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Review of Jotul --- 3 CB -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only

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Review of Jotul --- 3 CB -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only
Installation Type: Wood/Coal - Freestanding into metal Chimney
Date Reviewed: 2005-01-18 13:25:44

Satisfaction Ratings from 5 stars (best) to 1 star (worst)
Satisfaction with unit = ✰✰✰✰✰
Satisfaction with dealer = ✰✰✰✰✰
Satisfaction with manufacturer =

Other Information about the Home and Stove
Room Size (Sq ft): 196 sq. ft. | House Size (Sq feet): 600 sq. ft.
Bought in 2003 , Price Paid: 1500
Location : Wrenshall, MN 55797, USA
Purchased from: Fireplace Retail Store - Energy Plus DULUTH

Likes: EXCELLENT HEAT OUTPUT in a small unit. Easy to light. Keeps coals for hours. Aesthetically pleasing = very nice look to the stove, great fire viewing. Easiest damper control ever.

Dislikes: Ash pan is too small. Real max. burn time is around 3 to 4 hours including any measurable hot coals.

Comments: My wife and I live in northern Minnesota (near Duluth) so it goes without saying that the winters here can get cold, not 3 degrees cold, but -30 degrees cold. We have a small house (600 sq. ft.) with pretty poor insulation and windows (yeah, yeah, I'm working on that). We bought the Jotul 3 after our archaic gas fired wall furnace retired to the junk yard about 2 years ago. Most recently, the weather here has been frigid to say the least. In fact, our temperature at 8:00 this morning was -24. The temperature inside the house was 70 degrees thanks to the Jotul. On an average winter day where the temp might be around 10 to 20 degrees for a high, the Jotul heats the house up fast and furious. There have been times we have had to crack a window or let the fire die out due to the temp getting over 80 in the house. The jotul is a warmth machine, no doubt about that.
With that said, again keep in mind we have a small house. If you were looking to buy a Jotul to heat a house double our size, this model simply wouldn't cut it (assuming you reach minus degrees relatively often). If my house were any bigger, I would need the next bigger stove, no doubt about it. But this baby has performed flawlessly for the first two years. We have enjoyed the heat and pleasure of having a real wood fire in the house - it's just plain better than gas in many ways - a little more work but well worth it.
The only two drawbacks of this stove have been the small ash pan as it needs to be emptied daily and the maximum burn time is around 3 to 4 hours not 8 as claimed. This means stoking it a couple times over night if you want a nice bed of hot coals when you wake in the morning.
The firebox is a bit small as well but it is a smaller stove so that goes with the territory. Don't expect to load 4 or 5 big chunks of wood into this baby at once. It will take 2 or 3 good sized pieces (approx. 8 inches in diameter).
One of the best "side effects" of this stove, besides the warmth and looks is the absence of that nasty $200 gas bill not to mention you will be using a renewable source of heat! Hope this is helpful.

* Dates that reviews were submitted were not recorded prior to Nov. 2004