A General Guide to Gas Fireplaces

gas fireplaces

Today’s gas fireplaces are a lot more efficient than they used to be. They can actually help save energy in your home compared to wood-burning ones. It’s also a great way to give your home a cozy ambiance without all the work that comes with alternatives.

That doesn’t mean they’re for everyone, though. It’s important to do your research before you make your final decision, and we’re here to help you get started.

Read on for a guide to gas fireplaces and what they can do for your home.

Are Gas Fireplaces Worth it?

One of the biggest advantages of a gas fireplace is that they’re great for providing you with a more efficient heat source. They don’t have to be adjusted as often, so you have access to constant warmth and comfort.

They’re also convenient and easy to use. With the push of a button, you’ll have your home warmed up in no time. There isn’t as much maintenance involved, and no need to worry about soot, debris, or ash.

Types of Gas Fireplaces

It might seem like your gas fireplace options are fairly straightforward — and they are — but there are a few different types you can choose from. The two main types are gas fireplace inserts and gas fireplace logs.


If you already have a fireplace, then an insert might be your best solution.

A gas fireplace insert is one that’s simply placed into an existing fireplace. They sit inside a metal box contained within a larger metal box that’s then retrofitted into your fireplace.

These inserts actually produce heat by warming the room air in the gap between those boxes, and it uses a chimney to run the venting out of your home.


Gas fireplace logs are more for looks than warmth. They can be vented or ventless depending on whether you have an existing chimney or not. With vented logs, the damper is propped open at all times to prevent CO buildup.

Logs don’t discharge as much heat as an insert, though. Most of the heat they produce goes up the chimney.

What Are Vent Systems?

Gas fireplaces can be separated into three categories: vented, direct vent, and vent-free. With each vent system, you have the choice between ones that vent gas and fumes outside or the vent-free versions that release heat into the house.

Direct Vent

These gas fireplaces vent directly outside. During installation, they need to be placed on an exterior wall for that reason. They also require a glass door to help ensure that they work properly.

Direct vent fireplaces are the closest looking to traditional fireplaces compared to other types. They’re also regarded as one of the safest options since they don’t allow carbon monoxide to enter your home.


A vented gas fireplace requires a vent so the gases produced can travel up and out of the house. It’s constructed similarly to a traditional wood-burning fireplace as it’s vented through a chimney. This helps prevent any smoke from flowing back into your house.

This option is a great one if you’d like to convert your pre-existing fireplace from wood to gas. Just like a direct vent fireplace, it can be used without electricity.


The best part about these fireplaces? They can be placed anywhere in your home. This makes it a lot easier to enjoy the freedom of having one in your home and doing whatever you’d like with it.

They cannot, however, be used without electricity, as they come with sensors and automatic shut-off valves. It takes the air directly from your home and cleans it with a catalytic converter to reduce the number of emissions you face. This is the downside of having an electric one, however, as you have an increased risk of poor air quality.

Gas Fireplace Features

Gas fireplaces have a lot of special features that can’t be found in traditional wood-burning ones. These enable them to perform better, increasing their energy efficiency and making them easier to use.

Easy Ignition

Gas fireplaces come with electronic ignition, meaning they’re a lot easier to start. This feature eliminates the need for matches or a lighter and replaces them with a wall switch or even a remote control.

Making that switch or remote upgrade also gives you the power to adjust the flame’s height and even to control your fireplace from anywhere in your home. It does require a battery-operated connection or power line installation, though.

Heat Distribution

Gas fireplaces can also provide a pretty wide range of heat output — anywhere from 7,000 to 60,000 BTUs. If your house is well-insulated with tight windows, you can rely on 40,000 BTUs to distribute heat around a large living room. Learn about BTUs here. Use our Free Online Heating BTU Calculator here.

If your home is poorly-insulated, though, you might need more than that. This number is also going to depend on the size of your home and the size of the room you’re placing it in.

Automatic Thermostat

Most gas fireplaces also come with an automatic thermostat that controls the temperature in real-time. It can also control the humidity of your fireplace and automatically shut it off when you set a specific temperature or humidity range.

Is a New Fireplace in Your Future?

Now that you know more about gas fireplaces, does it sound like something you’d like in your home? No matter what type you choose to install, it’s a great way to bring more ambiance into your space. Whether you’re hosting guests or simply spending a night in, lighting your gas fireplace is a great way to cozy up and stay warm.

At Dreifuss Fireplaces, we have plenty of options to help you achieve this look for your home. Take a look at our options today to get started.

Latest Articles