6 Top Gas Fireplace Insert Reviews – Heat Your Home the Right Way in 2018

Keeping your house warm is usually one of the reasons your utility bills turn up so high at the end of every month. Therefore, it’s no surprise a lot of people are always seeking alternative sources of heat, that perhaps cost less and are more efficient. If you’re one of them, you’re in the right place.

Black electric fireplace

In this in-depth review, you’ll learn all you need to know about the best gas fireplace inserts that will convert your already existing fireplace into a cheap and efficient source of heat. These gas fireplace units will definitely bring your utility costs down and even increase the overall value of your house in the market.

And, hey!

If you don’t have an existing fireplace, don’t feel limited! Some of these inserts can still be placed in corners and walls.

These fireplace inserts use gas instead of electricity or wood. They come in all colors, shapes, and sizes, making them the perfect option when looking for a way to heat small rooms in your home.

Ultimately…

If you decide you want to go with an electric fireplace for whatever reason, be sure to read our reviews of the best electric fireplaces.

We Do The Research, So You Don’t Have To

To ensure objective reviews, we test every model of the products we evaluate on our own, and we never accept products directly from manufacturers. We also source opinions from hundreds of verified buyers and professionals in the relevant industry.

Black gas fireplace insert

Product NameImageBest FeatureWorst FeatureOverall RatingDetails
Duluth Forge Dual Fuel Vent Free Fireplace Insert - 26,000 BTU, Remote Control 81rJxYW4rfL. SX757  - 6  Gas Fireplace Insert  - Heat Your Home the Right Way in 2018 Customizability, ease of use and installation Fragile logs and components so be careful how you handle the pieces 9 Check price
Pleasant Hearth Convertible Vent-Free Dual Fuel Fireplace 810E9 P PQL. SX757  - 6  Gas Fireplace Insert  - Heat Your Home the Right Way in 2018 Burns both natural gas and liquid propane Controls are hard to reach making it hard to operate when placed in most positions 9 Check price
Sure Heat Vented Gas Log Set 41EcZ2JrbHL - 6  Gas Fireplace Insert  - Heat Your Home the Right Way in 2018 Affordable: Costs only $140 Low heat output that may need supplementation in the cold season or in large rooms 9.5 Check price
Napoleon Grandville VF Series GVF36-2N 37" Fireplace Insert 81u29Uzw66L. SX757  - 6  Gas Fireplace Insert  - Heat Your Home the Right Way in 2018 Many remote control settings and options that operate the machine effectively Some crucial parts of the kit are not included in the main unit 8.5 Check price
Napoleon Vector 38 LV38N Direct Vent Gas Fireplace Bluetooth enabled eFIRE app 41yifYIH8iL - 6  Gas Fireplace Insert  - Heat Your Home the Right Way in 2018 eFIRE app controller that gives you control of the fireplace using your smartphone. It is expensive; costs $4089 8.5 Check price
Natural Gas Vent-Free Fireplace Insert with Millivolt Control 41kGvM92TxL - 6  Gas Fireplace Insert  - Heat Your Home the Right Way in 2018 High heating capabilities Cannot run on liquid propane hence not an option without gas supply to your home 9 Check price

How To Choose The Best Gas Fireplace

To come up with the above gas fireplace insert rankings, we tested the products based on various factors including pricing, heating capabilities, type of fuel used (natural gas, liquid propane or both), ease of installation, ease of operation, vented or vent-free, and additional features.

But that’s not all…

We also listen to input from real-life users of the products and experts in the industry.

When determining the best gas fireplace insert, it mostly boils down to your individual needs. While your main issue may be budget, someone else’s may be the quantity of heat produced, aesthetics, or the comfort of operating the equipment.

Therefore:

Establish exactly what you want first and then when you see the equipment with the features you think suit you best, it will be a case of love at first sight.

Buyer’s Guide

If this is the first time you’re considering to buy a gas fireplace, there are a few important things you need to keep in mind to ensure you end up with quality equipment that suits all your individual needs. For example, the size of the fireplace, how high your ceilings are, the climate of the environment you live in, etc.

What To Consider Before Buying Your Gas Fireplace Insert

First, there are direct vent and vent free gas fireplaces. It’s important to check with your local government whether direct vent fireplaces are allowed in your town/state before buying one.

Otherwise…

You may find yourself in some legal trouble.

No one wants that.

But, in some U.S. states, vent-free fireplaces are banned due to the accumulation of moisture in homes with tight seals.

Black gas fireplace insert

Direct vent gas fireplaces provide more venting options—typically, on the top and on the rear of the unit. This provides more options for installation. They also use air from outside for combustion. The exhaust air is directed outside the house, reducing the competition for oxygen.

On the other hand…

Vent free fireplaces are cheaper to maintain due to lower consumption rates. They’re also easy to install in rental homes or after doing renovations and make for a reliable source of heating due to the 99% efficiency.

The biggest question is…

The type of fuel you’re going to use. Namely natural gas or propane. If you’re in a residential area where there’s already a natural gas line, then this is a no-brainer. However, if you’re planning to make a portable or outdoor fireplace, setting up a propane tank anywhere within the compound will do the trick. Both are clean and cheap sources of energy and the best fireplace inserts can run on both.

Plus…

Some gas fireplaces come installed with battery backup systems that allow continued use even during power outages.

Additional expert tips

Lastly, you need to consider the cost of the fireplace as well as installation fees. Unless you really trust your hands with tools, it’s best to leave the installation of hearth products to a professional. They’ll do a quality job and also take care of the necessary inspections and approvals.

Now that we have some background information, let’s look at some of the best gas fireplace inserts you can buy in 2017.

A Complete Analysis Of Our Top 6 Gas Fireplace Inserts Selections

#1 Duluth Forge Dual Fuel Vent Free Fireplace Insert

Duluth Forge Dual Fuel Vent Free Fireplace Insert - 26,000 BTU, Remote Control

Appearance and Hardware

The Duluth Forge Vent Free inserts measures approximately 14 x 24 x 29 inches. It weighs only 47.6 pounds. It’s fitted with a removable metal mesh screen door and a realistic firebrick painted interior with fairly realistic logs. It also comes with a thermostat remote control and a burner.

However…

The blower kit is sold separately.

Features and Performance

The Duluth Forge Vent Free insert comes with zero clearance which enables the owner to build a custom fireplace for their home. Choose to pair it with a face mantel or recess it directly onto a wall and you will be good to enjoy some warm times.

The fireplace insert is fitted with lots of features such as:

  • An oxygen depletion sensor with automatic shut off for safety
  • Battery assisted piezo ignition for quick lighting
  • Burns propane or natural gas to radiate 26,000 BTU of heat capable of heating 1,350 square feet of space.

The Duluth Forge is fairly easy to install, even for one person.

It does its job pretty well.

The flame is easily adjustable to make it more suited to a large or small room. The logs can also be easily glued back in case they are broken during shipment or at home.

The remote control system also works perfectly, and since it uses batteries and the insert runs on gas or liquid propane, you can still keep your loved ones warm even in case of an electricity outage. In case the batteries run out, then it is time to go manual.

Be careful with the logs!

Otherwise, they may fall apart and give you a hard time trying to put them back together. Also, using the remote control may be a little confusing so take your sweet time.

PROS:
  •  Installed with proprietary dual fuel technology that can use both liquid propane and natural gas
  •  Thermostat remote control technology available for easy control
  • Oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) that shuts off automatically when it drops below safe levels for safety concerns
  • Economic performance with 99.9% efficiency, hence no outside duct or chimney needed
  • Efficient heat level control

CONS:
  • Does not operate at elevations higher than 4,500 feet altitude.
  • Complicated remote control that may take a while to get used to

#2 Pleasant Hearth Convertible Vent-Free Dual Fuel Fireplace

Pleasant Hearth Convertible Vent-Free Dual Fuel Fireplace in Rich Heritage, 42-Inch

Appearance and Hardware

The Pleasant Hearth Convertible Vent-Free fireplace measures approximately 54 x 24 x 44 inches and weighs 140 pounds. It comes with a zero clearance design that makes it easy to install almost anywhere; whether in a corner or recessed on a wall. It comes in all black and made of metal, with the surround made of wood. The door is mesh so you can see the flames on the other side.

Features and Performance

Generally, the Pleasant Hearth Convertible Vent works great and heats up to 1,400 sq. ft. of room space quite nicely. It comes with some pretty interesting features such as:

  • Dual fuel technology with the options to switch between natural gas or liquid propane
  • Zero clearance design for easier wall or corner installation options
  • Electronic spark ignition system for easy lighting with a safety switch in case of overheating
  • Dual burner with thermostat for optimum flame and heat regulation

The Pleasant Hearth Convertible Vent comes with a two-year warranty.

Take note:

The external thermostat fan runs on electricity. This is in addition to the gas that heats the air. However, the thermostat fan does work perfectly.

The insert’s consumption is much less compared to burning coal or using electricity. It also looks great and the pieces are very well protected during shipping, so don’t worry about breakages–even for the wooden parts–when buying this item.

PROS:
  • Runs on natural gas or propane with the right set of kits
  • Easy to assemble and install anywhere at home
  • Safety switch in case of overheating

CONS:
  • The controls are placed under the fireplace which makes it hard to operate
  • Lacks remote control capabilities which means more manual involvement
  • Quite heavy at 140 pounds

#3 Sure Heat BRO18NG Sure Heat Burnt River Oak Vented Gas Log Set

Sure Heat BRO18NG Sure Heat Burnt River Oak Vented Gas Log Set, 18-Inch, Natural Gas

Appearance and Hardware

The Sure Heat Vented Gas Log Set is an elegant insert fireplace that measures 12 x 18 x 16 inches and weighs only 46.4 pounds. It comes as a complete set including a U-shaped dual burner, a pan, a shale, glowing embers, and connection hardware.

For the logs, enjoy eight, hand-painted, highly-detailed refractory cement logs. Thanks to the realistic flame patterns and glowing embers, your neighbors won’t be able to tell whether they’re real wood or not!

Features and Performance

With such an attractive price, the deal does not get any better than this when it comes to the best gas fireplace inserts.

In fact…

Some of the gas fireplace inserts we looked at cost upwards of $4,000. The Sure Heat Vented Fireplace does a pretty good job warming a small room.

Some of the features we really liked about the Sure Heat Gas Log set are:

  • High-performance glowing embers radiate twice as bright as standard embers
  • It has eight hand-painted refractory cement logs that are incredibly detailed. Plus, they’re traditionally arranged on a tiered grate, creating a realistic look of a mature wood burning fire
  • Simple to operate and maintain without producing ash—another benefit of gas inserts over using real wood!
  • It has manually controlled valve system designed to work in a vented environment and comes ready to connect to your standard natural gas fuel supply
  • The U-shaped dual burner is pretty innovative. The flame pattern it produces makes it look like the flames are dancing.
  • The small and compact design can fit pretty much anywhere in your home

However, there are couple things you should know.

about this gas fireplace insert. First, the logs may emit some fumes the first few times they’re used. But these go away after the fourth or fifth use. You may also notice a whistle from the regulator on the flame bar when the gas is turned past a certain threshold. This goes away if you adjust the gas either up or down.

After buying the Sure Heat Vented Fireplace, it would be a good idea to buy a separate flexible hose pipe and ball valve. These will cost you between $20-30, but it’s money well spent considering the solid gas line that comes with the kit is easily kinked.

Unfortunately…

a lot of users have raised this issue.

PROS:
  • Very affordable at only $141.04
  • Fits in all fireplaces measuring at least 28 x 15 x 21 inches

CONS:
  • Lacks remote control capabilities
  • It is a vented unit lit using a match hence has no on/off switch
  • Only 12% efficient thus requires an open and working flue
  • Low heat output which may need you to look for alternatives during winter

#4 Napoleon Grandville VF Series GVF36-2N 37″ Vent Free Natural Gas Fireplace

Napoleon Grandville VF Series GVF36-2N 37" Vent Free Natural Gas Fireplace with Millivolt Ignition Up to 30 000 BTU's Pan Style Burner PHAZER Log Set Oxygen Depletion Sensor and 100% SAF

Appearance and Hardware

The Napoleon Grandville is a vent free fireplace insert that measures 39 x 15 x 35 inches and weighs in at 91 pounds. It runs on natural gas that’s fired up with a millivolt ignition system. This lights up the pan style burner and warms your home with the ambiance and comfort of a roaring wood fire. It’s also fitted with a safety screen to protect your family from open flames, as well as Phazer® logs and remote control capabilities.

Features and Performance

The Napoleon Grandville is designed to look attractive.

There’s no doubt about it.

Not to mention, it’s easy for anyone to use. Some of its most outstanding features are:

  • Burns natural gas to produce up to 30 000 BTU’s–efficiently warming up 1660 sq. ft. of space.
  • Exclusive Phazer® glowing logs that form beautiful, dancing like flames to give it a natural fiery look
  • An oxygen depletion sensor with automatic shut off when oxygen levels drop too low
  • Battery assisted piezo ignition to ensure normal function even during blackouts
  • Millivolt remote control valve with built-in adjustable flame/heat control
  • Dual receptacle junction box
  • Double flame burner

All those features aside…

If you’re considering this model, take note :

There’s a louver kit, trim kit, and blower set sold separately. This information is easy to miss, so be sure to take it into consideration. The louvers help cover the space between the insert and the fireplace opening for a more professional and aesthetic look.

The remote control can set the fireplace at the ideal heat setting or you can set it to run at a particular temperature for a specific number of minutes. It’s made from durable materials and, after a good installation, you should not expect to make any replacements soon.

PROS:
  • Simple to operate with the flick of a button to switch the fireplace on/off
  • Offers 50% flame and heat adjustment controls which provide maximum comfort and efficiency
  • An oxygen depletion sensor shuts the gas fireplace off before oxygen drops below a safe level in the house, just in case something goes south
  • Remote control

CONS:
  • Louver kit and trim kit are sold separately
  • High shipping weight of 170 pounds

#5 Napoleon Vector 38 LV38N Direct Vent Gas Fireplace

Napoleon Vector 38 LV38N Direct Vent Gas Fireplace Bluetooth enabled eFIRE app

Appearance and Hardware

The Napoleon Vector 38 measures approximately 53 x 58 x 20 inches. Although, with a shipping weight of 170 pounds, it’s one of the heavier models we considered.

That being said…

It has a sleek linear design and loads of options for customization, for those who want a more luxurious experience.

It comes with heat radiating ceramic glass and a CRYSTALINE™ clear ember bed featuring endless LED color options that illuminate from beneath the ember bed. It also comes with a 450 in² glass viewing area, FLAME™ porcelain reflective radiant panels, a safety screen, and an option to change the fronts to pick one that suits your décor.

Features and Performance

The Vector 38 has everything a gas fireplace insert has to offer and more if you’re willing to part with the money. For safety and maximum control, it is fitted with an external, easy to access main air adjustment control which allows the owner to control the fireplace while it is on. With the ability to radiate up to 30,000 BTU’s, this insert can easily warm over 1600 sq. ft. of space.

Additional features include:

  • An optional ambient-glow metal fiber for enhancing the glowing embers of the gas fire
  • An optional hot air distribution kit for optimum performance
  • Exclusive control of all aspects of the Napoleon Vector 38 using the Bluetooth® enabled eFIRE app that can be installed on your smartphone.
  • 450 in² glass viewing area and clean designs allows you to enjoy the radiant glow from the flames with the option of adding Beach Fire, Shore Fire, or Mineral Rock media enhancement kits to the clear ember beds to make them look even more graceful.

Propane users beware!

This model comes equipped for using it with natural gas. For propane users, you need to contact the distributors for a propane conversion kit. The ASIN number is W175-0424.

PROS:
  • eFIRE app controller available to control the insert via Bluetooth
  • Runs on natural gas or propane
  • Enjoy President’s Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • A wide range of enhancement kits can be added to any of the ember bed choices and fronts
  • New Divinity™ flame pattern with heightened peaks and valleys that provide a more natural wood-fire look
  • Efficient electronic ignition with battery back-up

CONS:
  • Louver kit, trim kit, and media enhancement kit are sold separately
  • High shipping weight of 170 pounds
  • Expensive at over $4,000

 

#6 Natural Gas Vent-Free Fireplace Insert with Millivolt Control

Natural Gas Vent-Free Fireplace Insert with Millivolt Control

Appearance and Hardware

The Natural Gas Vent Free fireplace insert measures 35 (w) x 26.25 (h) x 17.25(d) inches and weighs 120 pounds. It runs on natural gas with the capability of producing 33,000 BTU’s. This fireplace insert comes in a traditional design with the interiors painted black. It comes with a dual burner and detailed ceramic fiber logs.

Features and Performance

We found the Natural Gas Vent Free Fireplace could warm spaces up to 1700 sq. ft. of space comfortably.

We thought that was sufficient.

This insert is best if you are on a low budget.

Lastly:

The inserts are designed to go inside an existing fireplace. Although it can be recessed on a wall.

Some of its most salient features include:

  • Integrated log grate
  • Dual burner with up to 33,000 BTU
  • Millivolt control that can be controlled by the optional remote control kit
  • 99.9% heating efficiency

PROS:
  • 99.9% heating efficiency
  • Factory installed heat activated variable speed blower
  • Easy installation process
  • 20-year limited warranty

CONS:
  • Remote control and fireplace surround kits are not included in the main unit

FAQs

Does vent free do the job, or will I still smell the gas and by-products in the house?

No. Quality vent free gas fireplaces are more than 99% efficient, meaning any by-products will be negligible to cause any atmospheric changes in the room.

Where is the best spot to install?

Depending on your gas fireplace, the best place would be in an existing brick fireplace, in a corner, or recessed on a wall where the gas supply line passes through. For outdoor use, propane fireplace inserts are the most recommended.

Do I need a vent pipe?

For vented fireplaces, yes. For a vent free fireplace, you will not need one.

Will I be able to use the fireplace even if electricity runs out?

Yes. Gas fireplaces do not need electricity to run. Electricity is only used for external fans or automatic ignition systems.

Conclusion

Having a quality gas fireplace in your home will definitely make your place warmer and cozier, without all the smoke, wood, and ash associated with traditional fireplaces. When it comes to the specifics, however, it all boils down to your needs and preferences. Consider how much space you have for installation, the budget you’re operating on, features of the various fireplaces, and any other factors that you may deem important to you.

Are you using a gas fireplace insert? Which one do you think is the best? Be sure to let us know in the comments below. And feel free to share a photo of your set up so others can get inspiration when they’re choosing the best gas fireplace insert for their home!

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