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Best Gas Fireplace Insert (Reviews 2023)

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

This guide includes the Best Gas Fireplace Insert options for 2023, which “type” to consider for your chimney or decor, and the features that make the most sense for your particular gas fireplace installation.

The best way to convert a Wood-burning fireplace to a Gas-burning fireplace is to install a Gas Fireplace Insert or Vent Free Gas Fireplace Unit. Today we review the best of both types, help you complete this installation, and enjoy a more energy-efficient fireplace.

This list features the ten best gas fireplace insert logs or full gas fireplace boxes and the pros and cons for each model.

Whether you plan to add a gas fireplace insert log or box insert to an existing chimney, use a “direct-vent” (to the outside), or use a stand-alone “ventless” fireplace, we’ve got you covered.

What is the Best Gas Fireplace Insert To Buy?

Below are the Top-Rated Gas Fireplace Inserts and Gas Fireplace options for converting your Wood Burning Fireplace into a Natural Gas Fireplace.  Here are a few things to remember if you consider this project.

  1. Most Gas Fireplace Log Inserts (the most popular option) are available in 18″ & 24″ Log Sets.  Click any Fireplace “Log Insert” Link below to view optional sizes at Amazon.
  2. Assuming you don’t have Natural Gas plumbed to your existing fireplace yet, we strongly encourage hiring a licensed/reputable plumber to provide the “black pipe” gas line to your fireplace/chimney and install your gas fireplace insert at the same time.

The (7) Best Gas Fireplace Inserts for 2023

 

Editor’s Choice:  Peterson Real Fyre “Big Stack – 24″ Log Insert Kit

Peterson Real Fyre 24-inch Big-Stack Split Oak Log Set with Vented G45 Dual- Flame Burner w/Auto Safety Pilot Control Valve (Propane Gas)

Why We Like It

Gas log Inserts are typically installed in an existing wood-burning fireplace (converting from wood to gas-burning fire). And whether you’re doing the installation yourself (DIY) or hiring a contractor, you will need all the components (parts) to finish the job.

The Peterson brand is one of our top choices because it’s a very reputable product, and offers all the gas fireplace components you will need in one package.

The Peterson gas fireplace inserts include all the components needed to complete the gas log installation.  The “Big Stack” package from Peterson offers the Real Fyre “Big Stack”  24″ Gas Log Set, “Dual-Flame – Vented” Burner, Auto-Safety Gas valve, Flexible Gas line, Gas connection accessories, Silica sand, and Embers.

Note:  Our runner-up selection, also from Peterson manufacturing, includes a similar package, except using their 24″ – “Post-Oak log set for a little less money, featured below.

Peterson is one of our top choices because of its reputable brand, and they offer all the gas fireplace components in one package.

The  24″ gas log insert will easily fit most existing fireplace boxes with a clear “inside 30”. In addition, the “Real Fyre” Gas Insert logs are super realistic, and the package comes as a G-45 vented gas log burner, ready for installation.

As our top choice among “Vented” (Only used in VENTED fireplaces) fireplace inserts, these gas fireplace logs from Peterson offer a dual-flame burner and a superior 90,000 BTU heating capacity.

Specs

  • 90,0000 BTU Heating Capacity
  • Six Hand-Painted 24″ Ceramic Logs (Big Stack Collection)
  • Ceramic Logs include Steel-Rod inserts for strength
  • Natural and Real Bark color tones
  • Ember and Silica Sand kit
  • ANSI Certified G45 – Dual-flame Gas Stainless Steel Burner
  • Pre-assembled Auto-Safety gas control valve
  • Custom Steel Grate

Our Take Away

Peterson again provides a fantastic all-inclusive and “vented” gas fireplace insert.  You can spend more money – But why?

Peterson “Big Stack” –  24″ Gas Fireplace Insert

Peterson

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>


Runner Up:   Peterson – 24″ “Post Oak” Gas Log Insert

Peterson Real Fyre 24-inch Post Oak Log Set with Vented G45 Dual- Flame Burner w/Auto Safety Pilot Control Valve (Propane Gas)

Why We Like It

Running at a close second is another Peterson “Post Oak Real Fyre” 24″ “Vented” gas/log/fireplace insert, which, like our Editor’s choice, is an excellent option for anyone converting from wood to a gas fireplace. 

The difference between this gas log set (Post Oak) and the Editor’s choice (Big Stack) is the smaller size and the quantity of the ceramic logs included in this package.  For that reason, the “Post Oak” gas insert package is a more economical choice.

Specs

  • 90,0000 BTU Heating Capacity
  • Six Hand-Painted 24″ Ceramic Logs (Post Oak collection)
  • Ceramic Logs include Steel-Rod inserts for strength
  • Natural and Real Bark color tones
  • Ember and Silica Sand kit
  • ANSI Certified G45 – Dual-flame Gas Stainless Steel Burner
  • Pre-assembled Auto-Safety gas control valve
  • Custom Steel Grate
  • Auto-Safety Gas Valve (Pilot, On/OFF) 

Our Take Away

For all the reasons we favor the Peterson Big Stack 24″ Gas Log Insert, we recommend the Post-Oak log set, which, unless the log sets were side-by-side, is sure to satisfy most buyers equally.

Post-Oak  24″ Gas Log Insert – “Best Value” 

Peterson

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>


Best Value:   Peterson 24″ “Split Oak” Gas Log Insert

Peterson Real Fyre 24-inch Split Oak Log Set with Vented G4 Burner - Match-Light (Natural Gas)

Why We Like It

Running at a close third in our top-rated gas insert review is another option from Peterson’s “Real Fyre” lineup.  Like our Editor’s Choice, the “Split Oak” 24″ “Vented” gas/log/fireplace insert is a great option for anyone converting from wood to a gas fireplace. 

The difference between this gas log set and the Editor’s choice (Big Stack) is the Configuration and Style of the ceramic logs included in this package, which is a beautiful “Split Oak” design.

The split oak design also is a less expensive option to the Editor’s choice Big Stack set. An economical choice, offering yet another Design Choice for users.

Specs

  • 90,0000 BTU Heating Capacity
  • Six Hand-Painted 24″ Ceramic Logs (Split Oak collection)
  • Ceramic Logs include Steel-Rod inserts for strength
  • Natural and Real Bark color tones
  • Ember and Silica Sand kit
  • ANSI Certified G45 – Dual-flame Gas Stainless Steel Burner
  • Pre-assembled Auto-Safety gas control valve
  • Custom Steel Grate
  • Auto-Safety Gas Valve (Pilot, On/OFF) 

Our Take Away

For all the reasons we favor the Peterson Big Stack 24″ Gas Log Insert, we recommend the Split-Oak log set, which, unless the log sets were side-by-side, is sure to satisfy most buyers equally.

Split Oak  24″ Gas Log Insert – “Best Value” 

Peterson

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>


 

Best “White Birch” – 24″ Natural Gas Log Set 

Peterson Real Fyre 24-inch White Birch Oak Log Set with Vented G45 Dual- Flame Burner w/Auto Safety Pilot Control Valve (Natural Gas)

Why We Like It

The Peterson “White Birch” natural gas fireplace insert creates a more than adequate 90,000 BTUs of heating capacity.  The “Vented” Fireplace Log Insert includes heat-resistant, natural-looking five-piece “Birch” Logs and a G45 Dual-flame burner for Vented installation (chimney).

Specs

  • 90,0000 BTU Heating Capacity
  • Six Hand-Painted 24″ Ceramic Logs (White Birch collection)
  • Ceramic Logs include Steel-Rod inserts for strength
  • Natural and Real Bark color tones
  • Ember and Silica Sand kit
  • ANSI Certified G45 – Dual-flame Gas Stainless Steel Burner
  • Custom Steel Grate
  • Auto-Safety Gas Valve (Pilot, On/OFF

Our Take Away

In our reviews for quality, performance, availability, and heat output, no brand met our stringent requirements other than Peterson manufacturing. Originally our review included two other manufacturers.

However, those products were either discontinued or showed unfavorable user reviews, so we have decided only to feature Peterson gas log inserts at this time.

This Birch log set is another version of the same basic 24″ gas log set from Peterson, featuring an attractive Birch Log design.

Best “Birch Gas Log” Set – Peterson 24″ Gas Insert

Peterson

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>


“Best “Vent Free” Burner Log Set  – Peterson Real Fyre

Peterson Real Fyre 24-inch Split Oak Log Set With Vent-free Natural Gas Ansi Certified G9 Burner - Variable Flame Remote

Why We Like It

If you don’t have an Existing Chimney (Vented) or are looking to install a gas fireplace on an Interior(Not Exterior)Wall, this 24″ Vent-Free Gas fireplace insert from Peterson may be the ticket.

Available for either Propane or Natural Gas installations, this attractive Split Oak design gas insert offers 24″ Long realistic “Real Fyre” logs and a handy Remote Control for adjusting the flame or turning the unit On/OFF from across the room.

Providing an admirable heating capacity of 36,000 BTUs, the Peterson gas log insert is perfect for those looking to build their freestanding fireplace surrounded by a mantle and using a metal firebox* 

*This vent-free gas log insert requires the installation of a Metal Firebox from Empire Comfort Systems, as the gas log insert produces real-combustible flames.

**Note:  This product does not include a “Metal FireBox”, or Metal Rack for Ceramic logs, and a flexible gas line is sold separately.

Specs:

  •  36,000 BTU’s
  • 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). 
  • Barrier Screen
  • Seven hand-painted realistic detailed logs using superior ceramic fiber material give a stunning look.
  • 99.9% efficient with a Vent-Free gas burner. No outside duct or chimney needed.
  • No Electricity is 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 Peterson Real Fyre isn’t the least expensive approach in Gas Fireplace installations. Still, it does meet the need of anyone without an existing chimney or looking to place a gas fireplace on and “Interior Wall.”

With two options for fuel hookup: Liquid Propane or Natural Gas.  The Stacked Split Oak Log Set features a 36,000 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, and requires additional purchases (Box, Grate, Gas line), If you’re looking for a Vent-Free gas log insert – this is a great choice from a reputable brand.

Best “Vent-Free” Gas Log Set with Remote – Peterson

Peterson – “Real Fyre”

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>


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

Duluth Forge Dual Fuel Ventless Gas Fireplace with Mantel - 26,000 BTU, Remote Control, Apple Spice Finish - Model# DFS-300R-4AS

Why We Like It

Some Folks are considering the installation of a Gas Fireplace but do not have an existing chimney/mantle/fireplace to place a gas log insert.

For those buyers, The Duluth Forge DFS-300R-4AS gas fireplace offers a stylish, complete Built-In fireplace with zero clearance required (mounts directly against the wall), allowing you to surface mount the unit to the wall. 

Duluth offers dual-fuel technology: it can burn either Natural Gas or Propane fuel, depending on your availability.

This Duluth gas fireplace is a complete package – with a 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) 
  • 26,000 BTU Heating Capacity 
  • Size:  15″Deep x 43.5″Wide x 39.5″High
  • Remote Control 
  • Dual Fuel Technology – Natural Gas or Liquid Propane
  • Heats up to 1,350 sq. ft. Area.
  • Thermostat Control – The control automatically cycles the burner on and off 
  •  Five 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 needed in a vent-free fireplace.  Duluth is also the only unit we reviewed that 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 in your choice of 9 different wood finishes.

Best “Built-In” Gas Fireplace With Mantle Surround

Duluth Forge

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>


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 straightforward 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 add to the modern look.

Best “Modern” Gas Fireplace Insert – Napoleon Plazmafire

Napoleon

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>>


Gas Fireplace Insert – Buyers Guide (FAQ)

 

How Gas Fireplace Inserts are Vented?  These are Three methods used to Vent a Gas Fireplace Insert:

 

Method #1 – “Vented by Gravity”

The most affordable and Common Method is to use an existing masonry chimney or B-Vent – to allow gravity to carry exhaust fumes up and out of the house.  Combustible heat is transferred into the room by a fan/blower or naturally (as shown below).

Method #2) – “Direct Vent”

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

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

Direct Vent Gas FIreplace Insert - Best Home Gear

Note:  The “Direct-vent” option shown above is considered the safest and most energy-efficient 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).

 

How To Tell The Difference Between “Vented and Vent-Free” Gas Fireplace Insert:


 

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 BTUs). 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 three 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 using a “B-Vent” used in a framed chimney chase.  They typically contain a gas log set, grate, and burner and sit inside their metal box.

A second metal box then surrounds this firebox. 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 a wall thermostat, blower, glass doors, oxygen sensor, and flame height adjustment, to name a few.

2) “Built-In” Gas Fireplace:  (Stand-Alone Fireplace)

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

Built like 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 the 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 Masonry Fireplaces

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

A gas log set allows you to change your wood-burning fireplace to a gas-burning fireplace. This is done by placing a Gas insert, Grate, and Ceramic logs inside an existing fireplace.

Installation, however, does require the availability of natural gas and electricity (vented), which, if not installed, will require the help of a professional plumber and electrician.

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, contributing to a significant loss of heat.

*Note: Each of the three Gas fireplaces 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.  Heat is direct via a blower or by radiant heat – to the inside of the home.

Vent-free or “Ventless” gas fireplace inserts can be up to 99% efficient and have risen to mass popularity due to their relatively inexpensive installation costs and wide range of designs. There is no chimney to build, and no direct outdoor venting is 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 principle 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 generates combustible heat, it also produces trace amounts of Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, just as an open-flame gas stove does.

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 Gas Fireplace Inserts (use recycled room air to heat space) generally have the highest heat efficiency rating.

Gas fireplace fire inserts can produce between 20-40,000 BTUs and quickly heat a medium-sized 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 essential considerations before buying a Gas Fireplace Insert:

  • Insert type – What three 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, we recommend consulting a local contractor and assessing the cost of hiring a professional to assist with natural gas or electrical connections for a new fireplace insert –  and the safety concerns associated with this installation.

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
Kevin
Kevin is the author and editor for Best Home Gear. In addition to his work in publishing, Kevin enjoys exploring the Outdoors in Michigan and Arizona, Hiking, Cycling, Fishing, Reading, and Completing Projects for the Home and Garden.

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