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Is there anything better in winter than watching a great movie on your TV while enjoying the warmth of a wood stove?
My TV stand is in a corner six feet away from my wood stove. My friends have a big flat screen mounted above a stove they keep burning through winter on a full load.
Should they have more distance? How close can a TV be to a wood stove without being damaged? Let’s get into the details.
What Is The Recommended Distance A TV Should Be From A Wood Stove?
Many countries, including the United States and Canada, use minimum distances set by the NFPA, or the National Fire Protection Association.
The NFPA set a minimum distance of 36 inches between the front of the stove and combustible materials. The guidelines are here (you need to register a free account).
Your television is combustible i.e. it can catch on fire. Therefore, it should be at least three feet from the front of the stove.
It’s important to know that specific brands and models may have a longer distance. We checked a few of the most popular models and some set a distance of four feet.
The owner’s manual for the popular Princess Stove from Blaze King is an example of setting four feet as the distance. It doesn’t actually say televisions specifically. But either “furniture” or “combustible material” will cover your TV!
The lesson here is to check the manual for the stove you have or are preparing to buy. If you need some tips on finding the information, check out our wider review of how close furniture should be to a wood stove.
How Close Can A TV Be To The Side Of The Stove?
The picture below shows a typical room layout where the TV is to the side of the wood stove.
You measure the distance from the front of the stove (not from the wall behind it). In this case, the distance is about six feet.
This is well beyond the recommended distance. However, you still have to consider whether you will be running your stove at full load (top heat) for most of the day all winter.
In general, electronics don’t like lots of heat and the television screen presents a wide surface. Flat screens are designed to have some heat tolerance to deal with sunlight and some heat. But you don’t get too close to that tolerance limit.
Our main tip is to test your screen when you’ve run the stove at high heat for a few hours.
There are several ways to do this.
The simplest way is to place the back of your hand against the part of the screen nearest to the stove. It shouldn’t feel hot to touch. If it is, then you could shorten the longevity of your television.
Measuring the temperature
The more definitive way is to use an infrared temperature gun. You can pick one up for about thirty bucks.
Your television manual should give minimum and maximum temperature ranges that are best for the appliance.
Let’s say that the manual says it operates best at a maximum of 104 degrees Fahrenheit (10 celsius).
Personally, if I was getting temperatures near the tv at over 90f, I’d be concerned about how long it will last after months of that kind of heat.
Should You Put A TV Above The Wood Stove?
Plenty of owners mount a big screen TV above their wood stove. But should they be doing so?
Here’s a typical configuration.
Is that TV really further than the recommended distance? It may be three feet away, but it sure doesn’t look like four.
The reason this can workis that there is a heat break between the heat source and the television. Don’t see it? It’s the mantle!
I don’t have this layout so I talked in depth with friends who do. They invited me around on a winter evening when the stove had been running with a full load for three hours.
When I placed my hand on the top of the mantle, it was hardly warm. Of course, the underside of the mantle was a little uncomfortable to touch.
I touched the bottom of the TV, the back of it, and the screen itself. These areas were cool to my touch.
The mantle shelf protruded enough to block the strong heat from rising up the wall.
Test your own layout
Of course, you shouldn’t just take my experience.
If you’ve just installed a TV screen above your wood stove, you should test the temperature of the unit after the stove has been operating for a few hours.
And of course, be sure that you don’t have cables running close to the stove.