While it is true that electric fires were once inefficient to run, expensive and frankly rather unattractive, things have now changed - and quite dramatically at that.

Evolution

Electric fires have evolved so much over the last few years as to be practically unrecognisable, and this is true in terms of design, in terms of cost and in terms of efficiency. If you are thinking of going electric, there are a number of factors you will need to consider before making your purchase:

Ease of use

Many homeowners agree that a working fireplace adds an air of welcoming warmth to a room that simply cannot be replicated. Today, this fire does not have to be of the open, stove or gas variety to create the desired ambience; instead, a well-chosen electric fire ticks all the same aesthetic boxes. As a bonus, it is likely to come in well under budget.

Design variety

There is a plethora of electric fires available. Whether you want a freestanding style or a package that includes a mantel, you will have plenty of models from which to choose. Many design aficionados opt for a wall-mounted design, which is a flexible style that can be moved from location to location with ease and won’t impinge on your floor space. They attach to the wall with a bracket similar to that used to mount a television - a job most people with a modicum of DIY ability should be able to carry out with ease.

Focal point

Most people opt to place their fire in a location in the room in which it will create a focal point. This is particularly true if the fire is intended for the main living space in a home. You will also need to think about how powerful you need your new fire to be. This will depend on whether it will be the sole heat source and whether you intend to use it all the time, on an occasional basis, or for a more decorative purpose.

Installation

When it comes to installation, you should find that your new fire is supplied with a comprehensive set of installation instructions and all the fittings and fixtures you will need. Fitting an electric fire is generally very straightforward and is often simply a case of plugging the unit into a power supply and switching it on, although you may decide to extend and/or cover the power lead, depending on where it is sited.