Both my parents and myself have been unable to get our fireplaces working lately. This is kind of coincidental, because we have two different kinds of fireplaces. My parents have an actual fireplace. It is very old-fashioned, made of stone with a large wooden mantle. The hearth is quite large and ungainly, but that hearth has always been a place of comfort for my family.! My fireplace is electric. I don’t need to get firewood for it, and it doesn’t really have a hearth. Instead, there’s an elaborately-carved wooden facade, and a screen on which a fake fire is projected. My parents’ fireplace has its chimney blocked. The fireplace worked just fine last year, but this year, when a fire is lit in that fireplace, the house quickly fills with smoke. My parents have just used the central heating all year. It is far more expensive than using a fireplace, but at least their residence is not filled with smoke! My fireplace is still quite beautiful, and the moving picture within the fireplace still shows up, although unfortunately, no heat emanates through the fireplace any longer. I am not certain who even to call to repair a broken electric fireplace! I’m sure any self-respecting HVAC company would laugh right in my face if I called them to fix a broken electric fireplace! I hope that both my parents and I are able to get our fireplaces in good working order prior to the full winter season arrives. I would hate to have to waste money using central heating all season.