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Kuuma Vapor Fire 100 indoor furnace new install done and "Fired up!" with pics

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by glacialhills, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. fsumble

    fsumble Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Loc:
    Eastern PA
    Hi Glacial Hills,

    Several nights ago I fired up my vapor fire 100 for the first time. I had a water tank hooked up to it (I ordered the hot water coil option), but I have not connected it to ductwork yet (I'll get that done this week), so I cheated by connecting a manual switch for the fan instead of the auto switch on the side of the furnace.

    I used 3 pieces of junk wood for the first fire, and set the temperature knob all the way to low. The lights on the computer came on and the air damper opened up all the way. 45 minutes later, the damper was still open all the way. It seemed like the furnace was not able to come to even it's lowest set temperature, or something was wrong with the computer or sensor. Then I added a nice dry piece of ash to the fire, and within 15 minutes, one of the lights went out and the damper closed part way, and the smoke disappeared! I was watching the top of the chimney, and I was looking through the draft damper. When all four logs had burned up, the insulation around the secondary burn area was still white, and the inside of my stack was absolutely clean. I'm looking forward to a colder night so I can really fire the thing up.

    I am most impressed by how simple this thing is compared to other gasifiers, and how well built it is. I wish there would be a way for me to watch the secondary burn happen. I'm sure that opening the door makes it stop completely, so there is no way to get a look up were the sensor is. I asked Daryl why they couldn't give a sight glass into that area, and he said they tried it, but it gets a white film on it so it became useless anyway. I was impressed with these down-draft boilers that have a lower door you can open to observe the secondary burn.

    I will post again after I have had some real experience with this thing, but so far as you were, I am very impressed!

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  2. kitch

    kitch New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    Eastern Oregon
    Hi,
    Just found this website and forum...WOW! Thanks. We have an old RITEWAY indoor furnace which over the past couple of days seems to be overheating. One day it's fine and the next it gets way too hot and the temperature won't come down. Sounds dangerous to me. Last night it overheated, this am it's fine. Go figure. Anyway, my husband has been looking into wood furnaces and the comments on this Kuuma make it sound like the ideal furnace. We go through about 12.5 cords a year with the riteway (2100 sq.ft. multi level house, but very open design). Moved here three years ago, old farmhouse, seems like we could be much more efficient, safe, and use less wood with the Kuuma!
  3. fsumble

    fsumble Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Loc:
    Eastern PA
    I am very pleased with the Vapor Fire 100. This is my first winter with it, so I have not burned enough wood to comment on how much less wood I will burn with it, but the furnace is very well made, and after burning enough wood to fill 2 5-gal buckets with ash, the upper portion of the furnace and the smoke pipe has no soot at all! At the top of the inside firing chamber there is white ceramic fiber insulation (Yes, on the inside of the chamber!) It looks like fiberglass insulation, but it is bright white. On my furnace, that insulation is still white! That should be proof that we are burning the creosote!

    Glacier Hills will have more comments, this is his 2nd winter with his.
  4. glacialhills

    glacialhills Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
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    222
    Loc:
    S.W. Michigan
    Hey there, my 2 year old ranch is 1800+ sf with 9' ceilings and the walkout basement is also 1800 with 9 foot also and is bare concrete exposed on two whole walls(need to get that fixed). We burned about 6.5 cords last winter with, as I recall, marginal wood the last 2or3 cord or so. This year we look like we will use far less as our wood is much better seasoned.When I get the basement insulated I expect to save significantly more and dont see us using over 5 a winter, if that. I dont think I can add to what has already been said. Still love it, no Creosote problems(heck no Creosote period) almost too easy.I have ran a brush up the chimney just to check it 2 times and have got maybe 2 or 3 cups of light fluffy ash out of the whole 32 foot run of class a. I dont see how you could even overfire this as the computer handles the draft so well and if the power ever does goes out the draft shuts down. Then your only worry is that the Registers might get too hot.
    ( ours went out for quite a few hours last winter as I recall and we didn't have that problem). The vapor fire has a high limit alarm and shutdown safety also though we have never heard or had it activate. An example of how comfortable I am with this furnace as to safety, We went to grandmas over this weekend(got a big doe with my muzzleloader last night) and I had no reservations of loading the furnace to the hilt right before we left. When we got home last night after 33 hours away the house was still above 54 with outside temps never reaching above 42 and lows in the 20's.Smartest thing I have bought...ever. It will pay for itself about the middle of this winter. If you have any specific questions fire away.
  5. glacialhills

    glacialhills Member

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    Loc:
    S.W. Michigan
    Oh, and Fsumble, mine is still bright white too. I need to call Darlye at Lammpa and ask if and how that needs to be cleaned as it has that white powder ash on it, I was not clear on how to open up the top part of the furnace to get to it and clean it out. (I am sure just a light shop vac job will do the trick).Do you know?
  6. lpp5855

    lpp5855 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
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    Loc:
    North Jersey
    Glacial, I am worried about you now. Don't you have many friends?
  7. kitch

    kitch New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
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    2
    Loc:
    Eastern Oregon
    Thanks for all of the input and comments about the stove it sounds perfect. Not sure we'll get to it this winter but will definitely think about it for the near future.
  8. glacialhills

    glacialhills Member

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    Loc:
    S.W. Michigan
    Wow I really struck a chord with you huh, have to go search all my old posts from a year ago to try to find something to zing me?

    If only you took as much pride getting wood without stealing it as you did in stacking it you would be a decent guy.
  9. fsumble

    fsumble Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Loc:
    Eastern PA
    Hi GlacialHills,

    If you get a chance, check out Lamppa Mfg's web-site again. The smaller vapor fire 200 just earned EPA certification. They said the burn efficiency is in the 90+ range! The overall efficiency with duct loss and fan energy came out to 81%, and they only had to make 75% to make the cut. Daryl said they will test the 100 in March. I am amazed that the burn efficiency could be so high! I am very pleased with my Vapor Fire 100. After burning since November, and the upper firing chamber is still clean! I have no trouble holding a fire even if I burn hemlock, and it does not take big chunks of wood to hold a long fire. I have been splitting my wood smaller for next year because I like how the smaller splits burn in this thing.

    How is yours working out for you in all this cold weather this year?

    FsUmble
  10. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
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    1,809
    Loc:
    Ashland OH
    From the looks of the site they qualify for the tax credit. Nothing about EPA certification yet, unless they are in the process. Its nice to see central furnaces that are improving their combustion efficiencies. If they are achieving those high numbers they need to pay the cost and get the furnaces EPA certified.
  11. glacialhills

    glacialhills Member

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    Jun 5, 2008
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    Loc:
    S.W. Michigan
    Wow, I knew it was efficient, but those numbers put it right up there with some of the best gas furnaces. No wonder I kept redoing my numbers when comparing it to the propane consumption I had before I got the vaporfire...I kept thinking I was off somewhere in my math because of the low wood to gas ratio. Now I know why. I also want to tell you about their customer service. Our blower motor (I thought) stopped working and would just hum when the stat kicked it on. It would run if I spun the birdcage but would not start on its own. I called and we discussed the problem and they sent another motor...for free. no shipping, nothing. I put it in and same thing...hum hum hum ...then It hit me...the capacitor was what was humming! I call them back and let them know and a new capacitor is UPSed and I get it the next day. I was told to keep the motor too. Now is that service or what! This year with my better seasoned wood I am way better with my wood supply and we are keeping the house at 74-76 in the day and 70 at night (I am almost ashamed to be so warm).
  12. fsumble

    fsumble Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
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    7
    Loc:
    Eastern PA
    Our house has been very warm also, and my wood supply has lasted very well even though a lot of it was hemlock and poplar. Next year I will have a bunch of oak. I have been very impressed with this furnace, and now that we can get the $1500 tax credit (The 100 is going to be certified in March), the deal got a lot sweeter.

    Have you had to adjust your front door yet? Mine used to have some resistance when I drop the handle into it's cradle, but now it just slips in. I checked for air leakage with a cigarette lighter around the edges of the door, and it does not seem to be pulling any air in, but I think the instructions talked about re-adjusting the door after a while. What do you think?
  13. Steve Foss

    Steve Foss New Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Messages:
    13
    Loc:
    Ely, Minn.
    It looks like we're going to replace our very old Kuuma with the Kuuma 100. We really like what we see and hear about them (including comments on this site gathered using the "search" feature), and they looked good when I saw the one operating at the Lamppa Manufacturing shop earlier this week. The $1,500 tax credit, and the fact that my wife and I work from home offices and can write off about 20 percent of the total cost of the furnace, go a long way toward making the price more acceptable.

    We're heating primarily with wood. The old Kuuma has its own thermostat and fan and is routed into the forced air ductwork. We go through about 9 cords per year of maple/birch/ash, but spend a lot of time stoking the furnace and cleaning out ash, and the low-volume fan isn't up to the task of pushing enough heated air through the runs of the 2-story, 1,500-square-foot house, so cold nights and really cold, windy days require a lot of propane use. The Model 100 looks like a great time savings and, down the road, a cost savings. We have a high-efficiency propane furnace that used to be primary but now is backup, and the savings provided by firewood over propane are amazing, even with the old Kuuma.

    It'll be nice not to have the clean the stack often (or darn near ever). Actually, as clean burning as they are, we'll likely give it a good cleaning every fall anyway.

    Glad I got directed here from ArboristSite. I've been burning wood for 30 years, and it's good to be in the company of like-minded men and women. :)
  14. glacialhills

    glacialhills Member

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    Hey, I have not been on here in forever, I readjusted my door last winter as it had become loose.Very easy and just need an allen wrench. I am confused about the 1500 tax credit...How do you get it when we bought our vaporfires before the tax credit was enacted. Please let me know how to get it as we could really use some extra this year. Also do you know how to clean out the upper burn chamber? the only thing I see is all those bolts on that cover above the main chamber door and that seems very hard to remove.

    By the way I only used 5.3 cords last winter.
  15. stat1dou

    stat1dou New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
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    2
    Loc:
    Northern Mn
    Hey folks,just found this site and noticed all this talk about the kumma vapor fire. I was turned on to it buy a friend i worked with back in 1989 and it's still heating his house. Its now 28 years and still going strong. I heated with the 200 model for 18 years and had no problems, not one. Had a 2200 sq foot house and went through 5 cords of wood a year on average and lots of 20 to 30 below weather. Bummer i had to sell the house. Well guess what kind of stove i'm buying. I have a bigger house now and i'm going with the 100 model. I can't wait to pick it up. I would get it today but have to wait for them to get one made up. Every thing i've seen on this site is right on the money when it comes to the kumma vapor fire stoves. I wood sell them if they would let me. I'm now 57 years young and think this next stove will out last me,ha!
  16. jdboy9

    jdboy9 New Member

    Joined:
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    60
    Loc:
    Burton Ohio
    Am I reading the test results wrong or something? Why are the Output Btus of either of these units less than 50,000 Btus??
  17. stat1dou

    stat1dou New Member

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    Loc:
    Northern Mn
    Hey jdboy
    If you look under the btu rating on the spec sheet it talks about the true btu rating.
  18. jdboy9

    jdboy9 New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Burton Ohio
    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I am going to give one of these units a try while I save up for my large boiler system :)
  19. cfarms

    cfarms Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Loc:
    Central Minnesota
    Thanks Glacialhills for the info on the Kuuma 100. I feel even better about my purchase of one! It should be built and ready for pickup in a couple of months. It's pretty ill but am kinda looking forward to next heating season already!!! Will keep you posted how I like mine!
  20. slamotto

    slamotto Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
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    Loc:
    NE Wis
    Long-Time Lurker...first-time poster. I've decided to get a Kuuma, and all that remains is to decide which model to get: The 200 or the 100. Seem that most owners who have posted in this thread are running the 100. Anyone using the 200?
  21. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    Looks like a nice furnace. Nothing like heating with wood. Do you guys have access to your own wood or do you buy it?
  22. blurlt2

    blurlt2 New Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Loc:
    Bozeman, MT
    I've heated my 1000 sf house entirely with wood for the past ten years with an old Kent Sherwood that I got used for $150. Not bad! I built a hydronic heat exchanger around the stove that pumps heat into a radiant slab that I poured in the crawl space. It has worked great but the stove doesn't seem to burn like it used to. I'm now thinking I'd like to get either a wood fired boiler to heat the slab or a wood fired furnace to hook up to the existing ductwork, and install it in the garage (attached). The boiler would be easier to install but seem quite a bit more complicated and perhaps require more maintenance. I really like what I've read about the Kuuma Vaporfire and am strongly considering the 100. I have spoken with Daryl Lamppa several times and it seems like they take a lot of pride in making a quality product. I'm confident that the customer service would be excellent.

    My question is would the 100 be too much furnace for a 1000 sf house?

    Does anyone make a comparable boiler that burns as clean as the Vaporfire for a similar price?
  23. lampmfg

    lampmfg Member

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    Loc:
    Tower, MN
    The Vapor Fire 200 would be more than enough to heat a 1000 sq ft. house. Website Link
  24. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    Does anyone make a comparable boiler that burns as clean as the Vaporfire for a similar price?[/quote]


    Gasifacation boilers will be just as or more efficient. I don't know about price. how much does the kuuma vapor fire cost ?
  25. cfarms

    cfarms Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Central Minnesota
    Am so excited! Lamppa Manufacturing called and my Kuuma Vaporfire 100 is built and ready to be picked up. Going up there on Tuesday to get it. Already looking forward to next heating season!!!

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