March 17, 2008 by Gregg Schwartz
Q. Can I hang a plasma over the fireplace? Is there any risk to the TV? -Roberto, Madison, WI
Mounting a plasma TV above a fireplace is very common but a few considerations need to be met. If the fireplace in question is natural gas or propane and is the primary source of heat for the home, or is used on a very regular basis, I would want to know in detail the duration and intensity of its use in relation to the plasma TV use. I am looking for a strong potential for thermal overload resulting in an early expiration of the TV’s life. Other considerations such as mantle size and room dimensions can help determine if the installation would be too risky due to thermal overloading.
Wood burning fireplaces are generally considered a more risky proposition. The intensity of the fire can vary significantly and the residual smoke and residue brought into the room can permeate the plasma TV resulting in a foggy picture or reduced life expectancy.
Beyond the somewhat obvious thermal assessment, a close inspection of the physical mounting area needs to be done. Depending on the material the plasma TV will be mounted to (stone, brick, wood frame, and metal frame) it needs to be able to handle 4x the weight of the plasma TV. I would encourage anyone who would like to mount a plasma TV above a fireplace to seek out professional assistance. It is one of the most difficult and hazardous installations we perform.
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