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Review of Jotul --- F500 Oslo -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only

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Review of Jotul --- F500 Oslo -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only
Installation Type: Wood/Coal - into masonry chimney
Date Reviewed: 2009-11-24 20:56:29

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): 220 | House Size (Sq feet): 2400
Bought in 2009 , Price Paid: $2096.00
Location : , CO , USA
Purchased from: Home Center/Hardware - ACE - Eaton, CO

Likes: Beautiful (Black Cast Iron with no frills), glass stays clean, secondary combustion area is well in view and produces stunning flames and patterns, stays warm for hours after fire is out, excellent heating stove with low maintenance.

Dislikes: Very finicky, but if you take the time to study this stove, it CAN be tamed, air lever gets very hot and is in a bad place. If you live in a cold climate, get the fresh air kit and this bad boy will cook your whole house.

Comments: Overall, I would definitely recommend this stove to anyone who understands how a high efficiency woodburner works. You must vent this stove with a 6\" chimney. I re-lined my masonry stack. My house is fairly well insulated, but my windows do leak a bit. When I first installed this stove, parts of the house would actually get colder because of the drafting required by this stove. It would pull in enough air from the outside to negate the heating of the furthest rooms. I installed a fresh air kit and now I\'m living in a sauna. This stove will heat my entire house (a tri-level with basement, stove on the garden level) to whatever temp I want. The outside temp is 20ºF and it\'s 80ºF inside if I want. The fresh air kit is a must for awesome heating and I wish I had installed one on my previous stove.

Also, be aware that the promised burn times that Jotul claims (or any manufacturer for that matter) are not typical. When you live at a higher altitude and/or burn lower BTU wood like Pine, you will NOT get burn times in the 10 hour range. I\'ve burned Pine, Honey Locust, and Cottonwood, and the Pine actually lasts the longest with a time of approx 4 hours of flame (with the fire box packed to the gills) and 3 more hours of good coals.

I burn this stove usually at 450ºF and have not had a creosote problem as of yet. I\'ve let it burn as high as 600ºF with no problems but 450ºF keeps my house at about 75ºF with the outside temp around the 30ºF mark.

Before you buy this stove, keep these things in mind and you won\'t be disappointed...

Plan on the fresh air kit. It super-improves the drafting and should be a must regardless of what stove you purchase if you are wanting high efficiency.

Buy a thermometer, a pair of gloves, and plan on spending some time getting to understand the stove with the air lever at different positions. Once you learn the patterns, you won\'t have to babysit it as much.

Know your wood and the BTU content of it so that you won\'t be let down when you don\'t get double digit burn times. My prior stove was a catalyst model, and I\'ll take the lower burn times with secondary combustion air over the pain of maintaining the catalytic pigs.

Make sure you use a 6\" diameter chimney or install a 6\" liner. If you don\'t, you\'ll whine like some others about smoke, backdraft, and poor performance. It\'s the drafting that makes a high efficiency stove work, and they work WELL when properly installed.

There are 3 holes just inside the front door on the bottom - make sure that when you load wood, use a poker and clear out any coals or ash that obstruct them. They feed primary air and if ash falls in them when the unit cools down, it causes the air valve to stick after time.

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