Don’t let LCD TV stand for “Lost, Completely Destroyed TV”

TV over fireplaceIs a new flat screen TV in your future?

Maybe you’re planning to use that tax return check from Uncle Sam for the purchase, or you just want a freshen up the look of your living room for spring.

It’s a common practice these days to hang a new flat screen above the fireplace.

While extremely popular, there are some things to consider before your TV makes the move to above your hearth.

Review your fireplace and chimney venting system. Some popular models of natural gas logs are designed to be vent free, and this means high levels of heat can be radiating out from the appliance. Heat and TVs don’t mix.

Check your fireplace opening for discoloration. We’ve blogged before on the problems that discoloration around your fireplace opening can indicate. The bottom line is that discoloration means some potentially hazardous byproducts of combustion are entering your home, rising above your fireplace opening and putting them into direct contact with you and your TV.

Consider industry safety standards when hiding cables. National building codes recommend a minimum of two inches clearance between combustible electrical wires and a fireplace or chimney appliance. It’s important that you carefully review mounting instructions when hanging your flat screen to reduce risk as much as possible. If you have professional installers doing the work, make sure you understand their plans for the cable and electrical wires connected to the set.

If you have concerns about the potential risks associated with hanging your TV over your fireplace, you also could consult with your local CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep, who you can find here: www.csia.org/search.


2 thoughts on “Don’t let LCD TV stand for “Lost, Completely Destroyed TV”

    1. “Not good for the chimney”?? Depending on the construction of the fireplace wall and what you mean by the term “fasteners” as well as what the idea of a chimney constitutes, rarely does anything come into direct physical contact with any sort of “chimney”. A large percentage of the chimneys employed in fireplaces built in all but VERY old homes are merely sheet metal flu pipes which run inside wooden support framing between walls, which connect the fireplace to a “through the roof” apparatus which vents the combustion byproducts to the outside. In the vast majority of scenarios, the TV mounting arm or bracket hardware is secured directly to the supporting wall studs behind the drywall or facade above the fireplace. If that area has been covered with stone, marble, granite or anything which would reasonably preclude stud mounting, then the scenario specific appropriate type of concrete or masonry wall anchors can be used, which again would be using the wall itself, rather than any sort of chimney to secure the TV to. If your home is in the small percentage of much older structures in which the actual firebrick, or fireplace/chimney construction itself continues vertically above and beyond the fireplace, typically behind a finishing layer of concrete and/or drywall, then the headache of properly concealing and securing the necessary cabling and power in itself might suggest that another location for the TV might be in the best interest of the installation. However, as with most things constructed & constructable, depending on how badly you want something and the extent to which you’re willing to go to get it, chances are that there will almost always be a way to achieve your goals. Improperly routed front venting combustion vapors and associated surface heating problems are one thing, and one that under certain circumstances is potentially very real, however the idea of “TV fasteners being drilled into the chimney” is quite another, and again in the case of all but an extremely few exceptions, one that I don’t believe carries much, if any validity. Additionally, I’m not quite sure what the premise that “you should not install anything to the chimney” is based upon, but with all the modern methods and wide variety of varied and accommodating mounting types and styles of hardware available, once again with VERY few exceptions, unless you’re somehow qualified to know otherwise or have knowledge of something that most, including myself are obliviously unaware, it would certainly appear to be a concept of exceptionally uninspired imagination, and in general one that’s all but absolutely unfounded.

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