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Installer Said Outside Air Kit Not Necessary?????

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Drew1024, Aug 3, 2008.

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  1. Drew1024

    Drew1024 New Member

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    I just purchased the mt vernon ae and have had some potential installers come to the house for some pricing and evaluation of my install. The guy that came today suggested that an outside air kit was overkill and may do more harm than good in sub zero temperatures. He believes bringing that kind of cold air into the house (stove) will hurt its efficiency. I've never heard this before? Thoughts? FYI, my house was built in 2007.

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  2. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    I`d get another opinion.
  3. hellday

    hellday New Member

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    I went to 4 dealers and they all told me the same... No OAK needed.. The one i am purchasing from is rated as a good dealer by Quadra-fire.. So go figure..
  4. chuckpp

    chuckpp New Member

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    If you don't have a outside air kit what will happen it will
    draw air in from every crack in the house and you will have a cold draft...
    c
  5. FredJ

    FredJ New Member

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    and not just that, you are also wasting your pellets to heat the air around the stove that you then suck back through to burn and send outside.
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I think some of them are giving you wood stove wisdom...for a pellet stove. They are not the same......pellet stove used forced draft (electric combustion blower), and an incredible amount of air is used....as compared to a wood stove.

    The stove will need air. If you keep the house fairly loose (in and outside a lot, let the dog out, crack windows), then you will have enough air - but, if the house is kept fairly tight, the stove can depressurize the house, causing potential problems.
  7. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    I have yet to find a house in this are, N/E Ohio, where I have done an install that needs an outside air kit. Your clothes dryer moves more air from your house to the outside of your house than a pellet stove. Does your clothes dryer need an outside air kit?

    Eric
  8. chuckpp

    chuckpp New Member

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    So if your pellet stove is at the other end of the house you will have a cold draft from one end of the house to the other...
    c
  9. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    If you feel drafts across your house. You need more than a pellet stove to help you. Windows, doors, insulation, caulk, and some siding might help.

    Eric
  10. FredJ

    FredJ New Member

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    If the Combustion fan doesnt move much air, would you be willing to put the same fan in your window and leave it on all winter blowing your heated air outside? Without an OAK, that is exactly what you are doing.

    if I could hookup a outside air kit to my dryer I would :)
  11. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    When you bring in the air from the outside it has to condensate somewhere. If it is in the pipe it will come into the combustion blower, sooner or later or will it start and stay in the combustion blower. Why bring in the cold outside air into a computer controlled device that has electric motors, blowers, and wire harnesses. Use the room air. If there is a problem because the house is tightly wrapped that might be a need for an outside air kit but I still would have a heard time bringing the outside air directly into the stove. A combustion blower is around 72 CFM and if it draws in air via cracks in the house you will not notice any "drafts" with that small of a blower.
  12. Drew1024

    Drew1024 New Member

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    Thanks for all your replies. So what I'm gathering from all this info is that there really is not a true answer. everyone has their own philosophies I guess. The only thing I can tell you guys is that my house was built in 2007, was wrapped in Tyvec wrap, and that my install will be in a corner where there are already three windows (which is why I need to do a vertical install). Would this, then, change the equation?
  13. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    I would try the stove without the kit. If there is a problem, i.e. bad flame, heavy soot on glass door, bad looking ash, I would say run the stove with a window cracked. If there is a noticeable difference then ad an outside air kit.

    I have to run, we are doing a festival down the road and I need to set up the stoves. Weather looks great for today.
    Later

    P.S.
    With sunny days it is important to hydrate........12oz. at a time.

    Eric
  14. oak194

    oak194 Member

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    Ok I know this is kind off subject a little, but I am having a Quadrafire 7100 installed int eh next couple weeks, which also calls for a outside air kit. Which is a slight pain due to the air intake is on the right side of the FP and outside is only to the left. Which means more flex pipe, etc. So does this FP really need a outside air kit? Installer says so, but my house is not air tight.

    Just a simple question.
  15. FredJ

    FredJ New Member

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    I have to disagree with you. Cold air has Much less moisture in it than warm air. Dont air conditioners remove water when producing cold air? dont people use humidifiers in the winter do to lack of moisture? So using your warm air theory would create more moisture would it not?
    However, as far as your statement about outside air around computer controlled device, electric motors, blowers, and wire harness. none of that makes sense to me either. If this is true then you would have to have a major leak in your combustion venting since all of those items are not within the 'sealed' combustion air flow area except for the fan blades of the combustion motor while the motor itself is sealed on the other side protected from any contaminants


    72cfm doesnt sound like much, but doing some quick numbers ( and Please check these, since the final outcome is much greater than I thought)
    72cfm=4,320 cf/Hour = 103,680 cf/Day

    lets take a "shell" house of 1500 sq feet - Shell meaning NOTHING inside taking up space which actually decreases the number significatly ( no walls, floors, stairs, TV, stove, refridge, bed, ect)
    1500sq feet with (x) 8' ceilings = 12,000 cubic feet

    a fan moving 103,680cf/day in a house of 12,000 cubic feet will replace all the air in the house 8.6 times a day not only would it replace the air, it would be replaced with Cold air needing to be heated just to be removed again.


    this seemed alot to me so I also figured as..
    A 72cfm fan is the same as a box slightly larger that 4'x4'x4', so I'll round down to a 4' square box per minute
    In a house ( again a Shell) thats 1500sq/ft or 40'wide (10boxes) by 37.5' long (apx 9.5 boxes) with 8' ceilings ( stacked 2 high) = 190 boxes to fill the house
    Start stacking those boxes 1 every minute. ( 72cfm) and the house will fill in 190 minutes (3hrs 10 minutes) = which is the same as removing all the air every 3hr 10 min which is over 8 times a day

    how many pellets would it take to keep 'heating' this area from the outside air temp to inside setting VS pellets used to just keep the temp level when using air from the outside for combustion ( since there isnt any air exchange inside)?
  16. mralias

    mralias Minister of Fire

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    No house is completely tight. My feelings is that outside an air vent in 90% of cases is overkill and hurts more then helps. The exception would be in a mobile home which is real tight and would require an outside vent. If you have a chimney, dryer, bathroom vent, etc etc etc, it will find the air from these sources.
  17. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Excellent post!
    This subject has been beaten to death simply because the negative effects are almost always unnoticeable and omitting it makes the installation quicker, easier , and cheaper.
    However, common sense should prevail.
  18. no1psycho

    no1psycho New Member

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    OK, so now I'm totally confused. I'm getting a Summer's Heat stove mid-August. All of the stoves from ESW state that the OAK is mandatory when installing one of there stoves. Why would the manufacturer make it mandatory? Is this for legal reasons???

    Thanks,
    Greg
  19. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Quite possible , but you are now creating a forced draft by sucking in unnecessary infiltrated air . Doesn`t make any sense to me to install a pellet stove to save money and then create forced drafts.
    Didn`t you read the post from FredJ?
  20. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    But there is a true answer , it`s just rarely obvious . Just from reading the many forum posts on this subject it`s easy to conclude that the absence of an OAK will seldom (rarely) cause a stove to function abnormally but that doesn`t mean it isn`t creating cold air drafts and adding to your heating demands not to mention the possibility of altering the pressurization of the house on occasions.
  21. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Let`s assume ESW`s mandatory OAK requirement is in fact for legal reasons (protection against lawsuits). Do you think they would add this potential expense where other competitors ignore the same?
    The reason is obvious. The potential does in fact exist.
  22. FredJ

    FredJ New Member

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    So a 30kbtu stove would burn an extra 3hours and 20 minutes a day more than the same stove with an OAK right?

    Thats about 1 extra bag every 3 days at $5/bag ( prices vary alot- so figuring $250 a ton) which equals $50 a month then add the 3hrs20 min a day to that for the extra running time of 100 hours (or 4 days) extra/month--- too much for me to literally put up the smoke stack....
  23. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Lets see now, my Harman user manual states OAK as optional (mandatory in small homes and mobilehomes) but claims that an OAK increases efficiency. I assume this benefit has to be the same when installed with any stove brand.
    Doesn`t it make good sense to install an OAK to have the stove operate with as much efficiency as possible? Why else go thru all the expense and work of utilizing a stove if not to benefit to the max?
  24. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Installing a pellet stove with an OAK does not in any way change the quantity of available air you breath in your home.
    If you are OK without a stove why would that volume change with a stove and an OAK?
  25. FredJ

    FredJ New Member

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    I am confused..
    Why wouldnt you have fresh air to breath? Without an OAK yes you are pulling in fresh air, but WITH an OAK its like not even having the stove installed.. either way there isnt any air contamination ( unless of course you are pulling in the smokey exhaust when NOT using a OAK- wouldnt happen with an OAK) .
    So why this statement?
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