Outside air connection question

Sytamra

Member
Jul 7, 2017
21
New Mexico
The placement of our stove only seems to allow two locations for an outside air connection. Down into a crawl space or into an unheated garage. Garage doors do not normally seal very tight and the crawl space is accessed by an outside door that is about 3x4 and not sealed or weatherstripped. Is either one acceptable? We've run a pellet stove for years without a clue about the outside air......hope it makes a difference!
Thanks, Bryan
 

Jonkman

Burning Hunk
Nov 11, 2015
203
West Michigan
Since you have access to the crawl space, why not run it through the crawlspace and to the outside using PVC pipe (metal pipe from the stove for 3 to 6 feet I believe, then PVC pipe the rest of the way). Granted you might be fine drawing air from a non-airtight crawlspace just fine, but you might as do it the right way and be done with it.
 

Sytamra

Member
Jul 7, 2017
21
New Mexico
Since you have access to the crawl space, why not run it through the crawlspace and to the outside using PVC pipe (metal pipe from the stove for 3 to 6 feet I believe, then PVC pipe the rest of the way). Granted you might be fine drawing air from a non-airtight crawlspace just fine, but you might as do it the right way and be done with it.
Thanks for the reply.
From the crawl space, my only option is to drill thru concrete block foundation and that would put me at nearly ground level. Snow buildup would block that pretty quickly. Even running a tube at floor level (inside the house to the wall... ugly) would put it out only 10" above ground level and snow drifts to about 3 feet there! Something of a dilemma here.....
I think I'd be better sucking cold air into the garage than to suck it into the crawl space and making the floors cold...Gawd, why can't this be simple?
 

Sytamra

Member
Jul 7, 2017
21
New Mexico
Why don't you just do something like this as in the photo, that is what I did for the same reasons you explain. Snow drifts, etc.
Thanks. How long a run and how many elbows before you degrade the volume of incoming air?
The layout of the house and the desired placement of the stove causes issues. For that matter moving the stove causes issues with air circulation, so I think the location is about perfect. Our original installation was in 2003 and the OAK issue was never mentioned....we've been sucking cold air into the place for 13 fricken years and not knowing it!
Uninformed.....
Now I have a modicum of knowledge and understanding of the fresh air issue and and no easy way to solve it! Whatever the exhaust blower cfm is is equal to the cfm of frigid air being sucked into the house. That is certainly counterproductive. The crawl space is probably my best option.......
Thanks
Bryan
BTW, going with a Castle Serenity
 

Jonkman

Burning Hunk
Nov 11, 2015
203
West Michigan
From a thread I posted, I had someone tell me that if you go over 10 feet then up the PVC pipe to 3". The OAK is probably 2" to your stove, so run metal 2" from your stove until you get in the crawlspace (I've seen people use flexible metal 2" exhaust pipe for a car), then get a reducing coupler (mine is just rubber) from 2" to 3" and then run the PVC to the outside, add a elbow, go up 3 feet or 4 feet, add another elbow and put a grate on the end and you are done. Probably cost $30-$50 or so for all the parts. Hardest part will be drilling through the block wall.

https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/my-summer-project-completed-quadrafire-castile-insert-in-my-stairwell.149076/#post-2002394
 

fmsm

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2011
920
South of Boston MA

Jonkman

Burning Hunk
Nov 11, 2015
203
West Michigan
Why not use a pellet pipe that draws in the outside air around a separate wall of the exhaust pipe. One pipe up and out splits off at the stove for the OAK. I think Duravent makes it. http://www.duravent.com/Product.aspx?hProduct=23
Duh, that is an excellent idea, I completely forgot about that solution, I remember seeing them too and almost went that route but my installer talked me out of it (story for another time, I think I know more than they do now....). Duravents system is not the one i was thinking...I'll see if I can find it.
 

Sytamra

Member
Jul 7, 2017
21
New Mexico
Duh, that is an excellent idea, I completely forgot about that solution, I remember seeing them too and almost went that route but my installer talked me out of it (story for another time, I think I know more than they do now....). Duravents system is not the one i was thinking...I'll see if I can find it.
Well I guess that brings up another question.....I was going to use the existing exhaust vent and just raise or lower it a few inches as necessary to accommodate the height of the exhaust on the stove. How long does the pipe last?
 

Pete Zahria

Minister of Fire
Jan 6, 2014
1,118
New Hampster
mcmanusfuels.com
IF your crawl space is easy enough to get too, I'd cut a louver into the door, and use the crawl space.
I have mine in a crawl space under my porch... it has lattice all around.... no chance of snow or anything
plugging it up.. no extra length of pipe or 90's... screen over the end for critter control...and it's invisible.

Dan
 

Sytamra

Member
Jul 7, 2017
21
New Mexico
IF your crawl space is easy enough to get too, I'd cut a louver into the door, and use the crawl space.
I have mine in a crawl space under my porch... it has lattice all around.... no chance of snow or anything
plugging it up.. no extra length of pipe or 90's... screen over the end for critter control...and it's invisible.

Dan
That's what I'm inclined to do. The stove is located in the N.E. part of the house and a 6" snow puts 3' drifts there! The door to the crawl space is on the south side and is not sealed at all. I'm replacing a 15 yr old quadrafire Santa Fe with a castle serenity and looking forward to the new stove!
 

Lake Girl

Moderator
Nov 12, 2011
6,940
NW Ontario
I see someone already mentioned the OAK integrated into the thimble ... seems like the best option. You might have to adjust the size of the thimble opening slightly. Drawing air from the garage is a no go code wise.

Just checked on exhaust venting heights off the stoves ... Santa Fe is 16 -7/16" vs. Serenity is 8". You have some extra elbows to reach the old thimble height. Have you figured slightly larger hearth pad to accommodate the stove being farther out from the back wall?
 

Austin95

New Member
Aug 30, 2019
6
New York
I am wondering what peoples thoughts are on the quadrafire castile pellet insert? i am looking at getting a pellet insert, due to the small size of our fireplace our options are limited. We are first time pellet stove owners so any feed back is appreciated.
 

fmsm

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2011
920
South of Boston MA
I am wondering what peoples thoughts are on the quadrafire castile pellet insert? i am looking at getting a pellet insert, due to the small size of our fireplace our options are limited. We are first time pellet stove owners so any feed back is appreciated.
Just get a Harman! You won’t be sorry.
 

Overfireinthehole

Minister of Fire
May 5, 2017
524
Miller MO
Thanks. How long a run and how many elbows before you degrade the volume of incoming air?
The layout of the house and the desired placement of the stove causes issues. For that matter moving the stove causes issues with air circulation, so I think the location is about perfect. Our original installation was in 2003 and the OAK issue was never mentioned....we've been sucking cold air into the place for 13 fricken years and not knowing it!
Uninformed.....
Now I have a modicum of knowledge and understanding of the fresh air issue and and no easy way to solve it! Whatever the exhaust blower cfm is is equal to the cfm of frigid air being sucked into the house. That is certainly counterproductive. The crawl space is probably my best option.......
Thanks
Bryan
BTW, going with a Castle Serenity
What makes you think you’ve been sucking cold air into your house for 13 years? Have you had an air study done on your house? Have you checked the temperature around potential inflow spots with a thermal imager while stove is on and off? What kind of windows and doors and insulation do you have? Also, yes, running fresh air that far is likely going to change the quality of combustion air, but you can take a pressure reading with a manometer before and after to be sure... You could also keep doing what you’ve done for 13 years if you haven’t ever noticed a definite cold air infiltration being caused by the stove. Unless you live at a high elevation (above 3,500’), have an extremely tight house (R6.5 per 1” or more), have the unit installed in a box basement, or your unit installation manual REQUIRES oak (usually only the case in manufactured homes): you are probably only going to negatively impact the performance of your unit by running an oak over 10’ with negligible impact on air exchange in your home. To know for sure, you’d need to do an air study.
 

JRemington

Feeling the Heat
Nov 4, 2017
444
Belleville New York
This is an argument that will rage on for eternity lol. We sell a lot of pellet stoves so I have had the opportunity to discuss this with many people. Our temps get very cold. As much as forty below zero. Very few people use a OAK. And I agree with them. Inserting that cold of air, to me, seems foolish. Yes I know that this means your removing warm air from your home and this air is being replaced by air being drawn through cracks around moldings, windows, baseboards and the such. I know this sounds bad, but is it? I don’t see it as a bad thing. The cooler air from the floor is drawn into the stove. Houses get stuffy and germs breed in the winter. This is a nice way to slowly breath fresh air in. Also, how much energy in pellets are you using drawing ice cold air into the burn chamber? I guess to each his own but I don’t care a lot for that frosted over air intake pipe either when it drips on the floor. And isn’t air coming through these cracks anyways? Let the argument rage on.
 

Overfireinthehole

Minister of Fire
May 5, 2017
524
Miller MO
This is an argument that will rage on for eternity lol. We sell a lot of pellet stoves so I have had the opportunity to discuss this with many people. Our temps get very cold. As much as forty below zero. Very few people use a OAK. And I agree with them. Inserting that cold of air, to me, seems foolish. Yes I know that this means your removing warm air from your home and this air is being replaced by air being drawn through cracks around moldings, windows, baseboards and the such. I know this sounds bad, but is it? I don’t see it as a bad thing. The cooler air from the floor is drawn into the stove. Houses get stuffy and germs breed in the winter. This is a nice way to slowly breath fresh air in. Also, how much energy in pellets are you using drawing ice cold air into the burn chamber? I guess to each his own but I don’t care a lot for that frosted over air intake pipe either when it drips on the floor. And isn’t air coming through these cracks anyways? Let the argument rage on.
The condensation really drives me crazy when customer insisted on oak then wants to know what we did wrong that caused him to have a puddle behind unit.