If you are looking to buy the best gas fireplace inserts in 2018, then hopefully this buying guide will help you find the right one. When the first icy night of winter kicks in, nothing will be better than a roaring fire that will keep your house warm and cozy. Gas fireplaces be it inserts, built-ins or log sets have become very popular given that they require no tending, keep the house warm for longer and are easy to clean and maintain. Gas fireplace inserts are the ultimate gas stoves, inserted into open fireplaces like masonry. They are the modern incarnations to the traditional woodstoves which are less efficient given that much of the generated heat is absorbed by the masonry or the chimney. Gas fireplace inserts force all the heat they produce into the room rather than letting it get absorbed by the chimney or masonry. They are highly touted as providing heat to up to 1000 square feet of living space at a very low cost is no small achievement. They allow the fire to have a lower combustion to fuel rate, something that you’ll love when it comes to efficiency. The benefits of gas fireplace inserts include less fuel for more heat, good indoor air quality, clean and beautiful homes and less outdoor pollution compared to the traditional wood fireplaces.
The benefits of gas fireplace inserts are so much extensive and you would want to have one in your home, or replace the old wood fireplace insert in order to turn your fireplace into an efficient heat source. Getting a good one out there can be a hard task but the following are the best gas fireplace inserts for heating to help you make a better choice.
Besides scrutinizing through hundreds upon hundreds of reviews, we’ve also taken an extra step of getting the help of top industry experts and some home owners to help us find out which gas fireplace inserts are worth every penny. After months of doing this intensive research, we’ve come up with 7 of the best fireplace inserts and log sets that you’d want to have in your home when the cold weather is at its peak. However, before delving onto that, here is a video guide that we highly recommend watching especially if you are looking for ideas and how to install your fireplace (pretty easy).
List Of The Best Fireplace Inserts
Scroll down for detailed review on each of these gas fireplace inserts.
#1. Duluth Forge Dual Fuel Vent Free Fireplace (See Pricing)
#2. Napoleon GVF36-2N 30 000 BTU Vent Free Natural Gas Fireplace (See Pricing)
#3. Pleasant Hearth Convertible Vent-Free Dual Fuel Fireplace [See Pricing]
#4. Peterson Real Fyre 24-inch Live Oak Log Set With Vented Burner (See Pricing)
#5. Pleasant Hearth VFS2-PH20DT 20000 BTU Compact Vent-Free Gas Stove (See Pricing)
#6. Sure Heat BRO18NG Sure Heat Burnt River Oak Vented Gas Log Set (See Pricing)
#7. Napoleon GVFL18N 18 Inch Vent Free Natural Gas Log Set (See Pricing)
How Did We Picked Up These Gas Fireplaces?
Efficiency – Efficiency is something that you do not want to gamble around with when it comes to making your home cozy. Soot-free flames, well distributed and reliable heat are some of the things that defines a good fireplace and this is something that we keenly looked into when picking these fireplaces.
Cost – Installing and setting up a fireplace could sometimes become very expensive and go as high as $5,000 (Yeah, that crazy high). But that doesn’t mean that you cannot get a cheaper fireplace that you can count on. Fireplaces aren’t always considered cheap, but since money don’t grow on trees, you’d want to make sure that your every dollar counts here.
Ease of Installation – Some fireplaces would make you wonder if they were meant to be installed at all, and that is an experience you don’t want to go through. As you have seen in the video above, installing it can be super easy and also fun, but that is not always the case with every fireplace– some can be a real nightmare to install. This is why ease of installation is among our most overlooked feature in picking the perfect fireplace for your home.
Below is an in-depth cover review of each of the gas fireplace inserts making up our top 7 list.
Duluth is our number 1 best gas fireplace insert; simply because it delivers on its promise– it sets up that roaring fire that we all need, keeps the rest of the house cozy warm and only requires minimal cleanup. Not only is this the best rated gas fireplace but also the champ of direct vent fireplaces. In our findings and experience you will hardly come across any other direct vent fireplace that comes close to this one.
The Duluth Forge Dual Fuel Free Fireplace has dimensions of 45 x 45 x 15 inches and weighs 45 pounds and produces up to 32,000 BTUs of heat that is able to efficiently warm 1,500 square feet of living space. It features furniture grade quality mantel, vent free fireplace insert and medium golden brown furniture grade finish with 30% sheen. It uses patented dual fuel technology that uses both natural gas and liquid propane as fuel. It also has a remote control that is provided with on/off temperature control functions together with oxygen depletion sensors for safety. Its beautiful flame pattern combine with the 6 numbered and pinned hand painted ceramic fiber logs to provide a stunning home experience. It has a complementing dark-brown wood tone and a high burn time of approximately 5 hours.
If you have a smaller living space, then we recommend you go with the smaller and cheaper variant which also has a different but irresistible appearance – The 15,000 BTU Duluth Forge Dual Fuel Vent Fireplace , which is also buoyed for its excellent and flawlessness.
Why choose Duluth Forge Dual Fuel Vent Free Fireplace
It is easy to operate and safe given the on/off remote control functions, the temperature control and oxygen sensors for safety.
- It uses the patented dual fuel technology which accommodates both liquid propane and natural gas.
- Duluth has an elegant design and this is further complemented by the dual moldings that adorn the pilasters.
- Economical and 99.9% efficient with no outside duct or chimney needed.
- The stove and mantle are beautiful and the autumn spice finish is also mind blowing.
- The vent free feature and dual fuel mode adds to the modern look, efficiency and beauty of the fireplace.
- It ships fast and is easy to install which is appreciated by most of the customers.
- It produces a lot of heat per unit area, much better than many other fireplaces we have come across.The 5 hour high burn time is also very impressive and another reason that you may want to go for this fireplace.
- Installing the fireplace is also a walk in the park (similar to that in the video).
Potential concerns with Duluth Forge Dual Fuel Vent Free Fireplace
- Apart from a little foul smell that disappears after a a few days, this fireplace is an excellent choice that is second to none in the gas fireplace category.
Duluth Forge Dual Fuel Vent Free Fireplace, 32,000 BTU, Remote Control, Autumn Spice Finish is a good gas fireplace insert that not only produces a lot of heat but makes your home very beautiful with its realistic flame pattern and fiber ceramic logs. The color tone is also great as it creates a nice contrast that completes the look of your home. It is also safe and a highly recommended fireplace for the price.
2. Napoleon GVF36-2N 30 000 BTU Vent Free Natural Gas Fireplace With Safety Pull Screen Realistic PHAZER Logs Oxygen Depletion Sensor & 99.9% Steady State High
The Napoleon GVF36-2N has dimensions of 13.2 x 37.4 x 35.5 inches and weighs 170 pounds. It is described as one of best vent-free fireplaces on the market in terms of efficiency, looks and ease of use. It uses natural gas to provide heat of up to 30,000 BTUs that warms an area of 1500 square feet with the efficiency rating of 99%. The Napoleon also features an oxygen depletion detector that shuts the pilot off before oxygen drops below a safe level and 50% flame and heat adjustment for maximum comfort and efficiency. Other features include exclusive ceramic realistic phazer logs, an advanced burner technology that produce beautiful yellow dancing flames, safety screen and hood that protects against open flames. For extra safety, the fireplace turns on/off at the flick of a switch for simple operation. The gas fireplace is recommended for elevations between 0 – 4,500 feet.
Why choose Napoleon GVF36-2N 30 000 BTU Vent Free Natural Gas Fireplace
- It is simple to operate with on and off switch.
- The Phazer logs are carefully made and produce yellow dancing flames that create a very natural looking fire. It makes you feel relaxed while looking at this insert.
- It is safe thanks to its oxygen detector and safety pull screen. This means that your family members are safe even when you leave the gas fireplace insert working for a long time without tending.
- It is highly efficient, attractive and easy to use.
- It produces a good amount of heat that is able to warm a large living space.
Possible Concerns Napoleon GVF36-2N
- It is fairly more expensive than other types of gas fireplace inserts on the market.
- Some states might not allow you to use this model of the fireplace insert.
The Napoleon GVF36-2N 30 000 BTU Vent Free Natural Gas Fireplace is a highly efficient gas fireplace insert that is also safe, beautiful and easy to install and use. It is therefore one of the best fireplaces in your home if you want to treat your family to the comfort and ambiance of a roaring fire during those cold winter nights.
The Pleasant Hearth Convertible Vent-Free Dual Fuel Fireplace measures 53.8 x 24 x 44 inches and weighs 140 pounds. This fireplace is vent free meaning that it can easily be installed to an apartment, room or an existing home with ease with an option of a wall or corner installation. It uses dual fuel technology utilizing either natural gas or liquid propane fuel to produce warming heat of up to 27,500 BTU’s. It uses a dual burner with thermostat which allows you to have a room with the perfect temperature. It also features an electronic spark ignition switch hence no lighting the fire with a match. The fire is contained behind a screen to shield the family members from the flames. It is a pleasant vent free fireplace which brings out the warmth and beauty of a fire at the same time.
Why choose Pleasant Hearth Convertible Vent-Free Dual Fuel Fireplace
- The fireplace is convenient and can be fueled by either natural gas or liquid propane gas.
- It is vent free hence easy to install and can be placed anywhere whether it is against a flat wall or in a corner.
- It uses a dual burner with thermostat which makes it easy to control the amount of heat for the perfect temperature.
- It uses electronic ignition and lighting which makes it hassle free.
- It is safe thanks to the highly protective screen shield.
- It is protectively packaged and easy to install.
- It is a freestanding fireplace which makes it a beautiful addition to any home.
Potential concerns with the Pleasant Hearth Convertible Vent-Free Dual Fuel Fireplace
- The blower is sold separately
- The controls are difficult to see to operate as they are located under the heater.
The Pleasant Hearth Convertible Vent-Free Dual Fuel Fireplace is ideal choice for your home if you are looking for convenience, style and warmth. It is efficient, safe, elegant and easy to use which makes it a perfect addition in your living space. The packaging is great and there is absolutely no need to worry about receiving a damaged product.
The Peterson Real Fyre measures 20 x 2 x 2 inches and weighs 1.2 pounds. It boasts of expert craftsmanship that produces a fireplace that looks like a real wood fire. This is the kind of craftsmanship that captures tradition and quality with the natural realism of the Live Oak log set. To achieve this, the Real Fyre Gas logs are painted and modeled from real world samples that recreate the look of natural wood but using superior refractory ceramics. These ceramics provide radiant heat that remains even after the burner has been turned off for greater integrity. Each log is reinforced with a steel rod insert and the fact that it is vented means that they burn efficiently to reduce pollution in your home for good indoor air quality. It uses a single burner that allows the flames to dance through the center of your log set to produce whooping warmth of up to 75,000 BTUs. It also comes with options to choose from in terms of sizes, valve control and remote control. It is match lit and uses only natural gas for fuel.
Why choose Peterson Real Fyre 24-inch Live Oak Log Set With Vented Burner
- Peterson Real Fyre gas logs are effectively crafted and hand painted to re-create the look of natural wood.
- It uses superior refractory ceramic logs are reinforced with steel rods for greater integrity.
- It is efficiently designed to help preserve and protect natural resources.
- It is available in other sizes and with other valve control options which gives you a range of varieties to choose from.
- It produces high amounts of heat enough to warm large spaces despite using a single burner. The fire looks great when burning even when it is on the low.
- It is well packaged and easy to install.
- The gas logs are so pretty yet produce good amount of radiant heat. This has fulfilled the expectations of many users.
- The price is lower compared to many gas fireplaces with the comparable performances.
Potential concerns with Peterson Real Fyre 24-inch Live Oak Log Set With Vented Burner
- It is designed for indoor use only and it will not be a choice to customers who want outdoor fireplace.
- It uses a single burner and may not be ideal to heat large rooms.
Peterson Real Fyre 24-inch Live Oak Log Set is the best model to be installed in your home if you need a fireplace that is outstandingly crafted to capture tradition and quality thanks to the natural realism of the 24-inch Live Oak log set. It looks great, is easy to install and warms efficiently which makes it is exactly what you have always wanted or even more.
The Pleasant Hearth VFS2-PH20DT measures 23.5 x 13 x 25.5 inches and weighs 58 pounds. It is a vent free model which means it does not require a chimney or a flue to install it safely in your home. It produces up to 20000 BTUs of heat per hour and provides warmth up to 700 square feet. It also uses dual fuel technology that burns with the options of natural gas or liquid propane. Other notable feature is a thermostat control knob which allows you to automatically maintain the heat level or even to heat your room with precision. However, this thermostatically controlled unit does not support a millivolt remote control and you will have to check your local regulations on installation restrictions and requirements first. It uses a dual burner with an efficiency of 99.9% that provide 2 rows of flames for a more full looking fire. For safety, it has a wrong fuel-shut off to ensure that you put the right fuel in the right place. There is also an optional blower just in case you want a functionality that you can count on.
Why choose Pleasant Hearth VFS2-PH20DT 20000 BTU Compact Vent-Free Gas
- It has a vent-free design that requires no chimney or flue hence easy to install almost anywhere.
- It uses double burners that produce enough BTUs to efficiently heat up to 700 square feet of living space for improved comfort.
- It is flexible thanks to the dual fuel technology that allows you to use propane or natural gas.
- It uses electronic spark ignition with battery assistance which makes lighting easy compared to using matches.
- The thermostat enables you to set temperature conditions that you are comfortable with and also conserve fuel.
- It is safe given the overheat safety mechanism that turns off the stove when it reaches unsafe temperatures.
- It has good customer service that responds fast.
- It heats the room quite fast and you don’t need to wait for hours.
Potential concerns with Pleasant Hearth VFS2-PH20DT 20000 BTU Compact Vent-Free Gas
- There are complains of the Pleasant Hearth VFS2-PH20DT sputtering uncomfortably loud.
- Some customers complain of it being a smaller unit that only heats 700 square feet.
The Pleasant Hearth VFS2-PH20DT is the ideal choice if you want to bring style and warmth to your home. It has most features that a good gas fireplace should have including safety, thermostat availability and electronic ignition, vent – free design, enough BTUs and so on. It is highly recommended given its looks, performance and price.
The Sure Heat BRO18NG has dimensions of 12 x 18 x 16 inches and weighs of 46.4 pounds. It boasts of a highly detailed log set of 8 logs stacked on a grate hat to create a look of a mature fire in your fireplace. It uses a u-shaped dual burner that provides a superior and very realistic dancing flame pattern together with a pan, grate, shale, glowing embers and connection hardware. It is also match lit and contains a manual controlled valve system that is built to work in a vented environment with the standard natural gas fuel supply in your home. It is built to fit in any fireplace but requires an open and working flue. It burns to produce up to 50,000 BTUs that can warm a living space of 1200 to 1500 square feet with an efficiency rating of 12%. This product also features push button ignition and a performance ember glow that is twice as bright as the standard embers and produces a realistic wood burning fire.
Why choose Sure Heat BRO18NG Sure Heat Burnt River Oak Vented Gas Log Set
- It has very detailed and carefully painted ceramic logs that create a very realistic view of wood burning fire.
- It is CSA approved for safety and performance.
- Its gas log set is very economical as it can produce efficient burnings for a long time.
- It produces a superior realistic dancing flame thanks to the u-shaped dual burner.
- It can fit in any fireplace and warms a large living space.
- Its amber glow is twice as bright as that of standard ambers which is also a plus.
Potential Concerns with Sure Heat BRO18NG Sure Heat Burnt River Oak Vented Gas Log Set
- There are complains of it being a bit hard to install with no clear instructions.
- Others feel that the logs are not as good as described.
In all honesty, the Sure Heat BRO18NG can provide a realistic, natural roaring fire for a beautiful ambiance in your home. It provides the convenience of not having to burn real wood and can warm a large amount of living space plus it provides a bright amber glow unlike any other. It is a good choice if you do not mind hiring someone to install it and want to spend less on a gas fireplace.
To close our list of the best gas fireplace inserts is this amazing fireplace from Napoleon. Napoleon GVFL18N Vent Free Natural Gas Log Set is a fireplace insert weighs 38 pounds and has no venting or wood option as well as a chimney. This 18″ gas log set features a very unique infrared burner that radiates heat into the room for additional warmth and increased energy efficiency. Its design is also unique given that it uses the air currents in your house as a venting mechanism. It uses natural gas to produce heat of up to 40,000 BTUs and has a simple millivolt gas valve system which offers convenience and reliability. It further features 50% flame/heat adjustment for maximum comfort and efficiency. It comes complete with solid cast iron, grate, charcoal embers and 5lbs of lava rock.
Why choose Napoleon GVFL18N 18 Inch Vent Free Natural Gas Log Set
- It uses a unique infrared base that radiates heat back into the room for additional heat and increased efficiency.
- It uses a Millivolt Valve System that requires little effort.
- It is a remote ready system in that the Controls are hidden from view with easy access, ready for remote control setup.
- It comes with a complete log set including cast iron, grate, charcoal embers and lava rock.
- It has a unique oxygen depletion sensor that monitors oxygen level in room, and closes gas valve automatically if oxygen is low.
- It is cheap and easy to install.
- It fires up easily and produces a good amount of heat.
- It comes packaged as one complete system for easy installation.
Potential concerns with Napoleon GVFL18N
- It has ridiculous steps when turning it on.
The Napoleon GVFL18N is described as providing one of the most realistic “wood fire” experiences without the smell or hassle. It is a highly efficient gas fireplace insert that does not require a chimney plus it has a good number of unique features including an infrared burner that radiates well into your room. It may be on the higher price side but is worth it given the excellent performance.
Factors to consider To Get The Best Gas Fireplace Insert
When you are looking for a good gas fireplace insert to buy, there are a number of features that are very important to consider. They include:
The control systems – The control system can be a switch, a remote control or some other method and provides you with the options of the limited heat to be produced.
Circulatory systems– The circulatory system helps to spread the generated heat around your living space and this depends on its size. A larger circulatory system provides a better amount of heat that will be distributed around your house.
Adjustable flame size – There are inserts that allow you to control the size of the flame that is being produced in the fireplace. This will allow visual presence in the house.
Thermostat control– The best fireplace inserts are those that have automatic thermostat control. With this, you will set the preferred temperature range and be sure that the thermostat will turn on when the room temperature goes down.
Other features – These include the price, ease of installation, fuel type (natural gas, propane or both), heat output/BTUs and maintenance costs.