How to install a pellet stove
Now that you’ve decided to buy one, and may even have it in your home, it’s time to learn how to install a pellet stove.
Don’t worry; I’ve got your back!
In this article, I’m going to equip you with a step-by-step guide on how to go about this process.
But first: Here are the major components of a pellet stove you need to understand.
Cover photo, click image to check price of this Pleasant Hearth 50,000 BTU Large Pellet Stove
Parts of a Pellet Stove
- Auger – It moves the pellets from the hopper to the fuel chute.
- Hopper – Where the pellets are stored before being fed through the fuel chute, and into the firepot.
- Fuel Chute – It guides the pellets from the hopper and into the firepot.
- Pellets – The energy-dense extrusions made by compressing sawdust.
- Igniter – It electrically initiates the burning of the pellets.
- Firepot – Where the burning pellets are held.
- Warm air blower – It enables the circulation of air from the room through the heat exchanger, and back into the room.
Requirements for Installation
Pellet stoves are an excellent, cost-effective way of providing heat for your home, especially during the cold nights.
However, for the pellet stove to effectively heat the entire house, the house should have an open plan, with minimal barriers to heat movements.
Those rooms which are far from the stove’s location will need a channel to distribute the warm air – for instance, a ducted forced-air heating system.
In that case, too, your stove should come with a warm air blower.
Step-by-step Guide On How To Install Your Pellet Stove
Vent Kit, Click on Image for Price
As with most appliances, particularly electrical ones, you should consult your user manual before commencing the installation. This is to ensure you follow your manufacturer’s guidelines correctly.
Note that there are two types of pellet fuel appliances: there is the freestanding pellet stove, whose installation process resembles that of installing a conventional wood burning stove.
And there is the pellet stove insert which is built to fit into existing fireplaces. To install your fireplace insert, call in a professional to assist you.
In this installation guide, we’ll focus on the freestanding pellet stove model.
Let’s get started:
1. Find the best place for the pellet stove
You should install it as close to the space you want to heat as possible.
Note, however, that you should never install pellet stoves in the bedroom. The best place to install a pellet stove is in an insulated basement – you are capitalizing on heat’s natural tendency to rise to the upper rooms.
Another great installation location is near a stairway because it enables the heat to have easy access to both the upper and lower levels of the house.
The best place to install the stove in a room is near the exterior wall, enabling you to directly vent through the wall to the outside.
2. Take the necessary safety precautions
Remember that you are dealing with fire, so you need to make safety a key priority while you are installing the stove.
Ensure that there is at least one inch of space between the back of the stove and any combustible material, and at least 10 inches of clearance on all sides.
Also, there should be 16 inches of space between the top of the stove and any combustible materials.
Ensure there are no combustible items like doors or drapes within 36 inches of the front or sides of the stove.
Lastly, the stove’s vent should have at least three inches clearance from any combustible materials.
3. Ensure your floor is protected
You will have to get floor protection (a fireproof pad) laid down where you will place the pellet stove to prevent your floor from getting damaged by the heat produced by the stove.
But if you already have a hearth in place, you don’t have anything to worry about.
Ensure you find out the manufacturer’s specifications as to what kind of material and the minimum size of it you should use.
Proper venting is crucial for the smooth operation of a pellet stove and can help keep maintenance down. Besides, it ensures that the quality of air in the room is clean and healthy.
Though it is true that pellet stoves produce minimal visible smoke after you start them up, they do produce exhaust gasses, fine ash, and water vapor, which need to be safely removed from the stove to the outdoors without any of these gasses leaking into the room.
The vents help to draw out these by-products of combustion out of the house.
There are two types of venting: direct, where the vent goes straight through the wall; or vertical, where the vents go up the wall and out through the roof.
Let’s look at the two venting methods separately:
i). If you decide to go with direct venting, ensure you install a vertical section on the outside of the building to reduce the level of damage that may be done to the building’s exterior (for instance to the roof overhangs).
Avoid venting your stove into a covered walkway/breezeway or above a sidewalk/driveway. Also, consult your local area building codes to find out the specific clearances from exterior fixtures and walls you should adhere to while installing. You should vent to a location where materials like leaves won’t get into the vent opening and clog it.
ii). If you choose to vent vertically, ensure you install a roof jack. If you don’t know how to do it yourself, call in a roofer – and ensure your roof jack and the mode of installation align with the local code requirements.
Also, check your user manual to confirm the specified height of the vent’s hole – it’s usually about 10 inches in diameter.
After installing a vent thimble in the hole, connect a three-inch double-walled vent pipe (if the manufacturer has recommended a different size, use that), to the stove, and run it through the thimble to the outside.
Finally, install a vent pipe cleanout outside to help enable the removal of ashes. After that, plug in the unit, and start using.
If all this seems too complicated to you, though, do not be afraid to ask for professional help. You could call the dealer for more specific instructions pertaining your particular model, or hire a professional to help you.