Installing a Pellet Furnace

Installing a pellet furnace can be simple or complex depending on the requirements you have for your home. If you already have a furnace that runs on oil or gas, you can run a pellet furnace in tandem with the existing one. More on that later.

If you already have a furnace, but want to change the fuel to pellets, there may be no need to replace it. The burner component can be exchanged for a slot-in pellet burner from Janfire which has its own fuel hopper or can be fed from remote storage. The existing ducting or boiler remains in place. You will need enough space around the existing furnace to accommodate the Janfire burner. For more information, go to my Pellet Furnace page.

If you're starting from scratch, and already have ducting installed, you could consider a ductable freestanding pellet stove. These are:

Bixby UBB---------- 70000 btu.

Drolet Eco 65 ----- 65000 btu.

Ecoteck Elena Airplus --- 48,000 btu.

Laura --- 44,000 btu.

Veronica --- 44,000 btu.

Installing a Pellet Furnace Ducting System

Some older houses may not have ducting installed. If the house is framed with timber, it is possible to install a ducting system within the walls but be prepared for a lot of disruption. Mini-ducting is easier to fit, and less intrusive. The problem with mini-ducting is the air noise because of the narrow bore pipe, and it's expensive.

If a home is built of brick or stone, it's not practical to install ducting in the walls.

Installing a Pellet Furnace Boiler System

A hot water heating system is a practical option for a house without ducting. Circulation pipes can be small in diameter, unobtrusive, and even hidden behind a baseboard (skirting board). Modern radiators can be made to look like part of the baseboard.You also get hot water as part of the design

Siting a Pellet Furnace


Most furnaces use 4 inch venting which should be type 'L' or 'PL'. This type of vent pipe has an insulating air gap between the inner and outer walls which reduces the required clearances to combustibles.

Horizontal pipe runs should have a rise of about a quarter of an inch for every foot and not be more than about 16 feet long. Elbows or bends should be kept to a minimum because these restrictions increase the effective length of the pipe.

An outside air supply is a requirement for all furnaces and should be allowed for.

For more venting information, go to Pellet Stove Installation


As well as the footprint of the wood pellet furnace or corn furnace, if you are installing a pellet furnace on a combustible floor, you will need to allow for a non-combustible floor protector which extends beyond the furnace itself.

Clearances to other combustibles will be set out in your manual. Don't forget to allow enough space around the furnace for servicing.


Pellet furnaces require a permanently wired electrical supply.


The position of the return air vent from your ducting should be considered when placing a furnace.

Fuel Storage:

If your furnace needs to have its hopper filled manually, arrange to store your fuel not too far away from the furnace, but have regard to fire risks. A separate room is best. Some furnaces can have an automatic feed from a storage container.

Tandem Installations:

Both hot air pellet furnaces and pellet boilers can be installed in the same system as an existing fossil fuel furnace. Follow the specific directions for your unit.

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