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Advice for buying stoves online

As well as being a wonderful and cosy addition to any home, a stove is a technical appliance and while there are tempting offers available online, many of which can often appear to help save you money, the Stove Industry Alliance always recommends that you seek the advice of a professional stove retailer and make your purchase with them. Here’s our handy list of considerations before finalising your choice of where and how to purchase a wood burning stove.

1. A wood burning stove is a technical appliance as well as piece of furniture in your home, and as such should be installed and commissioned by a competent person, such as a HETAS, OFTEC, NAPIT or APHC approved engineer, and in accordance with the legally binding Building Regulations. You need to consider if you already have such an installer or if you need your retailer to either arrange the installation or introduce you to an appropriately qualified installer.

2. When the correct stove is chosen and correctly installed, you will also need a certificate of installation for if you ever sell your house or have an insurance claim relating to the stove’s installation. This is another reason why having the appropriate installer is essential.

3. The sizing, specification and heat output of the correct stove for your particular installation and requirements is very important and it is best to get advice from a professional stove retailer on this before purchasing. Heat output is particularly important as it is a common error to size an appliance purely on physical size and this might result in a room being uncomfortably warm or not warm enough when the appliance is burnt correctly.  It is not advisable to oversize an appliance in terms of heat output and then burn at a very low rate as this can result in increased emissions.

4. The flue requirements and distance to combustible materials are other important considerations when choosing the appropriate stove for your home. Often this may need a site survey from the installer or retailer. Check that your chosen retailer or installer is able to provide the appropriate advice on these issues to ensure you end up with the right appliance being fitted in an approved installation. All SIA Retail Group members have made a declaration that they can offer this advice.

5. Some stove manufacturers offer different warranty terms depending on whether their appliances are purchased through approved retailers as opposed to other retailers. It is important to understand the manufacturer’s warranty when choosing where to buy your stove from. Sometimes a cheaper price may mean a shorter product warranty.

6. All stoves should be CE approved and have evidence to demonstrate this approval. An SIA Retail Group member will be able to assure you that all their stoves are CE approved. The SIA is aware that a small number of products offered online do not appear to have the appropriate approvals.

7. Will your retailer offer you appropriate after sales support if there is a problem? Will they be able to source and supply you with spare parts, especially on consumable items, in the future when you may need them? All SIA Retail Group members have made a declaration that they can offer this important after-sales care and advice.

8. Lead times and delivery charges will also vary between retailers and it is always worth checking these.

Know your rights!

You still have a “cooling off” period when you buy a stove. The law protects your consumer rights when you buy goods or services.

Further details can be found here www.gov.uk/consumer-protection-rights

Consumer Advice

The SIA is here to help consumers with all things wood-burning stoves and biomass appliance related. From understanding the benefits of SIA Ecodesign Ready stove to the importance of using dry wood and a guide on how best to light the stove.

Useful Industry Links

A selection of details, and links, to organisations involved in the industry.

SIA Retail Member Showrooms

Find your nearest SIA Retail Member's showroom, or find a store in the location of your choice.