Here's a typical case. You go into your local store and speak with the representative for fire-based products, who seems friendly and qualified. You fix an appointment for a technical survey on site required to understand which are the best-suited pellet stoves for you and any restrictions for the flue or to position the product. Then the retailer suggests some prices. While you carefully examine the quote, you go online and realise that for the same kind of product you could be spending much less by buying it from a department store or online. How come?
The price of the pellet stove itself
This happens with any other product and it could not be otherwise for pellet stoves. Admit it: unless you're an expert, the stoves on display in the store look all the same and understanding the difference in price is really difficult.
In our “Buying Guide for pellet stoves”, which has already recorded thousands of downloads, we recommend considering two simple aspects: whether the stove is easy and handy to use (how to program it, how to charge it, how to clean it) and its operation (noise levels, appearance of the flame). These are fairly quickly considerations you can make, but actually seeing the product, possibly when it is on, is essential.
What do you need to do?
Specialist stores usually always have a wide range of stoves and one or two models are often connected to a flue and in winter they are on. Another chance can be visiting a trade fair or local event. Finally, another opportunity could be to take a look at a product already installed in an actual house. Ask your retailer if they have already installed the stove you like somewhere in the neighbourhood. If the owner agrees, it will be a great opportunity to clear up your mind.
The final quote for the pellet stove
The price for the “bare” pellet stove is just a part of the final quote. Indeed, various other elements need to be added to this price and they may vary considerably depending on the installation circumstances. As a rough guide, we can consider the following:
- flue: if there is an existing one, it must be checked and cleaned, otherwise a new one must be built from scratch and the price varies depending on the length and kind of material used; if the flue needs to end outside, for instance, it must be insulated and have a double layer, which means the price will be higher;
- ducting: if the pellet stove is ducted, you need to consider the price for the pipes, the hot air vents and any insulating panels;
- installation: this may involve masonry work or other work that needs to be taken into account;
- first start-up: it is not mandatory, but highly recommended as this is a crucial moment to understand how the product works exactly and, why not, maybe even celebrate with a glass of champagne.
Now you will understand that the price you saw online or in a department store for that kind of pellet stove does not include a whole series of elements that need to be considered. If you want to buy an effective, eco-friendly heat generator that will stay with you for many years and without posing any issues, one definitely needs to make a few considerations beyond price.