Is Your Fireplace Inefficient or Poorly Designed? Consider a Bellfires or Prior Fire Fireplace

You deserve to get what you need from your fireplace. If you have an older wood-burning fireplace that doesn’t provide enough heat for your home, it’s time to consider making some changes. Here at English Sweep, we have two fireplace options we recommend for those looking to get more efficiency and heat – Bellfires and Prior Fire.

We’ve got some great information on both below, and if you’re looking to learn even more, give us a call at 636-225-3340 or get in touch with our customer service team online. We’re certain we can help you find something that suits your needs perfectly!

What Is a Retrofit Fireplace?

If you have a fireplace that no longer works as well as you need it to – but you’re not interested in a full rebuild – you may be a candidate for a retrofitted fireplace. To retrofit a fireplace, we’d utilize the existing chimney infrastructure or metal firebox and upgrade it with new parts.

It’s similar to renovating a bathroom when you don’t want to tear down walls or move plumbing. Instead, you make use of the current footprint, while replacing the sink, shower, and toilet. You’d essentially have a new bathroom with updated hardware, all while avoiding a lot of expensive and messy construction work.

Retrofit fireplaces are typically easier to use and maintain than masonry fireplaces, and they heat homes more efficiently and at lower costs. Many homeowners take the opportunity to cut back even further on heating expenses by switching fuel types. Retrofitting a fireplace is a great time to convert a traditional wood-burning fireplace to gas or electric.

What Are the Benefits of Retrofit Fireplaces?

There are a lot of options when it comes to updating your fireplace, so why should you choose retrofitting?


You can upgrade without breaking your budget.

Not everyone wants to deal with the headache of a renovation project or the often expensive surprises that come with demolition. By using your existing fireplace, you can save money compared to building a new one from the ground up or installing a prefabricated system.



You can upgrade without breaking your budget.

Not everyone wants to deal with the headache of a renovation project or the often expensive surprises that come with demolition. By using your existing fireplace, you can save money compared to building a new one from the ground up or installing a prefabricated system.



The installation is easy and quick.

When you opt to retrofit your fireplace with a Bellfires or Prior Fire unit, you don’t have to concern yourself over how long it’ll take. Typical installation takes about a day or two, so you could have a new fireplace in no time.



There’s a variety of fuel options.

More homeowners are making the change from wood to gas or electric as their preferred fueling option. Both are better for the environment, more cost-effective, more convenient to operate, and they don’t produce creosote or soot at the levels that a wood-burning fireplace does.



You can customize the look.

Your home should be a reflection of your personality and perhaps the brickwork that masonry fireplaces are known for is a bit old-school for your taste. You don’t have to settle for a fireplace that doesn’t suit you as many retrofit fireplaces offer customization options. You can choose the style, finish, and features that match your home decor and meet your needs.


Sound like the right path for you? We’d love to help you get started. Give us a call or start scheduling your appointment online now.

What Is the Bellfires Fireplace?

Bellfires fireplaces are extremely popular, and they’ve actually been a household favorite since the 1920s. They have an open-hearth design, which increases heat and efficiency significantly, and they offer countless other benefits as well. Here are some of the things people love about having a Bellfires fireplace in their home:


They can heat large spaces.

Due to their unique shape and design, Bellfires can radiate heat into a bigger living space for hours on end, making them ideal for bigger families – no noisy fan required!



You’ll save money month-to-month.

Good heat output gives you the ability to turn down your heat and save on monthly bills. And since these units don’t use a fan, you won’t have to stress a bump-up in energy payments, either.



They use less wood than their traditional counterparts.

If you’re sick of chopping, storing, and hauling your own fuel (or having to go out and buy some all the time), one of these units will cut down on your workload significantly. The reason is that they’re highly efficient, so you’ll get more heat from every single log.



There are typically fewer smoke-related issues.

The way Bellfires are designed requires less draft and airflow, so smoke is far less likely to turn around and enter your living space. If this is a common stressor with your current system, this could be the answer you’ve been looking for.



They’re aesthetically pleasing.

No one wants to invest in a fireplace that’s an eyesore, no matter how efficient or easy to use it is. Fortunately, this isn’t something you’ll have to worry about in this case. Bellfires are beautiful units.


What Is the Prior Fire Retrofit Fireplace System?

Prior Fire fireplaces are newer to the game, but not lacking in approval! Chimney companies and their customers have expressed a lot of excitement about these newer systems, and it’s clear they have a lot to offer any household in terms of improved efficiency.

Let’s go over some of their many benefits:


They produce two to three times more heat than your average masonry fireplace.

Because Prior Fire Fireplaces are designed with lightweight firebrick, less heat is absorbed into the firebox and masonry, and the heat of the fire is instead radiated back into your living space. 



They burn cleaner.

These units are designed to burn off any additional particles before they reach your chimney flue. This results in a more complete combustion, which then leads to more efficient fireplace functioning and less pollution and creosote buildup.



Proper clearances aren’t a problem.

According to the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Prior Fires have zero clearance to combustibles with 4-inch nominal masonry. What does that mean for you? You can have a Prior Fire, even if you’re short on space.



They can be installed in most fireplaces.

There are some height, width, and depth requirements, but most fireplaces will easily meet these with no problem.



They’re easy to install.

It should take only one day for a single sweep to install this unit, all while using standard tools – no heavy construction work is needed.



They come with a lifetime warranty.

That means if you ever have an issue, you’re covered – can’t beat that.


Can I Do a Retrofit Fireplace Installation Myself?

The Bellfires and Prior Fire fireplaces are designed to be easy to install – if you’re a professional! A fireplace – and any other heating appliance – can present substantial safety risks when it’s mishandled. If installation isn’t completed properly, you could be exposing your home to potential fires, carbon monoxide leaks, and structural damage.

Other than the dangers a DIY-installation can bring, you could be entering a tricky situation with your homeowner’s insurance. Many policies will only provide coverage if the fireplace is installed by a licensed professional. Fortunately for you, the chimney technicians at English Sweep are fully licensed and certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

Make the Right Investment for Your Home by Relying on Us

We’re not here to push products on you or force you to invest in services you don’t need. But if you’re looking to improve your fireplace game and get the efficiency you know you and your family deserve, then upgrading your hearth with a Prior Fire or Bellfires fireplace might be the perfect solution for you.

We’re here to help you get the most from your fireplace. When it’s time for an upgrade, trust the team at English Sweep. Call us today at 636-225-3340 or schedule an appointment online.


Maybe you don’t need a whole new system, but just a firebox repair. Lucky for you, our chimney repairs experts have got what it takes to get the job done.