Another help me choose add on furnace

Gbawol42

Member
Dec 16, 2018
54
Northern Michigan
After reading so many threads, some maybe to old to matter anymore, I'm still having trouble with what to purchase.

I was looking at the vapor fire 100 for my purchase but I keep wondering if the new tundra 2 would be just fine for my needs and I would save a couple thousand dollars. What are the main differences here? Just more automation with the vf100? Yes I know I am comparing a Camery to a Cadillac.

Burn time is a big consideration for me as I work from 7-5 in the winter, I would really hate coming home to a cold house everyday and have to relight the furnace. The vf100 says 12 hour burn times and the tundra says only 8 hour. Looking for some real world people to tell me what they are really getting for burn times.

I was looking at the Heatpro for the larger firebox so I could get the longer burn time, but my home is only 1800 square feet so I thought it would be too much furnace for my house. Thoughts on this? Would I be running this furnace to low perhaps? Also there really is only a 2k difference between the vf100 and the Heatpro, so not as much savings from the tundra 2.

Doing this all from stratch all I have to far is the wood cut and stacked waiting for next winter, any input is greatly appreciated!

Home info: 1800 sq/ft, 2 story home. Furnace will be in basement (not counted in sq/ft number). Newer built so good insulation. Northern Michigan location.
 

sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
579
Central Ohio
If your main concern is burn time and not money then I think you’ll be a lot happier with the vf100. I’ve had a Caddy ( same firebox design as the tundra ) for about 5 or so years and the longest burn times I’ve been able to get are around 8 hours. I generally only burn ash due to EAB, so you might get longer burn times with locust or oak. If you’ve read a lot of the threads, the biggest problem people have is wet wood and an improper chimney setup. If you can solve both of those problems then I think you’ll be happy with either choice really. Tagging @JRHAWK9 to give more insight into the vf100.

IMHO - the Heatpro is too big for your square footage ( even in the UP ) and you’ll end up idling the furnace a lot and causing creosote to build up.

Off topic - you live in beautiful country up there. Went snowmobiling in Grand Marais a few years ago and it was awesome. Hope to make it back up there sometime soon.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,255
NE Ohio
Tundra (TII) would work for you...but just FYI, many people find that they work the best with some simple and inexpensive aftermarket control mods.
Normal load schedule for my T1, 6:15 AM, again at 4 to 4:30 PM, again at 11 PM or so...that's during cold weather...in not so cold weather, a 12 hour/twice a day loading is not unusual...and that is still often times a matchless relight. (after control mods)
I agree that the HeatPro is probably overkill for you. VF100 would work...the smaller VF200 would probably work too...it is in for its EPA emissions testing right now, Lamppa says they hope to be building them again by the end of the year...probably after they get moved into their new facility I'd guess...which is supposed to be by the end of the year too.
You need to have a stock of dry wood for whatever you buy...and most woods need 2 years cut/split/stacked to be dry...some, like Oak, need 3 years before it will burn well (and cleanly) in modern fireboxes.
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,174
Wisconsin Dells, WI
I PM'd him a link to my review on another site, after making the link a tinyurl though seeing this site seems to take offense to the other site :rolleyes: . Very immature if you ask me. Makes me think this site is ran by a bunch teenage girls or something. Grow up. ;hm :mad:

Anyway, burn times are dependent on lots of things. I can say a week or so ago we were leaving to go out of town for a couple days and I wanted to do what I could to keep the LP furnace from running while we were gone. Outside temps were in the single digits at night for lows and 20's during the day for highs. Right before we left I loaded 84lbs of 95% Black Locust into the firebox. Kept the computer at minimum burn (which is all I have used so far this year) and left.

I have the ability to remotely check on things by way of IP cameras, so I was keeping an eye on all my temps and what state the Kuuma computer was keeping the damper open to maintain the level of burn I had set the computer on (low). NINE hours after loading, the computer was still going to pilot, which means there were still many hours left of wood and burn time. Out of that large load I'm guessing I was able to get anywhere from 15-18 hours of burn time. When I woke up the following day (24 hours after I had loaded the furnace), the house was still 2° above the LP thermostat setpoint. Out of the 36 hours we were gone, the LP furnace only ran for 170 minutes total. Our place is not what most would consider "efficient" either.
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,255
NE Ohio
Makes me think this site is ran by a bunch teenage girls or something. Grow up. ;hm :mad:
;lol
Yeah, I'm pretty sure I know the site...and there's some history there...:rolleyes:
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,255
NE Ohio
@Case1030 might be able to provide some input as a TII owner...
 
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sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
579
Central Ohio
Off topic question - what do you consider burn time to do be ? ::-)

I consider burn time to be the time from when I load the furnace and set the timer to when I majority of the cools are burnt and I'm seeing exhaust temps of around 150 or so. Generally the furnace fan is done cycling by that time. It might run every once in awhile though to keep the furnace from overheating.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,255
NE Ohio
I guess I have gradually, over time, adjusted my view of "burn time" from visible flames and/or a scorching hot pile of coals, to the amount of time that passes between loads needed to maintain the house at the preferred temp range...because that's all that really matters anyways...how often ya gotta load.
Notice I said "range"...because if you expect to do wood heat well...I think you must be able to accept some temp swing.
The good thing about it is, with wood heat, its not so painful to adjust the generally accepted temp swing range upward ==c
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,255
NE Ohio
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JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,174
Wisconsin Dells, WI
the amount of time that passes between loads needed to maintain the house at the preferred temp range...because that's all that really matters anyways...how often ya gotta load.
Then my "burn time" changes depending on how cold it is outside. :p When cold, I load on more coals than I do when it's not as cold out.

Off topic question - what do you consider burn time to do be ? ::-)
I guess I would consider burn time to be the amount of time from initial load to the point of when one has enough coals left to be able to comfortably reload on and just walk away and not have to wonder if the fire is going to take or not. IE, not have to add kindling and/or open ash pan door to very dimly lit coals in order to continue the fire. I would consider this situation to be a matchless relight. How I have my blower slowed down and shutting off at ~98°, it's always still running when I go to re-load. If I were to re-load when my blower shuts off, I would consider that to be a matchless relight, as I don't have many coals left at all by that point and kindling would most likely be needed.
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,255
NE Ohio
Then my "burn time" changes depending on how cold it is outside. :p When cold, I load on more coals than I do when it's not as cold out.
True...but I would think when most people are asking about burn time, they mean when its really cold out...in other words, when its -20*F out, am I gonna need to get up in the middle of the night to feed this thing to keep from freezing to death in my sleep?! ;lol
 
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Case1030

Member
Dec 12, 2017
193
Manitoba
In the last two weeks of owning the new Tundra2, I haven't had the need to load the furnace 100% full of wood. Even on a 3/4 full load I still have coals to relight after 11 hours no problem.

The furnace has no problem maintaining house temp of 75f with minor fluctuations.

And I only use electricity heat for backup or to use while on vacation.

Ether option you choose you won't be disappointed unless your wood moisture is high or incorrect installation.
 
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Case1030

Member
Dec 12, 2017
193
Manitoba
Also my house is a little smaller than yours at 1400sqft. But being in Manitoba our climate is a little colder than Michigan. My place only has 4 inch studs tight as a home is built in the 1970. Tundra just fit the floor plan perfectly, a Heatpro would have been overkill.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,255
NE Ohio
I can tell you to stay away from anything HY-C produces. Anything other than that I don’t know.
Yeah, kind of a changing of the guard here...Fire Chief was always regarded as a middle/upper end product before...before they crapped the bed with this new generation of...of...I dunno even what to call it...scrap metal maybe?
I was at Menards yesterday and they have the new Vogelzang wood furnace on display there...so I had a look...not bad, its a totally manual stove, looks like a pretty standard "secondary tube" type of firebox...I guess they figure best to not "re-invent the wheel" with this stuff...unlike some. :rolleyes:
Vogelzang was bottom shelf stuff in the past, but seem to have stepped it up a bit now...I had one of their newer stoves...not a bad little unit, not great, but not bad either.
If someone was looking for a manual wood furnace I'd still probably steer 'em to the new Englander 28-4000 over the VZ...made in USA, plus decent customer service...VZ is china made and not so great CS.
 

Gbawol42

Member
Dec 16, 2018
54
Northern Michigan
Awesome responses guys this is what I was hoping for.

As for the burn time comments I was considering burn time to be say I leave for work at 645 and get home at 5 (10 hours), will my house be butt cold and need to use kindling to relight. Or will the house still be warm and I will be able to matchless relight. This is important to me because sometimes I get stuck at work and I need my wife to be able to easily be able to load the stove.

Like I said the reason I am comparing the tundra 2 and the vf100 is because of the 3k price difference. I am trying to justify the purchase of the vf100.
 

Gbawol42

Member
Dec 16, 2018
54
Northern Michigan
Also my house is a little smaller than yours at 1400sqft. But being in Manitoba our climate is a little colder than Michigan. My place only has 4 inch studs tight as a home is built in the 1970. Tundra just fit the floor plan perfectly, a Heatpro would have been overkill.
That's crazy to have 2x4 construction where you are wow! You are making a good case for the tundra, and thank you for reaffirming the Heatpro would be too much for the house.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,255
NE Ohio
As for the burn time comments I was considering burn time to be say I leave for work at 645 and get home at 5 (10 hours), will my house be butt cold and need to use kindling to relight. Or will the house still be warm and I will be able to matchless relight.
This is within the capability's of either furnace...slightly more so with the 100...so seems like you still have a choice to make ==c
 
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Gbawol42

Member
Dec 16, 2018
54
Northern Michigan
This is within the capability's of either furnace...maybe slightly more so with the 100...seems like you still have a choice to make ==c
Haha this is why I made the orginial post. I mean the 3k I would save builds me my flue and probably enough left over for the install. But I am trying to figure out if the 3k is a better investment in the stove instead. Basically I just don't want to waste 3k lol.
 

Gbawol42

Member
Dec 16, 2018
54
Northern Michigan
Also doing further research I see the firebox size of the tundra is 3.6, if my math is right the vf100 is 7.4 (website said 23"x15.5"x20").

Can anyone validate this? Is the vf100 firebox really twice as big?
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,255
NE Ohio
Also doing further research I see the firebox size of the tundra is 3.6, if my math is right the vf100 is 7.4 (website said 23"x15.5"x20").

Can anyone validate this? Is the vf100 firebox really twice as big?
No, 4.1 CF
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,255
NE Ohio
the 3k I would save
Yeah, at least 3k...'til you figure in shipping and tax on the 100...and if you catch the Tundra on a 11% sale at Menards...which they have pretty often, especially after the 1st of the year. Good place and time to get your chimney too...their prices on Supervent class A chimney can't be beat...especially at 11% off.
I've used Supervent to build a chimney here, and at my sisters place (another Tundra install) and also at my inlaws new house too (NC30 install) With the price I got on their new NC30, and the chimney system (sale price plus 11 % off on top of that!) they only have a bit more than a grand in everything (no labor charge from the installer ;))
 

Gbawol42

Member
Dec 16, 2018
54
Northern Michigan
Yeah, at least 3k...'til you figure in shipping and tax on the 100...and if you catch the Tundra on a 11% sale at Menards...which they have pretty often, especially after the 1st of the year. Good place and time to get your chimney too...their prices on Supervent class A chimney can't be beat...especially at 11% off.
I've used Supervent to build a chimney here, and at my sisters place (another Tundra install) and also at my inlaws new house too (NC30 install) With the price I got on their new NC30, and the chimney system (sale price plus 11 % off on top of that!) they only have a bit more than a grand in everything (no labor charge from the installer ;))
Yes I already planned on purchasing my chimney from Menards, I was looking at right around 1k when I priced it out on thier website with the 11% off. I believe the tundra 2 was around 1700 with the 11% off.

The tundra is computer controlled dampener right? Or is it manual?