Best Direct Vent Gas Fireplaces of 2021 – Complete Round-up

| Last Updated: July 18, 2021

Direct vent gas fireplaces are a new and innovative kind of fireplaces. They aim to tackle the shortcomings of traditional fireplaces that lose much of their heat through the chimney while releasing smoke.

Hence, these new fireplaces are more energy-efficient, and they heat your home better while keeping it warmer.

Comparison of the Best Direct Vent Gas Fireplaces

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Comes with quite a large heating chamber
  • Made from strong and durable materials to last longer
  • Very easy controls included for easy operating
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  • Made from high-quality steel materials
  • Burns clean and with low soot emissions
  • Has a large heating chamber for better efficiency
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  • Best for the Money
  • Use natural gas for a quick and easy heating capacity
  • Made strong and durable to last longer
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  • Best Direct Vent Corner Gas Fireplace
  • Provides 1500 to 21000 BTUs of heating capacity
  • Very easy to install and operate
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  • Best Small Direct Vent Gas Fireplace
  • Has safety grid included for safe indoor use
  • Comes with remote control for better comfort
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  • Best Free Standing Direct Vent Gas Fireplace
  • Can be used with natural gas as well as propane
  • Made from strong and durable materials
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How Do I Choose a Direct Vent Gas Fireplace?

Before buying yourself a direct vent gas fireplace, you need to evaluate some factors. These will define the performance of your unit and the level of utility it provides you with. Some of these include:

Space

Before buying a model, you need to consider your apartment’s or house’s space and buy a fireplace accordingly.

There are different models for condos, small houses, large rooms, etc., so make sure you pick the appropriate model. 

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)

AFUE is one of the first metrics of your fireplace that you should consider before making a purchase. It will tell you about the efficiency with which your fireplace converts fuel into heat. While the fuel burns, some of it gets lost in the smoke and fumes that are thrown outside, and hence heat is wasted to some level.

Thermal Efficiency

After AFUE comes thermal efficiency. This is also an important metric, and a good fireplace needs to have high thermal efficiency. 

Thermal efficiency is basically a measure that tells you about the heat that makes it into your room after the smoke and fumes are pumped out. The fireplace’s glass and walls also absorb some level of heat, and hence there is a further reduction in the level of heat that gets transferred to the room.

Review of the Best Direct Vent Gas Fireplaces

There are many great different options available in the market these days, and it can get a little overwhelming for anyone to pick the best one out. Hence, we have made a shortlist for you to choose from. 

Best Overall and Most Efficient Direct Vent Gas Fireplace

Empire Tahoe Deluxe Millivolt

Empire Tahoe Deluxe 36' Direct-Vent NG Millivolt Fireplace

Specifications

Heat Output: 20,000 BTU/h

Efficiency: 83%

Dimensions: 16.38 x 37 x 32.68 inches

Weight: 102 lbs.

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Review

The unit is easy to install, and it works perfectly without losing any of its produced heat to the chimney. Recent buyers are highly satisfied and have no regrets that they chose to buy this unit. Furthermore, the remote control makes it easy to use it while relaxing on your couch or bed.

Review

This is a highly durable product. It is made of high-quality materials. It is second to none when it comes to efficiency. You don’t have to worry about losing too much heat during the combustion process. 

In addition, Empire Deluxe can be used with both propane and natural gas, so you can choose the variant that you are more comfortable with. Although whatever your choice may be, the efficiency of this fireplace is always uncompromised. 

Lastly, this fireplace doesn’t produce a lot of fumes and smoke, which makes it safer for you to use, and it is also good for the environment.

Bottom Line

In all, Empire Tahoe Deluxe is a highly durable and efficient fireplace that will heat up your home safely. It gives you two fuel options to choose from – natural gas and propane. Furthermore, it is environment-friendly since it produces minimum harmful gases.

Pros

Comes with a guarantee

Doesn’t emit a lot of fumes

Has a sturdy and durable build

Available in both propane and natural gas models

Comes with remote control for turning the fireplace on and off conveniently

Cons

Heat level changes based on fuel

Additional barrier in front of the glass is necessary for safety

Runner-up

Majestic Oxford OXDV30SP

Majestic OXDV30SP 29' Oxford Direct Vent Gas Stove

Specifications

Heat Output: 28,000 BTU/h

Efficiency: 71% AFUE

Dimensions: 12.5 x 23 x 28.38 inches

Weight: 286 lbs.

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What Recent Buyers Report

Customers are in love with the traditional and classic look that this fireplace provides to the home. They also love the build quality and are satisfied with how fast and efficiently it heats up their homes without wasting much energy. Furthermore, it comes with a safety barrier to minimize the risk of you getting hurt.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Direct Vent Gas Fireplaces are new, innovative, and environment-friendly fireplaces. They produce a lot of heat that is efficiently used. However, they take the thrill and classic aesthetic out of your home. 

Most fireplaces are built with modern and contemporary designs. There aren’t many traditional looking direct vent fireplaces, and Majestic Oxford fills in that gap with its classic aesthetics while keeping the great modern efficiency. 

Furthermore, it is very convenient to use. It can be controlled from a remote, and you don’t have to approach the fireplace to turn it on or off. This also minimizes your risk of accidentally getting hurt.

Bottom Line

All in all, Majestic Oxford is the perfect mix between a traditional and modern look, satisfying the traditional classic aesthetic desire while being highly efficient. Furthermore, it can be easily controlled with a remote, and it comes with a safety barrier to keep you safe.

Pros

Classic black iron aesthetic

Package includes a certified safety barrier

Can be installed on rigid wood flooring easily

Highly efficient with an 81% thermal efficiency

Can be controlled by remote control to switch the flame on and off

Cons

Uses propane only

Some customers have reported soot issues

Best for the Money

Majestic Quartz Series 42N

Majestic Quartz Series Direct Vent Gas Fireplace with Intellifire Ignition (42N)

Specifications

Heat Output: 20,000 BTU/h

Efficiency: N/A

Dimensions: 48 x 16.31 x 39.56 inches

Weight: 138 lbs.

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What Recent Buyers Report

If you live in a small home, then having a compact fireplace is a priority, which, for most buyers, was fulfilled by Majestic Quartz 42N. It easily heated their homes without taking much space. It was also easy to install. Furthermore, you can control its heating intensity according to your preference.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Before buying a fireplace, one of the most important factors to consider is the size of your fireplaces and the area that it can heat up easily. While most of the fireplaces come in sizes for large rooms and houses, there are plenty of small homes. However, you often feel that with size, you are also giving up on quality. 

But that is not the case with this fireplace. It packs all the best features and great efficiency while being compact and provides you great value for your money. It adjusts to your house’s specifications since it can be installed in multiple formats.

Bottom Line

Majestic Quartz 42N provides you great value for money with its compact size, heat adjusting options, multiple venting options, efficiency, and contemporary aesthetics. It is the dream of most small homeowners and people who want the best fireplace in a compact size.

Pros

Comes pre-wired

Compact fireplace for small homes

Requires minimum space for installation

Compatible with both rear and top venting

You can adjust the heat with the help of controls easily

Cons

Runs on only natural gas

Accessories increase the overall cost

Best Direct Vent Corner Gas Fireplace

Majestic Quartz QUARTZ32IN

Majestic Quartz QUARTZ32IN Direct Vent Natural Gas Burning Fireplace with Intellifire Ignition (32N)

Specifications

Heat Output: 21,000 BTU/h

Efficiency: 53% AFUE

Dimensions: 36 x 16.31 x 34.06 inches

Weight: 94 lbs.

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What Recent Buyers Report

According to buyers, it is very compact. It can be hung on a wall if you have carpeted floors and don’t want to risk ruining your carpets. It is efficient, and it will make your home cozy. In addition, it is very easy to install, and it gives a sophisticated look to your home.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you are a small homeowner, this unit will be ideal for you. It bundles all the best features along with its great performance while being lightweight and offering great value for your money.  

It is compact enough that you can easily mount it on your wall if you desire. It really brings out the contemporary and modern element in your house with its sophisticated outlook. An added benefit for people on a budget is that it uses natural gas, which is more affordable than propane. This helps lower running costs.

Bottom Line

To sum up, Majestic Quartz 32IN is an ideal fireplace for small homeowners who don’t have solid wood flooring. It can be easily mounted on the wall. It is easy to install and use. Furthermore, it has a modern and sophisticated design.

Pros

Very easy to install

Pre-wired for the wall switch

Suitable for small apartments and houses

You can both mount it on the wall or place it on the floor

Intensity of heating can be easily controlled with the controls

Cons

Not compatible with propane and only runs on natural gas

Best Small Direct Vent Gas Fireplace

Regency Liberty L234

Specifications

Heat Output: 21,500 BTU/h

Efficiency: 74.67%

Dimensions: 25 x 14 x 17 inches

Weight: N/A

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What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers believe this fireplace to be a great choice for small homes. It is very elegant and classy looking. It is compact in size yet highly efficient and powerful. It will easily heat up your room. This fireplace has really helped people understand why it’s time to say goodbye to traditional wood and pellet fireplaces.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It is a very powerful fireplace. It is compact, yet it never has any problem heating the room it is placed in. The credit for this goes to an added feature of this fireplace: a variable-speed blower. This blower makes sure to direct the heat in the room without it getting wasted in the fireplace by being absorbed by the interior. In this way, the room also heats up very quickly.

Furthermore, you can easily control the fireplace’s temperature with the remote control that it comes with.

Bottom Line

Regency L234 is one of the most powerful and efficient fireplaces in the market. It is built from high-quality materials and uses a variable-speed blower to maximize the amount of heat that the room receives.

Pros

Sleek and sturdy design

Can be controlled with a remote

Compact size yet highly efficient and powerful

Compatible with both natural gas and propane

Offers two different finishing options to suit the needs of various customer tastes

Cons

Not suitable for large rooms

Best Free-Standing Direct Vent Gas Fireplace

Thelin Echo GDV-P-BP

Thelin Echo Direct Vent (NG) Natural Gas or (LP) Propane Heater - Cast Iron Painted in Metallic Blue

Specifications

Heat Output: 31,000 BTU/h

Efficiency: 68.81%

Dimensions: 27 x 18 x 30 inches

Weight: 206 lbs.

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What Recent Buyers Report

Users state that the installation process is a little tricky, but once that is out of the way, it is very easy and safe to use this fireplace without much inconvenience. It has a sturdy build and gives off the antique vibe, which makes you feel like you are enjoying the traditional fire, but without the trouble.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This fireplace doesn’t need to be mounted in a wall or fixed in any wall hole. It is a free-standing unit that you can just place on any kind of floor, whether you have a solid wood floor or a carpeted floor; you won’t risk doing any damage. 

It stands on its own legs and can be put in any corner easily. The installation of vents can be tricky, but the unit itself is very simple and easy to use. Furthermore, this fireplace delivers on its promise of heating your room with your preferred fuel choice, whether it is natural gas or propane.

Bottom Line

Overall, Thelin Echo is a great fireplace that is free-standing and hence can be used in homes with all kinds of flooring. It is highly efficient and warms your room quickly. Furthermore, it is compatible with both propane and natural gas.

Pros

Highly durable and sturdy build

Has a traditional and classy aesthetic

Package includes a realistic looking log set

Compatible with both natural gas and propane

Thermostat of the stove is ready upon arrival for increased convenience

Cons

Relatively heavy

Complex installation

What Is a Direct Vent Gas Fireplace?

Direct vent gas fireplaces are an innovative kind of fireplace that does not require the air inside the room for combustion purposes. They operate using air coming in from outside. 

For this purpose, they feature a multipurpose firebox used to vent the smoke out of your home and pull air for combustion into the fireplace. This firebox is usually sealed with ceramic glass or, in some cases, tempered glass that facilitates the process of pumping air in and out smoothly. This firebox can be placed according to your design requirements in a horizontal or vertical manner.

How Do Direct Vent Gas Fireplaces Work?

These fireplaces don’t use the air inside the room for combustion; instead, they pull air from outside. They employ a coaxial vent system. This system operates using two pipes – a small and a large one. Both the pipes have different functions. 

The small pipe is placed inside the large one, and it sends the smoke and fumes to the outdoors while the larger pipe is designed to pull in outside air to keep the combustion process going. The large pipe has an added utility. It also acts as an insulator aimed at regulating the overall temperature of the unit.

Photo credit: houseweather.org

Pros and Cons of a Direct Vent Fireplace

There are two sides to every coin. In the same way, direct vent fireplaces have both pros and cons that you need to weigh before deciding if you want them for your home.

Pros

The aim of these fireplaces was to tackle the shortcomings of traditional fireplaces. Hence, they come with multiple benefits, which includes:

Easy to Use

Direct vent fireplaces are very simple and easy to use. You only need to turn on a switch, and you are good to go. Meanwhile, using traditional fireplaces is always a hassle, considering the fuel, wood, and pellets you need to feed them.

Highly Efficient

Such fireplaces are relatively more efficient than traditional models. This is because no heat is wasted through the chimney, and most of the heat gets pumped into the room.

Safe to Use

These are safe to use in your house since they use the outside air and do a good job of pumping smoke out of the house. Hence, you don’t inhale any harmful gases.

Cons

Despite how great they are, they still have a fair share of drawbacks. These include:

Expensive

These fireplaces use propane as fuel, and it is expensive as compared to wood and pellets. You will be spending more money on propane while getting less heat.

Vent Free Gas Fireplace vs. Direct Vented – Comparison Overview

Before buying direct vent fireplaces, it is important to understand why they are the better option. Hence, it is important to draw a comparison of them with vent-free fireplaces.

What is the Difference Between a Direct Vent and Ventless Gas Fireplace?

Direct vent fireplaces use outside air for combustion while ventless gas fireplaces use inside air. Furthermore, how the combusted air is treated is different. The former pumps out the combusted air while the latter releases the combusted air into the house. Here are some other comparisons between the two:

Similarities

Both vented and ventless fireplaces are easier to use than traditional fireplaces that require you to get multiple items to start them, and then cleaning them is also tough. Both are very easy to use and clean.

Differences

Direct vented fireplaces only outside air for combustion, and the smoke that is produced as a result of combustion is pumped out. Hence, only heat is transferred to the room, and the room’s air has no contamination or use for the unit. However, ventless units use the air of the room and release gases back into the room. This contaminates the inside air, so such fireplaces cannot be used for a long duration. 

In addition, the former doesn’t waste much heat while pumping smoke out, and it transfers most of the heat produced directly into the room. Meanwhile, ventless fireplaces transfer all the heat into the room along with the smoke.

How to Install a Direct Vent Gas Fireplace

A direct vent gas fireplace is a great product that will add much value to your life. It is easy and safe to use. Furthermore, it is very simple to install. You only need to follow the steps given below to get the job done.

  1. Pick a place in the room for placing the direct vent gas fireplace.

  2. Decide the frame where you are going to install your unit.

  3. Go to the other side of the wall and determine the location for the outside unit that is the firebox.

  4. Stretch the pipes according to the size you want, and since these pipes are highly flexible, you can also easily mold them into any shape you require.

  5. Pick the safety spacer for the big pipe and put the two things together by installing the big pipe within the spacer.

  6. Put the small pipe within the big pipe now.

  7. Screw all the pipes together tightly and put the pipe clamp on.

  8. Use spring spacers around the small pipe to make sure it keeps its distance from the big pipe.

  9. Place the inside unit in the wall and attach it to the pipes and the outside unit.

  10. Attach the inside unit to the gas supply, and you are good to go.

In case you have any reservations about the process, here’s a video detailing the process. 

How to Clean a Direct Vent Fireplace

To ensure the long life of your direct vent gas fireplace, proper maintenance is an absolute necessity. You need to make sure you clean the unit properly and diligently since a lot of dirt accumulates over time inside the unit and pipes. The following are some steps you can follow to ensure you take the right care of your fireplace.

  1. Remove the screen so you can easily access the interior.

  2. Start cleaning the dust from the interior.

  3. Use a duster for the nooks and creaks and a vacuum cleaner for cleaning the logs.

  4. Use hard paintbrushes all over the inside walls of the fireplace to ensure you get all the dust.

  5. Once the fireplace is clean, place the embers and logs inside the fireplace.

  6. Clean the glass and screen using foam, soap, and glass cleaner.

  7. Place the glass and screen back on the fireplace.

  8. Light the flame to ensure everything was placed back without any problems.

It is fairly easy to clean your direct vent gas fireplace. However, if you still have any reservations regarding the process, then check the video below.

Conclusion

Direct vent gas fireplaces are the new, innovative fireplaces that make your life easier. They are highly efficient since they transfer most of the heat into the room. They are easy and safe to use. Furthermore, they don’t emit any gases that are harmful to you or the environment.

People Also Ask

Buying yourself a fireplace is a long-term investment and one that you need to carefully think about. There are several factors to consider before making any decision. Hence, you might have a lot of questions in your mind. However, don’t worry. We have answered some top questions for you.

Do You Need a Chimney for a Direct Vent Gas Fireplace?

No, you do not need a chimney for a direct vent gas fireplace. Such units use a firebox that pumps air in for combustion and pumps air out that is used already. You won’t need a chimney or the inside air for anything.

How Much Is a Direct Vent Gas Fireplace?

Normally, a direct vent gas fireplace costs something between $3,500 and $7,500. The price will depend on the size, brand, and quality of your fireplace.

What Is the Difference Between a Direct Vent and B-Vent Fireplace?

There are two key differences between a direct vent and a B-Vent fireplace. First, the latter must be vented vertically, whereas the former can be vented both vertically and horizontally. Secondly, B-vent uses air from inside the room for combustion, whereas direct vent uses outside air for combustion. 

How Far Can You Vent a Direct Vent Fireplace?

There isn’t any fixed limit for how far you can vent a direct vent fireplace. However, it is usually suggested that you keep the distance between both inside and outside units to a minimum while adding support to the pipes at every three ft to prevent sagging.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Direct Vent Gas Fireplace?

On average, it costs around $4,500 to install a gas fireplace with a minimum of $2,500 cost and a maximum of $10,000 cost. This cost will depend on the complexity of the installation and size of the installation unit.

Where Can I Put a Direct Vent Gas Fireplace?

You can put it anywhere essentially since there is no need for a chimney. However, placing it near a wall that an outside unit can be attached to will be ideal.

How Long Can You Run a Vented Gas Fireplace?

There is no limit on how long you can run a vented fireplace since all the harmful fumes and smoke are released outside, and there is no hazard of you inhaling the fumes. Hence, you will be safe even if it runs for long hours.

How Do You Tell if My Gas Fireplace Is Vented?

You should check the roof of your fireplace. If there is a cylinder attached to the roof of your fireplace along with gas lines, then that means your fireplace is vented. If there is no cylinder on top and only the gas line is present, then your fireplace is ventless.



My name is Bob Wells and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs. Find more info about me and HVAC Training 101.