How much does a gas fireplace insert cost?
How much does a gas fireplace insert cost?
$2,000 – $5,000 average cost installed (standard insert)
$300 – $2,000 average cost installed (log insert)
Average gas fireplace insert cost
A gas fireplace insert costs $2,000 to $5,000 on average installed, depending on the size, brand, features, and vent method. Standard gas fireplace insert prices are $1,500 to $3,500 for the part, plus $500 to $1,500 for installation.
A gas log fireplace insert costs $300 to $2,000 installed. Gas log units cost $200 to $1,500, plus $100 to $500 for installation.
|Type||Average cost installed||Description|
|Standard gas fireplace insert||$2,000 – $5,000||Sealed metal firebox that fits into an existing fireplace and vents through the chimney.|
|Gas log fireplace insert||$300 – $2,000||Stack of ceramic logs with a burner that sits inside the open fireplace.|
Gas fireplace inserts prices by type
Vented vs. ventless gas fireplace insert cost
A vented gas fireplace insert costs $2,500 to $3,500 for the unit alone and expels air to the outside of the home through the existing chimney.
Ventless inserts, also called unvented or vent-free, cost $700 to $2,500 and exhaust directly into the room.
|Venting method||Average unit cost*|
|Vented through the chimney||$2,500 – $3,500|
|Ventless||$700 – $2,500|
*Not including installation. Labor adds $500 to $1,500.
Ventless inserts are prohibited in some areas because they produce harmful carbon monoxide gas.
Ventless inserts are not recommended for people with asthma, allergies, or respiratory issues as they increase humidity in the home.
Gas log fireplace insert prices
A gas log fireplace insert costs $200 to $1,500 and includes the logs, gas connector valves, a burner kit, and a grate. Gas log installation labor adds $100 to $500 on average. The ceramic logs look like real wood but operate using a switch with no smoke or ash to deal with.
Vented logs require a stainless-steel chimney liner for proper venting and safety. They also require the chimney damper to remain open to expel gases.
Logs do not have a blower to force heat into the room, making them an ideal secondary heat source.
Cost to install or replace a gas fireplace insert
The labor cost to install gas fireplace insert is $500 to $1,500, on average. Installing the insert takes about one day for a gas plumber or HVAC professional.
|New gas fireplace insert||$1,500 – $3,500|
|Installation labor & materials||$500 – $1,500|
|Total project cost||$2,000 – $5,000|
The following factors affect the installation costs:
Size – Larger units that heat a larger space cost more.
Brand – Budget brands like Pro-com cost less, while high-end brands like Capella include more features and design styles at a higher cost.
Material – Gas inserts made of durable stainless steel and ceramic are the costliest.
Features – High-tech features like Wi-Fi connectivity and Smart controls add to the unit price.
A licensed plumber charges $45 to $150 per hour to run gas lines and install the unit.
An HVAC technician charges $75 to $150 per hour to install the unit and remove or secure the damper open for safe venting.
Electrician rates are $50 to $130 per hour to run the wiring for an electric fireplace insert.
New gas line– Gas line installation costs $12 to $25 per linear foot. If the home has an existing gas line, extending it to the fireplace costs $250 to $500 on average.
Flue modifications – Installing a chimney liner costs $900 to $3,800 for a stainless-steel liner with the appropriate venting.
Additional parts sold separately – Fireplace inserts include the basic firebox and components, but some do not include decorative logs or grates, which are sold separately.
Decorative features – Custom fireplace masonry costs $30 to $100 per square foot, depending on the veneer.
Gas fireplace insert repair & maintenance costs
An annual chimney inspection and cleaning costs $150 to $175, including removing any build-up on the inner chimney walls, cleaning the glass, and cleaning out any debris. A chimney cleaning may be required before installing an insert.
Other potential costs include:
Chimney repairs – Repairing a chimney costs $900 to $7,000 to reline, resurface, or replace the flue as needed.
Chimney rebuild – Rebuilding a chimney costs $1,000 to $3,500 to rebrick the stack above the roofline or $4,000 to $15,000 to rebuild the chimney above and below the roofline.
Safety features – Installing a carbon monoxide (CO) detector costs $20 to $160 and is necessary to warn of any build-up of the colorless, odorless gas in the home.
Other fireplace insert costs vs. new fireplace
In addition to gas, fireplace inserts are available in electric, pellet, and even wood-burning versions to upgrade an old wood fireplace.
The cost to convert a wood fireplace to gas is $1,500 to $8,000 on average, depending on the type of gas insert installed.
If the pre-existing fireplace is not big enough for an insert, replacing it with a new fireplace may be necessary. Wood fireplace removal costs $500 to $1,000 to take out the fireplace and leave the chimney in place.
Wood-burning fireplace insert cost
A wood-burning fireplace insert costs $2,000 to $5,500 installed. The insert provides better heating than a traditional wood fireplace, as the sealed firebox blocks heat loss, and the blower kit forces hot air into the room.
Wood inserts include ceramic glass viewing doors and air controls to maximize the burn time.
Electric fireplace insert cost
Electric fireplace installation costs $100 to $2,200. Electric inserts are cheaper and easier to install since they require no venting or gas piping. They can be installed almost anywhere, with no clearance needed between the unit and combustible materials like wood, walls, or paneling.
A handyman charges $50 to $80 per hour to install an electric fireplace insert. Installing the electric insert into an existing masonry fireplace requires closing off the chimney and damper and adding a frame and trim surround.
Pros and cons of gas fireplace inserts
Fireplace inserts are a great way to update an old, drafty fireplace. Several fuel types are available — including wood, gas, and electric — each with its own pros, cons, and safety concerns.
Are gas fireplace inserts worth the money?
Gas fireplaces are considered a valuable home trend, especially for high-end buyers. A new fireplace increases the home value by 6% to 12%, depending on the type and location.
A gas firebox provides safe and efficient heating at the flip of a switch without smoke or ashes.
Are fireplace inserts more efficient?
Fireplace inserts offer more efficient heating than wood fireplaces. The insert’s sealed firebox blocks heat loss and the blower forces the heat into the room. A drafty wood fireplace loses as much as 95% of its heat to the outside through the chimney.
How long do fireplace inserts last?
Fireplace inserts last 10 to 20 years if properly used and maintained, with some parts needing replacement to extend the lifespan.
The pilot light assembly suffers the most wear and tear and may last only 5 to 10 years if left burning all winter long.
Does a gas insert fireplace need a chimney?
A standard gas insert needs a chimney to exhaust gas. For homes without a chimney, ventless inserts and logs vent into the room, while direct-vent gas fireplaces vent through an exterior wall or ceiling.
Can you put an insert in a zero-clearance fireplace?
No, you cannot put an insert in a zero-clearance fireplace. A zero-clearance fireplace is a self-contained firebox that is framed into the wall.
The clearance between the fireplace and the nearest combustible material is close to zero, much less than the space required for a fireplace insert.
How hot does a gas fireplace insert get?
Gas inserts have a heat output between 10,000 and 60,000 BTUs, depending on the fuel type and the size of the firebox. An average-sized insert reaches temperatures between 700° F and 1,000° F.
Who can install a gas fireplace insert?
Chimney sweeps, gas specialists, plumbers, and HVAC professionals install gas fireplace inserts.
Beware of using Home Depot and Lowes for the installation. They do not install the fireplaces they sell but subcontract the work to local professionals instead, often taking the lowest bid for the job.
Getting estimates from gas fireplace inserts installers
Before hiring a gas fireplace installer near you, be sure to:
Choose companies that are licensed, bonded, and insured.
Look for an installer that has been in business for more than five years.
Browse their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
Get at least three estimates that include fireplaces of equal quality when comparing quotes.
Confirm the recommended fireplace is the correct size and BTU (heat) output.
Avoid selecting the lowest quote as quality may suffer.
Ask for a detailed estimate, contract, and warranty in writing before the work begins.
Never pay in full before the project starts. Follow a payment plan instead and make the final payment when fully satisfied.
Questions to ask
How many gas fireplaces have you installed in the last year?
Is your company licensed, bonded, and insured?
Do you hire subcontractors for the work?
Do you recommend a vented or ventless gas fireplace, and why?
What size fireplace do I need for my room's square footage?
How long will the installation take?
Will the installation require a permit, and if so, will you obtain it?
What kind of maintenance does the gas fireplace require?
Do you perform fireplace inspections, repairs, or cleaning services?
What type of warranty is included?
Can you provide a list of references with contact information?