Can I Convert My Wood Burning Fireplace to Gas?

Here's what you need to know to successfully convert your wood fireplace to gas! 

Last Updated: February 5, 2024

You can definitely convert your wood burning fireplace to gas, and it’s easier to do than you might think.  

Switching to gas makes your fireplace more efficient and user-friendly. Plus, gas-burning appliances burn cleaner, are easier to use, and won’t require much maintenance. You also won’t have to purchase or store firewood, monitor your fire as it burns, or clean up leftover ashes. With a gas fireplace, you’ll have the fire going instantly at the press of a button or flip of a switch.  

A couple of ways to convert your fireplace include a gas fireplace insert or a gas log set. Follow this guide to determine the best option for your home!  


Traditional gas fireplace inserts fit inside existing fireplace openings. They typically include decorative surrounds, which makes installation look seamless. 

In most cases, you need to have your chimney lined with a stainless steel liner for the gas insert to work safely and efficiently. Chimney liners are round steel pipes that run the length of your chimney and connect to the gas insert. Inserts use UL-listed stainless steel chimney liners to ensure safe clearance and vent byproducts out of your home.  

Direct Vent Gas Inserts

Direct Vent fireplace inserts feature a fully sealed firebox and venting system. Most models need a venting system with two pipes placed next to each other. This system brings in fresh air for burning and removes emissions from your home.

One of the biggest benefits of Direct Vent appliances is that they won’t affect your indoor air quality. They’re a safe choice for those with chronic lung issues, like asthma. Another huge benefit is the incredible flame presentation. With a Direct Vent insert, you can expect natural-looking flames that mimic a real wood burning fire.

Key Benefits of Direct Vent Inserts

  • Meets current Green Building codes and standards  
  • Safe design that won’t affect your indoor air quality  
  • Full, natural-looking flames and realistic media bed 
  • Most models offer a heat blower for extra efficiency  

Ventless Gas Inserts

Ventless fireplace inserts are perfect for homes without chimneys. They use indoor air for combustion and burn at almost 100% efficiency, making it safe to operate with or without a chimney system.  

You have two options when it comes with Ventless inserts. The first option is to purchase a Ventless insert by itself and buy a log set separately. The second option is to find a Ventless insert that already includes both the firebox and log set. Keep in mind, without the extra air from outside to help with combustion, Ventless inserts will produce smaller flames than Direct Vent models.

However, what Ventless inserts lack in aesthetics, they make up for in warmth. They burn at nearly 100% efficiency and feature curved tops to help direct all the heat into your living space. You also won’t have to worry about heat escaping through the chimney or cold air drafts coming into your home.  

Key Benefits of Ventless Inserts

  • Does not require a working chimney or venting system  
  • Burns at nearly 100% efficiency  
  • All the heat produced stays in your home  
  • Adds moisture to your home during the dry, winter months 


Gas log sets offer a quick and simple way to modernize your wood fireplace. The designs are easy to install and come in various styles to match your decor, like rustic oak, bright birch, and eclectic juniper.

Vented Gas Log Sets

You must use a chimney with Vented gas log sets and keep your fireplace damper open. Vented logs offer full, natural flames that closely resemble real wood fires. Most sets also have glowing ember beds that give the illusion of cozy, pulsating wood embers. 

Homeowners purchase Vented gas log sets more for aesthetics than heat. Since your fireplace damper has to stay open, you will experience some heat loss up the chimney. 

Key Benefits of Vented Gas Logs

  • Incredibly lifelike flame appearance  
  • Glowing ember bed looks like a real wood fire 
  • Safe design that won’t affect your indoor air quality 

Ventless Gas Log Sets

Ventless gas log sets are great sources of supplemental heat. They burn at almost 100% efficiency and achieve clean, smokeless fires that won’t require any kind of venting. Without the need to vent, all the heat stays inside your home.

While most Ventless log sets look authentic, the flame presentation will be smaller than Vented sets. 

Key Benefits of Ventless Gas Logs

  • Doesn’t require a working chimney or venting system  
  • Burns at nearly 100% efficiency  
  • All the heat produced stays inside your home  


The installation cost depends on the appliance type, venting, gas plumbing, electrical work, and finishing materials needed.  

Overall, gas log sets are more affordable and straightforward to install than gas inserts. They also have fewer working parts, and in our experience, tend to last longer than gas inserts. Yearly maintenance costs and warranties will be similar for both types of fire features. 


To install a Direct Vent insert or log set, you'll need to hire a licensed chimney professional to inspect and clean your chimney. They'll be able to make any repairs to your masonry or chimney structure.

You’ll also need to make sure you have a properly sized gas line. If you don’t have a Natural Gas line, it’s crucial to consult a licensed and trained gas professional. They can safely install a new one that works with the BTU rating of your gas insert or log set.  

In addition, a local gas pro knows your city’s codes and restrictions regarding gas appliances. If the product you pick out is not safe for your home, they can identify the issue and help you find a new product.  

With any gas appliance, it’s always a good idea to install carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. Test your detectors regularly, replacing the batteries at the end of each season. 

And most importantly, hire a professional to service your gas insert or log set at least once a year. Book your first appointment right after installation, so you don't forget!



If you have any questions about how to convert your wood burning fireplace or need help finding the right product for your project, please reach out to our NFI certified experts at 800.919.1904!  


Need help picking out a gas fireplace? Check out our Gas Fireplace Buying Guide

Find out if a Direct Vent or Ventless gas fireplace is right for you. 

Check out the Top 6 Advantages of Gas Logs to see why they're a great alternative to wood burning fireplaces.