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Which Gas Fireplace Insert Is Best?

Whether you are looking to change fuel sources or are shopping for a new insert for your existing fireplace, there are dozens of makes and models to choose from. However, all these choices can leave homeowners feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices available.

One of the questions we often receive from customers is “What is the best gas fireplace insert?” While the “best” insert often is the one that perfectly meets your family’s heating needs, the following guide can help when shopping for your next gas fireplace insert.

Three Choices for Venting

Gas fireplace inserts can be divided into three main categories based on how they vent: direct vent, natural vent, and vent free. The type of system needed for your home will depend on a few things.

  1. where the new fireplace insert will be located
  2. whether or not there is an existing fireplace,
  3. or the heating needs the fireplace needs to meet.

Based on those answers, one of these options might be the right fit.

  • Direct vent: Direct vent fireplaces vent the byproducts of combustion from the gas fireplace directly to the exterior of your home. This venting system means that traditional chimney systems are not needed and the fireplace can be placed on any shared exterior wall. Because direct-vent fireplaces pull air and vent directly to a home’s exterior they are considered to be the safest option for gas fireplace inserts.
  • Natural vent: Natural vent fireplaces use traditional chimneys to vent the hot air and gasses created by a gas insert. Natural vent fireplaces [http://homebuying.about.com/cs/gaslogs/a/vented_gas_logs.htm] are most commonly used when installing a new insert into an existing firebox, such as when converting a fireplace from wood burning to gas. While natural vent inserts can be used in instances where the firebox is damaged, they should not be used in case of damage to the chimney structure itself; this can prevent the insert from drafting properly and prevent the fireplace from working safely.
  • Vent-free: Vent free gas fireplaces do not require outside air for combustion of venting. This allows them to be placed nearly anywhere in the home, regardless of proximity to a chimney or exterior wall. While vent-free fireplaces are popular to use as a supplemental heat source, they should not be run continuously as this can deplete the oxygen in a home. To use vent free gas fireplaces safely, limit use to a few hours at a time and open a window in the room where the fireplace is in use.

Which gas insert is best?

There is no one “best” gas fireplace insert. You need to find an insert that is best suited for your home. Because of this, it is important to work with a fireplace expert when choosing a new gas insert for your home. At Clean Sweeps of Michigan, we carry a variety of high-quality brands in various sizes and styles, giving our customers maximum choices when selecting a new gas fireplace insert. For more information on finding the best gas insert for your home, contact our expert staff today!