2017’s Best Gas Fireplace along with Detailed Reviews
On a cold, wintry night, nothing can beat the luxury, comfort, and warmth of a room illuminated by the light and heat of a fireplace. And gone are the days when one had to continually be on the look out to stir the logs in the fireplace to keep it going. One of the technology’s most thoughtful gifts to mankind is the modern gas fireplace. Though not meant to heat up the entire house, it definitely warms the room in which it is placed, making it more comfortable and inviting. It is hard to resist the welcoming warmth of a hearth. It not only adds to the aesthetic value to your home but can also increase the value of your friends’ and family time by making it a warm, snug place where forgotten, old memories can be relived.
Gas fireplaces have been gaining popularity over the years because they are clean, convenient, easy to operate and no longer very expensive. As fireplaces are available in different sizes, types, colors, models, etc., it can be quite a task to select one that perfectly suits your needs. I am here, your friend and guide and a techie by heart to provide you with the list of my favorite picks.
Best Gas Fireplaces of 2016
Pleasant Hearth Convertible Vent Free Dual Fuel Fireplace
I begin my list with this classic piece that has all the modern technological features while retaining the charm of a timeless fireplace. It has a dual burner which means that you can use either natural gas or propane, whichever fuel is readily available.
It can be conveniently installed on a wall or in any corner of your home. It is vent free so you need not worry about a chimney. Its thermostat knob allows you to automatically maintain the desired temperature.
The manufacturers claim that this product is 99.9% heat efficient and it can heat up to 700 square feet. It does not include a blower so you’ll have to purchase one separately. It is quite safe as it has an overheat safety switch as well as an oxygen depletion sensor. This product comes with a two-year manufacturer’s limited warranty. Though it is an expensive option, I recommend this fireplace if you want to add style and warmth to your home.
Duluth Forge Vent Free Fireplace
If you are looking for a modern gas fireplace to go with your ultra-modern home then you must have a look at this one. This sleek fireplace insert can be paired with a face mantel or alternatively, it can be recessed directly into any wall of your room.
This model includes a remote control and receiver so you can easily control its temperature and heat settings. It features dual fuel technology which means that you can use two types of fuel. No blower is provided.
As compared to other models, this one is really good value for money. The realist flame pattern displayed by this unit is absolutely exquisite as it uses fiber ceramic logs. It is highly heat efficient providing warmth up to any area of 1500 square feet. Its oxygen depletion sensor makes it safe as it shuts off the unit automatically. This unit has a beautiful construction and it will undoubtedly add spark and swank to your home’s décor.
Kozy World GSD2845 Dual Fuel Gas Stove
This extremely lightweight, easy-to-use fireplace is a great choice for smaller rooms. This is a free-standing, vent-free fireplace so you’ll have to provide the gas. It comes with an optional blower and also features a control panel on the bottom.
This product also sports an in-built thermostat so that you can regulate the temperature according to your comfort. It is a solid, compact piece with a shallow depth which makes it easier to assemble and set-up. It claims to heat an area of as much as 850 square feet and presents the feel and ambiance of a good, old, rustic fireplace without any of its trouble. Its black steel cabinet looks very classy and this exotic piece can add a lot of old-school charm to your place.
ProCom Vent Free Gas Fireplace
The best thing about this fireplace is that it is mostly pre-assembled so you needn’t worry about its installation. This high heat efficiency stove can heat your room quickly without creating any mess.
It has all the desirable features that include an oxygen depletion sensor, an internal, fixed regulator which prevents over-firing and it is compatible with two kinds of fuels. You can adjust its heat to ensure your room is warm and comfortable and not overwhelmingly hot. Its functioning is flawless and smooth providing warmth in an area of 850 square feet.
Empire Systems Direct Vent Gas Fireplace
This attractive fireplace insert can act as a great source of secondary heat in your home. Its construction is entirely metallic making it look very sleek and modern.
It comes with a blower that gently blows and circulates air through the room. Its ceramic logs are hand painted and the design produces natural flames that dance and flicker, making it a very attractive sight. This direct vent gas fireplace insert also sports dual fuel technology. It is considered to be a very reliable fireplace and is quite popular in the market. Also, it has an impressive heat efficiency and it is capable of heating an area up to 1000 square feet.
Choosing the Best Gas Fireplaces
Types of Fireplaces- I have broken down the different categories of fireplaces and explained them in some detail.
Depending on Vent
Modern gas fireplaces are easy to use and convenient as you don’t have to worry about wooden logs, smoke, or even a chimney. According to the venting system, two types of fireplaces are available and below I have listed their pros and cons.
- Direct Vent Fireplace: The best part about this fireplace is that it doesn’t allow any combustion chemicals to enter your home. But this is an expensive option and might seem like a huge investment. You’ll also need professional assistance for its set-up and installation. On the positive side, this type of fireplace provides plenty of venting options such as top and rear venting, especially for walls that provide limited venting space. This type of venting also allows the unit to pull fresh air from the outside. While being a more ecological option, this is not as heat-efficient as the other. Its glow is yellow and closer to that of a traditional wood fire as compared to the bluish one that a vent-free fireplace emanates.
- Vent Free Fireplace: This category of fireplaces is not only cheaper but also simpler and more convenient. It is a reliable and hassle-free option. All you need to do is hang the fireplace on any wall of your home and install a gas pipeline. These fireplaces are highly efficient, sometimes providing as much as 99% heat efficiency. One major issue with this type is that it is banned in a lot of countries such as Canada and some US states because it allows moisture to accumulate in otherwise tightly sealed homes. So you might want to look up the particular gas norms regulating your area before buying this one.
Depending on Fuel Used
Once you decide on the type of fireplace you want to install at your home and you’re aware that your area doesn’t allow you to have a vent-free equipment then you only have the option to go for a direct vent fireplace. In such a scenario, you can choose any of the following two clean burning fuels.
- Natural Gas Fireplace: If your home already has a natural gas pipeline installed then this is the obvious choice. Even if you don’t have a natural gas supply, you can get one easily enough. It is undoubtedly one of the cheapest fuels that can provide energy readily. As the source of the fuel is fixed, it is not a portable option but you can get it installed anywhere in your home.
- Propane Fireplace: A very convenient and easy-to-use fireplace, this one is known for its heating efficiency. It is easy to start and once you have installed a propane tank in your home. Then it can supply fuel to other devices such as a grill or even an outdoor fireplace. If you don’t have extra space to spare then the tank can be buried underground.
Depending on Structure
Different types of gas fireplaces are available in the market and you must choose one according to your needs. Let’s have a look at some of the popular ones.
- Gas Fireplace Inserts: You should go for this one in case you already have a pre-existing firebox in your home. But be careful before selecting the perfect insert and make sure to measure out your fireplace so that the insert sits well inside it. Wood pellet fireplaces are also available but in this review, I only focus on the gas ones.
- Built in Gas Fireplaces: If you don’t have a fireplace in your house and are ready to spend some bucks then these can prove to be a good investment. These are similar to inserts but with an additional metallic box surrounding the unit inside. These are great if you are buying a new house as they can act as the primary source of heat in your home. In case you go for a direct-vent unit, then it would require a pipeline through the wall that would allow the pollutants to escape outside.
Gas Log Sets
These are more like decorative pieces because they don’t provide a lot of warmth. Their best feature is that they won’t burn a hole in your pocket. So if you are looking for a piece that adds beauty to your room without costing too much, then it is a good option. These leave behind leftovers such as vapors, carbon monoxide, and other pollutants after combustion, therefore, require a little maintenance. They mostly add to the ambiance of your home and are more suitable for places that have a warmer climate.
- Free standing Fireplace: These fireplaces are more like stoves that can be placed anywhere on the floor of your room. They allow a lot of heat to radiate into your room because they are exposed from all sides. All you need to do is attach a gas pipeline to your free-standing gas fireplace and you are good to go!
Things to Keep in Mind before Buying
If you’re planning to purchase a fireplace for the first time then you must take care of a few details. And considering the wide range of options available in the market, this task can be quite daunting. To help you further in this, I present a list of specifications that you must check.
- BTU Rating: To begin with, check the product’s BTU that is ‘British Thermal Unit’ which will give you an idea of the space that can be warmed by the fireplace. If you have a large room then look for a product with higher BTU output.
- Room Size: It is very important to buy a fireplace that is in perfect proportion to your room. If you buy a fireplace that is too powerful and your room is small, then it can make the atmosphere stuffy and too hot. Also keep the height of the ceiling in mind as it will affect the heat output.
- Budget: Needless to say you must have some sort of price in mind because fireplaces start from a few dollars and go up to thousands. If you don’t want to invest in a timeless classic then you can go for a log set which is a cheaper alternative.
- Additional Features: Even though this is at the bottom of our list, it is an important factor. Some models have additional features such as automatic, electric ignition, oxygen depletion sensors, a remote control, an inbuilt thermostat, a blower, etc. which add to the appeal of the product. Also, as a fireplace adds to the aesthetic value of your home, it must be attractive and should blend with the décor of your home.
I have seen that a fireplace acts not only as a great source of heat but also makes your home warmer and more inviting. And if you are going to spend your money on it then you should do this after some careful research. I have tried to include as many features as were possible in our review and hope that this will help you to select the ideal fireplace for your home!