LESLIE: Ken’s looking for some ways to save some energy dollars by installing a pellet stove. How can we help?
KEN: My question is I have a 17 – I’m sorry – 1,800-square-foot home but I’m thinking of adding a pellet stove. It’s a split-level and I would put the pellet stove in the bottom level. Is this going to help me really, in terms of heating fuel cost, because the house is currently being heated by oil?
TOM: You know, oil heat is going to be the most expensive this year. The Energy Information Administration has got oil costs upwards of about 23 percent higher.
LESLIE: Ooh, that’s big.
TOM: And so it’s never been a better time to think about ways to cut back on that. Pellet stoves are very clean today; they burn super clean. There are stoves that are Energy Star-rated that are available. The best installation on those is in a fairly open area so that you have good circulation of air. But I think it’s a great opportunity to consider putting in a pellet stove or even a high-efficiency wood stove; now, sort of more than ever, because of the cost of energy. So I’d say give it a shot.
LESLIE: I think it’s really important also, Ken, depending on the type of pellet stove that you choose; really pay attention to the installation directions that come along with it. You know, if you’ve got a freestanding one, you want those in a large, open area; a fireplace insert, obviously, into your fireplace. There are also models that go in a corner of a room or on a blank wall. So pay attention to how your manufacturer recommends it. It’s a great addition and it’s really going to cut your costs.
KEN: Are there restrictions as to where they can be placed?
TOM: Yes. Because of the heat that it gives out, there has to be a certain distance of clearance to combustibles; so many inches between the stove and anything that can burn. But there are ways around that. For example, there’s a way to put a heat shield behind it that will allow you to have it closer to the wall than having it farther away without the heat shield. I know, for example, with a wood stove, the heat shield can get that wood stove as close as about 12 inches to the wall; but if you didn’t have the heat shield, it’d have to be about three feet from the wall. So there are ways to work around it. The installation is really where most of the mistakes are made; that’s why it’s really a good idea to work with a pro on getting this purchased and installed properly in your house.
KEN: Well, thank you, guys. I love your show and keep up the good work.
TOM: You’re welcome, Ken. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.