LESLIE: Alright. Our next caller is a Facebook fan of The Money Pit and he’s calling in from Wisconsin. We’ve got Antoine on the line who’s got a pellet-stove question. How can we help you?
ANTOINE: My house is about 1,000 square foot and I wanted to put in a pellet stove.
ANTOINE: And I was wondering, what would be the best location and the best way to ventilate it?
TOM: OK. Good question. Now, first of all, hurray for the choice of a pellet stove. A very green energy choice. Lots of options. Pellet stoves are affordable, the fuel’s affordable. They work very, very well. You fill them up and literally can walk away from them.
Since it’s not tied into a central-heating system, you want it to be centrally located so you get the best amount of heat distribution outside of it. Very, very important that you follow the National Fire Safety Protection Organization standards for installation of that, because they do get very, very hot.
How you install it, it depends on where you’re putting it. For example, the average wood stove needs about 3 feet of space behind it to combustibles. However, if you build a heat shield, then you can move it closer. I’ve seen them as close as 12 inches if they’re installed with heat shields, which basically create sort of a wall that’s vented that the heat can sort of pass over and the air can pass over and it can remain cool.
Going up to the attic? Same situation. You typically use a triple-wall pipe – triple-wall vent pipe – to take that hot gas out. And again, it has to be installed correctly. So it’s not the kind of project that I would recommend that you do if you’ve never installed one before, because of the specialty knowledge you need to make sure it’s done safely, Antoine.
So if you want to shop it, buy it, get it in the store, get it in the house, that’s great. But I would definitely consider having a contractor that’s built these before do the actual installation for you. I would also make sure that you have the local fire marshal inspect the installation for you to make sure that it’s done correctly.
ANTOINE: OK. Thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT and for “liking” The Money Pit page on Facebook, which is at Facebook.com/TheMoneyPit.