Best inside gasification wood boiler?

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c.odonald

New Member
May 10, 2022
3
Maine
Good afternoon everyone I am new to this forum, I am asking the question what is the best inside gasification wood boiler that's on the market? I am getting ready to big a new home and wanted to install a wood boiler to help with heating cost. I am planning on putting in radiant tubing through the floor. I have used inside wood boilers before in my old home but I also had issues with it, I believe that it was installed around 2008 so it was an older model. I know that the boilers have come a long way sense then. I have looked into Garn which from what I understand is a tankless wood boiler? Meaning that all of the water is inside the boiler and there is no need for a big tank of water. I have also looked at Tarm which from what I understand is a more conventional boiler where is has tanks for the water. I was just wonder if anyone has experience with either one and what would be recommended for a new home construction. I am aiming to have my house around 2500 square feet. Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated, I live near Bangor, Maine so if anyone knows of any company's in Maine that sell wood boilers I would also appreciate that information as well. Thanks again
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,238
NE Ohio
Another option that you may not be aware of is HeatMaster G series...they are outdoor models that are approved to be used indoors too...if you order one they may come without the extra insulation? Not sure about that...would probably be worth calling them to discuss install plans...they are a very helpful bunch there.
 

c.odonald

New Member
May 10, 2022
3
Maine
Another option that you may not be aware of is HeatMaster G series...they are outdoor models that are approved to be used indoors too...if you order one they may come without the extra insulation? Not sure about that...would probably be worth calling them to discuss install plans...they are a very helpful bunch there.
Thanks for the information! I haven't heard of them I will check them out.
 

hedge wood

Feeling the Heat
Mar 1, 2009
302
Eastern NE
c.odonald Welcome to the forum. I would do some searching on the forum about Garn. I know I wouldn't buy one again. You might give Switzer's custom wood burning systems a look. I wish I would have went with Gary's closed system instead of the Garn.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,929
Downeast Maine
I don't know of any IWB vendors near Bangor, but there is a local company that does some interesting water tank options. American Solartechnics

There is also Polar brand gasser OWB units that are approved for indoor use. They have a lot of stainless which is nice.
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,345
Northern NH
The Frolings are definitely on top of the list for indoor gasification boilers. They have three models that meet the federal rebate efficiency. The importer is in New Hampshire. BTW in order to get that efficiency most indoor gasifiers require large external water tanks. NY state paid the number one hydronic heating guru, John Siegenthaler to offer an online video course on how to design and install an indoor wood boiler system correctly. Its free herehttps://www.heatspring.com/courses/hydronics-for-high-efficiency-biomass-boilers-sponsored-by-nyserda. The Froling distributor was the Tarm distributor for many years and definitely worth talking to. The Kuuma boilers also have a great rep.

The fundamental problem is you need thermal storage. Do not waste your time and money trying to do without. If you want an opinion from someone very familiar with these units, I think Tom is still running his Saturday Radio Show out of Bangor Maine so give him a call on Saturday morning http://www.hotandcold.tv/. He worked with Dick Hill (now deceased) out of UMaine to come up with affordable thermal storage. http://www.americansolartechnics.com/. There are other firms that make storage and then there is the world of making your own pressurized unit out of old propane tanks.
 

c.odonald

New Member
May 10, 2022
3
Maine
The Frolings are definitely on top of the list for indoor gasification boilers. They have three models that meet the federal rebate efficiency. The importer is in New Hampshire. BTW in order to get that efficiency most indoor gasifiers require large external water tanks. NY state paid the number one hydronic heating guru, John Siegenthaler to offer an online video course on how to design and install an indoor wood boiler system correctly. Its free herehttps://www.heatspring.com/courses/hydronics-for-high-efficiency-biomass-boilers-sponsored-by-nyserda. The Froling distributor was the Tarm distributor for many years and definitely worth talking to. The Kuuma boilers also have a great rep.

The fundamental problem is you need thermal storage. Do not waste your time and money trying to do without. If you want an opinion from someone very familiar with these units, I think Tom is still running his Saturday Radio Show out of Bangor Maine so give him a call on Saturday morning http://www.hotandcold.tv/. He worked with Dick Hill (now deceased) out of UMaine to come up with affordable thermal storage. http://www.americansolartechnics.com/. There are other firms that make storage and then there is the world of making your own pressurized unit out of old propane tanks.
Thanks a lot for this information, it is greatly appreciated
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,238
NE Ohio

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,238
NE Ohio
The Kuuma boilers also have a great rep.
Kuuma's are forced air wood furnaces...if you see a Kuuma boiler, take a pic, I wanna see one, they are exceedingly rare! (and old)
 

Tonty

Member
Jul 24, 2017
90
Kansas
I have a Switzer wood boiler. It is similar to the Garn in that it has integral storage. The difference is that it is a pressurized system so corrosion isn’t as much of a concern. I love my boiler. It is simple to run, easier to connect due to not having to plumb in storage tanks/pumps, and efficient. They are big and heavy, but if you are building a house (like I did), you can accommodate that by making space for it. I have yet to hear of someone who doesn’t like his Switzer.
 
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salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,813
Northern Canada
I have an Econoburn with storage
14 years old now no issues.
Built like a tank,has efficacy issues that may have been tweaked with the new models.
With help from others here it keeps getting better.
 

hobbyheater

Minister of Fire
And I know @hobbyheater has a Vedolux that he likes... https://smokelessheat.com/
I have a Vedolux 450 with 1045 imp gallons of well insulated storage that achieves the efficiencies as advertised,no smoke or ash into the house while reloading and very little smoke out of the chimney upon lighting .
Dean at Smokeless Heat has been very helpful throughout the install and the learning curve .
 

WaltBranch

Member
Oct 2, 2016
3
West Rockies
As far as I know the Tarm wood boilers are no longer available in N.A. despite the name Tarm USA, they only carry Froling. Vedolux is a very good brand and I wouldn't let one persons experience scare you away from Garn, by far the most trouble free wood burner you could own, if taken care of properly. Switzer makes a good product but they have never done any of the testing the EPA requires to sell residential wood boilers, so you might have a problem with that if your state is looking for an EPA listing.
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,345
Northern NH
I am not sure if the OP is interested in federal rebate, if so then he would look at units that meet the efficiency standards for the rebate.
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,813
Northern Canada
My Econoburn has been very trouble free...
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,345
Northern NH
Of course, the truth is there are multiple ways to skin the proverbial cat and as long as the fundamentals are right there are several brands that understand the basics and have figured out a way to make a commercial product that is going to have reasonable efficiency. Far more important is adequate thermal storage, proper boiler controls to protect from dewpoint corrosion and dry well seasoned wood. Add in some basic controls upgrades along with draft fans and older designs can be made more efficient albeit at higher cost. There is a price point that the manufacturers need to meet and the temptation is try to stay at that point by offshoring the manufacture to a lower cost country or go cheap on the materials.

The big issue is durability, Building something that will hold up to temperature cycling and combustion temps while being affordable is hard in the long run. Add in water chemistry issues for open systems and its even harder. Many gasifiers have wear parts that will need to be replaced at intervals depending on usage, as long as that is disclosed up front and the parts are available in the long run that is probably the way to go. Many would start to object to this type of maintenance when it involves having to cut out material and weld in new material while others would not. Tarm Boilers in Lyme NH now sells Frolings but they still support and sell parts for Tarm boilers that are 20 plus years old. Even they at some point will politely suggest that the older designs are beyond economical repair.
 
Last edited:

eauzonedan

Member
Jan 21, 2011
104
Bayfield Co. Wi
fyi. My Garn 1500 originally required some work to get water chemistry dialed in. The Garn owners and their water guy worked me thru it. I now have 10 years of bullet proof stupid simple use behind me and would do it again. Only complaints are minimal internal tank temperature probes (easy fix) and would have gone to a 2000 vs 1500 as the efficiency goes up and more storage is a good thing. Good luck on your search for what is a good fit fit you. Dan
 
Soun
My Econoburn has been very trouble free... like bragging.

I have an Econoburn with storage
14 years old now no issues.
Built like a tank,has efficacy issues that may have been tweaked with the new models.
With help from others here it keeps getting better.
I have an Econoburn with storage
14 years old now no issues.
Built like a tank,has efficacy issues that may have been tweaked with the new models.
With help from others here it keeps getting better.
Sounds like you’re bragging
I have an Econoburn with storage
14 years old now no issues.
Built like a tank,has efficacy issues that may have been tweaked with the new models.
With help from others here it keeps getting better.
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,813
Northern Canada
Soun




Sounds like you’re bragging
Nope not bragging
just stating facts,letting others know what i have learned and experianced
Notice i did not say it was the best,but with some adjustments it is getting better.
Quoting me 3 times must make you feel good
You will have to let me know what the rate for space in your head is...
cause it looks like i am getting it for free >>
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,933
Nova Scotia
Soun




Sounds like you’re bragging
Why do you say that? Sounded like feedback to the OPs question.

I have a Varm 40UB with 660 gallons of storage tanks, 10 heating seasons with it now. No issues aside from refractory that cracked on year 2 that still hasn't needed replacing. Oh yeah, a 15-58 loading unit circ that stuck while sitting over the summer. 5 minutes and a poke with a screw driver fixed that. I burn 6 hours a day thru winter and haven't cleaned my chimney since 2012. But not sure you can still buy my model since EPA regs tightened up. Even though my chimney says it burns pretty clean. If set on a boiler, Varm is very very good. And about the easiest to clean you can get. Which is an aspect that shouldn't be overlooked since you'll need to live with it for years after the new thing factor wears off.
 
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salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,813
Northern Canada