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pellet stove as a vent

my pellet stove doesnt have an OAK [outdoor combustion air intake] installed. i figure the vacumn created by the stove when running will help bring in fresh air thru leaks to exterior which might collect humidity if the negative pressure from pellet stove was relieved by installing an OAK.. if the stove was running & not creating interior negative pressure wouldnt the heat migrate to colder areas & condense & possibly result in mold? pellet stove runs constantly as main heat source....thanx


  • BillW
    BillW Member Posts: 198

    Sorry for the delay in answering your question.  I don't know what the manufacturer of your pellet stove recommends, but most I have seen use a "sealed" combustion rig, where outside air is pulled directly into the firebox, thru the fire, and out the exhaust.  Older houses gain fresh outside air by "infiltration", which was OK until fuel costs skyrocketed, and people began sealing up the traditional "leaky" building envelope.  That led to problems with moisture and everyday pollutants becoming concentrated in the new "thermos bottle" homes.

    The house should not be under any pressure, negative or positive.  Positive pressure can drive moisture into wall cavities, where it will condense, and lay the groundwork fo a possible mold issue.  Negative pressure is dangerous, because if it is strong enough, it may overcome your chimmney draft, or other combustion appliance vent, and allow deadly carbon monoxide to enter your home.

    You can easily test with this "quick & dirty" method.  Close all doors and windows.  Turn on the dryer, kitchen and bath exhaust fans and any other ventilating devices.  Go to the basement, carck open a window, and hold up a strip of tissue paper.  If it blows outward, your house in under positive pressure.  If it is sucked inward, it's negative, and needs immediate attention.

    See which local heating pro may do blower door testing, that's the only way to really see where all the leaks may be, and seal them as necessary.  You should also consider an energy/heat recovery ventilator.  It brings in and exhausts equal amounts of air 24/7, and recovers about 80% of the heating & cooling energy in the air that passes thru it.  It usually runs on low speed, but you can set it to higher speed if you have a party, and need more fresh air.  You can control if from certain programmable thermostats, or with it's own control.  In certain high humidity areas, an energy recovery unit is best.  In most others, a heat recovery unit works best.

    I hope this helps you, and I apo;ogize for the delay in responding.
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