It's not the most efficient way to heat a home and it poses both health and environmental dangers, but on a cold winter night there's nothing quite like a fireplace. Curling up on a rug before the dancing flames with a hot drink and a good book, or someone to cuddle with, is a picture of luxurious indulgence. Fireplaces traditionally burn wood and vent the smoke through a chimney, but fireplaces are also available that burn natural gas or even heat with electricity and whose flames are illusory. It all goes back to prehistoric times when a fire gave safety as well as comfort to our primitive ancestors. A wood fireplace can be built into a home, but it can be installed after the fact as well. A fireplace insert improves the efficiency of a fireplace by providing ways to circulate clean, smoke-free air around the fire, heating it and then distributing it through the home, making the fireplace work more like a furnace. Fireplace inserts and premade fireplaces, as well as fireplace accessories, are often available on eBay.
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