Fresh Air Intake for Pellet Stove - To Install, or Not To Install?

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thephotohound

New Member
Apr 19, 2007
332
Central Massachusetts
What's everybody's opinion on this? I'm working on getting the house as airtight as possible, but it is a 32 year old contemporary with areas that I will probably never be able to seal 100%. The stove is an Enviro EF2, 34,000 BTU (about 5 years old). It would be easy enough to install, so I'm leaning towards installing it, but I just wanted to hear some other opinions.
 

Corey

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
2,438
Midwest
I think it would help with indoor humidity in the winter, because you are eliminating one source of pulling cold, dry air in and venting hot humid air out. Although if your house is really tight, then you might end up with stale indoor air and have to install an air exchanger anyway.

Is this one of those kits the pulls the fresh air in around the exhaust flue? If so, that would help preheat the air and might get you a little bit more efficiency, too. It sounds like a good deal to me, especially since the pellet stove is forced draft anyway.

Corey
 

thephotohound

New Member
Apr 19, 2007
332
Central Massachusetts
It's not a kit; I'm just going to take aluminum or steel 1 5/8" pipe and connect it to the fresh air inlet on the stove. The manufacturer says it's strongly recommended... I would be installing because I don't want to have negative pressure if the stove is using inside air.

On the flip side, however, would not hooking up an intake promote better circulation? What I mean is this: if I don;t hook up the intake, the stove will be drawing air at floor level. This is where the cooler air is. Also, this is being installed on a concrete slab, so even cooler air will be hovering. Thoughts?
 

buildingmaint

Feeling the Heat
Jan 19, 2007
459
Oil City PA
I ran a pipe " 1-1/2 PVC" from my stove to my unheated basement last year. I did not see a whole lot of difference from the year before when I was using inside room air.
 

mtalea

Feeling the Heat
Dec 14, 2005
350
Bristol, Connecticut
Ok heres my opinion of it.I just installed the direct vent kit with fresh air intake for mine.According to the manufacture it is extremely recommended.maybe from maker to maker it caries.But their logic is quite simple. 1st you are not depleting the oxygen from within the room(s) to use as intake.second they said that the colder the air the cleaner the burn for your stove and the higher the btu's you will get...Now please keep in mind I am referring to pellets stoves,as thats what I have.

Of course I have not used mine yet.it is still 70 damn degrees here in CT...(pisses me off to no end) But Im waiting,so I have only what i have read and was told directly from manufacture.

Good luck!

Matt
 

GVA

Minister of Fire
OK here's my take on it.... First I thought it wasn't needed I have an old house.... Actually I was told this and it is true to an extent....
Now knowing better (with my situation) The air is being pulled in through my old FHA registers that lead to the cool basement...
Thus I was replaceing my warm air with makeup air from the basement.....
So If I wasn't moving and putting in a brand new Furnace at 95% efficient in the home (cause I can't possibly heat my home with a pellet stove according to prospective home buyers :smirk: )
Then I would be putting in a fresh air intake.........As for the old fieldstone foundation...... It's hard to insulate it well :)
 

prinefan

New Member
Dec 3, 2005
10
Western Massachusetts
After running my Big E in the main living area of my raised ranch for 3 years without the fresh air inlet, I just installed it this year because I am now sharing air in my very tight house with my new Magnum coal stoker in the basement. The previous years I could lay in the living room floor between the basement stairs and the stove and I could feel cold air movement. Now I do not. The flames in the pellet stove seem to be brighter and if you think about it, fire loves cold, oxygen rich air.

Just my observations.

Mark
 

mtalea

Feeling the Heat
Dec 14, 2005
350
Bristol, Connecticut
prinefan said:
After running my Big E in the main living area of my raised ranch for 3 years without the fresh air inlet, I just installed it this year because I am now sharing air in my very tight house with my new Magnum coal stoker in the basement. The previous years I could lay in the living room floor between the basement stairs and the stove and I could feel cold air movement. Now I do not. The flames in the pellet stove seem to be brighter and if you think about it, fire loves cold, oxygen rich air.

Just my observations.

Mark
I agree.....your analogy amplifies mine and other opinions in this matter...Plus ,Well I am not sure of this but logically wouldnt the colder the air intake make the draft itself better...
 

wilbilt

New Member
Oct 13, 2007
243
Nor Cal
Is 1 1/2" to 2" acceptable for pellet stove draft?

My obsolete unit appears to have been set up for 2", but some are saying 3" - 4" is required.

I'd like to start with a small hole if possible, and work up if necessary.
 

mtalea

Feeling the Heat
Dec 14, 2005
350
Bristol, Connecticut
wilbilt said:
Is 1 1/2" to 2" acceptable for pellet stove draft?

My obsolete unit appears to have been set up for 2", but some are saying 3" - 4" is required.

I'd like to start with a small hole if possible, and work up if necessary.
My stove is old also...1995 I think.it has a 1 5/8" hole. I would say use whatever size is stubbed on the back of your stove.
 

mtalea

Feeling the Heat
Dec 14, 2005
350
Bristol, Connecticut
ya I am sure if you were to install some kind of damper inline yes you could control draft.My stove has a draft/damper control arm.So I am always changing its setting depending upon the feed and heat wanted.
 

wilbilt

New Member
Oct 13, 2007
243
Nor Cal
mtalea said:
wilbilt said:
Is 1 1/2" to 2" acceptable for pellet stove draft?

My obsolete unit appears to have been set up for 2", but some are saying 3" - 4" is required.

I'd like to start with a small hole if possible, and work up if necessary.
My stove is old also...1995 I think.it has a 1 5/8" hole. I would say use whatever size is stubbed on the back of your stove.
Mine is 1994 vintage, and there is nothing stubbed on the back. I'll have to make my own.

There is a 2" knockout in the base...photos in this thread.
 
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