Buyer’s Guide: Before You Begin

The Buyer’s Guide

This series of articles will help you identify which type of heating appliance is right for you.  We’ll help you understand the differences between fireplaces, fireplace inserts, freestanding woodstoves, pellet stoves and other types of heating appliances.

Rather than try to sell you something or just describe them to you, we want to focus on helping you understand what it means to purchase, install and maintain your selected appliance.

We also want to help you understand the pros and cons of owning each appliance, and also make some recommendations that may assist you when you are offered additional services or features related to your appliance.

So the number 1 question we get is:

Which one should I get?

Most people do not realize that how you want to use your fireplace may be the best indicator of what you should buy.

  • If you want a classical look to provide heat, we may recommend a freestanding wood stove.
  • If you are replacing an existing wood stove we may recommend another type of wood stove, or maybe a pellet stove.
  • If you have an existing fireplace and only light it during the holidays for the effect, we might not recommend anything at all (except an annual inspection).
  • If you have a fireplace, but want to begin using it as a secondary heat source, we may recommend fireplace insert with a blower

So in the end, the selection may come more down your specific needs and tastes rather than a “one size fits all” answer.

Cost is always a factor, however most stoves and appliances will last a lifetime if properly maintained, so if you divide the cost of the appliance over your lifetime, why not spend the extra money and get what is really best for you?

And always beware the company that pushes only a single product regardless of the application you need it for.

Read the next post in this series of articles to understand the differences, pros and cons of each type of appliance.

Follow Steve May:

Owner, Chimney Works

Steve May is the owner of Chimney Works, a Cincinnati, Ohio based company specializing in chimney cleaning, repair and restoration.

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