What is a Fireplace Retro-Fit?

by | Apr 10, 2018 | Fireplace Upgrade

Fireplaces enhance the ambiance of any home, and their ability to heat your space can help you stay warmer without cranking the heat on those colder days. (Say good-bye to a cozy living space and hello to monthly savings!)

But what happens when your fireplace is in need of a major repair?

Well, first things first, give us a call. We can inspect your system to see if there is anything we can offer to bring your system back to where it needs to be.

Unfortunately, sometimes there isn’t an easy solution. In some cases, a fireplace may be beyond repair, or maybe the repairs required are simply too expensive to consider. These scenarios can be really discouraging, but there is another option that’s worth considering – a retro-fit fireplace.

A retro-fit fireplace is a fireplace that is placed into the existing firebox, bypassing the current problems that exist with your fireplace during the process. Retro-fits are a great way to:

  • easily upgrade an old or inefficient fireplace
  • convert fuel-types
  • give your hearth a new look
  • avoid expensive repairs

Retro-fits can be simple or more involved, but the most important thing is to have the job completed by a professional. This prevents fire hazards that come with improper installation, and it’ll ensure you avoid dangerous problems (and expensive repairs) down the line. Let’s explore the many options that come with a retro-fit…

Same-Fuel Retro-Fits

If you are upgrading your fireplace, but sticking with the same fuel-type, your retro-fit will likely be quite easy. It’s basically 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, and once that’s done, you’ll be good to use your fireplace again!

Just be sure to turn to a pro from the very beginning. This will ensure your new unit stays working properly for the long haul, and it will also help to keep your family and home safer.

Gas Logs

What is a Fireplace Retro-Fit? - Raleigh NC - Mr. Smokestack gasThe most affordable retro-fit (and one of the most popular options) is switching to gas logs. With gas logs, you can have a fire blazing in moments with merely the press of a button or flip of a switch. You’ll also have complete temperature control, and many models come with a remote, so you’ll never have to leave the comfort of your couch.

You might even consider a vent-free option. These don’t require a chimney, are safe to use indoors, and put out plenty heat for that enhanced ambiance you’re seeking.

Just remember – it’s important to have gas appliances installed professionally to avoid any problems with emissions or operation. Our crew can work with your local gas company to have a full conversion completed in no time!


You may also decide to convert to a different type of fuel. Many are switching from wood-burning systems to a more convenient gas-fueled option. These retro-fits tend to be more involved because it’s not just the fireplace being changed. For instance, converting to gas may require a fuel connection and sometimes a chimney relining.

Why would a new liner be necessary? 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 will ruin your liner in no time.

This is one of many things that may need to be addressed, but rest assured our team can handle anything that comes our way! Give us a call if this sounds like the right option for you. Whether you’re going from wood to pellets, pellets to gas, or gas to something else, we can help you out!

Why Hire a Professional

Fireplace shops often have brand-new inserts that are available for consumers to buy and this leads to many homeowners attempting to install the devices themselves. We strongly advise against this! When homeowners approach retro-fits as a DIY project, it commonly ends in an ill-fitting appliance that’s not safe for use.

What is a Fireplace Retro-Fit? - Raleigh NC - Mr. Smokestack pictureWhen you trust a professional, you won’t have to worry about a thing. They will take all appropriate measurements (a step that needs to be done ahead of time), then help you order the most suitable appliance for your set-up. This is imperative because too much space between the insert and the existing firebox can become a dangerous fire hazard. An expert will know all appropriate spacing and coding requirements, so you can breathe easier every time light a fire.

If you’re a homeowner in the Raleigh, Durham, or anywhere else in the surrounding area, and are considering a fireplace retro-fit, make sure you involve our team of certified professionals in the process. We’re experienced and trained in every type of installation, ensuring you get the most out of your appliance, no matter which type you decide to invest in.

Also, keep in mind that, after installing your new retro-fit fireplace, your sweep may need to resize your chimney flue. Since the new appliance will be smaller than the pre-existing fireplace, the flue may need to be correctly resized in order to keep your fireplace working efficiently and safely. This is another reason involving a pro from the start is a must!

And remember – retro-fits aren’t exempt from needing regular maintenance! Just as with any other system or fuel type, investing in annual inspections is essential for keeping things running safer and smoother for the long haul.

Don’t Wait – Give Us a Call!

Start now, so you can have your new retro-fit fireplace completed and ready for use when cold weather returns again this fall. Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service has everything you need from start to finish. We’ve completed hundreds of these installations, retro-fitting new fireplaces into all types of spaces and homes, and we’re confident we can get you where you need to be.

So give our licensed crew a call! We’re experienced, well-trained, and certified with both the National Fireplace Institute (NFI) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

Schedule your appointment online or call 919-747-1859 today!

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