Why you should never buy cheap wood burning stoves from an unreliable source.
So why shouldn't you get a stove for a fraction of the price compared to the 'expensive ones which are a rip off'; at the end of the day, a stove is a stove right? (I really wanted to say 'innit') They all perform the same function, you put the wood in, light it and that's it, isn't it? Easy. No big deal, so what's all the fuss about??
Actually that's not it! A cheap stove is a bit like a 'brothel' (excuse the comparison). You pay a small sum for 'short term pleasure'. During that short term, you'd be thinking, "This is fantastic! So glad I bought this, and not one those pretentious ones with the expensive price tag!"
Unfortunately, it won't be long before you realise you'd made a mistake!!
First of all, your stove seems more complicated to light than what the guy in the showroom told you. He had said, there was no need for a demonstration because it was so easy!! You're also having to use more wood to keep it going, hence increasing your fuel bill. An once you've got it lit, you're forever fiddling with the very confusing dual air levers which are supposed to help you control the fire...FRUSTRATION!!!
Then you realise that all the wood you're having to use is creating a lot of ash, hence you're having to tediously clean out the stove every couple of days. If that's not enough, you've got the wife (or husband) moaning that the ash is creating a mess on your lovely new expensive beige rug. Great! MORE ARGUMENTS!!
Not only that, but the glass keeps getting all black from the inside, again you're having to clean it regularly, but it's still looking murky. And because your stove has been so inefficient, it's messed up your chimney too. So you've had to have the chimney sweep in more often than usual, again an additional cost!!
Then you find out your stove is not even DEFRA EXEMPT!! So okay, you're not living in smoke-controlled area, but listening to Sadiq Khan going on about wood burning stoves and air quality lately, do you really feel comfortable about having a stove that's not great for the environment?
So you go back to the dealer from whom you purchased your 'FANTASTIC DEAL' cheap stove with all your complaints, but you're not offered any solutions. Instead you've been told it's out of warranty, hence not their problem anymore!!!
Finally one day, for the sake of your sanity (and your marriage), you just stop using your stove. It no longer gave you any pleasure (please refer to earlier reference to 'a brothel').
Then you run into your mate, John, from down the road, who's loving his wood burning stove which he's had for about 10 years, and still giving him absolute joy. The difference is, John saw his purchase as a 'long-term investment' and wanted a stove which would serve him for many years, was low maintenance and easy to use.
So before John had gone out and bought a stove, he'd taken the time to do his research. He'd gone to different showrooms to compare what was on the market, requested demonstrations, and asked lots of questions to help him make an informed choice. He'd also gone with a reputable showroom, having seen fantastic reviews online, that only dealt in high quality products from again, reputable companies. The friendly staff were very knowledgable, and had taken the time to educate him and had given him all the information he needed, as well as answered all his questions. More importantly, the showroom had a great record for after-sales care, and John had been able to ring them with any problems over the years, and will not hesitate to buy from them again.
And yes, John's probably paid twice the amount you paid for your stove, but he's enjoyed his for ten years, and will probably continue to do so for most probably another ten or fifteen years to come. You, however, will have to spend more on purchasing a new stove to replace your old one...
BUY CHEAP, BUY TWICE. Sad, but true.. Also, SAVE YOUR SANITY (and your marriage!!) BUY A GOOD STOVE!!