Types of Gas Fireplaces Explained

March 6, 2020
When doing research for a new gas fireplace you may come across many different terms and it can be very confusing. Isn’t a fireplace just a fireplace? What the heck is an insert? What does direct vent mean? And most importantly, what type of gas fireplace do I need?

Not to worry we are here to help – below we explain what the difference between each type of gas fireplace (in plain English!) and explain some of the key differences to help you decide what type of gas fireplace you will need.


Gas Fireplace

A gas fireplace is what most people think about when they think of a fireplace. They are built into the wall typically as part of a major renovation or new construction. Classic gas fireplaces come in a variety of styles including Traditional, Contemporary, and Modern; however, they all fall under the same category - gas fireplace.

Gas Fireplaces allow homeowners to add the warmth and comfort of a fireplace virtually anywhere in their home!

Gas Fireplace Insert

A gas insert is used to upgrade an old wood masonry fireplace into a gas fireplace. The fireplace is “inserted” into the existing fireplace and uses the chimney to run venting up and out of the home. Inserts are typically used in renovations to upgrade the home’s heating and preserve the existing chimney.

Gas Fireplace Inserts are a quick and straightforward way to seal a drafty old wood masonry fireplace and create a high-efficiency heater.

Gas Stoves

A gas stove fireplace is a gas version of a freestanding stove. Gas stove fireplaces are either installed inside a room or inside of an existing masonry fireplace as opposed to being built into the wall like a gas fireplace. Gas stoves give the look and feel of a traditional wood burning stove without all the mess and effort of wood!

Gas Stoves allow for flexible installation and add the warmth and beauty of a freestanding stove with the convenience of gas.

Venting Explained

There is a lot of confusion around the different types of venting options and what you will require. For a more comprehensive explanation of the different types of venting read our complete guide to fireplace venting. To find out what type of venting you will need talk to your authorized Regency fireplace dealer.

Direct Vent
Direct vent technology uses outside air for combustion and release all emissions outside the home as part of a sealed fireplace system. Direct Vent improves efficiency of heating and maintains interior air quality. The majority of Regency’s gas fireplace lineup uses direct vent technology (with a few minor exceptions) as it creates the best performance and overall comfort for homeowners. Direct vent fireplaces can be used without electricity.

Natural or B-Vent
Natural, or B-Vent, fireplaces pulls air from within the home for combustion and releases emissions outside the home. Where a direct vent fireplace is a sealed system, natural vent systems are not. Natural vent fireplaces can be used safely without electricity.

Power Vent
Power Vent systems work much the same as direct vent systems - they use outside air for combustion and are part of a sealed system. The difference is Power Vent systems use a fan to force air into the fireplace as opposed to a direct vent system which works on a natural draft. Power venting is good for longer distance or abnormal exhaust runs typically found in large open concept homes and commercial properties. Power venting relies on power to run the fan and therefore cannot be used in a power outage.

Ventless fireplaces use air from within the home and release emissions within the home – resulting in poor air quality and potential health risks. Learn more about the ventless fireplaces. Ventless fireplaces should not be used without electricity as they require sensors and automatic shutoff valves to function safely.

Changeouts & Rebate Programs

Did you know that most cities & states will have rebate and changeout programs for upgrading your old wood burning fireplace to a new gas unit? Typically, these programs offer rebate savings to incentivize homeowners to upgrade their old inefficient wood fireplaces to new high efficiency gas units.
See a list of rebate programs or alternatively you can just Google “Woodstove changeout program” in your area to find your local rebates!

You May Also Like…