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Can you install a television above a wood burning stove?

Like most electronic equipment, televisions are sensitive to heat, and you should avoid placing them in too close proximity to sources of intense radiant heat…like woodburners.

Nonetheless, televisions and other knick-knacks often vie for pride of place in a sitting room with the primary source of entertainment – the lazily licking flames and lambent light in the window of your stove – so it has become quite common for customers to ask if they can arrange their TV directly over the stove, mounted on the chimney breast, for those moments when they require some mindless distraction.

We’ve always been a little hesitant to provide a precise answer on this, and have had to feel our way to suitable solutions. There are two main sources of heat that have a bearing on the issue: the first is the convected heat rising up from the stove, and the emergent solution to this has been to ensure that a shelf or beam above the fireplace opening is deep enough to deflect the hot air away from the wall on which the TV will hang.

The second source of heat is the flue. Flue gases, especially immediately above the stove, are very hot, and in a flex-lined chimney, the liner is often pressed against the reverse side of the chimney breast facing wall, with only a couple of inches of brick between the hot gases and the plaster. Sometimes they’re even hot enough to craze the plaster, so you can imagine what they could do to the sensitive wiring and plastic casing of audio-visual equipment, even if it’s displaced from the wall surface by a bracket.

What has become the standard solution is to build a frame off the wall, sometimes with a recess, to give an extra layer of insulation between the hot wall and the back of the television. But how much insulation? What temperature can the TV take? This is outside the expertise of your average stove-fitter, and many electrical-goods suppliers, unable to quantify the problem, don’t want to get involved, leaving the crucial decisions and responsibility to the home-owner.

We’ve been lucky enough to partner with a local television and hi-fi specialist who will carry out a full installation service of electrical equipment after your stove is installed, or to give advice beforehand on exactly how to install their products. In their own words:

“We are finding a lot more customers are requiring more complex and custom installations and one particular feature that often comes up is fireplaces – we can provide the best deals on TV, AV and hifi products to fit perfectly and complement the customer’s new fireplace, and any other area they wish.

We have installers who can bring out the chimney breast, run cables and install all the supplied equipment – all easily tied in with the fitting of the fireplace.”

If you would like some specific advice for a TV in conjunction with your woodburner, please drop us a line or give us a call, and we will put you in touch with the experts…