Pellet Stove Installation

Pellet stove installation is enjoying a renewed popularity due to the steeply rising cost of oil. Everyone wants their homes to be warm and cozy but not everyone can afford to keep their central air on day in and day out.

Many homeowners are buying pellet stoves as their primary source of home heating and some install them to supplement their existing systems. Aesthetically, they look like the old fashioned wood stove but in reality, they are more complex units.

What’s Involved

Far from being a simple cavity in which you place combustible wood, this is a sophisticated appliance that has a motor, several moving parts and a range of choices involving the size of the viewing glass and the pattern of the flame. Pellet stove installation can therefore be a little tricky and if you are not competent in doing the job, you could actually void the warranty before you even get to use it.

A service contract is an excellent idea because sometimes things can malfunction and these are not simple units to repair. So if the contract includes installation of your pellet stove, you might as well have it done professionally.

Electrical wiring is required because of the motors featured in pellet stoves. Some also have battery backup units. In any case, you will need a 110V outlet positioned nearby. If yours does not have battery backup then connection to some kind of gas powered generator will be necessary in the event of power failure.

Freestanding or Fireplace Inserts

Not all pellet stoves are created equal, of course. The freestanding type will require different installation to that of a fireplace insert so take all of this into consideration before beginning your quest to find the right one for your home. Even though you don’t need a traditional chimney to enable pellet stove installation, most kinds will operate more efficiently if they feature a flue that runs out through the nearest wall and angles upward.

Positioning

Since pellet stoves operate on convective heat instead of radiant heat, they don’t usually become too hot to the touch. As a result, they can be installed in closer proximity to walls than can a regular wood stove although it is necessary to position it on a non combustible floor material such as tile with a minimum thickness of 3/8”. Observe whatever the limitations are that your manufacturer prescribes and expand them a little further if possible, just to be safe.

Adequate ventilation

As with all heating appliances, adequate ventilation is a must. Your stove’s performance relies on it and it also helps to minimize the need for maintenance, not to mention keeping the indoor environment comfortable and clean. Even though pellet stoves are renowned for running cleanly and not producing a lot of visible smoke, they still emit gases, water vapor and fine ash and these have to be transferred safely to the exterior of the house.

Pellet stove installation depends on a location where there are no limitations or hindrances to the vertical venting space through the ceiling and roof, or no great distance to the exterior of the building if installing horizontal venting.

Any time you’re concerned that a project may be beyond what you’re capable of doing yourself, consult the professionals. Pellet stove installation may at first seem straightforward, but if you arm yourself with the right information, you won’t run into any difficulties. If after discussing it you feel it’s not something you’re confident doing, hire a pro to install it for you.

See Also:

Tile Warmer Tips
Pellet Fuel Storage
Gas Furnace Comparison
Crawlspace Heater Tips