If I had to rate the effects of this stove from 1 to 10 (With 10 being a real fire), I'd have to give it a solid 8! I'd give it a 9 if it had some sort of crackling sound effects! That is how good the 3-D flames on this are, right down to the glowing embers. I've had guests avoid touching it, thinking they would get burned! (Obviously, the unit does not get hot to the touch!!!! Very safe if you have young kids. And yes, my cat sleeps on it!) It does have a fan to blow heat. Is it loud? When the room is absolutely dead silent, yes, you can hear the fan. Under normal circumstances, like with conversation or TV, it is not noticeable at all.
I live in South Florida. Yes, believe it or not, some of the winter nights here can get quite cold. I think this little heater will do just the trick to take the chill off. I don't buy the 1,000 sq. ft. claim. Keep in mind, when you plug into a regular 110/120 volt outlet (standard house outlets), the most heat you'll get is 5,000 to 5,500 BTU. (For comparison, a kerosene heater can make up to 25,000 BTU.) So, it makes no difference if your electric heater is 20-inches high, or 6-foot in size. Size doesn't matter, volts do. And 110 volts will only get you 5,500 max BTU's no matter what you do, period!
With that said, don't look to use this heater as a main source of heat (Unless you live in a warm climate to begin with). 5,000 watts will not bring a house to a pleasant 74-degrees if the outside ambient temperature is like 30-degrees! Instead, look to use this heater as a supplement to your main heating system to keep your home (or medium room) a bit more comfortable.