Home appliance and home improvement purchases are often a big financial investment. Fireplaces, stoves, and fireplace inserts all fall under this category. It’s understandable that price will play a major role in deciding on what heating appliance you will purchase for your home. There are, however, certain considerations that are just as important as price; many of which will determine the actual value of the unit you choose to buy.
So the question arises – are discount wood stoves, gas stoves, and fireplace inserts found at those big box stores & online-only retailers really a good value? Keep reading to find out!
Stove / Fireplace Insert Quality
The materials used in the construction of a wood stove, gas stove, or fireplace insert can actually affect how the appliance performs and how long it will last. Although big box stores offer a range of discount wood stoves, gas stoves & fireplace inserts, these units are designed with lower grade materials & metal, and they often lack the high quality craftsmanship & construction of a more costly model.
These cheaply made units can’t offer the same high performance/high efficiency & heat output a quality hearth appliance will, so homeowners generally don’t see the same energy savings as mid-range to top-of-the-line models. Not to mention, discount wood stoves & low cost fireplace inserts often require more maintenance and quit working significantly sooner than higher quality units.
If you want more details on the differences in performance & longevity of discount heating appliances vs. costlier heating appliances, stop by your local UFS member store to speak with professional hearth experts. You will quickly find out that just because you get a low prices up front, doesn’t mean it will be a lower cost in the long run.
Professional Installation & Service
If you think purchasing a fireplace, stove, or fireplace insert from a big box store or online-only retailer is the way to go because their prices may be lower than specialty hearth stores, you should consider what extras like deliver, installation, and service will cost. If these retailers do not include these extra costs in the price of the unit, these elements can significantly increase your final cost.
On the other hand, most brick-and-mortar hearth shops specialize in these heating appliances and offer turn-key units that usually include the price of the venting or chimney components, plus delivery & installation. Although the prices at a specialty hearth store may seem higher upfront, it’s generally because these important elements are added in to the price listed on the units in their showroom. Not to mention, the professional service technicians of a brick-and-mortar hearth store are manufacture-trained and specialize in the set up & service of the products they sell. That is something you certainly won’t find at a big box store.
The employees at a big box store or online-only hearth retailer are far from being experts in the hearth & heating industry. Most have a very limited knowledge on the products sold in the store, and if you ask them for assistance, many won’t be able to tell you much more than what’s on the card under the price tag. While this might not matter much if you’ve already done extensive research, homeowners looking to know the ins and outs of each appliance and how they compare to other models won’t get a lot of answers from these types of retailers.
Specialty hearth stores, on the other hand, go through extensive manufacturer and industry training so they know in depth details on how each appliance functions and what installation and performance requirements must be met for each and every unit they sell. The professional staff at your local UFS member store will be able to assist you with finding the perfect wood stove, gas stove, or fireplace insert for your needs & style. And, they offer quality heating units in different price ranges so price doesn’t have to be a concern for discerning homeowners looking for discount stoves or fireplace inserts.
Find out why homeowners love going to specialty hearth stores for all of their heating needs. Because their professionals go the extra mile for each person who walks into their showroom, customers leave satisfied and knowledgeable about their new heating appliance. Don’t be tempted by discount wood stoves, gas stoves, or fireplace inserts at big box stores, get a great deal AND a great value at your local UFS member hearth store.