Can You Put a TV Above a Radiator?

This isn't always an easy question to answer, but don't worry! In this article, we'll answer your questions if you're considering putting your TV above a radiator.

Firstly, we must note that you do have to take certain precautions. Not doing so puts your TV at risk. You wouldn't generally use the words "electrical device" and "consistently high temperatures" in the same sentence, which is why we'll take you through all the options and how you can ensure the safety and longevity of your TV set.

First things first: How do radiators work?

How do radiators work

Radiators work through a process known as convection. When the water in the radiator heats up, the air around it gets hotter and circulates in the room. Typically, they have two radiator valves - one that controls the flow of how much water goes out and another that controls how much water flows in.

In the past, radiators were typically placed under windows to catch the cold air before it spread into the room. However, modern houses are normally well-insulated, so this is no longer necessary. Now, you can technically install radiators anywhere in your home - including on interior walls where you might be thinking of also putting your TV.

Things to consider when placing a TV above a radiator

Typically, if the rising heat from your radiator is damaging your TV, you won't know it until it's too late. Picture this: heat rises from your radiator at a temperature too high for your TV to withstand. When this constantly occurs, it can cause an electrical fault and damage the internal circuits as the heat causes the parts to shift as the metal softens.

It's also well known that heat exposure reduces the lifespan of electronics. Your TV user manual will typically tell you the ideal operating heating range, which is usually between 10-50°C.

Along with the risk of problems such as dead pixels, you also risk more serious electric faults which could ultimately cause a fire.

Other causes of overheating

Your TV could also get hot simply because of dust accumulation, which can clog ventilation holes at the back of your TV. You can clear the ventilation holes of dust using a vacuum cleaner with the appropriate attachment.

Furthermore, always ensure that your TV is at least 10 cm away from the wall to allow for proper ventilation. Alternatively, if it's overheating, your TV may be damaged and should be returned to the manufacturer if still under warranty.

How do I place my TV above a radiator safely?

Technically, you could put your TV above a radiator. However, it's best to look at using a radiator cover, full motion bracket, a floating shelf or a combination of these to combat the hot air coming from your radiator.

We'll be going through each of these and some other diagnostic techniques, such as using a thermostatic valve.

Radiator covers

Radiator covers

A radiator cover helps as it can deflect heat produced by the radiator. Instead of allowing the warm air to rise straight up onto the TV, it instead distributes it into the room.

And as a bonus, a radiator cover:

  • Reduces noise
  • Protects pets and children from a potentially hot-to-touch radiator
  • Can be aesthetically pleasing, as they come in different designs

Full motion brackets

You can combine this TV bracket with a radiator cover, or it may prove enough heat moderation on its own. It's basically a wall mount that can move away from the wall and the radiator. When you turn your heating and radiators on, you can push the TV out; when you turn the radiator off, you can simply move the TV back into position against the wall.

Floating shelves

A floating shelf is a wall mount placed above the radiator to help deflect some of the heat. It essentially adds an extra layer of protection for your TV. This shelf will also offer additional storage space for your TV remote and other ornaments.

If you do install one, do so appropriately by taking note that it's recommended that TVs are installed at eye level.

Thermostatic valves

These self-regulating radiator valves keep the temperature from going too high while adequately dealing with the cool air. A thermostatic valve will adjust the radiator or turn it off if the temperature becomes hazardous to the TV.

If you've already installed a TV above a radiator, this is a great option as it'll manage the hot air for you.

Some other options

There are a few other things that you could do to help protect your TV if you do decide to position it above a radiator.

Firstly, you might try measuring the heat projected from your radiator with a min/max thermometer. Simply place one between the radiator and TV, and get measurements. If it's above the temperatures suggested in your user manual, you should intervene with one of our suggestions.

Secondly, you could try reducing the temperature by using a fan to blow away the hot air given off by your radiator. While this may not be the best long-term solution, it might work in the interim while you make other plans. You could even use the max/min thermometer after placing the fan to see if it works.

Thirdly, you could try installing an RCD sensitivity device (residual-current device). These are placed between the socket and the TV plug and will cause it to switch off if it develops a fault. These are, in general, good practices as they protect against fires and electrocution. That said, many modern-day fuse boards will already have one installed.

Finally, if all else fails, you could always move your TV or even your radiator. If you do decide to move your radiator, you may need to hire a plumber.

Cable management & radiators

This brings us to our final concern: should you be worried about putting your TV cables near the radiator? Well, it's hard to say. Unlike electrical devices, cords aren't rated according to the heat load they can withstand. In this case, you'd have to be vigilant to ensure the cables look fine over time.

Your options are:

Run the cables in an insulation tunnel.

  • Run the cables at the back of the radiator.

  • Try to hold the cables up on the wall away from the radiator.

    FAQs about TVs & radiators

    Can I put my TV above my radiator?

    You can put a TV above a radiator, provided that you take measures to prevent heat damage. These range from moderating the radiator's high temperatures to installing a radiator cover to deflect heat which could damage the TV's components over time. In general though, you'll want to avoid installing your TV directly above one.

    How far above a radiator should a TV be?

    Ideally, you'd want to install your TV about 15 cm away to ensure that it isn't receiving too much direct heat from the radiator. Risks associated with not doing so range from a simple dead pixel to a fire caused by an electrical fault.

    Can a radiator damage a TV?

    Yes, a radiator can damage your TV, particularly if it's allowed to run at high temperatures for long periods. It can cause numerous problems, including indirectly causing a fire due to an electrical fault.

    How do I protect my TV from radiator heat?

    How do I protect my tv from radiator heat

    It's good practice to install a shelf above your radiator to deflect the heat projecting from it. This could be something as simple as a wood plank; it doesn't have to be costly. Otherwise, you're leaving your TV at risk of potential damage. If this isn't possible, you should find an alternative position for your TV.

    What can you put above a radiator?

    You could install a shelf, or you might want to put a radiator cover on your radiator. Either option will deflect heat away from your TV, which is the most pertinent concern.

    Explore our range of radiators at PlumbNation

    If you are looking for a new radiator for your home, speak to our team at PlumbNation. We offer a wide range of radiators, ranging from central heating radiators to designer radiators.

    We also offer a range of other products for bathrooms and homes, including boilers and other plumbing supplies.