minutes into the movie and your neck will be very uncomfortable.
Soot and ashes will cover your TV. Look at a fireplace, or better yet the inside of a chimney. You’ll see nothing but soot and black ashes. Although smoke will rise up the flue, some will travel outside and onto your TV. Make your life easier by following the suggestions below.
Solutions for Mounting Your Television
Install a Fireplace Mantel
Removing a mounted TV can be a difficult task especially if you have a brick fireplace. In this case, you may want to consider installing a fireplace mantel to help deflect some of the fumes as well as heat. This may be the most feasible solution from a financial perspective. Hiring a mason to repair your brick fireplace can cost thousands of dollars.
A fireplace mantel protrudes from the wall and leads exhaust from your fireplace away from your precious flat screen television. Remember, the mantel must have at least 10 inches of depth to protect your TV from heat damage. Its best practice to keep temperatures below 100 degrees Fahrenheit. To do so, you can try mounting your television higher.
Entertainment Center Fireplaces
Entertainment center fireplaces consist of a TV stand usually accompanied by additional storage with a heating unit below. This choice will allow you to compromise between the extremes of mounting your television on a separate wall from your fireplace and leaving it there. Stay warm while you watch all of your favorite shows! Fireplace entertainment sets also allow you optimal picture quality with your screen seated at eye-level, reducing neck and eye strain.
Upgrade to an Electric Fireplace
Electric fireplaces use radiant heating technology which heats the surface of objects instead of heating air molecules as seen in traditional convection heaters. In short, this means that you don’t have to worry about your electric fireplace insert damaging your TV. Upgrade today!
You can keep the television and fireplace combination with an electric fireplace. They don’t release soot, ash, or smoke. Furthermore, these heaters release virtually zero emissions. You can see a comparison of fireplace exhaust emissions by type of fireplace here. The EPA plans to change emissions regulations in the near future and this will have a large effect on all wood burning stoves.