The 6 Best Gas Fireplace Inserts for Coziness on Demand (2022)

Our top pick is the Duluth Forge Dual Fuel Ventless Gas Fireplace Insert

The 6 Best Gas Fireplace Inserts for Coziness on Demand (1)By

Erica Puisis

The 6 Best Gas Fireplace Inserts for Coziness on Demand (2)

Erica Puisis

Erica Puisis writes about home products for The Spruce and specializes in interior design and plant care. She's contributed to Forbes and smart home blogs like Smart Home Solver and TechDigg.

Learn more about The Spruce'sEditorial Process

Updated on 03/31/22

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The 6 Best Gas Fireplace Inserts for Coziness on Demand (3)

A gas fireplace insert provides heat and flames without producing the smoke, soot, and ashes associated with awood-burning fireplace. We spent hours researching dozens of fireplace inserts to find the best buys, assessing ease of installation, use, and maintenance.

Our top pick, the Duluth Forge Dual Fuel Ventless Gas Fireplace Insert, has an oxygen depletion sensor and remote control and can heat a large room.

Enjoy heat and flames on demand with one of these top gas fireplace inserts.

Our Top Picks

Jump to Review

(Video) ✅Top 5 Best Gas Fireplace Inserts 2022 Reviews

In This Article

  • Our Picks

  • What to Look for

  • Why Trust The Spruce

Venting Type: Ventless | Fuel Type: Dual Fuel | Front Product Width: 29.1 inches | Material: Ceramic | Heat Output: 26,000 BTU/hour

What We Like

  • Includes remote control

  • Heats up to 1,350 square feet

  • Oxygen depletion sensor

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What We Don't Like

  • Lacks a thermostat

Heat your room in a hurry with the help of the 26,000 BTU per hour Duluth Forge Vent Less Gas Fireplace Insert. This model is sized for heating spaces up to 1,350 square feet and requires no external venting. As a safety precaution, an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) monitors air quality and will sound an alarm if oxygen levels become low.

You can slide the Duluth Forge Vent Less Gas Fireplace into your existing masonry fireplace (with appropriate ductwork) or build a fireplace to suit this insert exactly. Its remote control makes starting a fire as simple as pushing a button: Unlike a wood-burning fireplace, there are no matches or fire starters needed.

Venting Type: Direct Vent | Fuel Type: Natural Gas | Front Product Width: 34.5 inches | Material: Metal | Heat Output: 31,000 BTU/hour

What We Like

  • Blower with variable speed settings

  • Option for louvered or solid surround

  • Equipped with safety screen barrier

What We Don't Like

  • Lacks dual fuel flexibility

  • More heat loss to flue than ventless models

Choose the features and options that matter the most to you with this high-end gas fireplace insert from Kingsman Fireplaces. With both natural gas and propane fuel options, you'll also get to decide whether to upgrade to IPI (immediate ignition) or standard millivolt ignition, which takes up to 30 seconds to light. As a direct vent model, this insert sends exhaust up your existing chimney with a chimney insert or horizontally through an exterior wall with special ductwork.

While many gas fireplace inserts have a uniform appearance with a black metal surround and rustic-looking logs inside, this splurge-worthy option offers more choices. You can choose between a louvered or solid surround, a traditional log set, or contemporary crushed glass interior, and either black, pewter, or copper exterior finish. No matter which style you choose, the functional features of this gas fireplace insert make it a smart buy—a heat-activated blower with variable speed control distributes warm air into the room, a safety screen provides added protection, and a remote gives you quick control from anywhere in the room.

Venting Type: Ventless | Fuel Type: Natural gas or propane | Front Product Width: 32.19 inches | Material: Metal | Heat Output: Not applicable

What We Like

What We Don't Like

  • Must buy a set of gas logs

  • Decorative brick panel insert sold separately

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Many gas fireplace inserts are sold as a complete package, including a log set with a burner or other filler material. However, another option to save money or customize the look of your gas fireplace is to purchase a gas firebox without logs. You can add the log set of your choice or other filler material (like crushed glass) and a burner.

For an affordable gas fireplace insert, choose the Pleasant Hearth Vent Free Gas Firebox, which is priced several hundred dollars cheaper than many other popular models. It offers zero-clearance installation options, a fire screen for safety, and it can be used with either natural gas or propane log sets. While you still need to purchase the log set to make this gas fireplace insert functional, you’ll be able to choose components that fit your style and budget.

We Found the Best Fireplace Screens to Use in Any Home

Venting Type: Direct Vent | Fuel Type: Natural Gas | Front Product Width: 37 inches | Material: Metal | Heat Output: 20,000 BTU/hour

What We Like

  • Only 16 inches deep

  • Includes brick liner and logs

What We Don't Like

  • Not equipped for dual fuel

  • Barrier screen or door set sold separately

A direct-vented gas fireplace insert creates more versatile installation options since it can be vented horizontally or vertically. It also offers the advantage of using the outdoor air for combustion, rather than drawing in warm air from the room you'd like to heat.

The Empire Tahoe Deluxe NG Millivolt Fireplace provides up to 20,000 BTU of heat using a natural gas supply. It features a brick liner and six ceramic logs for an authentic fireplace look. The glass front provides a sealed chamber for combustion, but take note that the glass can become very hot to the touch. You’ll need to buy a barrier screen or door set for protection against touching the hot glass. This fireplace insert measures 37 inches wide but only 16 inches deep, allowing it to fit into shallow fireplace openings.

Venting Type: Natural vent | Fuel Type: Natural gas | Front Product Width: 37 inches

Material: Metal | Heat Output: 21,000 BTU/hour

What We Like

  • 4-inch exhaust vent

  • Log set included

What We Don't Like

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  • Blower is a separate accessory

Natural-vented gas fireplaces vent vertically, like the chimney on a standard fireplace. Also sometimes referred to as a B-vent fireplace, this type of gas fireplace insert pulls air from inside the room while exhausting it up and out of a chimney outfitted with the proper ductwork. The result brings large, bright flames that more closely resemble a wood-burning fire than direct vent or vent-free models of fireplace inserts.

The Empire Keystone Deluxe B-Vent Fireplace measures 37 inches wide, while the B-vent is just four inches in diameter. This fireplace includes a brick-look liner and a set of logs for a cozy ambiance all year long. It has an output of 21,000 BTU using a natural gas supply. Generally speaking, natural-vented gas fireplace inserts are ideal for heating smaller rooms. They provide warmth while exhausting fumes but won’t overpower a room with too much heat like some direct vent models.

Venting Type: Ventless | Fuel Type: Natural Gas or propane | Front Product Width: 18, 24, or 30 inches | Material: Refractory ceramics | Heat Output: 33,000 BTU/hour

What We Like

What We Don't Like

  • No remote

A gas log set can be used along with a fireplace insert or inside an existing wood-burning fireplace. The Duluth Forge Ventless Dual Fuel Log Set can use natural gas or liquid propane, offers eight realistic, hand-painted logs cast from refractory cement, and can warm a room up to 1,300 feet. Gas log sets come in vent-free and vented varieties; this set is a ventless option that does not require a chimney or duct to dispel exhaust.

This set is available in 18-, 24-, and 30-inch widths, so be sure to pick the set of gas logs that fits your firebox or fireplace. All sizes feature a battery-assisted Piezo ignition with a built-in pilot oxygen depletion sensor (ODS), so it will immediately turn off if it detects carbon monoxide or lack of oxygen.

Final Verdict

The Duluth Forge FDF300R Vent Less Gas Fireplace Insert (view at Amazon) is a practical choice for most homeowners. This ventless model puts out plenty of heat with up to 32,000 BTU and offers dual fuel options. However, if you are looking for a natural-vented option that exhausts through an existing chimney, then consider the Empire Keystone Deluxe B-Vent Fireplace (view at Amazon). This option only outputs up to 21,000 BTU, but natural-vented gas inserts tend to produce more realistic-looking flames.

Venting Type

One of the most important things to know when buying a gas fireplace insert is the type of vent configuration you need. There are three primary venting types: natural-vented, direct-vented, and ventless. In short, natural-vented gas fireplace inserts require vertical ductwork terminating at the roofline, direct vent models can use vertical ductwork terminating at the roof or horizontal ductwork through an exterior wall, and ventless models require no ductwork for exhaust.

Fuel Type

Gas fireplace inserts require either a natural gas line or a propane tank for fuel. Natural gas units often produce more heat (measured in BTU per hour), but they need to have a gas line installed. Propane tanks avoid the need for gas line installation, but they require regular replenishment.

Heating Efficiency

Gas fireplace inserts have varying percentages of heating efficiency, largely dependent on the unit’s venting type. Natural-vented fireplace inserts have the lowest heating efficiency since heat is lost through the open damper or flue. Direct vent fireplace inserts have better heating efficiency because they draw in outside air and use smaller ductwork for exhaust. Ventless gas fireplace inserts have the best heating efficiency since they have no ductwork. Most units operate with 99 percent efficiency and produce a minimal amount of carbon monoxide. However, it is important to monitor oxygen levels in a room with a ventless gas fireplace. In most cases, these types of inserts come equipped with an oxygen depletion sensor.

FAQ

  • In most cases, the installation of a gas fireplace is best done by a professional. Some parts of the project, such as the carpentry work to install the firebox and trim might be within DIY capabilities, but other work—like installing exhaust vents, running a gas line, or installing a new electrical circuit—will often require the help of a professional.

  • The amount of heat produced by a gas fireplace insert is measured in BTU, short for British Thermal Units. Heat output varies by model and fuel type, but most gas fireplace inserts produce between 20,000 and 40,000 BTU (some have much higher or lower outputs).

    Keep in mind that heating efficiency is an important factor to consider since this percentage will determine how much of the heat reaches the room and how much is lost to the venting process.

  • Generally speaking, you should clean your gas fireplace monthly. While it’s true that gas fireplaces are much less messy than the soot and ashes that come from a wood-burning fireplace, there are still by-products from the combustion process that require cleaning. In addition, cleaning your gas fireplace insert gives you an opportunity to inspect components for any damage that may affect the operability or safety of the unit.

  • While actually removing the gas fireplace insert isn’t overly complicated, properly disconnecting and capping the gas line is critical. For this reason, most people hire a professional to handle the work on the gas line or take care of the entire process to remove the gas fireplace insert.

    However, here is a basic overview of the process to remove a gas fireplace insert: First, shut off the gas supply. Next, remove the trim pieces around the insert. At this point, you can unscrew the gas supply line from the insert. Gently free the insert from the wall or masonry—this step will often require a second set of helping hands. Finally, cap the gas line and test it to ensure there are no leaks.

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With more than five years of researching the best products for indoor and outdoor living, Erica Puisis is familiar with the features and benefits that matter the most to homeowners. Her areas of expertise have included home heating and cooling systems and appliances. To find the best options for gas fireplace inserts, she compared the venting type, maximum BTU output, and fuel type of each model considered. All of the options considered provide at least 20,000 BTU of heat, and most are available for natural gas or propane connections.

FAQs

Which fireplace insert is best? ›

Electric inserts are your best bet. The flame-free inserts are safe and simple to install with a plug-in design that washes the room with cozy warmth and the glow of (faux) flames and embers.

Who makes the most realistic gas fireplace? ›

For more than 70 years Real Fyre has been creating the most beautiful gas fire products you can buy. We build gas fire logs so authentic looking, they're equally beautiful with or without a fire burning.

What gas fireplace puts out the most heat? ›

Direct vent gas fireplaces burn efficiently with up to 70 percent of the heat they generate remaining in the house. Direct vent gas technology allows gas fireplaces to install in virtually any room of the home at a fraction of the cost of a masonry fireplace. This makes them an ideal choice for zone heating.

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