Best Zero Clearance Wood Burning Fireplace Reviews 2017

Looking for the best zero clearance wood burning fireplace? It can be a great way to not only warm your home but also give it a cozy and comfortable feeling as well. For most homeowners, however, the idea of having a fireplace is usually something that is not taken lightly.

If your home already has a built-in fireplace, you don’t have to worry, but if you want to install one, then you will have to consider many things, including installation costs and what kind of fireplace to buy

One such option that is ideal for homes that don’t currently have a fireplace is a zero clearance insert. These units are designed to work in tight spaces, and can be readily installed in almost any setting. Today I’ll be talking to you about the benefits of a zero clearance fireplace, as well as show you some options, so you know what to look for.

Top rated zero clearance wood burning fireplace for sale

ImageNameHeating AreaBTUsLog lengthWeight
FL-063 Flame Monaco2,000 sq. ft.75,000 BTUs21"350 pounds
Comfort Flame B42LI-MVaries by Logset42 inch197 pounds

How to Choose the best zero clearance wood burning fireplace

Zero clearance fireplaces are ideal for many homes, due to the way that they’re built and the benefits that they provide. However, since there are many different options to choose from with a zero clearance fireplace, you will need to factor in these things before you make your decision.

Size of Zero Clearance Wood Burning Fireplace

How big is your home? How much room do you have for a fireplace? Do you want it to heat your whole house or just the room in which it's placed? These questions will help you determine the proper size for your zero clearance Wood Burning fireplace insert.

Typically speaking, you will not necessarily have to install the unit into your wall, as many of these inserts are free-standing. Thus, you will only need to determine what your space restrictions are and how much heat you want from the Zero Clearance Wood Burning Fireplace. Usually, the bigger the insert, the more heat it provides.

Cost of Zero Clearance Fireplace

When trying to determine the cost of a zero clearance fireplace insert, there are several things you need to consider.

  • First, the cost of the insert itself. Since you’ll most likely be getting it shipped, you’ll also need to factor in shipping and handling costs too.
  • Second, the cost of installation. Fortunately, however, zero clearance fireplaces generally cost much less to install that other types of inserts or masonry fireplaces.
  • Finally, the cost of fuel. Depending on the kind of zero clearance fireplace you get, you will either be burning wood logs or pellets, using natural gas, or using electricity to heat up your home.
  • Each method will add extra maintenance and upkeep costs, so be aware of that. Either your utility bill will increase, or you’ll have the added expense of buying wood frequently.
Fuel of the Zero Clearance Fireplace

Four main types of fuel can be used in a zero clearance fireplace.

  • Wood Logs: zero clearance wood burning fireplaces are an excellent way to mimic the effect of a traditional fireplace without having to worry about creating a fire hazard.
  • Wood Pellets: while logs are an ideal and cheap options, wood pellets can be even better in many situations. Zero clearance pellet stove inserts generally require less cleaning and maintenance than a traditional wood burning model.
  • Natural Gas: if you want better control over the size of your flame and the temperature, zero clearance gas fireplaces are the way to go. However, keep in mind that, as part of the installation process, you’ll need to connect the insert to your gas line, which will add more cost to the job.
  • Electricity: if you want less maintenance and more versatility, then a zero clearance electric fireplace is your best option. While these units do not provide as much heat as other models, they are great for small rooms and spaces and cost much less to install and maintain.
Appearance of the Best Zero Clearance Wood Burning Fireplace

Part of the appeal of having a fireplace is the way it looks in your home. With a zero clearance fireplace insert, you can mimic or copy the appearance of a traditional masonry fireplace, so you don’t have to worry about the insert looking too out of place or too modern. 

Similarly, with gas and electric models, you can choose units that mimic having a wood burning flame, so you can both the reduced maintenance costs as well as the beautiful ambiance of a traditional fire.

Top rated best zero clearance wood burning fireplace review

1. FL-063 Flame Monaco EPA Zero Clearance Fireplace with Black Louvers

best zero clearance wood burning fireplace review

Top rated best zero clearance wood burning fireplace review

​Feature Highlights:
  • wood burning fireplace
  • Heats up to 2,000 sq. ft
  • Log length up to 21"
  • 75,000 BTUs
  • 2 heat-activated 75 CFM blowers
  • 3 "air distribution" options
  • Airwash on glass

Zero Clearance Gas Fireplace Reviews

1. ProCom 32" Zero Clearance Fireplace Insert With Remote - Model FBNSD32RT

Best Zero Clearance Wood Burning Fireplace Reviews

best zero clearance wood burning fireplace review

​Feature Highlights:
  • Natural Gas or Liquid Propane
  • Heats up to 1,500 sq. ft.
  • 32,000 Maximum BTU
  • Vent free gas fireplace insert
  • Remote Control Functions

First on our list is the ProCom Zero Clearance Fireplace Insert. This model offers the benefits of a traditional wood burning fireplace, but gives you the modern amenities of temperature control, remote activation, and reduced maintenance costs.

This fireplace burns either natural gas or liquid propane, depending on which source of fuel you prefer. This model is also highly efficient at heating your home, as it generates up to 35,000 BTUs of heat. This level of heat is ideal for warming a space of up to 1500 square feet. This insert is rated at 99% efficiency, so you won’t be wasting money on lost heat.

Installation of this zero clearance fireplace is a breeze since it just needs to be attached to your gas or propane line. This model does not require ventilation, meaning you can install it almost anywhere. Safety is also a primary feature of this unit since it has an automatic shut-off function if it detects that the air is becoming too hot.

For your convenience, you can turn the fireplace on and off via a remote, just like you would a television. No more worrying about hot coals or wasting fuel. This model also comes with an adjustable temperature control, so you can set the heat level to exactly where you want it.

Although this unit is gas powered, the hand-painted logs mimic the look and feel of a traditional fireplace, so you don’t have to sacrifice appearance for convenience. It is the best high efficiency zero clearance gas fireplace insert.

2. Duluth Forge Dual Fuel Vent-Free Fireplace Insert - 15,000 BTU, T-Stat, Brick Liner

zero clearance gas fireplace insert

best zero clearance gas fireplace review

​Feature Highlights:
  • Natural Gas or Liquid Propane
  • 15,000 Maximum BTU
  • Heats Up to 600 sq. ft.
  • Thermostat Control
  • Vent Free
  • Ceramic Fiber Logs

If you want a compact, zero clearance fireplace that also adds beautiful authenticity to your home, then the Duluth Forge Dual Fuel Fireplace Insert is for you. This dome-shaped insert will fit in well in almost any space, making it ideal for small homes and intimate rooms.

This zero clearance fireplace insert burns either natural gas or liquid propane, making it both fuel efficient and ultra versatile. The efficiency of this unit means that, although small, it can produce up to 15,000 BTUs of heat, which is capable of heating a room up to 600 square feet with ease. You can also adjust the temperature with a remote control, making it super convenient for you.

The appearance of this fireplace insert is also beautiful and will add charm to any room. It comes with delicately painted logs to mimic the look and feel of a traditional wood fireplace, meaning that this zero clearance fireplace insert is perfect for almost any home.

3. Pleasant Hearth Vent-Free Dual Fuel Fireplace in Rich Heritage, 45-Inch

zero clearance gas fireplace insert  reviews

zero clearance gas fireplace review

​Feature Highlights:
  • Natural Gas or Liquid Propane
  • Remote Control Thermostat
  • Electronic spark ignition
  • up to 32,000 BTU
  • vent free

For anyone who wants to have the full fireplace experience without having to install a cumbersome and expensive unit, the Pleasant Hearth Dual Fuel Fireplace is a perfect choice. This elegant and classy insert perfectly mimics the look and feel of a full-size fireplace, meaning that you can install it into your living room or open space and instantly add value and warmth.

Like the other zero clearance fireplaces on this list, the Pleasant Hearth unit burns either natural gas or liquid propane, and it’s so efficient at producing heat that it can generate up to 32,000 BTUs. The heat level of this insert is ideal for spaces up to 1400 square feet, making it ideal for most homes.

Modern conveniences also come standard with this insert, as it comes with a remote control to both turn the unit on and off, as well as adjust the temperature to fit your needs. It also comes with a standard safety switch-off, just in case the air gets too dry or hot.

This unit also comes with a two-year limited warranty, so you know that it has quality craftsmanship and design.

Frequently Asked Questions about Zero Clearance Fireplaces

What is a zero clearance fireplace?

The term zero clearance refers to the fact that these fireplace inserts require no extra space around them for safety. These units do not overheat, meaning that they can be placed next to flammable material such as wood or drywall without risk of starting a fire.

What is high efficiency zero clearance wood burning fireplace?

These types of fireplace inserts are highly rated regarding heat efficiency. Usually, these models are rated with an efficiency level at or above 80%, even though they burn wood logs or pellets.

What makes zero clearance a good option?

There are many reasons to choose a zero clearance fireplace insert, but the biggest reason is that you can install this type of unit almost anywhere, so you aren’t limited by size constraints or building codes.

Are zero clearance fireplaces safe?

Yes. In fact, zero clearance models are actually safer than most traditional fireplaces, since they do not present any fire hazards to your home. Most of these inserts have closed doors, so you won’t have to worry about flying sparks catching on fire. Also, since the sides of the unit stay relatively cool, you don’t have to worry about burns or any other fire-related injuries.

Installation and Appliance Costs

Zero clearance fireplaces are typically easier and cheaper to install than most traditional models. Since they usually don’t require a chimney or dedicated ventilation, you can simply place it wherever you need it.

Also, since you don’t need to have any protective material around it, such as a stone hearth, you don’t need to pay the extra cost of installation. Typically, the cost of the appliance is around $500-$1000, and installation can be around the same although sometimes it can be higher if you are installing a gas insert.

Zero Clearance or Masonry Fireplace?

Thankfully, many zero clearance fireplace inserts have all the benefits of a masonry fireplace, with none of the downsides. You can mimic the appearance of a masonry fireplace so you can get the best of both worlds.

Also, with zero clearance, you won’t need to install a chimney or worry about cleaning and maintaining a flue or hearth, so it’s much more cost-effective in the long run.

Finally, even if you currently have a masonry fireplace, you can still install a zero clearance model into your current space, so you get the look of masonry while still getting the benefits of zero clearance.

Benefits of The best zero clearance wood burning fireplace

I’ve briefly covered some of the reasons that zero clearance fireplaces are the best option for your home. However, here is a complete list of the pros (and cons) of this type of fireplace insert.

Pros
  • Requires less space for installation
  • Vent free means you can place in any room without needing to create air vents
  • No need for extra protection surrounding the unit
  • More efficient at providing heat than traditional fireplaces
  • Safer for you and your family
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Mimic the appearance of a masonry fireplace without the cost of installing one
  • Control the temperature to fit your needs
  • Many options to choose from to fit your home’s style and appearance
  • Multiple fuel options
Cons
  • Some models may not provide as much heat as a traditional fireplace
  • Can sometimes be hard to find the right design to match your home
  • Although cheaper than installing a masonry fireplace, it can still be expensive

Final Recommendation 

When it comes to finding the best zero clearance wood burning fireplace, the main thing to consider is the type of fuel you want to burn. This will be your most important decision since it will dictate what models you can choose from, as well as how much heat you can provide, and how much it will cost. 

Personally, I love a gas fireplace, since I have the benefit of having an actual flame, but I don’t have to clean out ash and worry about having enough wood in supply. Also, zero clearance gas fireplaces are much more convenient, since you can adjust the temperature and flame size, as well as turn it on and off with a remote control.

Of the three fireplace inserts listed, my top pick would be the ProCom unit since it provides the appearance and robust heat that I need for my home. If you have a smaller house, though, then the Duluth fireplace would be ideal.

However, if you want the ultimate in design and performance, then I would highly suggest the Pleasant Hearth model, even if it is a bit large and pricey.

Overall, any zero clearance fireplace insert is the ideal choice for you and your family.

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