Electric fireplace inserts are designed to take the place of actual burning logs inside your fireplace, while still giving you and your guests the impression of a relaxing fire. Some electric fireplace inserts do not look as real as others, so you need to be aware of certain details that will help you find inserts that look genuine, and that are a proper substitute for an actual flame.
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Bargain basement electric fireplace inserts will not, as a genuine rule of thumb, look as good as higher priced models. In essence, you get what you pay for.
Pay close attention to the movement of the flame in the electric fireplace inserts that you are thinking about buying. Flame movement is one of the hardest aspects of a real fire to replicate and one of the first things that will subconsciously tip people off to the fact that your fire is not real.
Choose electric fireplace inserts that emit crackling sounds while they are turned on for the most realistic looking fires. The sound of a burning fire contributes to the reality of the experience and therefore, the more realistic the fire sounds, the more realistic it will appear.
Look at demo models side-by-side inside fireplace stores to see the inserts in action together. This will give you an idea of which one looks more like a convincing fire than the others. Some of them even have adjustments that change the intensity of the flame to create the illusion or a larger of smaller fire. Compare all of the features and then one that looks the most real to you will also look the most real to anyone else who looks at it.