Best Fireplace Inserts Reviews 2017

Fireplace inserts are a great way to maximize your heating potential. If you currently have an old brick fireplace, you can upgrade it to be more efficient. Adding the best fireplace inserts will provide more heat with less energy.

Best Fireplace Inserts

Wood burning fireplace inserts

So what exactly is this device? Simply put, a fireplace insert is something that you put into your current fireplace that modifies the existing structure.

Many inserts are made of metal and burn wood, but others use electricity to generate heat, which means they can be used almost anywhere. Here are some of the best fireplace inserts and what to look for when buying one.

Top Rated Best Fireplace Inserts Comparison Table

PictureNameTypeHeatWeightBTUs
PictureNameTypeHeatWeightBTUs
ClassicFlame 26II310GRA 26"electric1,000 sq ft26.9 pounds5,200
Duraflame df1020aru - A004Electric400 sq. ft18 pounds4600
Timberwolf epi22 EconomizerWood Burning2,000 sq. ft.328 pounds65,000
Vogelzang TR004Wood Burning1,800 sq ft265 pounds69,600
Best Choice Products SKY1826Electric 800 sq ft29 pounds5118
AKDY 23" Black Electric Firebox Fireplace Heater Insert Azfl-EF05-23rElectricNA29.5 poundsNA

What to Consider When Buying the best Fireplace Inserts

Size: When choosing the best fireplace insert, you may decide to get a wood burning or an electric model. If you choose one that burns wood, then you want to make sure that the insert is flush inside your current fireplace. This will maximize your heating potential as well as make everything look nice. Many electric models, however, are stand-alone units that don’t need to be mounted. That means you can just set it inside your current space and use it immediately. For wood burning inserts, measure the size of your fireplace to make sure that it will fit before purchasing.

Fuel: There are four main types of fireplace inserts, each with benefits and downsides.

  • Wood Burning Fireplace Inserts: many people like the feeling of a wood burning fireplace. The benefit of this model is that it will heat your home very well, and will last for a long time. However, you will need to buy wood on a regular basis, so keep that in mind.
  • Wood Pellet Fireplace Inserts: this model of fireplace insert burns wood pellets instead of logs. The benefit of pellets is that you will use less fuel while still getting the same amount of heat. Also, pellets can be cheaper than wood. The downside of this model is that you will need to buy more fuel on a regular basis.
  • Gas Fireplace Inserts: these models connect to your current gas line and can provide heat all year round without needing refueling. Gas fireplace inserts also give you more control over the fire, including size and temperature. The downside of these units is that they can be more expensive to install and maintain.
  • Electric Fireplace Inserts: electric fireplace inserts are great if you want the feeling of a fire anywhere, anytime. Because electric inserts don’t burn fuel, you can place them wherever you like. The biggest downside, however, is that electric fireplace inserts do not provide as much heat as other models.

Cost: When choosing the best fireplace insert, you will need to make sure that the cost is within your budget. Wood burning fireplace inserts are expensive to install because they require much more work to get it into your home and they need ventilation. The same goes for gas fireplaces since they need to hook up to your home’s gas line. Electric models, on the other hand, usually have little to no installation costs, since they don’t need ventilation or fuel.

In addition to the installation costs, keep in mind your long-term maintenance expenses. Buying wood or pellets can add up over time, and a gas fireplace will increase your utility bills.

Recommended Best Fireplace Insert Brands

1. Vogelzang Colonial Wood Burning fireplace insert - tr004

best fireplace insert

Vogelzang tr004 fireplace insert w/blower

​Feature Highlights:
  • Heats up to 1,800 efficiently Sq. Ft.
  • Cast iron feed door
  • 16.5" x 9" ceramic glass window
  • Burns up to 8 hours on one fueling
  • heavy gauge 3/16-Inch reinforced plate steel
  • Firebrick lining
  • Large hearth surround
  • Product Dimensions is 20 x 26.5 x 21.5 inches
  • Item Weight is 265 pounds

First on our list is the Vogelzang TR004 Wood Stove. When it comes to the best wood burning fireplace inserts, Vogelzang makes a top quality model. If you want an insert with industrial qualities and performance, then the TR004 is for you.

This insert is made of heavy-duty steel and comes with a cast iron feed door for extra durability. The TR004 will last you for years without requiring maintenance or replacement. For safety reasons, this model also has a stay-cool wood handle, so you don’t have to worry about burns or hurting your hand to add more fuel.

This insert is so efficient at distributing heat, it will provide sufficient warmth for up to 1800 square feet of space, and can burn effectively for up to eight hours on one fueling. In addition to heat, this insert also meets all EPA and statewide standards for emissions, so it’s both economical and eco-friendly. According to the EPA, this model has a rating of 75 percent for heat efficiency.

2. Timberwolf epi22 Economizer EPA, The best Wood Burning Fireplace Inserts

best wood stove inserts

epi22 wood burning stove review

​Feature Highlights:
  • Non-catalytic.
  • Large hearth surround
  • Shipping Weight is 328 pounds
  • Flashing by Napoleon
  • Come with the surround
  • No ash draw available

Next on our list is the Timberwolf Economizer Fireplace Insert. Much like the TR004, this model is a high-quality and heavy-duty insert that will add both style and performance to your fireplace. As far as wood burning fireplace inserts go, the Economizer is the standard model.

This insert is made of durable heavy steel and comes with a cast iron feeder door. The door also includes a large ceramic glass viewing window. The handle for the door is made of metal, but it stays relatively cool, so you can open and close the door without risking burns.

When it comes to heat efficiency, this model is called the Economizer for a reason. This unit has a whopping 86% heat efficiency rating from the EPA and produces even less pollution than the TR004. If you want a fireplace insert that reduces waste and provides long-lasting heat, then get the Economizer. This model can take wood logs up to 18 inches long, and will provide heat for up to eight hours without needing more wood. The high-efficiency rating also means that this unit can heat an area of 2000 square feet easily. This model also features dual blowers to help distribute heat throughout your home. So we can say that it is a high efficiency wood burning fireplace insert.

3. ClassicFlame 26II310GRA 26" infrared quartz heater reviews with Safer Plug

best rated fireplace inserts

infrared quartz fireplace reviews

​Feature Highlights:
  • 5,200 BTU heater
  • heat up to 1,000 sq ft
  • With a remote control
  • Dimensions are 27.0"w x 9.5"d x 17.7"h.
  • Item Weight is 26.9 pounds
  • Five flame effect colors
  • 125 selectable flame effect options
  • Item Weight is 26.9 pounds

When it comes to fireplace inserts, you can either choose a model that burns wood or one that uses electricity. There are many benefits to having an electric fireplace, and one of the best electric fireplace inserts is the ClassicFlame 26II310GRA Quartz Fireplace.

One of the biggest reasons to go electric instead of wood is that you never have to worry about refueling or buying more logs. Another major reason to go with electricity is that you have total control over your fire. When it comes to customization, nothing compares to the ClassicFlame Fireplace Insert.

With this model, you can decide if you want the fire to provide heat or just be decorative. However, if you do want warmth, this unit can heat up a space of up to 1000 square feet for as long as you need. The best part of this model is that it will also maintain the humidity, so you don’t have to worry about dry air.

Other options with this fireplace are the color and size of the flame, as well as a full temperature control. With 125 preset options, you can find a fire that fits your needs.

4. Duraflame df1020aru - A004 Electric Fireplace Insert heater reviews

best electric fireplace

cheap electric fireplace

​Feature Highlights:
  • 1400 watts/4600 BTU per hour
  • heat for up to 400 sq. ft.
  • Cord is 6 foot long
  • it has a remote
  • Energy efficient
  • Product Dimensions is 8.7 x 20.5 x 12 inches
  • Item Weight is 18 pounds

Next, we have the Duraflame DFI020ARU-A004 Electric Fireplace Insert. Much like the ClassicFlame model, you have plenty of customizable options with this insert. This unit is fully electric, so you can just plug and play. However, unlike the ClassicFlame, this model is a standalone unit, so it doesn’t have to be mounted into your current fireplace.

The Duraflame insert is shaped to provide you with the look of having charred logs without the downside of actually having to get wood. This model can be used with or without heat, making it very useful in the home. The maximum output for this model is 4600 BTUs, which makes it ideal for small rooms up to 400 square feet. Even if you don’t have a stone fireplace, the Duraflame insert works almost anywhere.

5. Best Choice Products Electric Fireplace review, SKY1826 28.5" embedded fireplace electric insert heater glass view log flame remote home

electric fireplace reviews

cheap electric fireplace

​Feature Highlights:
  • Vent-free electric fireplace
  • Remote control
  • No Assembly required, only installation
  • standard plug.
  • Two heat settings: 750watt and 1500watt
  • glass view window: 23(w) x 11(H)
  • power: 110-120 volts/60Hz.
  • Lighting: 3 x 40W E12 bulbs.
  • Product Dimensions is 21 x 28.5 x 5.7 inches

If you want a lightweight, thin fireplace insert, then you may want to get the Best Choice product SKY 1826 Electric Insert. This unit is about as large as a big screen TV and is just as easy to install. Much like the Duraflame model, this insert is fully electric, so you can just plug it in and get a roaring “fire” in no time.

As with any electric fireplace insert, the SKY 1826 is all about customization. You can choose to have it be decorative or provide heat, and with five heat levels, you can find the right setting for your needs. Even though this unit does not have a flame, it can still heat up an area of 800 square feet. The best part of this unit is the remote control that comes with it, making it as convenient as possible for you.

6. AKDY 23" Black Electric Firebox Fireplace Heater Insert W/Remote Azfl-EF05-23r

cheap electric fireplaces

akdy fireplace reviews

​Feature Highlights:
  • 5 levels of brightness
  • has a glass front.
  • No fire sounds
  • Approximately 6 feet long power cord 
  • has a fan blower
  • 20" -the front frame height
  • Thermostat-controlled 1400 W
  • Product Dimensions is 23.8 x 7.1 x 20.2 inches
  • Item Weight is 29.5 pounds

Next on our list is the AKDY Electric Firebox Fireplace Heater. This unit is very similar to the Best Choice Heater regarding size and ease of installation, but the benefit of this insert is that it mimics a roaring fire, whereas other models only show glowing red logs.

Like all electric fireplaces, the AKDY model can provide heat or only be decorative. It doesn’t provide quite as much warmth as some other units on this list, but the AKDY fireplace works wonders as a piece of decor rather than a functional heater. This unit is also remote controlled and super easy to install. Just plug it in and start your fire.

7. Dimplex DFI2310 Electric Fireplace Deluxe 23-Inch Insert, Black

best electric fireplace

Dimplex electric fireplace reviews

​Feature Highlights:
  • 1375-watt electric fireplace insert
  • remote control
  • Built-in fan
  • heat up to 400 square-Feet
  • 2 cents/hour for flame operation
  • for flame and heater operation, it is 8 cents/hour
  • Product Dimensions is 23.2 x 10.8 x 19.8 inches
  • 28" wide fireplace
  • It has 2 prongs

When it comes to electric fireplaces, many people want to get a model that closely resembles the real thing, so as to provide a better overall look to the room. To that effect, the Dimplex DFI2310 is a realistic-looking fireplace insert that both provides heat and flame effects. While this unit is not as powerful or customizable as the ClassicFlame model, it does a decent job at both looking like a real fireplace and providing heat like one too.

The Dimplex model is also a standalone unit, meaning that you can easily install it anywhere, no matter the size of your current fireplace. Since you don’t have to worry about size constraints, this insert can work in almost any room. Just plug it in and go.

This unit also comes with a one-year limited warranty.

8.Classicflame 36-inch 120v traditional builders box - 36eb110-grt

gel fuel fireplace inserts

gel fuel fireplaces reviews

​Feature Highlights:
  • 4,400 BTU heater
  • heat up to 400 square feet
  • 5 brightness settings
  • wall mounted thermostat
  • Multi-functional remote
  • log set and pulsating, glowing ember bed
  • Glass front

Finally, we come to another model from ClassicFlame; the 36EB110-GRT Traditional Electric Fireplace. This unit is a cross between the Dimplex and the other ClassicFlame model, so if you want a realistic-looking insert but don’t need a lot of heat, then the GRT is for you.

Notable features of this model are five brightness setting, adjustable thermostat, 3D flame effects, and a remote control for added convenience. This fireplace can effectively heat an area of 400 square feet.

FAQs About Best Fireplace Inserts

Are fireplace inserts safe?

Yes, assuming that you get your unit installed correctly by a professional, the insert should be as safe or safer than a traditional stone fireplace. If your unit creates a flame, just make sure that it is properly vented to prevent any pollutants from entering your home.

Can I burn wood in a gas fireplace?

No, I would never recommend burning wood or other materials in a gas fireplace as this could pose a danger to you and your family. Only burn wood in a fireplace that is designed for it.

Where can I install a fireplace insert?

Ideally, you would only put an insert into your current stone fireplace. If you want to place an insert somewhere else in your home, you will need to get a professional to come out and inspect your property to determine if you can install a stove or fireplace somewhere else in your house.

Pros and Cons of wood burning fireplace inserts

Pros of fireplace inserts

  • More energy efficient than a traditional fireplace
  • Easier to clean and maintain
  • Certain models can provide more heat
  • Safer than a traditional fireplace
  • More cost-effective

Cons of fireplace inserts

  • Can be expensive to install
  • Some models don’t provide as much heat

Overall

When it comes to finding the best fireplace inserts, you have to decide which type of fuel you want to use. If you’re old-school like me, then you need a wood burning insert that will provide both heat and comfort to your home. To that end, I would highly recommend the timberwolf epi22 economizer 21 inch wood burning fireplace insert for its energy efficiency and reliability.

However, if you want to take the modern approach and go electric, I would suggest the ClassicFlame Quartz Fireplace as it is another best fireplace inserts since it provides plenty of heat and customization. If you want a standalone unit, however, the Duraflame model is a safe bet, since it can go almost anywhere and look like a traditional campfire.

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