We had just moved into a bungalow - fireplace blocked off, gas fire and back boiler had been replaced by a combi in the kitchen. Lounge felt cold even when it wasn't. What to do? Instant solution - electric coal effect. Now you are thinking "Oh, a Magicoal, plastic looking, unrealistic ...". Not if you get this on Amazon - £40 off, free supersaver delivery but came in the same time as the paid-for delivery. Take the box off; add the REAL coal (gloves a good idea, as a previous reviewer suggested), plug in and switch on the glow... and marvel that it is not really burning. If you are still cold, there are two heat settings, with a hidden fan that blows downward (good idea!).
Why not 5 stars? Fan noise is a little obtrusive if one is sitting quietly - no problem if TV/radio/CD on (but you won't often need more than the flame effect on if your heating is good; it looks so real you feel warm). The only real gripe is that the reflective background shows the carpet/flooring if you lean back and spoils the realism. A slate slab/hearth in front would help. There is a plastic imitation one for it, but I'm off to reclamation yard after Christmas!