What is a Fireplace Retro-Fit?

by | Apr 10, 2018 | Fireplace Upgrade

If you’ve been looking online or speaking to a professional about fireplace upgrades, you might have heard the term “fireplace retro-fit”. This is a great way to upgrade an old or inefficient fireplace, convert fuel-types, or give your hearth a new look. A retro-fit can be simple but can also more involved. It’s important that this job is completed by a professional. This keeps costs low for the consumer and prevents fire hazards due to improper installation.

New Fireplace Retrofit - Raleigh NC - Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service

Same-Fuel Retro-Fit

If you are upgrading your fireplace but sticking with the same fuel-type, your retro-fit may be quite easy. It’s as simple as measuring, ordering, and installing. During or after the change-out, your chimney sweep will inspect the system to ensure that the chimney is in good shape. This keeps your new unit working properly and also keeps your family and home safe.


You may also decide to convert to a different fuel-type. Whatever your reason, this retro-fit may be more involved because it’s not just the fireplace being changed. Converting to gas requires a fuel connection and sometimes a chimney relining. Clay tile liners, which are common in masonry chimneys, are not appropriate for gas-burning fires. The condensation produced by the fire damages the clay tiles and ruins your liner in no time.

Chimney Bypass

Many homeowners tire of the maintenance required to keep a chimney working and safe. If your chimney falls into disrepair through neglect or damage, you may be able to bypass it completely with a retro-fit gas log set. A vent-free gas log set doesn’t require a chimney, is safe to use indoors, and puts out heat for ambiance or zone heating.

Why Hire a Professional

Fireplace shops often have brand-new inserts that homeowners bought and never used. When a homeowner tries to do this job theirself and order online, it commonly ends in an ill-fitting appliance. A professional will measure first, then order and install. The measurement is important because too much space between the insert and the existing firebox can become a dangerous fire hazard.

After installing your new retro-fit fireplace, your chimney sweep will likely resize your chimney flue to fit the capacity of your new appliance, since it’s smaller than the pre-existing fireplace. The flue must be correctly sized in order to keep your fireplace working efficiently and safely.

You can start now and have your new retro-fit fireplace completed and safe to use when cold weather returns this fall. Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service has everything you need from start to finish, and our techs and fireplace experts are CSIA and NFI-certified. Schedule your appointment online or call 919-747-1859 today.

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