Installing a Pellet Stove: Should You Hire a Professional?

Meg Scanlon
Written by Meg Scanlon
Updated December 8, 2021
Minimalistic interior of a house with a pellet stove
Photo: alexandre zveiger / Adobe Stock

A pellet stove should be installed by a wood stove installer

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Besides their streamlined, modern profile, pellet stoves offer a cleaner-burning way to enjoy the cozy benefits of a fireplace. Pellet fireplaces burn renewable fuel made from compressed ground wood waste (or sawmill waste products) and produce less CO2 emissions during operation. Because pellet fireplaces have a more complex set-up and need an additional energy source, such as electricity or batteries, you'll want to hire a professional to get it fired up for the first time. Learn more about pellet stove installation and the type of professional who can get the job done for you.

Benefits of Hiring a Wood Stove Installer

A pellet stove can be installed as a free-standing stove or a stove insert designed to fit inside your fireplace opening. Pellet stoves can be added to your heating system or used as the primary heat source—pellet stoves produce between 9,000 and 90,000 Btu per hour, which can heat an average-size home. 

For an optimal installation process that includes expert handling of all of the steps and safety checks, a wood stove installer is better equipped to do this project. Here are some additional benefits to hiring a wood stove installer:

  • Pellet stoves are heavy, so professional install assistance can help move it into place without the risk of injury.

  • Proper installation is an important component to taking advantage of the stove’s energy-efficiency properties.

  • Correct ventilation is necessary for any type of stove, and a wood stove installer can ensure that air is redirected the right way out of your home.

Can I DIY Install a Pellet Stove?

While this installation theoretically can be a DIY project, it is very technical and requires specialized expertise. Failure to install the pellet stove properly can also result in safety risks and fire hazards.

Some state or local county codes require professional installation. You should also check with your insurance company to determine if you need any specific permits or inspections before or after installation.

Can I Hire a Chimney Service to Install a Pellet Stove?

Because pellet stove maintenance is similar to chimneys and requires a ventilation solution, a chimney service can help install a pellet stove. Chimney sweeps can also provide annual inspection and servicing of your pellet stove, which averages $130 to $200.

How Does a Wood Stove Installer Install a Pellet Stove?

Professional installation ranges from $300 to $1,500. If you opted for a free-standing stove, the installer will take the following steps during set-up:

  1. Determine the location of the stove. This is typically about 1 to 2 inches away from a wall.

  2. Place the stove on a hearth pad. A hearth pad raises the stove several inches above the floor and provides a non-combustible surface.

  3. Set up the ventilation system to the exterior of your home. This includes measuring and marking out where the ventilation will run and cutting through the interior and exterior walls. The vent pipe is fitted through the new opening.

  4. Insulate the area around the vent pipe.

  5. Install an intake vent. Next, the pro will attach the vent to the stove, caulk around all connections, and secure it to the wall.

  6. Connect the stove to an electrical outlet. Electricity helps turn on and ignite the stove.

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