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How Electric Fireplaces Work

Electric Fireplace Accessories

The nice thing about electric fireplaces is that you don't have to count on buying all the traditional accessories that you might for a real wood-burning fireplace. You don't have to worry about vents, flues or chimneys. You'll have no need for a cast iron fire peg or rack of other log-poking devices. You will not need a chainmail screen or window in front of your heat source to contain the ashes.

Although there are many things you won't need because of all the notable differences between a traditional fireplace and an electric fireplace, there are several things you can purchase to enhance your enjoyment of an electric fireplace.

The look of your fireplace depends on what style you choose for its exterior. Some fireplaces can be mounted on a wall like a picture frame or sit on top of something that basically resembles a TV stand. While others can appear more traditional and come equipped with a mantle, for displaying photos, books or figurines [source: Banker]. Mantles can be made from different materials, such as wood, marble and cast iron [source: Electric Fireplace].

You can also choose what you want the fire to look like inside the fireplace. Imitation logs are probably the most popular, but you can also opt for pebbles that look like coals [source: Electric Fireplace]. Some electric fireplaces are even made in a more modern style, complete with burning elements that actually look like steel tubes [source: Harris].

A remote control is one of the handy accessories that may come with your electric fireplace. It allows you to change the settings from another part of the room. Since an electric fireplace can either be set to generate heat or create the visuals with no heat, the remote control gives you the option of choosing [source: Harris].