A pellet stove burns biomass pellets or compressed wood to create heat for residential homes and the occasional industrial space. Often, pellet stoves are placed in areas that need a secondary form of heat, such as a basement, but you can also use them in other areas that need a bit more warmth.
Because pellet stoves create heat by burning organic materials, smoke, ash, carbon monoxide, and other fumes are created in the process. As a result, ventilation is required for your pellet stove. Without proper ventilation, your home is at risk of fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, and other dangerous scenarios.
In comparison to wood stoves and other secondary heat sources, installing pellet stove ventilation is relatively easy. In addition, even regular homeowners can install pellet stove ventilation since a formal chimney is not required, though a chimney can be used if desired.
Many homeowners opt for horizontal venting out the exterior walls because it requires few resources and skills to install while still creating a safe environment for the pellet stove. If the household already has an existing chimney, the pellet stove can be attached to the chimney for easy ventilation.
Do Pellet Stoves Need A Chimney?
Pellet stoves do not need a chimney, but they do need some form of ventilation. Instead of a chimney, you can use horizontal ventilation that goes out the sidewall. Because pellet stoves do not require a chimney, many homeowners can install the pellet stove themselves.
Because of the smoke and fumes produced by the pellet stove, you must install proper ventilation, but the ventilation method does not necessarily have to be a chimney. As a result, pellet stoves offer more flexibility when it comes to ventilation options.
For pellet stoves placed in a basement, many people prefer horizontal ventilation. This ventilation method involves installing a pipe from the stove, through the exterior wall, and outside the home. The pipe allows the fumes and smoke to safely exit your home without causing any heat damage in the process.
For some homes, horizontal ventilation is not an option. For example, some people want to install their pellet stove in their basement. If the basement is placed entirely underground, a simple horizontal vent will not work since the basement does not have access to the outside air.
In cases where horizontal ventilation is not an option, you can opt for a chimney instead. So, you can use chimney ventilation for your pellet stove, but it is not required like other heat sources.
What Kind of Chimney Do I Need For A Pellet Stove?
Pellet stoves require a masonry chimney with an insulated stainless steel pipe or a double-walled pellet piping chimney. These chimneys prevent carbon monoxide leaks and heat damage caused by the pellet stove.
Pellet stoves do not require a chimney because they produce less air pollution than wood stoves and similar devices. As a result, a complete chimney system is not as necessary. However, some ventilation is required to keep your home and loved ones safe.
If you choose to use a chimney with your pellet stove, there are certain things you need to do. The best chimney option for a pellet stove is a doubled-walled pellet piping chimney. This sort of chimney offers the correct sizing and materials for pellet stoves specifically.
If you connect your pellet stove to an existing chimney, such as one used for a wood stove, you likely have a masonry chimney, not a double-walled pellet piping chimney. In this case, you will want to insert a stainless steel flue liner to convert the existing chimney into one suitable for your pellet stove.
Even though it may be tempting to use your wood stove chimney without any alteration, adding the additional liner is important. Only with these parts can you ensure that your pellet stove chimney offers the correct protection needed to keep your home secure.
How Do You Install A Pellet Stove In An Existing Chimney?
- Place the pellet stove in front of the location of the existing chimney.
- Inside the existing chimney, install a flue liner. The purpose of this liner is to create a smaller flue that ventilates your pellet stove.
- connect the flue liner’s fitting to your pellet stove. The fitting will be located at the bottom of the liner.
If you have an existing chimney, the easiest ventilation form may be to connect the stove to the existing chimney. To do this, place the pellet stove in front of the existing fireplace, and your home must have proper clearance as defined in the pellet stove owner manual.
In your pellet stove manual, you can find minimum clearance information that explains how much air space there should be between the stove, walls, and ceiling. If your home does not meet these requirements, you should not use an existing chimney for your pellet stove’s ventilation source.
Once you confirm that your home has proper clearance for your pellet stove, place it in front of the existing fireplace. Once again, remember to place the pellet stove the proper footage away from the fireplace, as explained in the owner’s manual.
Next, you must install a proper flue liner in the chimney. Pellet stoves need a smaller-sized flue for proper ventilation. This flue liner ensures that the flue is the proper size. Read your flue liner’s instructions to install it inside the chimney properly.
Finally, connect your pellet stove to the flue liner. There should be a fitting at the bottom of this liner. Connect your stove using this fitting. You have now successfully connected your pellet stove to an existing chimney.
Converting Wood Stove Chimney To Pellet Stove
Pellet stoves do not need a full chimney system for ventilation, but you can convert a wood stove chimney to a pellet stove using a stainless steel liner. It is recommended that pellet stoves ventilate into double-walled pellet piping chimneys or masonry chimneys with a stainless steel liner.
You most likely will need a stainless steel liner to convert a wood stove chimney to be suitable for a pellet stove. Most wood stove chimneys classify as masonry chimneys. A stainless steel liner ensures that the converted chimney provides optimal protection and safety for your home once used with a pellet stove.
This stainless steel liner will also act as a flue liner. While protecting your home, it will also reduce the size of the flue. Hence, you will thoroughly protect your home from any heat damage or potential fires caused by the conversion.
Replacing Wood Stove With Pellet Stove
You can replace your wood stove with a pellet stove. Pellet stove installation is not very different from wood stove installation. Plus, the two installations cost about the same when using a professional company.
Pellet stoves are considered easier to use than wood stoves and reproduce residual heat and little air pollution. If you are tired of dealing with your wood stove’s smoke and pollution, replacing the wood stove with a pellet stove may be time.
If you want to convert a wood stove into a pellet stove, you have a couple of options. If you are handy, you can create a new pellet stove door that fits your existing wood stove. With this method, you won’t have to change anything except the door of the woodstove. By changing the door, you convert the existing wood stove into a pellet stove.
You also have the option to install a completely different stove. Most homeowners will prefer this option because it does not require welding or any other serious handy work. Instead, you buy a new pellet stove and install it in place of the woodstove.
Remove the existing wood stove. Place the pellet stove in the exact location. You should connect your wood stove to a chimney system, most likely a masonry chimney. If that’s the case, connect your pellet stove to the existing chimney.
You’ll need to install a flue liner and connect the new pellet stove to the liner’s fitting, which should be located at the bottom. You have now successfully replaced your previous woodstove with a pellet stove.
Because of the smoke and fumes produced by the pellet stove, you must install proper ventilation, but you have many installation options to choose from. From horizontal ventilation to existing chimneys, pellet stoves can safely be ventilated in several ways.
No matter what ventilation method you select, it’s important to opt for safe materials that prevent heat damage and carbon monoxide poisoning. Only by selecting the right materials and design will you be able to protect your home from the dangers of pellet stoves thoroughly.
Once you select the right materials and properly install them, the installation process is very easy. Although you can contact a professional, some homeowners choose to install pellet stove ventilation on their own because of how easy the process is.