Gas Fireplace Inserts Reviews Consumer Reports: Six Best Rated

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While there is ‘N’ number of ways to keep yourself warm and comfortable during chilly winters, but there is nothing that matches the comfort of sitting in front of a fireplace, soaking in the warmth and enjoying flames. Fireplace inserts are immensely popular with the Americans and you will find some sort of arrangement being done to enjoy live fire inside the house. Electric fireplaces are very common in the US, but they become useless when there is a power outage.

Then there are electric stoves as well, a cheap alternative to electric fireplaces, but their operation is also premised upon the electricity, which at times isn’t there. To avoid the inconvenience of sleeping in the cold during freezing weather conditions, people can invest in a gas fireplace. They run on either natural gas or propane, the supply of which is coming in most US households, so shortage of fuel is a scenario that is less likely to happen. To find out the best gas fireplace, you can go through gas fireplace inserts reviews consumer reports consisting of six incredible options that are available on the market right now.

Reviews Of Six Best Gas Fireplace Inserts

1. Duluth Forge 170034 Vent Free Dual Fuel Fireplace

best gas fireplace inserts reviews consumer reports

When your aim is having a classic looking fireplace, then Duluth Forge 170034 Dual Fuel Fireplace is the best option for you. This fireplace comes with a beautiful mantel with an elegant finish, which you can choose as per your taste. The fireplace runs on natural gas as well as liquid propane. Moreover, the company has made arrangements for users to regulate the temperature of the unit as per their convenience.

The energy output of the unit is 32,000 BTUs, while the area covered by it is around 1500 square feet, which is quite impressive. Then, there is a built-in fireguard in the form of two little doors, which prevents direct contact of people with fire. As far as drawbacks of the unit are concerned, then there a few such as absence of hose and connectors, plus the blower fan is also not available in the package.

2. Duluth Forge FDF400T-ZC Dual Fuel Ventless Insert T-Stat Control Fireplace Insert

best gas fireplace inserts reviews consumer reports

Again, we have a Duluth Gas Fireplace, and this one too has an energy output of 32,000 BTU along with a coverage area of 1,500 square feet. Moreover, it also operates on natural gas as well as propane, but I guess that’s where the similarities between this Duluth Gas Fireplace and the one discussed above end. This fireplace has a variable control thermostat, which allows users to have customized heat settings, so those who like more heat can increase the temperature and those want to reduce the warmth can reduce the temperature.

Buying this gas fireplace gives you the opportunity to contribute towards the environment because it is an environment-friendly fireplace insert, which comes with no outside duct or chimney. The unit is equipped with Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS), which combines with battery aided Piezo ignition to shut down the heater in case it detects lack of oxygen or carbon monoxide in the system.

3. Duluth Forge FDF300T Dual Fuel Ventless Insert

best gas fireplace inserts reviews consumer reports

This is the third straight product from Duluth, and it also operates on either natural gas or propane. However, the coverage area and energy output of this unit are lesser compared to its other two siblings, i.e., 1,350 square feet of coverage area and 26,000 BTUs of heat output. Therefore, if you have a smaller area to heat up, then this gas fireplace is ideal with its vent-free operation. The battery-assisted piezo ignition is also a feature in this gas fireplace, which helps in starting the fire.

The unit is available in two versions, the one with remote control and another with thermostat control. Where the remote control version allows you to switch the unit from manual to thermal mode for efficient temperature control, thermostat control lets you change the temperature of the unit as per your convenience.

4. Napoleon Grandville VF Series GVF36-2N 37-Inch Vent Free Natural Gas Fireplace

best gas fireplace inserts reviews consumer reports

It’s not Duluth again, thank God! It’s a Napoleon and it is as awesome as any other premium gas fireplace available on the market. The unit operates on natural gas and has a vent-free design, which makes installation easy compared to the units that need outdoor venting. It’s a 30,000 BTU unit, which easily covers around 1,400 square feet of area.

You will get a pan-style burner in the unit, which will ensure fast heating up of the space. Then, there is an Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS) in the unit, which shuts down the unit in case there is a lack of oxygen or carbon monoxide in the unit. Other features of the unit include 50 percent heat and flame adjustment, realistic looking log set and fast turn on/off with the help of a switch. Coming to the drawbacks, then the absence of trim kit and louver kit will disappoint you along with the expensive price of the unit.

5. Napoleon Plazmafire VF31 Series WHVF31N Vent Free Natural Gas Fireplace

best gas fireplace inserts reviews consumer reports

It’s a Napoleon machine again, and it comes in two beautiful finishes, diamond dust finish and black matte finish. You can choose the one according to the design and paint of the room you want to install this insert in. The fireplace insert is installed so that it lines up with the wall or embeds within it.

A slate brick panel is provided with this gas fireplace, which augments the overall look of the unit. Then, there is an Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS) given in the unit for detecting the depleting level of oxygen in the room and shutting down the unit accordingly. The unit comes with a lifetime warranty, so in case, anything happens to it, you can get it fixed or replaced by the company.

6. Empire Laboratories Tahoe Deluxe 36-Inch Direct-Vent NG Millivolt Fireplace

best gas fireplace inserts reviews consumer reports

In case, you are scouting for a direct vent gas fireplace insert, then you should invest in Empire Tahoe Deluxe Unit, as it is one of the most efficient and reliable units available on the market. With an efficiency rating of up to 83 percent, you can expect this unit to warm up your room quickly and without consuming as much fuel as other units being sold at the same price range. Another excellent advantage of using this unit is its ability to be installed in tight spaces, as the depth of this fireplace insert is just 16 inches.

You can turn on and off the unit with a simple switch, thanks to its millivolt control. The fireplace is good, but it doesn’t come with too many accessories, so if you were expecting a remote control, upgraded louvers or a brick liner, then you will have to be left disappointed. However, you will get gas logs with the unit.

What Is A Gas Fireplace?

Although it is often called a gas fireplace, it mostly takes the form of a stove. In other words, most models are not embedded in the wall, as is a real wood fireplace. In addition, the gases from combustion do not escape through a conventional chimney flue integrated into the construction of the house.

However, we still use the term gas fireplace, since this type of stove is composed of a duct to evacuate the smoke.

Then there are manufacturers who distinguish gas fireplaces from gas stoves. For them, the gas fireplace takes the form of a conventional fireplace, while the gas stove looks like a pellet stove or any other stove for that matter.

More specifically, in this case, the gas fireplace has a fireplace often open and rectangular that is embedded in the conduit of a real wood fireplace. Conversely, the gas stove has a generally closed firebox connected to its own duct.

To summarize, the gas fireplace is a fireplace that is connected to a duct, and its working is premised upon the gas fuel.

How Does A Gas Fireplace Work?

In the case of a conventional chimney, wood is used as fuel. Regarding the gas fireplace, no need for wood, since the fuel used is gas.

The operation is similar to that of a gas cooktop. The chimney is connected to a gas inlet, while a burner creates a small spark so that the gas turns into a flame.

The user can then adjust the firepower, to get more or less large flames and higher or lower heat.

The gas fireplace is usually equipped with a thermostat to automatically adjust the power of the flames to reach the desired temperature.

For those who want to find the charm of a real fireplace, know that there are ceramic logs that have the advantage of not burn out while reproducing the appearance of a real wood fireplace.

The combustion fumes are evacuated to the outside of the housing via a duct, which may be that of a conventional chimney or the stove duct.

Different Types Of Gas Fireplaces

There are different types of gas fireplaces. First, there is an open fireplace and a closed fireplace.

The open fireplace does not have a glass door. This type of gas fireplace is usually embedded in a conventional fireplace, although there are models in the form of the stove.

It has the advantage of offering a supplement of charm since it allows to take full advantage of the flames. However, its performance is significantly lower, not to mention that some of the fumes can seep into the housing.

Conversely, the closed fireplace has a window. This solution is much more efficient in terms of performance. The closed gas fireplace thus consumes less gas to produce equivalent heat. It is also safer, especially when you have young children.

Then I distinguish

  • The conventional natural gas fireplace is the simplest and most economical solution for installation but requires that the dwelling be connected to the natural gas network.
  • The natural gas or propane fireplace connected to a tank: it requires the installation of a tank, which must be replenished by a specialized company.
  • The propane gas fireplace in the bottle: especially suitable as a small auxiliary heater.

How To Choose The Best Gas Fireplace Inserts?

To choose a fireplace, first determine the type of fireplace that's right for you. As you have read previously, you have the choice between an open and closed fireplace.

Today, most models have a closed fireplace. This solution has the advantage of offering a better return and therefore of being more economical. In addition, the glass also protects people and especially young children.

You must also determine how the gas will be routed. The best solution is to have a chimney connected to the city's natural gas network. However, if this solution is not possible you have the choice between other possibilities:

  • The natural gas or propane tank: allows to have a large reserve of gas, but it will be necessary to appeal to a specialized company to fill it
  • The propane gas cylinder: you replace the cylinder yourself when it is empty, but more regularly, with a higher consumption cost

Once you have determined the type of chimney and installation, you will be able to choose your gas fireplace according to the following criteria:

  • Design: There is a very wide choice of models and shapes, from the most traditional to the most modern
  • Dimensions of the chimney: according to the space you have
  • The volume of the fireplace: the more it is important and the more the chimney will be efficient
  • Location and type of installation: placed on the floor, embedded in an already existing chimney, hung on a wall, suspended from the ceiling
  • The power of the hearth: expressed in kW
  • The yield: expressed in%
  • The Carbon emission rate
  • Price: Gas fireplaces are available in different price ranges, with some being sold at around $600-700 range while others at around $1000. You should also keep in mind that there would be charges for installing the fireplace as well, so if you have a limited budget, then make sure you have included the installation cost in it.

The gas fireplace as an auxiliary heater or as a main heater?

Difficult to consider a fireplace, whether it is gas or wood, as the main heating, except for small rooms. Indeed, although a gas fireplace is able to produce heat by both radiation and convection, it is primarily a backup heater.

Since the chimney is not a boiler, you cannot connect it to the water circuit supplying the heaters. However, there are solutions to recover some of the heat produced by the gas fireplace and disperse in several rooms using ducts. However, when the outside temperature is too low, you will have to complete this heating system by central heating, whether electric or gas.

Summing Up

If you want to buy the best gas fireplace insert, then this is the right time because you will get a wide number of options on the market along with the best price. If a large number of options confuse you, then you can just go through gas fireplace inserts reviews consumer reports consisting of 6 most amazing products.

If you have any doubts regarding the product, then there is a buying guide explaining what a gas fireplace is, how many types of gas fireplaces are available and how to choose the best one. Go through the information and make your selection accordingly.