Contemporary electric fires are usually like fan heaters but with a flame effect. You’ll have full control over the level of heat, and the moment you switch off the electric, you’re no longer paying for fuel you don’t need to use.

The look and feel of inset electric fires are particularly convincing and will make your room seem as if you have real flames burning in there. If you’d like the benefit of the visual effects but without the heat, that’s also an option. Sometimes the presence of a flickering flame in the corner of the room is enough to take the edge off a chilly early autumn coffee morning.

Another benefit of electric fires is their portability. These days people tend to move around, and the home you’re living in now might not be the same place you’ll be in a few years time. A lot of people rent or relocate, and when it comes to heating solutions, they often wish it was possible to take their current fireplace along with them. Of course, if your fireplace is a traditional inglenook hearth with an authentic chimney, that’s something you’re going to have to leave behind when you go. And if you have a gas appliance, the same is probably true. However, with electric fires, there’s a lot more flexibility.

Unlike with gas, there’s no need for a registered heating engineer to install or remove your electric fire. You probably only need to plug it in and switch it on. That means if you want to relocate it in another location in the home, or even a different city, you probably can. Even with inset electric fires, there’s only a few screws and fittings to undo and it’ll only take half an hour at most.

If you have a student in the house who goes off to college during term time and needs a heater that can travel back and forth with them, electricity is the way to go. Pick up a lightweight inexpensive model and it’ll transform their room without breaking the bank.

Now, you get what you pay for, but prices of electric fires are highly competitive, and you shouldn't have to pay the earth to get one that truly enhances your living space. At the entry-level, you will at least get instant heat and something you can just plug in as soon as you get it home. At the other end of the scale, contemporary electric fires have stunning designs that will be equally home in a central town apartment, a grand estate, or a tiny cottage in a rural area. Just shop around for the style that best suits your house.

Get one that’s not too powerful for the space you need to heat, and the running costs will be impressive. With other fuel sources, some of the heat is lost to the outside before it even reaches your room, but not so with electricity. 100% efficiency is what you can expect, which makes it much easier to budget.

All in all, electric fires are a valuable addition to any home. Lower maintenance, lower upfront cost, and high versatility.