Old fireplace with 4 vents at corners. Can I mount a TV above it?

krp312

New Member
Apr 1, 2019
3
NJ
Greetings,

It's my first time having a fireplace and I'm not sure how to proceed. This fireplace has 4 vents at its corners. From searching the web, Hearth's forums, and calling local dealers, I learned that I may have an old-style Heatilator system. The house was built in 1980, and it's in NJ.

I'd like to mount a TV above the fireplace, and because of its size, it would sit in front of the upper vents. It isn't important to me to use the fireplace and TV at the same time, although it would be nice.

Images:
Front
Top Left
Top Right
Above
Bottom

Can I mount a TV without having issues? Many, many thanks in advance for any help regarding this.

Best,
krp
 
Last edited:

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
1,967
Lackawaxen PA
Some have fans and some don't. It's supposed to send heat out of those top vents. Besides those vents your going to get a lot of heat coming straight up out of the fire box. Burn a hot fire and see. Unless it's a TV you don't care about, but I wouldn't do it.

Edit, i didn't see the pictures. would the TV fit between the vents, not blocking them.The mantle should deflect the heat coming up.
 
Last edited:

DB Cooper71

New Member
Mar 25, 2019
24
Minnesota
Greetings,

It's my first time having a fireplace and I'm not sure how to proceed. This fireplace has 4 vents at its corners. From searching the web, Hearth's forums, and calling local dealers, I learned that I may have an old-style Heatilator system. The house was built in 1980, and it's in NJ.

I'd like to mount a TV above the fireplace, and because of its size, it would sit in front of the upper vents. It isn't important to me to use the fireplace and TV at the same time, although it would be nice.

Images:
Front
Top Left
Top Right
Above
Bottom

Can I mount a TV without having issues? Many, many thanks in advance of any help regarding this.

Best,
krp
We have a TV above a mantle, above our fireplace insert. Using the IR temp gun, the TV is about 100 degrees by itself. It doesn't get any hotter with the insert fired fully. I know it's not the same situation as yours, but I think it would be ok, as long as there is an air gap to allow the heatilator air to escape.

The best thing to do is to build a hot fire and see what the air temp coming out of the vents is. As long as it isn't above 120 deg F, it should be fine.
 

FPX Dude

Feeling the Heat
Oct 4, 2007
297
Sacramento, CA
I think as long as you have something deflecting the air away from TV you should be ok. I have it mounted above as well, but even when cranking at 650, the room is 72, underneath the mantle is 85-90, never had any problems.
 

Ludlow

Minister of Fire
Jun 4, 2018
1,052
PA
If there are fans and they blow out the lower vents then you should have no problem at all. If the fans blow out of the upper vents then I would keep the TV between them and not over. The mantle will block much of any heat rising from the fireplace opening itself.
 

DB Cooper71

New Member
Mar 25, 2019
24
Minnesota
The TV would be in front of both vents.

This question is for everyone: Is my brick going to be too thin to mount a TV?
I've got a 48" flat screen mounted to the brick masonry on a custom bracket I fabricated. It sticks out 8"-10", and is at an angle for better viewing. I used tapcons into the grout, so I can fill the holes easier, if I ever need to. Even with the weight forward from the anchors, it is holding just fine. My router also sits directly on the mantle, and doesn't get over 100 deg F.

My only advice is to drill the holes carefully with the proper size bit for the tapcons. I think I used four 1/4" x 2" tapcons.
 
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FPX Dude

Feeling the Heat
Oct 4, 2007
297
Sacramento, CA
Ah ok, now I see the vents in your post, they didn't show in the thread. Depending upon how big your TV is and how close to vents, I'd definitely get some kind of deflectors on the vents to move the air away from the it. As far as mounting into the brick, it depends on the weight. I have 75" TV which is 80lbs. dry weight, and when extended at 30" is 185lbs. in the air. I went with 5/8 3" lag bolts into three different studs, using #16 of them, and MacGyver'ed the mount to another wall mount, just to make sure. My contractor/builder friends gave me seal of approval, and said "she's good"! Depending upon your TV and again on weight, I'd make sure you hit solid studs, I don't think brick alone on some facia is what you want. Post more specs if that helps...
 

Mech e

New Member
Feb 26, 2019
30
NorCal
Most LED TVs are rated to 40 degrees C (104 F) maximum ambient air temperature. This is true for most indoor microprocessor-based devices. I would measure the air temperature just below where the TV will be mounted with the fireplace burning at a typical rate. If hot air comes out of those vents the OP described and the TV will be in front of them, measure the air temp there. If you measure 100+, I would look for a different location or not have a fire when using the TV.
 

Mech e

New Member
Feb 26, 2019
30
NorCal
As far as mounting into the brick, it depends on the weight. I have 75" TV which is 80lbs. dry weight, and when extended at 30" is 185lbs. in the air.
Another way to think about this is in terms of a moment (torque). At 80 lbs. and a 2.5 foot (30") moment arm, you end up putting a 200 ft-lb torque at the mount base plate that bolts to your wall. Just like attaching a torque wrench to your base plate and setting it to 200 ft-lbs and pulling until it clicks. Pretty serious force. Just like FPX Dude said, you need to go into wall studs.

I would calculate the reaction force based on the mount plate design on the bolts and not exceed 50% of their rated pull-out strength into a stud at a specified minimum thread depth.
 

kborndale

Burning Hunk
Oct 9, 2008
152
LI
If there are fans and they blow out the lower vents then you should have no problem at all. If the fans blow out of the upper vents then I would keep the TV between them and not over. The mantle will block much of any heat rising from the fireplace opening itself.
Its a heatilator, cold air enters the bottom vents and heats up causing it to rise and exit the top vents. No fans are involved.
 

Ludlow

Minister of Fire
Jun 4, 2018
1,052
PA
Its a heatilator, cold air enters the bottom vents and heats up causing it to rise and exit the top vents. No fans are involved.
I have seen two with a fan in each lower vent and a switch upon the wall.
 

kborndale

Burning Hunk
Oct 9, 2008
152
LI
I have seen two with a fan in each lower vent and a switch upon the wall.
Blowing out the lower vent? I have not seen them with fans but it if they did it would not make sense for them to blow out the lower vent, blowing in would make sense.
 

MAD MARK

Feeling the Heat
Jan 31, 2016
328
Pittsburgh PA
Blowing out the lower vent? I have not seen them with fans but it if they did it would not make sense for them to blow out the lower vent, blowing in would make sense.
Mine has fans on the bottom sucking in and out the top. True it works without fans but does work better with forced air.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
14,724
Philadelphia
I haven’t seen anyone say it, so I will: above the mantel is a horrible place for a tv. Not only is it way, way, waaay too high for comfortable viewing, it’s not exactly a Renoir your putting on display up there.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
18,327
central pa
If there are fans and they blow out the lower vents then you should have no problem at all. If the fans blow out of the upper vents then I would keep the TV between them and not over. The mantle will block much of any heat rising from the fireplace opening itself.
The heat will come out the upper vents fans on or not. Heat rises
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
18,327
central pa
I haven’t seen anyone say it, so I will: above the mantel is a horrible place for a tv. Not only is it way, way, waaay too high for comfortable viewing, it’s not exactly a Renoir your putting on display up there.
I agree completely. There is no way I would want my TV that high
 

Ludlow

Minister of Fire
Jun 4, 2018
1,052
PA
The heat will come out the upper vents fans on or not. Heat rises
I have no idea which way they were blowing. Didnt even check! Probably blowing in if I were to guess. Werent burning when I saw them.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
18,327
central pa
I have no idea which way they were blowing. Didnt even check! Probably blowing in if I were to guess. Werent burning when I saw them.
Yes they normally are on the bottom sucking in
 

Ludlow

Minister of Fire
Jun 4, 2018
1,052
PA
This brings up a question about one of them. Brother bought a house with a heatform in a masonry chimney. Two vents bottom two up top. He is putting his faith in me to figure out about removing the firebox and installing an insert. Will be looking for advice on cutting it out of there. Looks like a B*#*h. The net isnt much help with videos or pictures.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
18,327
central pa
This brings up a question about one of them. Brother bought a house with a heatform in a masonry chimney. Two vents bottom two up top. He is putting his faith in me to figure out about removing the firebox and installing an insert. Will be looking for advice on cutting it out of there. Looks like a B*#*h. The net isnt much help with videos or pictures.
Why would you remove it?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
18,327
central pa
They aren't to hard cut out really it normally takes me about an hour. But there is no reason to just in order to install an insert
 

Ludlow

Minister of Fire
Jun 4, 2018
1,052
PA
Ok. Maybe just the damper area then to make the liner run straight and easy? Im thinking he's gonna want the biggest insert he can find. In the basement and wants to heat entire house. Maybe premature on complete removal?
 

FPX Dude

Feeling the Heat
Oct 4, 2007
297
Sacramento, CA
I agree completely. There is no way I would want my TV that high
Let's stick to what the OP was asking, is it possible and concerns with doing it. I'm only saying YES and to mount it in bedrock studs.

If you want to open another thread on tv positioning go for it, it's like with you're sitting in your Lay-Z-Boy recliner (I'm sure you have one), with head resting on headrest (with now zero-head tilt, because you're looking straight at it, oh and your back is straight), and you don't have to explain the neck-stretch to tip your head forward. No ergo issues b/c you're looking dead on. Even if not in recliner, everyone says how comfortable it is they don't have to tip their head for it, try it.