Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
The surface of a pellet stove can reach a temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit, and with this high heat, the boiler must be installed correctly to prevent damage to surrounding objects, including the walls. Whether you are replacing your old pellet stove or just wanting to be sure that your existing machine has been installed for top efficiency, it's important to know how far it should be from the surrounding walls. We've done the research to tell you exactly that.
A pellet stove must be installed so that there are 1-3 inches between it and the back wall and 6-7 inches between it and the side walls. The ceiling, and anything hanging from it, must be at least 16 inches away from the pellet stove's top.
So now you know the exact range of space there should be between a pellet stove and the walls, but perhaps you have other questions about safely installing and using a pellet stove. Keep reading to learn more.
How A Pellet Stove Works
To understand why a pellet stove must maintain space between it and the surrounding objects, it's helpful to come to an understanding of how this machine functions.
The pellet stove for home use was born in the 1970s amid an oil shock that created a need for other heat fuels to be used. In addition to this appeal, the pellet stove was enhanced with a venting system to filter out the waste air.
Pellets also were produced to burn cleanly and efficiently, meaning homeowners could get more bang for their buck with less of the smoky smell.
Using electricity, all of the components within the pellet stove are brought to life. Pellets are added by the user to the hopper, and this fuel is transferred to the combustion chamber by the auger.
Inside the combustion chamber, the fuel is met with fresh air, brought in through the intake vent. Flames are created, and cool air is warmed as it passes through the heat exchange tubes and exits the machine.
Read more: What Do Pellet Stoves Burn?
How Hot Does A Pellet Stove Get?
When the warmed air is released, it will be anywhere from 90 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. This is quite warm, but not enough to burn a person. However, the inside and surface of the pellet stove are much hotter.
Inside a pellet stove, the temperature is around 250 degrees Fahrenheit when it is turned on. The glass window and exhaust pipe will be close to this temperature. So you will want to be careful to keep a safe distance from it and keep other combustible objects away as well.
Read more: Do Pellet Stoves Get Hot To The Touch?
Pellet Stove Safety
With any heat source, the homeowner must do their due diligence to provide safety to themselves, their family, and their possessions. This is especially true with pellet stoves, as they are located within lived-in areas of the home.
This is where we return to the subject of space between your pellet stove and everything else in the home, including persons and pets.
As mentioned, there must be a clearance of 1-3 inches from the back wall, 6-7 inches from sidewalls, and 16 inches from the ceiling.
In addition to this, there should be at least 36 inches of space between a pellet stove and any combustibles. This includes carpets, drapes, and more.
This must be done both to prevent fires and to provide efficient ventilation. People and pets in the home should also stay 36 inches away from the pellet stove when it is running.
If there are children or boisterous pets in the home, it may be wise to install the stove in an area that can be closed off for safety and to install a safety fence around the appliance.
Cleaning your stove regularly is important for safety, as it will help ensure proper ventilation and burning. If not cleaned, it could eventually cause fuel build-up, unsafe ventilation, or the failure of the stove.
This should be done once per month and should include cleaning the casing, burning pot, window glass, and ash pan. This can be done using cloths and wire brushes.
Correctly Dispose Of Ashes
Improperly disposing of ashes from a pellet stove could cause a fire, so it's important to know and follow the correct procedure.
Before attempting to dispose of the ashes, you should always be sure that they are completely extinguished. Once you have established this, you should empty the ash pan into a metal container with a lid. Any other material is not acceptable for ashes.
Then, move the ashes outside, away from the house and any combustible items. Ashes can be later sprinkled in gardens or put in the trash at the end of the burn season.
Install Carbon Monoxide Alarms
The chemical reaction that takes place when the pellets meet oxygen creates carbon monoxide. This gas is harmless to us in small amounts, but if a pellet stove malfunctions, this could cause an efflux of CO2. This, of course, could be fatal to those in the home.
So it is vitally important to install carbon monoxide alarms within 10 feet of the pellet stove, where you will be notified quickly if there is a dangerous amount of the gas being emitted.
Correct Installation Of A Pellet Stove
Ensuring that your pellet stove is installed correctly begins with hiring a trained professional to complete the job, but it's also important as a homeowner to be aware of how a pellet stove should be put in for top efficiency and safety.
What Does A Pellet Stove Sit On?
Pellet stoves must sit on a non-combustible floor. This includes ceramic, porcelain, and concrete. Wood is not a safe flooring for underneath pellet stoves. One can purchase or build a non-combustible hearth pad for their stove.
Does A Pellet Stove Need To Be Vented Outside?
Yes, a pellet stove must be vented to the outdoors. This is because it must emit waste air, which would not be safe or comfortable for the inhabitants of the home. There are a few ways this can be done.
One option for venting the waste air is horizontally through an outskirt wall. This can only be done if the stove has been installed against one of the home's external walls. Then an exhaust pipe can be installed through the wall directly outside.
A second option is venting through the ceiling with a vertical flue. This can be done if the pellet stove is installed against an internal wall in the home.
A third option is venting the pellet stove through a chimney. This may be a chimney you have newly built or one that is already in place, as long as it is clean and functional.
How Far From A Window Does A Pellet Stove Need To Be?
The side and bottom of an openable window must be at least 48 inches from the exhaust of a pellet stove. This is because if the window did happen to be opened, the waste air that has been vented could be brought back into the home. This could be dangerous for inhabitants.
How Far Should A Pellet Stove Be From Furniture?
All combustible items must be at least 36 inches from a pellet stove. Of course, this includes most furniture in a home. If any closer, the items could be damaged from the heat or worse—aid in starting a house fire.
Pellet stoves carry a great amount of responsibility for a homeowner. Ensuring that this appliance is far enough away from surrounding walls is a part of this responsibility.
Even when you've had a professional install your pellet stove, inspect it to be sure that it is 1-3 inches away from the back wall, 6-7 inches away from sidewalls, and 16 inches away from the ceiling.
Remember to conduct regular and proper maintenance and keep objects, children, and pets away from the stove. Even with all of these added tasks, we're confident that with know-how and practice you can keep your pellet stove safe and functional for a long time to come.
Want to learn more about pellet stoves and other alternate heat sources? Visit these related posts: