The 7 Best Gas Fireplace Inserts to Buy in 2018

Enjoy the comfort of a fire at home without the hassle


Courtesy of Wayfair

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Gas fireplace inserts are a convenient and appealing way to add the warmth of a fireplace to your home. Many people enjoy watching the flames of a roaring fire or appreciate their warmth on a chilly night, but don’t love to clean up ashes or keep a stocked supply of firewood. Gas fireplace inserts are popular since they avoid the hassles of traditional woodburning fireplaces and offer a variety of installation and fuel options.

These fireplace inserts come in either vented or ventless configurations, so you’ll need to determine which choice is right for your space. Vented gas fireplace inserts will require a flue for external venting. On the other hand, vent-free fireplace inserts can be installed anywhere without needing an external exhaust route. The heat from a vented gas fireplace isn’t as intense since some of it is lost up the chimney. But a room with a ventless gas fireplace needs to be monitored for a build-up of carbon monoxide during operation. Fortunately, just about all units are equipped with an oxygen depletion sensor that monitors air quality. Other decisions will include whether to buy a model that runs on natural gas, propane, or either fuel source.​

You can also purchase vented or ventless gas log sets. These can be used in traditional fireplaces or in gas fireplace inserts. Other options include purchasing a zero-clearance gas fireplace insert that will allow for just about any mantle or surround you have in mind to finish the look of your fireplace. Or, purchase a gas fireplace insert complete with a traditional mantle for a ready-made look. Whichever gas fireplace insert you choose, you can look forward to adding a bright glow and a warm, cozy ambiance to your space.

  • 01 of 07

    Best Overall: Napoleon Grandville VF Series 37" Vent Free Natural Gas Fireplace

    Napoleon Grandville VF Series 37

    Courtesy of Amazon

    For a ready-to-enjoy gas fireplace insert, choose the Napoleon Grandville Vent-Free Natural Gas Fireplace. This is our top overall pick for a gas fireplace insert that will look great and warm up your space.

    The Napoleon Grandville has a vent-free design, meaning more heat will enter your room instead of being released through the flue. To keep your air quality safe, this natural gas fireplace insert includes an oxygen depletion sensor—which will automatically shut off the unit if dangerous levels of carbon monoxide are detected.

    Firing up the Napoleon gas fireplace insert is easy thanks to a millivolt ignition system. Once the flame is lit with the simple on/off switch, this gas fireplace can put out up to 30,000 BTU. The intensity of the heat and flame can be adjusted by up to 50 percent, making this a versatile fireplace to enjoy in all types of weather. A safety screen and logs are included with this gas fireplace insert, eliminating the need to buy a compatible set. However, it should be noted that a remote control and louver or trim kits are options that must be purchased separately. Overall, the Napoleon Grandville ​Vent-Free Natural Gas Fireplace stands out as a ready-made option that will give you a warm glow with adjustable heat and firelight to enjoy all year long.

  • 02 of 07

    Best with Direct Vent: Empire Tahoe Deluxe Direct Vent Fireplace

    If you’re opting for a direct vent gas fireplace insert, the Empire Tahoe Deluxe unit is a smart choice.

    Direct vent fireplace inserts are harder to find, but this model from Empire can end your search with an efficient, easy-to-use unit. The Tahoe Deluxe Fireplace has an efficiency rating of up to 83 percent, which is pretty good considering that the flue will be open when using this unit. It also is compact enough to fit in tight spaces and measures only 16 inches deep.

    The gas fireplace insert has millivolt control—allowing it to be turned on and off with a simple switch. This direct vent gas fireplace insert doesn’t include all the bells and whistles—including a brick liner, upgraded louvers, or a remote control. But it does have a set of gas logs included, which is a plus. The unit is ready to go after installation and will only require additional purchases if you want to customize the look or add the convenience of a remote control.

  • 03 of 07

    Best Dual Fuel: Duluth Forge Dual Fuel Fireplace Insert

    Duluth Forge Dual Fuel Fireplace Insert

    Courtesy of Wayfair

    Many gas fireplace inserts are either equipped to use natural gas or propane fuel. Some, though, can operate with either source of fuel—like the Duluth Forge Dual Fuel Fireplace Insert.

    This gas fireplace insert is configured for ventless operation. Up to 26,000 BTU can be generated with either natural gas or liquid propane. This should provide enough heat to warm up to 1,350 square feet. Whether you opt for natural gas or propane, firing up the Duluth Forge Dual Fuel Fireplace Insert is easy, thanks to the battery-assisted piezo ignition.

    Use the included remote control to switch the fireplace insert from manual mode to thermal mode for efficient temperature control. Or, turn the unit on and off using the remote. For extra heat distribution, you can also purchase a blower for this ventless fireplace insert. If you’re not sure whether you’d like to operate your gas fireplace insert using natural gas or liquid propane, the Duluth Forge Dual Fireplace leaves all your options on the table.

  • 04 of 07

    Best with Mantle: Belmont Compact Dual Fuel Fireplace

    Belmont Compact Dual Fuel Fireplace

    Courtesy of Wayfair

    If you’re after the traditional look of a fireplace with a mantel, choose a gas fireplace insert with included mantel. The Belmont Compact Dual Fuel Fireplace is a versatile, classic-looking choice.

    Housed in a rich-looking wood finish, this mantle and fireplace combination is a stylish, functional addition for your home. The compact, vent-free unit is only 18" deep and can be tucked into any room to add instant heat and firelight. It’s a major plus that the gas fireplace insert is configured to use either natural gas or propane as a fuel source.

    The maximum BTU output of the Belmont Dual Fuel Fireplace is 20,000 BTU. With a ventless gas fireplace configuration, you’ll get plenty of heat radiating from the unit. If you want to add a traditional fireplace to any room, do so with this versatile gas fireplace insert with mantel.

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  • 05 of 07

    Best Vented Gas Log Set: Sure Heat Burnt River Oak Vented Gas Log Set, 24-Inch

    Sure Heat BRO24NG Sure Heat Burnt River Oak Vented Gas Log Set

    Courtesy of Amazon

    If you are looking for a set of vented gas logs, the Sure Heat Burnt River Oak 24-inch set is a realistic looking option.

    These hand-painted cement logs are designed to look like the real thing, and the illusion is enhanced by the u-shaped dual burner that provides for variations in the flame pattern. Adding to the realistic look of this gas log set are high-performance embers that glow at the base of the logs.

    People with a vented natural gas fireplace find this set of Sure Heat Burnt River Oak Vented Gas Logs to be a great value at an affordable price point. You will, however, need to manually light this unit with a match to get the flames going. A few people noted that the logs initially had an odor, but that after the first few hours of use, the smell dissipated. Buy the Sure Heat Burnt River Oak Gas Log Set for your vented gas fireplace insert and you’ll appreciate the natural, warm glow.

  • 06 of 07

    Best Ventless Gas Log Set: Duluth Forge Vent Free Dual Fuel Gas Log Set

    If you have a ventless gas fireplace insert, pick the Duluth Forge Vent Free Dual Fuel Log Set to add a powerful source of heat to your home.

    This set of gas logs has a realistic red oak look, and it also includes a u-burner to create two rows of flames for your enjoyment. The unit can be fueled by either natural gas or propane, offering you options depending on the configuration of your gas fireplace insert.

    While this set from Duluth Forge doesn’t include lava rocks or embers, these add-ons for your gas log set can be easily purchased separately. People really like the included remote control that allows you to adjust the gas logs from your cozy spot on the couch. For safety, this set does include an oxygen depletion sensor. The 30,000 BTU will provide plenty of heat for up to 1,100 square feet—especially since these gas logs are for use with a vent free gas fireplace insert.

  • 07 of 07

    Best Budget: Emberglow 32 in. Vent Free Gas Fireplace Insert

    Emberglow 32 in. Vent Free Gas Fireplace Insert

    Courtesy of Home Depot

    For an entry-level option, the Emberglow Vent Free Gas Fireplace Insert will burn bright without burning up your cash.

    This zero-clearance gas fireplace insert is ready for any type of mantle or surrounds that you have in mind, and it allows you the freedom to customize it your way. The firebox is trimmed out in a herringbone brick pattern that gives a traditional, finished look. In addition, the solid construction of this unit provides 99.9 percent heat efficiency.

    One thing to note is that you’ll need to purchase logs for this gas fireplace insert separately. However, the Emberglow Fireplace Insert does include an adjustable fire screen that can be pulled across the front of the unit. Buy the Emberglow if you want to customize the surround of the fireplace insert your way and also want to pick out your own gas log set to complete the look.