While it’s not recommended to install a TV over an open wood burning fireplace, many choose to install a TV and electric fireplace on the same wall to create a focal point for a room, through features such as an entertainment center.

So why can an electric fireplace be put on the same wall (with the TV typically above) while you can’t install a TV over a real open fireplace?

Electric fireplaces work differently to other types of fireplaces (such as wood burning and gas) because there’s no real fire inside. This gives more flexibility when it comes to installing an electric fireplace in a home, including being able to install a TV close by.

We’ve explained how an electric fireplace works in more detail here but the flames are typically created by reflecting light off rotating mirrors onto a screen, while the heat is generated by a heater component inside the fireplace.

These heaters are more commonly fan forced that use a blower and heating element to force warm air out into the room (much like a space heater), but ceramic or infrared heaters can also be used. These forms of heaters direct the heat in a certain direction and don’t radiate heat out in every direction like a real fireplace fire.

Our electric fireplace stove uses a conventional fan forced heater to generate the heat. It’s located underneath the unit and blows hot air out of the front of the fireplace. Heat doesn’t come out of any other part and the electric fireplace isn’t hot to the touch apart from where the hot air comes out.