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Fireplace Inserts Buying Guide

On cold autumn nights and chilly winter days, who doesn't daydream about pulling a chair close to a toasty fire, with a book and cup of hot cocoa in hand? Now any homeowner can do that, thanks to the flexibility and variety of fireplace inserts.

Types of Fireplace Inserts

Types of Fireplace Inserts

Fireplaces were once reserved for only those homeowners who bought a historic home, with a chimney and firebox as part of the design, or for those lucky few who built new and planned to include this source of warmth. But no longer: Fireplace inserts have leveled the playing field, allowing any homeowner with the space and budget to spare to add the alluring glow of their own fireplace. The key has been the widespread availability of fireplace inserts—gas-burning, wood-burning, pellet-burning, electric, or dual-fuel. Here's an overview of the types.


Powered by natural gas, gas-burning fireplace inserts are a nice retrofit solution for fireboxes that would be too costly to redo for burning wood. As a fuel source, gas is reliable and does not need regular tending, as wood does.

shop Gas-Burning

Operates with or without heater. Includes remote control. 400 sq. ft. heating area. 5,200 BTUs. Approximately 25 cents/hour for fl...ame operation. Approximately 7 cents/hour for 2,500 BTUs. Approximately 14 cents/hour for 5,200 BTUs. Metal construction. Easy to install. Does not require ventilation. Available in choice of sizes. With 5,200 BTUs of power, the Dynasty Electric Fireplace Insert is hot, hot, HOT! But not too hot – the electric flame operates with or without the heater, so you can have a warm ambiance without a warmer temperature. This Dynasty insert was designed to be easy-to-install and includes a remote control for hassle-free enjoyment. It can heat approximately 400 square-feet with a low cost-per-use.About Dynasty FireplacesDynasty Fireplaces specializes in designing and manufacturing natural stone mantels, electric fireplaces, and tiles. This family business opened in 2007 in Richmond, British Columbia. They use only the finest materials sourced from around the world and the workmanship of their craftsmen is of the highest caliber. Dynasty Fireplaces has a passion for perfection. They utilize traditional skills, techniques, and materials to create beautifully proportioned artworks. Each piece is finished by hand. They offer over 90 different styles of stone fireplace mantels and a large selection of wall-mount electric fireplaces. Dynasty Fireplaces - providing warmth in every room. Size: 39 in.. read more

Classic Flame
$489.99 $315.22

Fixed-front fireplace insert with blue flame effect5 flame brightness settingsSolid glass frontMetallic tray with reflective fire ...glassDimensions: 27W x 9.5D x 17.7H inches. If you're looking for an electric fireplace insert with a blue flame effect, you're looking for the Classic Flame Contemporary 26 in. Electric Fireplace Insert. With a contemporary style, this insert features a solid glass front and five SpectraFire brightness settings. The metallic tray features reflective fire glass, and you can toggle between blue flame and traditional flame.Twin Star products include a 1-year limited warranty, guaranteeing workmanship and material quality for 1 year from the date of purchase, assuming normal use. Please contact Twin Star at 866-661-1218 or our Customer Care Center for service issues and questions regarding product guarantee. read more


The Electric Fireplace Insert with Heater projects flames onto the back screen for a realistic effect. Enjoy instant ambiance as w...ell as cozy heat in your home with this realistic electric fireplace insert. Just place the Electric Fireplace Insert... read more

$1,349.99 $1,199.99

33-inch built-in electric firebox with Purifire air treatment. LED glow logs and pulsating embers. Sleek black finish. 4915, 7170,... 9220 BTUs. Operate with or without flame. Dimensions: 32.75W x 14.38D x 28.88H inches. The Dimplex 33 in. Built-In Electric Fireplace Insert features patented electric flame technology and pulsating embers with LED glow logs that make for a spectacular display and glass that remains cool to the touch. This sleek black unit's smooth edges allow for flush mounting in drywall or tile or into a finished wall cavity. And with the Purifire air treatment system that removes allergens so you can clean the air as you warm your home! Measures 32.75W x 14.38D x 28.88H inches and operates with built-in manual controls.About DimplexDimplex North America Limited is the world leader in electric heating, offering a wide range of residential, commercial, and industrial products. The company's commitment to innovation has fostered outstanding product development and design excellence. Recent innovations include the patented electric flame technology - the company made history in the fireplace industry when it developed and produced the first electric fireplace with a truly realistic wood burning flame effect in 1995. The company has since been granted 87 patents covering various areas of electric flame technology, and 37 more are pending. Dimplex is a green choice because its products do not produce carbon monoxide or emissions. read more


Wood-burning fireplace inserts rely on wood as a source of fuel. Unlike a traditional wood-burning fireplace, an insert pushes heat out into the room, with no loss up the chimney.


Pellet-burning fireplace inserts continue to increase in popularity. This type uses pellet-base fuel and typically generates less waste or ash than a wood-burning fireplace insert.


With an electric fireplace insert, no real flame is generated. However, it does produce heat, and a flamelike image gives the appearance of fire. This type is often simple to install—just plug and go—and easy to operate.

shop Electric

Indulge in the beauty of the Margate TV stand's real slate multicolored accents, mission style doors and antique brass hardware. T...his TV stand provides the perfect combination of traditional style with modern conveniences. The functional media stand... read more

Real Flame

The Chateau Corner indoor fireplace features the clean lines and classic styling familiar to stone mantels, realized in wood. It i...ncludes a remote control, programmable thermostat, timer function, brightness settings and emits up to 4,700 BTU's of... read more


The Cantilever TV stand combines contemporary design with modern convenience. The multifunction TV stand with integrated wire mana...gement provides the perfect space for your media components while keeping cords neatly organized. Cabinet doors conceal... read more

Real Flame

Maximize your living room space without sacrificing functionality and style by installing this fireplace entertainment center in y...our home. The 1,400-watt heater plugs into any standard electrical outlet to deliver plenty of warmth and the visual... read more


Dual-fuel fireplace inserts can burn either wood or gas, allowing you to choose—based on time and convenience—which fuel source you prefer at different times.

Product Features

Product Features

Fireplace inserts can generate heat with control and flexibility. Plenty of product features can enhance how you use your fireplace insert and the comfort it offers your home and family. Those include control, fan/circulation, flame adjustability, thermostat, and direct vent versus vent free. Before you firmly cast your buying vote with any one particular type, review these important considerations.


Fireplace inserts powered by fuel sources other than pellets and wood will often have control systems that include switches and remotes. These may allow you to turn the flame on and off from a distance in the room.


Fireplace inserts typically have a fan or circulation system that blows the heat generated out into the room. The size of the fan or motor will determine how far heat can be pushed.

Flame Adjustability

One of the benefits of some fireplace inserts is the ability to easily control the flame. In gas-powered versions, you can turn the flame up or down based on your preference or heating needs.


Some fireplace inserts may also have a thermostat that provides temperature readings for the heat generated. These may also be adjustable to serve as a control for the fireplace.

Direct Vent vs. Vent Free

Direct-vent fireplace inserts push any exhaust directly up the chimney, which requires a working chimney. Vent-free fireplace inserts don't require external venting, so this type can be placed freestanding of a chimney or inside an existing fireplace box for which the chimney is no longer working. Unlike direct vent, these do not lose any heat up the chimney.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

As a complex companion to our living spaces, fireplace inserts have many moving parts—and lots of purchase considerations. Some are a matter of personal preference. For example, the viewing area; that choice makes no real impact on the heat or operation, but it will influence how much you enjoy your fire. Finish, however, plays a big role in how the fireplace insert fits in with the rest of your decor. Other must-review items include flat-front versus bay, log appearance, and fuel source. Here's help to guide you.

Viewing Area

If the amount of flame you see is important to you, then you'll want to choose an insert with maximum viewing area. These tend to have more glass in the front section and less framing.


Fireplace inserts come in a range of finishes, from traditional black steel to other metallic colors. If you're retrofitting an insert into an existing firebox, it should blend seamlessly with the fireplace surround and mantel.

Flat-Front vs. Bay

The window section of the fireplace insert may be along the same vertical plane as the chimney box, or it may stick out slightly to resemble a bay window.

Log Appearance

For gas- and electric-powered fireplace inserts, faux logs give a sense of real fire without any real logs. There are a variety of designs to choose from to give you the fireplace look you desire.

Fuel Source

Gas and electric fireplace inserts have the advantage of easy control and operation; there's no wood or pellets to deal with, no constant tending to the fire. However, some people prefer the feel, look, and smell of generating their own flame.

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