It’s hard to describe the comfort one gains when you know you have a way to heat your home. In a way, a house is merely just a house until it can make you truly comfortable. That’s when it becomes more of a home. After firing up my pellet stove, I just sat and stared for a good hour, admiring the coziness that ensued.
Let me just preface this post by saying why I chose a pellet stove.
- It was reasonably cheap
- It took up a minimal amount of room
- It controls the temperature much better than a wood stove
- My wife insisted on a visible flame
Concerning finances, I was in no position to fork out the money for an electric furnace, wood boiler system or any other large heating system. I don’t like the idea of buying pallet after pallet of pellets by the ton, but I do like the renewable nature of the fuel. I certainly feel better about burning pellets than I do propane or natural gas.
I started installation with an appropriate hearth. I could have easily forked out the 50 bucks for the cheap looking hearth pads you can buy at the big box store, but I needed practice with real tile anyway. I used 3/8″ porcelain tile on a cement backer board and finished the hearth in one afternoon. I’m not overly fond of tile work but I find it much more pleasant than drywall.
After the hearth was completed, I ran holes through the wall for the flu thimble and the air intake. Installing the thimble was a bit of a chore and I used the extra hands from Pa to get the job done. I needed someone on the inside holding one side on while I threaded in the thimble from the outside. The threaded design of the thimble makes for a secure connection but it does make things a bit more complicated when you’re working with wood lap siding. Ideally, I believe these things are designed to work better with vinyl siding where you can trim it out with j-channel.
Once the outtake and intake were completed, I dry fitted all the joints and moved the stove into position. I put all of the flu pieces together and then shimmied the stove into place instead of working from the stove out. I’m not sure if working from the stove out would be easier, but I was satisfied with the general complexity of the project. It wasn’t too much trouble.
The 45 degree joint didn’t fit together with the other joints as well as I would have liked so I added silver tape to make sure it sealed up well. No smoke in the house made me a happy camper.
I let the joints dry for a day and then fired the thing up. The stove I purchased, a Pelpro PP60, had very specific directions on “priming” the auger feed. I found out that you must follow the directions to a “T”. Basically, once the unit starts priming, don’t get anxious and switch to a comfort setting. Let it do it’s thing.
Once the unit was up and running, the house was heated to a comfortable temperature within an hour or so. It’s noisier than I’m used to, but after a couple hours, the white noise was tolerable.
Next up, I tackle tile in the bathroom. Here is a pic of the backer board waterproofed and ready to go: