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Is Buying a Used Fireplace or Stove a Good Idea?

What Aesop said about frugality still holds true: “It is thrifty to prepare today for the wants of tomorrow.” Such a wise attitude may lead you to consider buying a used fireplace or stove. Since these are solid fuel appliances, it’s essential to find out whether it’s safe to go with a used heating system. It may be a good decision to buy a used stove or fireplace, but it depends on the answers to relevant questions. Tips follow for determining whether buying a used fireplace or stove is a good risk.

Try to Determine the Condition of the Used Fireplace or Stove

The most important factor as you consider buying a used fireplace or stove is the condition of the appliance. Do not buy a stove if the top of it is not a flat surface but resembles rolling waves. Such warping is a clear sign that the materials used to build the stove were compromised. Take a look at the glass and check to see if it is securely in place.

Most of the signs that a stove or fireplace should be replaced become evident when it is used. Since you probably won’t see the appliance in use, you will need to rely on the owner’s answers to your questions. If no one is able to answer the following questions, it’s best to pass on the deal and get a new stove because potentially dangerous unknowns might render the appliance worthless. Ask the owners the following questions:

•How well does this product operate? The heating appliance is not a good buy if the owners says it has become smoky when in operation or has other problems

•Why are you selling it, if it operates well?

•Do you know what year the fireplace or stove was originally purchased? If the appliance is more than five years old, it may no longer be approved for installation, if you are to be compliant with EPA laws.

•Do any parts need to be replaced? An appliance is fairly worn to need replacement parts, and it may not be a good buy.

•Was the appliance maintained annually by chimney experts? Maintenance will extend the life of a fireplace or stove.

•Is the product still under warranty? If the appliance is still under warranty, it’s new enough that it may be a bargain

•How frequently was the stove or fireplace used? Don’t buy an appliance that has had heavy use over the course of years because it’s too worn.

•Do you know the original cost and brand of the appliance? Some brands are much more durable than others. The original cost provides a hint, as far as how much longer the appliance might be safe to use.

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