What to Look For
These upgrades enhance a fireplace's convenience, comfort, and good looks.
1. Variable-flame height adjustment. Allows you to dial in just the amount of heat you need, from a whisper of a flame to a roaring fire. (The best units adjust down to 30 percent of full output).
2. Wall-thermostat control. Automatically adjusts the fireplace's heat output to the temperature that you set manually or with a handheld remote.
3. Electronic ignition. Eliminates the need for a pilot light, saving up to $10 a month in fuel.
4. LED accent lighting. Adds a realistic flickering effect inside the firebox.
5. Battery backup. Ensures the fireplace will light during a power outage.
6. Built-in fan. Pulls indoor air into the space behind the firebox and pumps hot air out, heating a room in a hurry.