The first thing to decide regarding your pellet stove installation is whether or not you want it as a primary heat source or additional heating. In any case it will make a room cozy.The smallest pellet stoves produce around 5,000btu. on the low heat setting, which is enough to heat a room of twelve square metres. The largest stoves can produce 70,000btu's which will heat most houses.
It's best to choose a unit which provides adequate heat without being run at full capacity. Running a stove on maximum is inefficient and can result in a high ash build up as well as being hard on its mechanical and electrical parts.
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installing a pellet stove.
Siting a Pellet Stove
A pellet stove produces radiant heat, which is one of their great attractions, and also warm air which is blown around the heat exchanger. Warm air rises, so when installing it's best to place your stove on the ground floor of the house unless you want it as a feature in a particular room. An electrical outlet should be nearby, (see Pellet Stove Surge Protection) along with storage space for a twelve volt battery if you've chosen a system with
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Pellet stoves work at greatest efficiency if they are fed combustion air from outside the home. To draw warm air from inside and vent it up the chimney is wasteful. Apart from that, the stove may have trouble getting enough air from within a modern sealed and insulated house. They can also be affected by powerful extractor fans. The air inlet should be protected by a fine wire mesh to stop rodents nesting, or leaves clogging it.
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If you already have a fireplace with a chimney , you could look at installing a fireplace insert which is designed to replace the existing fire. The advantage of this is that both the flue and the hearth are in place and it is the natural focal point of the room. Inserts are available with back boilers for hot water. It may be necessary to have a flue liner installed.
Freestanding Pellet Stove Installation
If you plan to go for a free standing stove installation, there are a few other considerations. Firstly, a non combustible hearth pad will be needed to stand the unit on. This will usually be of stone or tile and must extend at least six inches from the front of the stove, with a few inches all round. Check local building codes for the exact sizes and materials required.
Manufacturer's manuals will give recommended installation clearance distances from the stove to soft furnishings and other combustibles as well as free space around the stove for easy operation and maintenance.
The stove pipe must exit the house either through the outside wall or through the roof. In some areas a condensation trap may be stipulated which will determine how close to the wall the stove can be set. Although technically because of the blown air venting, a pellet stove does not need a conventional flue and can be vented horizontally , best practice is to vent above the eaves of the building.
Pellet stoves produce hot exhaust gases which can discolour the wall being vented through. In the event of a power failure hot gases may come back into the house unless there is the safeguard of natural convection as in a vertical flue. A short vertical length of flue is recommended for all installations. A vertical flue outlet will also be well away from the stove's air inlet pipe which is important because you don't want exhaust gases to be drawn back in.
Back Boilers and Pellet Furnaces
Freestanding pellet stoves can have a built in back boiler as can inserts mentioned above. Some thought should be given to the placement of pipework either to run to a hot water tank or to connect to an existing heating system. Integration with a solar water heating system works well.
Pellet furnaces are designed to directly replace an oil or gas fired furnace. Fuel can be blown into a storage bin from a truck. An automatic pellet supply system can connect the storage to the furnace. The major difference will be in the type of venting required.
Useful accessories are a magnetic flue temperature gauge, a carbon monoxide detector, a smoke detector, and for cleaning , flue brushes and a warm ash double filter vacuum cleaner It may be possible to negotiate free installation when buying your unit from a local dealer.Causes of Pellet Stove Fires