Best Gas Fireplace Inserts of 2023

There are many kinds of fireplace inserts, but gas models are the most popular because they look and feel like a real fire but are much easier to light. They are also easy to clean because they don’t make soot or ash. Gas fireplace inserts can even be used to replace old masonry fireplaces when the homeowner wants a more efficient and cost-effective way to heat their home. This makes them a popular choice for both new construction and renovations.

If you’re thinking about getting a gas fireplace insert, you have a lot of options, but some of the technical details can be hard to understand. After looking into the best gas fireplace inserts on the market right now, we put together this guide to help you choose the right one for your needs.

How To Choose the Best Gas Fireplace Inserts

In a previous article, we talked about general questions about how to choose a gas fireplace, which you may find helpful. Here, the main topic is how to choose a gas fireplace insert. Getting to know the different technologies will help you choose the best one for your home. Also, read Best Memory Foam Mattresses.

Types of Inserts for Gas Fireplaces

There are different types of gas fireplace inserts based on how they are vented. You can also tell them apart by whether they use natural gas or propane.

Most gas fireplace inserts are made to work with natural gas, but not everywhere has access to it. A propane fireplace insert is the answer. Propane burns hotter than natural gas, but it costs more and comes in bottles or a large tank. Natural gas is cheaper and easier to use because it is piped straight to your home.

In fact, the term “dual-fuel” is used for most gas fireplace inserts that can also use propane. Most of the time, they are made to work with natural gas, but they can also use propane or come with a conversion kit if that is what is needed at the time of installation.

Inserts for fireplaces vs. regular fireplaces

Even though there’s no denying the charm of a traditional fireplace, there are many reasons to upgrade to a fireplace insert. Even though they look nice, open fires are very inefficient. Most of the heat goes up the chimney instead of into the room, which wastes a lot of energy. Smoke and soot can leave stains, and ash needs to be cleaned up often. Taking out hot ash is a fire risk.

Fireplace inserts have a combustion chamber that is closed off and has a heat efficiency rating of between 70% and 98%. Compared to 5% to 10% for a traditional fire, this is a big difference. This means that more of the heat that is made is used to warm the room, so bills go down. Keeping a gas fireplace insert clean is also very easy.

Vented vs. Vent-Free

Most gas insert fireplaces are either vented or not vented, but there are two types of vented models: natural vent (also known as B-vent) and direct vent. Natural vent fireplaces use a chimney that is already there, so they are an easy alternative to traditional fireplaces. Most of these, though, are open rather than closed, which makes them less effective. A direct vent is more common, and it can vent both up and down and left and right. So, they are great for places where there isn’t already a fireplace.

Systems that let air out must vent to the outside, which isn’t always convenient. The problem can be fixed with a vent-free insert, which is also called a ventless gas fireplace insert. They are easier to put together and work better (because no heat is lost through the vent). But they do let out carbon monoxide, which can be harmful, into the room. Oxygen depletion sensor is put on them to make sure they are safe. This turns off the fire if it gets too dangerous. Still, it’s important to look at the building codes in your area because some states limit or ban their use.

Use of Heat and Coverage

How well a gas insert fireplace heats depends on what kind of vent it has. Most models with vents are between 70% and 85% efficient, while models without vents can be up to 98% efficient. Check the BTU (British Thermal Unit) rating to see how well the heater works. This tells you how much heat the fire is putting out.

Since the standard recommendation is 20 BTU per square foot of living space, it is easy to figure out how much space a certain model will cover. But while this is a good general rule of thumb, some models give numbers that are lower or higher than the average.

A system for moving air is also important. Some inserts have a fan that pushes heat into the room and helps it spread more quickly. On other models, it may not come as a standard feature, but it is possible to add one.


Different models are easier to use because they have different extra features.

  • The standard is electronic ignition, but the type can be different. Some need power from the house, but both millivolt and piezoelectric systems are self-contained and work with a push-button.
  • On some gas inserts, you can set a thermostat. The fireplace will then turn on and off by itself to keep the room at a steady temperature.
  • Remote controls are available on some models. The way it works varies.
  • Some can be used to set a thermostat, while others have a variable flame control that can be set for both heat output and how it looks.
  • Some newer models can be controlled by a smartphone app or by home automation systems like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
  • Ambient lighting is another extra that could be added to make the room feel better.

Note: It’s important to check what comes with the price and what doesn’t. There may be extra costs for things like louvres, screen doors, blowers, remote controls, etc., so the final price can be very different from what was first advertised.

Best Gas Fireplace Inserts

Now that we’ve talked about what to look for in a gas fireplace insert, it’s time to look at some of the best ones.

1) Napoleon Grandville VF Series GVF36-2N 37″ Vent Free

Napoleon is a well-known brand that has been in business for a long time. Their Grandville VF (vent-free) is a big gas insert that can produce 30,000 BTUs of heat, which is enough to heat a space that is 1,500 square feet. There is no heat loss through a vent or chimney, so the energy efficiency is at least 99 percent.

Since the ignition is piezoelectric, all you have to do to start or stop it is flip a switch. The flames, which can be changed, make the glowing logs look real. Carbon monoxide is dangerous, so an oxygen depletion sensor is added. If safe levels are exceeded, the pilot light turns off by itself. As an extra safety feature, there is also a screen. Even though it isn’t heatproof, it should keep things from falling into the fire and keep people from getting burned.


  • BTUs: 30,000
  • Vent Type: Vent-free
  • Rating: 99 percent for efficiency


  • A lot of work
  • Adjustable flame
  • There was a safety screen.


  • No choice of propane
  • Louvers and trim are extra

2) ProCom Vent-Free Dual Fuel Fireplace Insert

The small frame of the ProCom Vent-Free Dual Fuel Fireplace Insert holds a lot of features. It can heat about 1,300 square feet with its 26,000 BTU output, and since it doesn’t need a vent, it can be put in an existing hole or a new one. But if it’s used as the former, it’s a good idea to check the dimensions. The ProCom is a little bit narrower than some, so you may need to do a little bit more work on the fireplace to fill in any gaps.

The ProCom uses a piezoelectric ignition that is powered by a battery. Either natural gas or propane can be used with this fireplace insert. It has a thermostat so that the temperature can be controlled automatically. There is a sensor that turns off the insert if the amount of carbon monoxide gets too high. Also, read Best Water Storage Containers.


  • BTUs: 26,000
  • Vent type: Vent-free
  • Rating for effectiveness: 99 percent


  • Gasoline or propane
  • Control of the temperature
  • Tremendous value


  • The small size might not be big enough to replace a fireplace.

3) Empire Loft Series DVL25 Fireplace Insert 

Empire fireplace inserts are high-quality units with a variety of options that make them suitable for a wide range of installations. They can be put in at floor level, in a fireplace opening, or in a wall recess (with appropriate vertical or horizontal venting).

The 20,000 BTU output is enough to heat an area of 1,000 square feet. For a vented model, this is a very high level of efficiency. It comes with either an always-on millivolt pilot or a switchable intermittent pilot, but the latter costs more. You can also pay extra for a remote control and an automatic thermostat. A blower is included to speed up how quickly the heat spreads. You can use either natural gas or propane. For decoration, you can choose from five different colours of crushed glass and a different frame.


  • BTUs: 20,000
  • Vent Type: Direct vent
  • Rating: 99 percent for efficiency


  • Versatile fitting
  • Lots of useful and pretty features to choose from
  • Competitive price


  • Options can add a lot to the price.

4) Superior DRI2000 Gas Fireplace Insert

The Superior DRI2000 can be set up to use propane or natural gas. It comes in two sizes: 27 inches or 32 inches, with 25,000 BTU or 28,000 BTU outputs. The included variable-speed blower quickly spreads heat over an area between 1,625 and 1,800 square feet, which is bigger than most of its competitors.

It is mostly made to fit into a fireplace that is already there, and there are different sizes of fronts to cover up old holes. It can be vented both horizontally and vertically, so it can also be put in a new place. There is an electronic ignition for easy lighting, and you can get a remote control if you want to. However, there is no thermostat.


  • BTUs: 25,000 or 28,000
  • Vent Type: Direct vent
  • Efficiency Rating: 70 percent or 78 percent


  • Two options for size and output
  • Blower was part of
  • Remote-control option


  • Others do a better job.
  • Remote control is extra

5) Empire Tahoe Deluxe 36″ Direct-Vent NG Millivolt

The Empire Tahoe gas fireplace insert is another good product from a company that is known for being reliable. The 20,000 BTU is enough to heat an area of 1,000 square feet, and the millivolt ignition gives heat almost instantly. A direct vent insert with an efficiency of 83% is pretty good. “NG” in the title of the product means that it runs on natural gas. There is also a propane version.

The Empire Tahoe is 16 inches deep, so it works best in fireplaces with small openings. It can let air out from the back or the top. You can get a remote control, but it will cost you extra. For the most safety, you should also buy a screen or door set. Some people might be upset that these aren’t included.


  • BTUs: 20,000
  • Vent Type: Direct vent
  • Rating: 83 percent for efficiency


  • Known for being reliable
  • Options for top or back vents
  • Propane model also available


  • The cost of a screen or door set is extra.

6) Ashley Hearth Products 34,000 BTU Vent Free Firebox

Ashley Hearth Products is another well-known company that makes both electric and gas fireplaces. This powerful 34,000 BTU model has a 99 percent efficiency rating because it doesn’t need a vent. The quoted coverage area of 1,200 square feet, which is less than might be expected, is a bit of a surprise.

The best thing about this Ashley Hearth model is that it can be set up in a variety of ways. As standard, it is meant to be used with a surround and a mantel, just like a traditional gas fireplace. But it can be used as an insert with the right fitting kit. Also, it comes with a set of legs so that it can be used as a stand-alone stove. There is no thermostat included, but it can be added. Also, read Best Home Cleaning Services.


  • BTUs: 34,000 BTU
  • Vent Type: Vent-free
  • Rating: 99 percent for efficiency


  • The output and efficiency are impressive.
  • Versatile installation options
  • Gasoline or propane


  • Insert kit or leg set are extra

7) Montigo Illume 30FID Direct Vent Gas Insert

The Montigo Illume 30FID is a stylish gas insert that might look best in a modern setting. However, since it can be vented either vertically or horizontally, it can also be used to replace an open fireplace if necessary. It gives off 24,000 BTU. The efficiency is 77.6% if natural gas is used and 79.2% if propane is used. That’s less than models without vents, but about the same as other vented gas inserts.

With its hot ember effect, the log set that comes with the fire is especially realistic. You can control the flames with a remote, and LED accent lighting makes it look even more like a real fire. For safety, a door screen is built into the door. There is a blower, but you have to pay extra for it.


  • BTUs: 24,000
  • Vent Type: Direct vent
  • Efficiency Rating: Natural gas 77.6 percent; propane 79 percent


  • A log that looks remarkably like a log
  • Vertical or horizontal venting
  • Protective door screen


  • The blower option is pricey.
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