Cozy Up Your Home With the PriorFire Retrofit Fireplace System

You and your family have been scouring the real estate market for your forever home for months, possibly years. You finally find a house that feels like home and close on it quickly. One of your favorite features of your new home is the charm of the masonry fireplace, but you know from the real estate chimney inspection that it isn’t quite up to code and will need work and repairs to get it up and running.

So, what do you do? Do you delay moving into your dream home to demolish the old fireplace and chimney and rebuild it all? That’s a costly renovation project to take on… Is it the best decision to add on that type of expense with a new mortgage on the horizon?

Do you resolve to just seal off the fireplace and chimney and let go of those fantasies of quiet family game nights around a crackling fire?

Well, fortunately we have a third option for homeowners who want to revitalize their existing fireplaces – HeatShield’s® PriorFire Retrofit Fireplace System. This is a lab-tested, field-proven, engineered retrofit fireplace that produces more heat, fewer emissions, and a tall “fun-to-watch” flame. If you live in the Benton County or Greene County area and would like to learn more about the PriorFire Retrofit Fireplace System, our technicians here at Ozark Stove & Chimney are approved HeatShield® Installers, and we’d love to help you out. Reach out today.

Can You Put a Fireplace Retrofit Into an Existing Fireplace?

Yes, you can. Retrofit fireplaces are intended to be installed into an existing wood-burning masonry fireplace. Retrofit fireplaces burn cleaner than traditional fireplaces and, when installed properly, these fireplaces can reduce air pollution by approximately 70% according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

There are two primary types of wood-burning fireplaces.

  1. There is the traditional masonry fireplace and chimney which is built out of brick or stone and is constructed on-site by a mason.
  2. Then, there is an engineered fireplace that is prefabricated in a manufacturing facility before being transported to the site for installation.

Traditional masonry fireplaces and chimneys require regular maintenance and care like inspections, cleanings, and simple repair work. In instances where the fireplace and/or chimney has been neglected for a period of time, damages may have progressed too far to repair. Why consider a complete teardown and rebuild that will break your budget and take up your time when there is a better path available?

Retrofit fireplaces are a good solution if your existing masonry fireplace has significant rusting, if part of the chimney system is damaged or broken, if there was a design flaw when it was originally built, or if it is out of fire code and lacking in proper construction combustible clearance. And if you are an eco-conscious homeowner, retrofit fireplaces are more energy efficient and a cleaner burn too.

With a traditional setup, there are many ways that drafts can enter your home, including damaged flues or dampers. With a PriorFire, this is completely avoided as there are no engineered systems sized for maximum efficiency and heat output. To sum up, a retrofit gives off better heat for longer, effectively reducing your energy bills.

What Is the Difference Between a Retrofit and an Insert?

It’s easy to confuse a retrofit fireplace and an insert, but they are very different. Think of a retrofit as an upgrade to your current fireplace. Installing a HeatShield® PriorFire Retrofit Fireplace System requires the removal of the firebox and smoke chamber and installing a new firebox, smoke chamber, and liner.

On the other hand, an insert is a firebox that is designed to fit into an existing fireplace opening. Inserts can use various fuel options including wood, gas, pellet, or electric.

Why Is PriorFire the Best Choice?

Why is PriorFire the perfect investment for so many throughout Greene County and Benton County?

  • HeatShield’s® PriorFire Retrofit Fireplace System can restore your fireplace and correct improper design problems.
  • It improves your fireplace to meet local building codes and restores it to its peak level of safety and efficiency.
  • The unit features an advanced design that will improve the safety and efficiency of your fireplace.
  • It is made with durable and easily rebuildable “low mass” firebrick and features an “Air Wing” over-fire air injection system, producing more heat with fewer emissions.
  • It is a one-size-fits-most unit meaning it can be installed in any residential fireplace with a width of 30 to 41 inches, an opening height of 26 to 30 inches, and a minimum depth of 22 inches.
  • Because of its design, it eliminates fireplace smoking problems for cleaner burning.
  • It reduces creosote and soot buildup, which could reduce the amount of chimney cleanings you need.

When you install the PriorFire System, your fireplace is brought up to current safety codes. The PriorFire Fireplace has been tested and listed by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) to zero clearance to combustibles with just 4 inches of nominal masonry, so you don’t have to be concerned about wood framing that might be too close to your fireplace. The PriorFire System is also insulated, so combustible materials can actually touch the back masonry surface.

In the end, the PriorFire Retrofit Fireplace System greatly improves the safety of your fireplace, and it’s a well- worthwhile investment for anyone needing an update or upgrade. Speak with your Ozark Stove & Chimney chimney technician about the best maintenance plan for your chimney after installation. And remember – the PriorFire Retrofit Fireplace System is covered by a limited lifetime warranty. Can’t beat that.

Am I a Good Candidate for a PriorFire System?

There are a few situations where installing HeatShield® PriorFire Retrofit Fireplace System is a good move for homeowners:

  • If you have a home with an existing masonry fireplace that has some damage but has an intact flue line.
  • If you have a home with an existing masonry fireplace that is out of code.
  • If you’re investing in a new construction build.
  • If you’re interested in converting your fireplace to be eco-friendly.

Do you fall into any of these scenarios? Give us a call or reach out online, and we can start further exploring your options.

How PriorFire Is Installed in Your Home

Ok, so you’ve made the plunge and decided to book your installation with our team. What can you expect next?

Well, Ozark Stove & Chimney will send out a qualified and certified technician to inspect your existing chimney. They will also take measurements to ensure your unit will fit the space properly. After that, a HeatShield® Installer will install and secure the unit and check the system to make sure it is working correctly and efficiently.

Do I have to worry about demolition?

In most HeatShield® PriorFire Retrofit Fireplace System installations, we will need to remove the back wall of the firebox and damper frame. It is not uncommon to have to remove some of the side walls as well. This sounds concerning, but don’t worry about the logistics. Our experts know how to get the job done as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.

How the PriorFire Fireplace System Works

HeatShield’s® unique design and shape is what sets the PriorFire Retrofit Fireplace System apart from other retrofit fireplaces. An “Air Wing” shaped back wall allows flames to accelerate as they follow along the wall. Preheated air enters the fireplace through the open slots of the back wall of the fireplace and hot air mixes with combustion gases for a more complete burn.

Cool air then enters under the fire and travels up behind the back brick wall. This secondary combustion feature burns off additional particulates before they reach the flue. This process creates the cleaner burn and the captivating tall flames that the PriorFire Retrofit Fireplace System has become known for.

What Are the Benefits of Owning a PriorFire Fireplace?

There are many reasons why PriorFire may be a better fit for your home than a traditional masonry fireplace. Whether or not you proceed with installing a HeatShield® PriorFire Retrofit Fireplace System depends on what you feel is best for your home. Our technicians from Ozark Stove & Chimney will be happy to answer any questions and guide you along the journey as you make your choice.

Here are a few key things you can look forward to with this system:

  1. Lower Maintenance Costs: You should always have your fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected regularly by a certified chimney professional to help prevent chimney fires. The PriorFire’s unique back wall “Air Wing” shape ensures that the flame stays in contact with the back wall. Preheated air is then injected into the flame through the back wall injection slots. This creates a cleaner-burning fire, resulting in less creosote and potentially fewer needed sweepings.
  2. Increased Resale Value: According to the National Association of Real Estate Appraisers, an upgraded fireplace can increase the resale value of your property by nearly 12%. Homeowners often recover 100% or more of their investment when adding a fireplace or upgrading an existing one.
  3. Savings on Energy Costs: The PriorFire Retrofit is up to 3 times more efficient than a traditional masonry fireplace.  You can use a portion of the wood you used to burn, all while producing more heat in the process. This means that your new fireplace can help keep those ga or electric heating bills down.
  4. Limited Lifetime Warranty: Your PriorFire Fireplace System comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Ask your chimney technician for more details about the warranty’s specifics.

How Much Does a PriorFire Installation Cost?

As with most fireplace and chimney work, costs can vary based on scope. Wood-burning masonry fireplaces are the most expensive to install because they require significant demolition and need to be built from the ground up. Wood-burning fireplaces also need the most maintenance after the fact, from cleaning to ensuring the mortar in the brick or stone is kept in good repair (all in addition to regular chimney inspections and cleanings).

Comparatively, a wood-burning retrofit fireplace is a more affordable choice. HeatShield’s PriorFire Retrofit Fireplace System comes with a firebox and insulation already. The chimney can be a standard masonry chimney, and the flue will be a double-wall type with an insulated stainless steel liner. The biggest upside of retrofit fireplaces is that they cost less and are lower maintenance than a traditional setup.

Adding a fireplace to your home will increase your home’s value, but if you’re looking for the most cost-effective options to get you that cozy aesthetic, talk with your chimney technician about your list of options, as well as the short-term and long-term benefits of installing different types of fireplace in your home. We’d be happy to discuss your options with you based on your home’s setup, your budget, and your desired outcome.

Who Can Install PriorFire Systems?

The HeatShield ® PriorFire Retrofit Fireplace System can only be installed by an approved HeatShield® Installer that has received training through SaverSystems. Applicants to the SaverSystems install programs are selected based on industry experience, education, certifications, peer references, and course availability.

PriorFire Systems can only be purchased by authorized installers and are not available for general sale to the public. Chimney technicians can install HeatShield® products as long as they continuously meet the following requirements:

  • Certifications from one or more nationally recognized education and certification organizations.
  • Membership in the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) and/or Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) with strict adherence to the published “Code of Ethics.”
  • The company worked for must currently offer Level II inspections per the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 211.
  • Must have completed the HeatShield® Installer factory training course.

Where Can I Find PriorFire Fireplace Installation Near Me?

Ozark Stove & Chimney is happy to serve residents in Green County, Christian County, Stone County, Dallas County, Benton County, Marion County, and more. We travel to Springfield, Branson, Joplin, Bentonville, Rogers, Bella Vista, Fayetteville, Harrison, Ozark, Neosho, and a lot of towns nearby.

Give us a call or reach out to us online if you aren’t sure if we will come to your area. Our customer service representatives are here to help you out.

Ready To Reclaim Your Fireplace? Give Us a Call

If you have an old masonry fireplace that you can’t use and you are considering upgrading to a HeatShield® PriorFire Retrofit Fireplace System, you can trust Ozark Stove & Chimney to get the job done – and get it done right. We are a full-service chimney company built on honesty, transparency, great customer service, and excellent work.

Call us at 417-201-6585 to speak with one of our customer service representatives and they will get you scheduled for an appointment. You can also schedule an appointment with us online. We can’t wait to speak with you soon!


If you think your chimney system is in need of masonry repair or a fresh look, talk to our trained techs about the possibility of stucco as the answer.