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I have always had an electric fire in my house as I think they are good to have, the one I have had for years broke on my recently and so I had none. I was a bit stuck when it broke as it had been years since I had bought one so I was a bit unsure about brands but one brand I do know of is Dimplex. I think once I had seen a few online, I started to look around online and then I came across this model in particular. I had seen this model earlier this year but didn't really have the money to buy it at the time so I kept my eye on it and noticed there were some good deals on it. I finally went on Amazon a few months ago and decided to buy this just in time for the colder months as it seemed like an essential and I needed and extra source of heating.
This is one of the main things that caught my eye about this fire, the look of it, it looks very modern, very fancy and stylish. It is 22.6 x 60.3 x 66.5 cm and the item weight is 13kg and it comes in a pack with an instruction manual and a pebble pack or a coal pack. The fire is silver and has a frame with a hood over the flame window, this has a background which is very orange with a fake flame effect which is very nice. An orange light shows under the stones and the switches are under the hood, it is rounded at the front but overall it just looks very expensive and it looks the part. The flame effect I could stare at for hours as it just creates a really great look and the fire does get a lot of focus in my living room with the way it looks.
This fire is great to put on either just for decoration or just for using for heating up the room. When you push the on button it will light up with the flame effect which you can keep it on just to have as it looks nice in the room, it does come with two heat settings though also, the first heat setting is quite strong and blows out from the bottom and hooded vent, it would lightly heat a room but it blows out like a hot fan more than anything. The second heat setting is a lot stronger and it blows out very hot air a lot more powerfully but this will cost a lot more to run if you keep this setting on but it does work very quickly and will heat a room like that. It is good though, the two settings are adequate for me and create enough heat for my living room but it depends on the size of your house.
The highest heat setting takes 2kw to run and it is also BEAB approved. One thing I did quite like when this fire arrived in my house was that when you open the pack it gives you the choice of whether you want to put the white pebbles on the front display or whether you want the coal effect which is dark black. Now, for me it was an easy choice, I wanted the white pebbles as these looked a lot nicer and less harsh on the silver frame. To place the pebbles was very easy, you just place them on the tray, it can be arranged how you want them which is nice as you can add your own touch to it. If you get bored with the white pebbles and do feel like a change, atleast you have the option to change it to the other coals if you want to change the look a little.
Now, one of the main features of the fire that people want to know is, does the fire heat a room well? I think with this kind of a fire that being electric, you know what you are getting and that these blow out hot air, I do find that sometimes with electric fires that they do heat a room very quickly but as soon as you open a door or switch them off, the heat does escape very quickly. I do think this is the case with this model and I knew the risk when I got it, I find gas fires store the heat more which is why I have one as well as this as for decorational purposes this does look good and I tend to keep this switched on a lot with just the flames showing and only when it is really cold will I put on the heat just to get a quick blast of hot air.
Don't get me wrong though as it does definitely work if you keep doors closed and it will still heat up a room, this is just how I feel about the hot air. I think these are still a good buy and it will keep you warm throughout the colder months and so it is still nice to buy as it looks great and keeps the heat consistent. The settings are easy to switch on and off and to set this up wasn't really that difficult. Literally just needed to take it out of the box and stand it up and then place the stones on and it was ready to go, no complications and I didn't look once at the instruction manual. If it is left on flame only it will be good for energy but if you keep it on for hours then this will eat away at your electricity bill but that is with anything.
I think if you want a centre piece fire in your living room then this is definitely nice to have but if you have a larger living room then this won't be right for your house as it probably won't heat it up enough. This has two heat settings which is enough for me and it gives a good blast of hot air but if you want something that gradually heats up your living room that you can leave on for a while then this also won't be for you as to leave this on for a while could be costly. I like this as I like keeping it on the flame setting a lot of the time as it is nice just to have on but it heats enough if I leave it on for half an hour. It looks great in my living room and has changed the look of the room and doesn't take up too much room either, I like it a lot.
This can be purchased from a few shops, it fluctuates a lot in price, Sainsburys are selling this for £169.99 whereas Amazon are selling this for £127.49 which is a huge saving and the best price I have seen for this fire.
The official website for Dimplex is http://www.dimplex.co.uk/.
The Dimplex CST20 Castillo is a Mid-Size Heater / Dimplex Castillo Inset Electric Fire