Now I’m working on the assumption that I have to replace the woodstove- waiting on the inspection tomorrow to confirm that- and how the fuck do I even buy a woodstove how do I tell which one I need how do I tell if I can hook it up in this house how do I clean it do I need a warranty what is involved in installing them help me
You make a nice calming spreadsheet to track data in and you settle in to do some nice calming research.
No one knows all this stuff going in. The important thing is that you have the capacity to find out.
You can use the internet (start with “Types of woodstove”) or you can call vendors. LOTS of companies will give free quotes, and that often involves coming to the house to actually LOOK at it. Always get at least three quotes, and always tell the person in your house that you still have one more person to see. That’s your escape-route from any potential high-pressure sales tactics. “I’m just collecting information right now, I’ll get back to you.”
Warranties are always optional. I’m glad I have one on my washer and dryer, because I break things, but I might not get one on a wood stove. Think about the amount of moving parts.
…also look at reviews, and if you can find them forums. Some of the cheaper stoves (often apparently made in China) are cast with recycled iron which is fine when it’s been adequately done, but on cheaper stoves is (apparently) substandard and can crack*.
Reviews and forums also often give you an idea of whether the warranty is worth the paper (or electrons) it’s made of, and whether their service engineers are clueful.
If you can find actual people who’ve had them installed, and talk to them, that’s also a plus. Although companies will only ever direct you to people who were happy.
*I say this, but in the end we skipped fitting a stove in our house, so this is all from the pre-fitting-research.