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10 Best Gas Fireplace Inserts – Reviews 2020

The Best Gas Fireplace Insert Reviews For Your Home, Office, Or Retail Space

If you’re looking to convert from a wood-burning fireplace to a gas-burning fireplace, the best way to do that is by installing the best Gas Fireplace Insert on the market. However, you may be surprised to find out how many different types of gas log inserts are available to purchase.

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Today we’ll feature a wide range of the 10 best gas fireplace inserts for 2020, and explain the difference between each type of gas fireplace inserts you can buy.

Whether you plan to add a gas fireplace insert to an existing chimney, or install as with “direct-vent” to outside, or go with a stand-alone – “ventless” fireplace, you’ll find the best natural gas fireplace insert for each option below:

The 10 Best Gas Fireplace Inserts for 2020:

  1. Editors Choice: Peterson “Real Fyre” – Vent-free – Natural Gas Insert
  2. Runner up:  Procom “Vent-free” – Dual Fuel
  3. Best Value:  Duluth – “Vent-free” – Dual Fuel
  4. Best “Direct Vent” Insert – Empire Tahoe – Natural Gas
  5. Best “Ventless” Gas Insert – Duluth Forge – 
  6. Runner Up “Vented” Gas Insert –
  7. Best Vent-Free with Remote Control –
  8. Best Value 30” Gas fireplace Log insert – Sure Heat 18″
  9. Best Value 24” Gas Fireplace “Log insert – Sure Heat 24″
  10. Best 18” Fireplace Log set – Sure Heat 30″

 

Editor’s ChoiceRunner UpBest Built-InBest Value Gas Log Insert
Peterson Real Fyre 24-inch Split Oak Log Set With Vent-free Natural Gas Ansi Certified G9 Burner - Basic On/Off RemoteProCom FBNSD28T Ventless Dual Fuel Firebox Insert, 29 inDuluth Forge 32,000 BTU Remote Control, FDF400RT-ZC, Apple SpiceDuluth Forge Ventless Dual Fuel Gas Log Set-18 in. Stacked Red Oak, Remote Control
Peterson Real Fyre 24-inch Split Oak Log Set With Vent-free Natural Gas Ansi Certified G9 Burner - Basic On/Off RemoteProCom FBNSD28T Ventless Dual Fuel Firebox Insert, 29 inDuluth Forge 32,000 BTU Remote Control, FDF400RT-ZC, Apple SpiceDuluth Forge Ventless Dual Fuel Gas Log Set-18 in. Stacked Red Oak, Remote Control
$826.20$1,101.60$1,490.00Price not available
SEE ON AMAZONSEE ON AMAZONSEE ON AMAZONSEE ON AMAZON

 

Editor’s Choice:  Peterson “Real Fyre” Vent-Free – 24″ Natural Gas Fireplace Insert

 

Peterson Real Fyre 24-inch Split Oak Log Set With Vent-free Natural Gas Ansi Certified G9 Burner - Basic On/Off Remote

Why We Like It

If you’re looking for a Vent-free Fireplace Insert, it’s tough to beat the Peterson 24″ Gas Fireplace Insert.  The “Real Fyre” Designer Series insert is super realistic, fits any size fireplace, and the package comes as a complete unit, ready for installation.

As our top choice among gas fireplace inserts (vent-free), Peterson offers a superior 36,000 BTU heating capacity – and offers a very attractive but understated design, which works in any existing fireplace.

Specs

  • Hand Painted Superior Refractory Ceramic Logs
  • Natural and Real Bark color tones
  • ANSI Certified G9 – Vent-free – Stainless Steel Burner
  • Hand-Held Remote Control – Or use ON/OFF Switch
  • Factory-installed Pre-assembled gas control valve
  • ODS safety system – On/Off Safety Pilot
  • Custom Grate
  • Includes Glowing Embers, Bryte Coals, and Lava Granules
  • 24″ wide x 14″ inches high (with logs and grate assembled)
  • 36,000 BTUs
  • Oxygen depletion sensor (ods)
  • Piezo ignitor

Our Take Away

Overall Peterson checks all the boxes with this model, assuming you prefer a “vent-free” gas fireplace insert.  You can spend more – But why?

 

Peterson “Real Fyre” –  24″ Gas Fireplace Insert

Peterson

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Runner Up: ProCom – Dual Fuel * Vent-Free – Gas Fireplace 

ProCom FBNSD28T Ventless Dual Fuel Firebox Insert, 29 in

Why We Like It

Running at a close second is the ProCom gas fireplace insert, which offers the distinctive “dual-gas” option, of using either Natural Gas or Liquid Propane fuel sources.

Specs

  • Dimensions:  15″ deep x 30″ wide  x 27″ high
  • 26,000 Maximum BTU using Natural Gas or Liquid Propane
  • Heats up to 1,350 sq. ft. space
  • 5 realistic Ceramic Fiber Logs
  • Includes Thermostat Control – Automatically cycles on and off to maintain the desired setting
  • Dual Precision Ported Vent Free gas burner
  • O.D.S. (Oxygen Depletion Sensor) included with automatic shut-off
  • Patented Dual Fuel Technology (Natural or Propane gas hook-up)
  • Battery assisted Piezo ignition

Our Take Away

The ProCom vent-free, zero clearance gas fireplace insert is certainly a strong front runner in our list of best gas fireplace inserts. Offering all of the features of the Napoleon model, and thermostat and louvers are included at no extra cost.

ProCom’s – FBNSD-29T is slightly smaller than the Napoleon at 6″ narrower in width and produces 26,000 vs. 30,000 BTUs.  But although it isn’t as large, it offers more options, at considerable savings.

 

ProCom FBNSD-29T – “Runner Up” Gas Fireplace

ProCom

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Best Built-In:  Duluth Forge – Vent Free – Built-In With Mantle Surround

Duluth Forge 32,000 BTU Remote Control, FDF400RT-ZC, Apple Spice

Why We Like It

The Duluth Forge FDF400RT-ZC offers a very stylish, complete Built-In fireplace, with zero-clearance (for combustibles) which allows you to surface mount the unit to the wall.  Duluth offers dual-fuel technology: burns Natural Gas or Propane fuel. This gas fireplace comes as a complete package – with full mantle and surround and is vent-free.  As with all gas fireplace inserts, you will need gas and electrical lines, installed by a professional.

Specs

  • Assembled in The USA (Kentucky) 
  • 32,000 BTUs
  • Dual Fuel Technology – Natural Gas or Liquid Propane
  • Heats up to 1, 500 sq. ft. Area.
  • Thermostat Control – The control automatically cycles the burner on and off 
  •  5 realistic hand-painted Ceramic Fiber Logs
  • 99. 9% efficient
  • Vent-free. No outside duct or chimney needed 
  • Push-button Piezo ignition with Built-in pilot
  • Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS) immediately shuts down the heater if carbon monoxide or lack of oxygen is detected.
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty

Our Take Away

The Duluth Forge fireplace has all the options you would need in a vent-free fireplace.  Duluth is also the only unit we reviewed, which can be surface mounted (not recessed in the wall) and includes a Mantle and full surround – for a complete stand-alone gas fireplace.  It is also available at Amazon in your choice of 9 different wood finishes.

 

Best “Built-In” Gas Fireplace With Mantle Surround

Duluth Forge

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Best “Direct-Vent” Gas Fireplace Insert:  Empire Tahoe Deluxe

Empire Tahoe Deluxe 36' Direct-Vent NG Millivolt Fireplace

 

Why We Like It

The Empire Tahoe Deluxe natural gas fireplace insert creates a comfortable 20,000 BTUs and doing so at 83% efficiency.  The Fireplace includes heat-resistant, large tempered glass viewing window, black slat louvers, a natural-looking 5 pc log set, contour burner, and is used for direct vent installation.

Specs

  • 36″ deluxe direct vent gas fireplace with 5-piece log set
  • The contour burner generates up to 20,000 BTUs with 83% efficiency
  • Large heat-resistant tempered glass viewing window
  • Includes black slat louvers
  • Remote-ready millivolt controls
  • Requires no electricity
  • Heater-rated
  • Natural gas
  • Uses 4″ x 6 5/8″ diameter vent pipe
  • Dimensions: 32 3/4″ H x 37″ W x 16 3/8″ D
  • 3-year limited warranty

Our Take Away

One of the few top-rated gas fireplaces we reviewed, as a  “Direct Vent” type.   Empire is a highly reputable manufacturer of gas fireplaces and offers vents and accessories for their complete line.

 

Best Direct Vent Fireplace Insert – Empire Tahoe Deluxe

Empire

 

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Best Modern Design – Napoleon Plazmafire – Natural Gas Vent-Free

Napoleon Plazmafire Vent Free Wall Mount Natural Gas Fireplace With Painted Black Rectangular Surround

 

Why We Like It

The Napoleon Plazmafire 31 – WHVF31 offers very easy installation plus all of the conveniences you get with a vent free gas fireplace, including a 31 x 15″ viewing window, topaz crystalline ember bed, and slate tile interior.  It’s simply the most attractive fireplace in our review, especially if you’re interior preference is modern design.

Specs

  • Clean, contemporary design
  • Exclusive Topaz Crystaline ember bed
  • Slate brick panel interior
  • Catalytic filtering tiles included
  • Fuel-saving electronic ignition
  • Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS)
  • Optional LED light kits (2)

Our Take Away

Napoleon’s Plazmafire 31 includes as standard a very modern but super attractive Topaz Crystalline ember bed and a slate brick interior that both adds to the modern look.

Best “Modern” Gas Fireplace Insert – Napoleon Plazmafire

Napoleon

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“Best Premium”:  18″ Ventless Gas Log Set With Remote Control – Duluth Forge

Duluth Forge Ventless Dual Fuel Gas Log Set-18 in. Stacked Red Oak, Remote Control

 

Why We Like It

If you’re looking for a substantial traditional gas fireplace insert – the Duluth Forge 18″ gas log set is at the top of our list of reviewed gas log inserts.  The 30,000 BTU  log insert heater, our opinion, has the most substantial looking ceramic logs and is one of the most convenient on the market with its included – remote control.

Specs

  •  30, 000 BTU Unit
  • Dual Fuel: Liquid Propane Gas or Natural Gas Blue Flame Heater which Heats up to 1,100 sq. ft. Area.
  • Electronic Ignition included with Remote Control (Functions: On/Off, Temperature Control). 
  • 7 hand-painted realistic detailed logs using superior ceramic fiber material give a stunning look.
  • 99. 9% efficient with Vent-Free gas burner. No outside duct or chimney needed
  • No Electricity needed. Battery Assisted Piezo ignition
  • The built-in pilot oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) immediately shuts down the heater if carbon monoxide or lack of oxygen is detected.
  • **1 Year Limited warranty

Our Take Away

The Duluth Forge gas log insert offers two options for fuel hookup: Liquid Propane or Natural Gas.  The Stacked Red Oak Log Set features a 30,000 BTU output and includes a Safe Piezo Battery operated Electronic Ignition, with Thermostatic Remote Control, provided for customizable heat settings.   

While this is the most expensive gas log set we reviewed, If you’re planning to convert a wood-burning chimney to a gas burning fireplace, it is definitely one of the best, and compared to full fire-box gas fireplace inserts – it’s a great value.

 

Best Gas Log Set with Remote – Duluth Forge

Duluth Forge

 

SEE PRICE & DETAILS ON AMAZON >>>

 


 

“Best Value”:  18″ Gas Fireplace Log Set – Sure Heat model SH18DBNG

Sure Heat SH18DBNG Sure Heat Seasoned Hickory Dual Burner Vented Gas Log Set, 18-Inch, Natural Gas

 

Why We Like It

The Sure Heat-Gas 18″ direct vent fireplace insert provides one of the best gas fireplace inserts vented for use in a chimney.  This log set offers realistic gas log fires, with very attractive 18″ Seasoned Hickory cement logs. It also cranks out up to 50-60,000 BTUs, making it one of our largest heat output inserts reviewed.

Specs

  • 6  hand-painted refractory cement logs stacked on a tiered grate realistically recreate a real fireplace.
  • Equipped with an innovative u-shaped dual burner, Pan, Grate, Shale, Glowing Embers, and connection hardware.
  • Tiered Grate
  • This is a match-light style vented unit. On/Off valve not included.
  • Not ignition start.
  • High-Performance embers glow twice as bright as standard embers 
  • Fits all fireplaces with minimum dimensions of 28″ front width; 15″ Depth and 21″ back width
  • Requires an open and working flue;
  • BTUs – 50,000/60,000
  • Requires an open and working chimney flue

Our Takeaway

Sure Heat offers a beautifully designed unit that uses an innovative U-shaped dual burner to provide a superior and very realistic dancing flame pattern. Heating pro will need to hook up the Safety On/Off pilot gas valve (additional accessory not included). If you’re not opposed to lighting gas log with a match vs. electronic ignition, Sure heat offers a very realistic 18″ gas fireplace insert here for the money.

Note: All “Sure Heat” Gas Log Sets – Require (not included with purchase) a Safety Pilot Light – Model CVS 303. The safety pilot and gas hook-up should only be installed by a qualified heating professional. The safety pilot light requires a “light by match” to start operation.  See safety pilot details on Amazon:

Best Value – Sure Heat 18″ Gas Log Set

Sure Heat

 

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“Best Value”:  24″ Gas Fireplace Log Set – Sure Heat model SH24DBNG

Sure Heat BRO24NG Sure Heat Burnt River Oak Vented Gas Log Set, 24-Inch, Natural Gas

Why We Like It

Another great gooseneck design is this vintage-style electric kettle from Bodum. Made from steel and cork, this kettle offers classic looks and modern convenience at the same time. The kettle features cordless functionality, a simple visible power switch and fast heating.  The Bodum also offers precise pouring from its gooseneck design spout.  Like the Willow & Everett model, the Bodum is considered another recommended best electric kettles for tea or coffee.

Specs

  • 8 High detailed Refractory cement Burnt River Oak Logs
  • Tiered Grate
  • Equipped with an innovative u-shaped dual burner, Pan, Grate, Shale, Glowing Embers & connection hardware.
  • This is a match-light style vented unit. On/Off valve not included.
  • High-Performance embers glow twice as bright as standard embers for the look of a real wood-burning fire
  • Fits all fireplaces with minimum dimensions of 32″ front width; 15″ Depth and 24″ back width.
  • Requires an open and working flue
  • 60,000 BTU’s with superior flame patterns.
  • The nominal inlet gas pressure for this appliance is a 7-inch water column for natural gas.
  • Requires CVS-303 (safety pilot kit) and item ACC18 (vermiculite) to convert this set to liquid propane

Our Take Away

Sure Heat offers a beautifully designed unit that uses an innovative U-shaped dual burner to provide a superior and very realistic dancing flame pattern. A professional Heating pro will need to hook up the Safety On/Off pilot and gas valve (not included). If you’re not opposed to lighting gas log with a match vs. electronic ignition, Sure heat offers a very realistic 24″ gas fireplace insert here for the money.

Note: All “Sure Heat” Gas Log Sets – Require (not included with purchase) a Safety Pilot Light – Model CVS 303. The safety pilot and gas hook-up should only be installed by a qualified heating professional. The safety pilot light requires a “light by match” to start operation.  See safety pilot details on Amazon:

Best Value 24″ Gas Insert Log Set

Sure Heat

 

SEE PRICE & DETAILS ON AMAZON >>>

 

 


 

“Best Value”:  30″ Gas Fireplace Log Set – Sure Heat model SH30DBNG

 

 

Sure Heat CS30DBNG Sure Heat Country Split Oak Dual Burner Vented Gas Log Set, 30-Inch, Natural Gas

 

Why We Like It

Finally is our review of the Sure Heat gas fireplace log set – In 30″ width.  Like the vented 18″ & 24″ gas fireplace insert logs we reviewed above, the 30″ vented fireplace insert model is similar, but offers a more high-end Country Split Oak log design, and pumps out an amazing 70,000 BTUs of heat.

Specs

  • 9 Highly detailed, hand-painted refractory Country Split Oak cement logs stacked on a tiered grate 
  • Equipped with an innovative u-shaped dual burner, Pan, Grate, Shale, Glowing Embers.
  • This is a match-light style vented unit. Safety Pilot Light, On/Off valve not included.
  • High-Performance embers glow twice as bright as standard embers. 
  • Fits all fireplaces with minimum dimensions of 32″ front width; 15″ Depth and 24″ back width.
  • BTUs – 70,000
  • Requires an open and working flue

Our Take Away

Sure Heat Gas Logs provide a realistic, natural roaring fire with a 30″ Country Split Oak log set which is simple to function and maintain.  Like all Sure Heat gas log sets we reviewed, you will need to purchase the safety pilot light/gas valve hook up accessories separately.


Note:  Gas appliances, such as fireplace inserts, should only be installed and connected by a qualified heating contractor.

 

Best Value 30″ Gas Fireplace Insert – Sure Heat

Sure Heat

 

SEE PRICE & DETAILS ON AMAZON >>>

 

 


 

Gas Fireplace Insert – Buyers Guide (FAQ)

 

How are Gas Fireplace Inserts – Vented?

These are the three methods used to Vent a Gas Fireplace Insert:

 

Method #1 – “Vented” (Gravity)

Use existing masonry chimney or B-Vent – to allow gravity to carry fumes up and out of the house.  Combustible heat is transferred into the room by fan/blower, or naturally (as shown below).

Method #2) – “Direct Vent”

Uses a factory vent mounted directly behind the fireplace insert and through the wall of the house, to deliver heated combusted air to the fireplace to the interior room, and delivers combusted exhaust fumes outside.

Direct vent fireplaces do not use room air, they only draw fresh air from the exterior of the home. This type of high-efficiency gas fireplace insert provides heated room air, to flow back into the home by gravity or by blower option.

Direct Vent Gas FIreplace Insert - Best Home Gear

Note:  The “Direct-vent” option shown above, is considered the safest, and most energy-efficient type of gas fireplace insert.

 

Method #3 – “Ventless” (Vent-Free)

Also called – “Vent-Free” –   Ventless fireplace inserts are 99% efficient and deliver heated room air back into the living space. Ventless fireplaces also deliver spent combustion fumes with hot air back into the room.

Most vent free gas fireplace inserts are manufactured with an ODS (Oxygen detection sensor) and power off if the safe oxygen level in the room falls below a certain level.

NOTE: Vent-Free Products are not approved in Canada and some States (16 to date).

 

Here’s a Helpful Video on the Differences Between “Vented and Vent-Free” Gas Fireplace inserts:

 

How Big a Fireplace Do I Need?

The illustration below from “This Old House” allows you to determine the size of the fireplace you require (In BTU’s). The formula total will determine the approximate BTU (British Thermal Units) Output required to heat a space.

 

 

What Type of Gas fireplace Insert should I Buy?

 

There are the 3 different types of gas fireplace inserts you can Buy*

1)  Typical Gas Fireplace Insert:

Typical Gas Fireplace Inserts are good for converting a seldom-used wood-burning fireplace into a gas burning fireplace.

 

Typical Gas fireplace inserts are manufactured to slide into a masonry chimney, or exhausted by use of a “B-Vent” used in a framed chimney chase.  They typically contain a gas log set, grate, and burner and sit inside their own metal box.

This firebox is then surrounded by a second metal box. The hot air between the two metal boxes is circulated into the room.

Gas fireplace inserts are used for existing chimneys, remodels, and new construction, and are available in vented (chimney), direct vent (outside) or vent-free models.

Gas fireplace inserts are sold as a complete package, with available options including wall thermostat, blower, glass doors, oxygen sensor, and flame height adjustment, to name a few.

 

2) “Built-In” Gas Fireplace:

Built-In gas fireplaces are good for creating a gas fireplace – where there wasn’t one originally.

Built similar to a traditional gas fireplace insert, built-ins are typically a “stand-alone” fireplace, for use in a space without recessing them into a wall. Built-ins are offered as In-Corner or Flat wall designs, and either direct vent, or vent-free models.

Built-in gas fireplace inserts require mantel and fireplace surround trim to finish the exposed top and sides of the fireplace insert box.

 

3) “Gas Log Set” – For use in an Existing masonry fireplace

Many people looking for the most affordable “gas fireplace insert near me” – are typically searching for what is called a Gas Log Set.  Similar to our Editors Pick from Peterson.  The gas log set is definitely the least expensive type of gas fireplace insert on the market.

The gas log insert simply involves placing a gas burner, grate, and Ceramic logs inside an existing fireplace. Installation, however, does require available gas and electric (vented), which if not installed will require the help of a professional.

Gas fireplace logs can be purchased as vent-free or vented (chimney). If vented, the chimney flue must remain open during use to expel harmful combusted fumes, which contributes to a major loss of heat.

 

*Note: Each of the three Gas fireplace insert choices below requires gas line and electrical connections, which should be installed by a professional.

Why are Ventless (Vent-Free) Gas Fireplaces So Popular?

Most newer homes are now being built with an air-tight construction method. This means fewer walls or roof penetrations and as a result less heat loss. As a result, very few homes are built today with masonry chimneys, due to their cost, and inherent heat loss in the home.

Every gas fireplace expels combusted gas fumes.  Direct Vent gas fireplaces require the fireplace insert to be “Vented” to the outside of the home, which is recommended to be done by heating or plumbing professionals.

Vent-free or otherwise called “Ventless” gas fireplace inserts, can be up to 99% efficient, and have risen to mass popularity, due to their relatively inexpensive costs of installation, and wide range of designs. There is no chimney to build, and no direct venting to the outdoors required.

Are Ventless Gas Fireplace Inserts Safe?

Per Homeadvisor.com, there are currently 34 U.S. states that allow for the sale of vent-free gas fireplace heaters, while 16 prohibit their sale. While the principal of a ventless gas fireplace operates much like that of operating a gas stove, the safety of gas fireplace inserts is still an open debate

Most ventless fireplaces include an ODS or Oxygen Detection Sensor, which automatically shuts off the fireplace when the oxygen in the room falls below certain safety levels.

As a ventless fireplace is generating combustible heat, it is also producing trace amounts of Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, just as an open-flame gas stove will do.

NOTE: Vent-Free Products are not approved in Canada and some States (16 to date).

 

What is the difference between a “Built-in” gas fireplace and a “Typical” gas fireplace insert?

Built-in gas fireplaces are very similar to typical gas fireplace inserts. … However, the difference is that a built-in gas fireplace doesn’t require an existing fireplace or chimney which is required with a typical inset.

If you don’t have an existing wood-burning chimney, a Built-in model is a good option to consider when selecting a gas burning fireplace.

Do Gas Fireplace Inserts Provide Heat”

Here’s a great video from “This Old House”  – that explains the various forms of Gas Fireplaces and the Heat they can provide:

Gas Fireplace Inserts are considered a high-efficiency source of space heating, running between 76-99% efficiency, depending on the type.  Ventless Fireplace Inserts (use recycled room air to heat space) generally have the highest heat efficiency rating.

Gas fireplace inserts can produce between 20-40,000 BTUs, and easily heat a medium-size room on the coldest winter day.

Do gas fireplace inserts require electricity?

Gas fireplace inserts do not require electrical power to operate, however, if you choose to install a gas fireplace that includes a blower/fan, or wall thermostat, those options will require an electrical hook-up.

 

How Do I measure For Gas Fireplace Insert?

If you are using your existing chimney for a new gas fireplace insert, then measure the following: Chimney Opening – height, width; depth (at the top and bottom); rear width, and the depth of the hearth (area in front of the fireplace).

Use these dimensions to order the correct size gas fireplace insert.

 

Conclusion

These are some important considerations before buying a Gas Fireplace Insert:

  • Insert type – which of the 3 gas fireplace insert types meet your needs.
  • Your Budget (how much should you spend)
  • Safety (vented vs. direct vent vs. vent-free)
  • Options (wall thermostat, blower, doors, design)

In any case, be sure to consult a local professional contractor to assess the cost of gas or electrical connections for a new fireplace insert, as well as addressing any safety concerns.

Thanks for visiting besthomegear.com and please don’t forget to make a comment or suggestion below. We welcome your feedback!

 

Additional Reading & References:

 

Kevin

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