Because pellet stoves release carbon monoxide and other dangerous fumes and materials, you can’t ignore proper venting. Finding the best venting option can be a challenge whenever your pellet stove is placed in the basement precisely.
In this article, we learn three ways to vent a pellet stove in the basement and go over other important facts related to basement pellet stove ventilation. Read on to learn more about how to vent a pellet stove in the basement.
Why Venting A Pellet Stove Is A Must
Because pellet stoves emit heat through burning wood, carbon monoxide and other gases are naturally produced. These gases can lead to poisoning and fire in the home if not vented properly. Not to mention, the stove emits smoke and ash too.
You don’t have to worry about such issues whenever you install a proper ventilation system for your pellet stove. Instead, the dangerous fumes and smoke are directed elsewhere, such as outside, to protect your home and loved ones.
Risks Associated With Poor Pellet Stove Ventilation
Pellet stoves can be dangerous appliances if they do not include proper ventilation. Most importantly, poor ventilation risks your family’s health and safety.
For starters, the pellet stove will have leftover smoke and ash. Not only will smoke and ash make your home appear dirty, but they can cause serious respiratory issues. If members of your home have asthma or other similar conditions, even the slightest hint of smoke can be detrimental to respiratory function.
Additionally, the smoke will be present alongside carbon monoxide and other fumes. Carbon monoxide is considered an incredibly dangerous gas. It is deadly for humans and most other animals. Your pets are likely to die quicker from carbon monoxide poisoning, but it is fatal for humans as well.
The mixture of smoke, ash, carbon monoxide, and other fumes can lead to fires. Especially if the fumes come in contact with flammable materials, such as lent or even books, you can have a serious house fire on your hand that destroys your finances and severely risks the safety of your loved ones inside.
Unique Challenges For Basement Venting
Basement-placed pellet stoves can be difficult to vent properly. Because the basement is located underground, you are limited by your home’s structure or ground. You will either have to extend ventilation completely upwards, or you can occasionally put ventilation horizontally if your basement is located in such a way that you can safely admit gas outside.
3 Ways To Vent A Pellet Stove In The Basement
Whenever installing a ventilation system for your basement pellet stove, you need to consider the design of your home, its family members, and its ideal design. So, you’ll want to consider all the potential ways you can ventilate your basement pellet stove and select the option that works best.
Here are three different ways you can install pellet stove ventilation in your basement.
1. Use Existing Vents In Your Home
The easiest way to install basement pellets stove ventilation is to use existing vents. Your home should already be equipped with various vents throughout. Although not all existing vents are suitable for a pellet stove, some are.
Furnace vents are the best option if you have one in your home. These sorts of vents are already designed to withstand high temperatures and prevent carbon monoxide leaks. Of course, not all homes have a furnace vent, and some may need to be sealed again or fixed up for safe usage.
One vent type you cannot use for your pellet stove is the dryer vent. This is because dryer ventilation often comes with flammable materials inside. These materials can and often will interact badly with the pellet stove fumes, resulting in a fire.
That being said, you can use a dryer vent if it is no longer used for drying purposes. If you remove the flammable materials found in most dryer vents, the dryer vent will work suitably for basement pellet stove ventilation.
You cannot use vent hoses attached to gas appliances either. Using these sorts of appliances can cause combustion or fires. There is no exception to this rule.
If you do not have a suitable existing vent for your pellet stove ventilation, don’t try to force any of the existing vents to work. Instead, use one of our other methods for safe and effective ventilation design.
2. Vent Outside With Horizontal Piping
Another equally easy ventilation option is horizontal venting. This ventilation works because a horizontal pipe will go through your home’s exterior wall, allowing the fumes and smoke to exit outside the home. The horizontal piping includes special protectors to ensure your home’s wall doesn’t break, catch fire, or get damaged in any way.
Unfortunately, horizontal piping is not a suitable option for all basement-placed pellet stoves. Often, you will have to break out a piece of cinder block or concrete to install the pipe. Many pre-existing homes do not have a structure where this is a feasible option. Plus, some basements are completely underground, preventing safe ventilation.
If you are building your own home, you can design your basement so that you can install horizontal piping. This will arguably be the easiest option for basement pellet stove installation.
Keep in mind that the horizontal pipe must protrude from the outside of your home at least 6 inches and be high enough that snowfall, pooling, or falling leaves won’t block it.
3. Run Pipes Throughout Home
If you want to use your basement pellet stove to warm upper floors, too, you might want to select a ventilation option that includes pipes that run throughout your entire home. This ventilation option includes pipes that run up vertically and often go out the roof or above the exterior wall.
What’s great about this option is that the pipes will be made from metal and help emit heat in the passing rooms. To do this safely, you must use a triple-walled stove pipe that protects the rest of the home from heat damage.
Homes with small children should probably avoid this option. The exposed pipes will be hot to the touch, and you don’t want young children to get burned.
More so, you need to be cautious about piping type if you opt for this method. As mentioned above, triple-walled stove pipes are best because they ensure the surrounding walls do not get heat damage or catch on fire. Regular ventilation will not be safe enough for this method simply because the exposed vents contact some potentially flammable items.
Safety Tips For Venting Basement Pellet Stoves
No matter which of the above methods you select, here are some safety tips to keep in mind when installing your basement pellet stove ventilation:
Keep An Eye Out For Obstructions
Make sure that the ventilation location is free from obstructions or potential obstructions. Even though there may not be any obstructions now, think about if certain times of the year can cause obstructions.
For example, ensure that any ventilation outside is high enough that leaf-fall in autumn or snowfall in winter cannot reach or obstruct the vent.
Use The Right Materials
Certain materials are not safe to use for pellet stove ventilation. PVC pipes, dryer vent hoses, and gas vent hoses are not suitable. Protective metal tends to be best because it locks the gas and fumes in a while, preventing heat damage to the surrounding area.
Look For An Outlet
The fan is one part of pellet stove installation that people don’t realize until it’s too late. Most pellet stoves come with their fan to help aid the ventilation process. Nearly all pellet stove fans require electricity. Make sure your pellet stove is installed close enough to an outlet that the fan can reach.
If you install a pellet stove in your basement or anywhere else in your home, for that matter, ventilation needs to be considered carefully. Ventilation ensures that the pellet stove acts as it should and that it does not harm your family.
Without proper ventilation, you put your home and loved ones at serious risk. The three installation methods above are considered the safest and most reliable options.
Using existing vents is excellent if you have suitable vents and don’t want to knock holes in your wall. In contrast, horizontal piping tends to be the most efficient, but it requires you to knock out a small piece of your basement wall. The last method allows you to emit residual heat throughout your entire home, but it can be dangerous if not installed correctly.
Remember, always be thoughtful, safe, and considerate when installing ventilation. Installing pellet stove ventilation improperly can be just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than no ventilation at all.
So, don’t hesitate to contact a professional to help you with design plans to ensure your home and family are as safe as possible when using a pellet stove in your basement.