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Another Jotul Oslo vs Castine Post: How to Size the Stove.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by lumbering on, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. xman23

    xman23 Minister of Fire

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    Either stove can easily cook the living room. So it all comes down to the natural air flow or forced air flow. We all know heat rises, but more important there needs to be a return path for cooler air to the stove room. When I get my stove running in a cold house we close off the back bedrooms until the house is real hot. Then crack the doors to the bedrooms and the cold air rips along the floor back to the stove. Every one has these issues, and we have all learned to burn the right size fire for the conditions.

    I don't remember the sizes of these stoves, but the Oslo is not a huge fire box. There are much bigger stoves out there. The Oslo does burn well with any size load in it. 600 F for hours to get the house hot, and 150 -300 F to keep it there. The Oslo was right for my 1500 sq ft cathedral ceiling open floor plan house.

    Which ever one you get, spend the money for the enamel finish. Mine is 12 years old and look like new.
    lumbering on and webby3650 like this.

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  2. DianeB

    DianeB Feeling the Heat

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    we have an open concept area that combines living room, kitchen and dining room - 700.
  3. Michael Golden

    Michael Golden Feeling the Heat

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    What BeGreen said! Basically just brought some cold air up from down stairs, may have warmed the basement a little. Who knows if it was even cost effective with having the blower run every 30 min for 10, I doubt it though since the basement was so cold.
    lumbering on likes this.
  4. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks everyone. Learning a lot. Especially moving the air.

    This is what I think I've learned so far.
    If I'm just going to heat the living room just get an F3 or F100.
    Both castine and oslo will blast me out of the living room unless I move air with fans- it just won't move enough passively.
    Both stoves have a good shot at heating my usable living space if I use fans correctly.
    Olso's bigger firebox will allow longer burns.

    This is where I'm getting differing opinions:
    The Oslo is flexible enough to be burned low enough in less demanding situations so get it for the longer burn times?
    Or
    The Oslo will blacken and creosote up at the slower burn rates, so get the castine which will still heat the house just load more often?
  5. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    If it were me, i would forget the wood stove and get an insert......gl image.jpg image.jpg this is what I have and it heats up 550 sqft perfectly.... And I think it looks ok too....gl
  6. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    Or! Simply put more wood in it. When you demand more heat, add more wood. It would be really nice to have the ability to heat the house if you choose, not just one room.
  7. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    550 square feet?! Really, i would be very unhappy if any of my stoves were only heating 550 square feet. :confused:
  8. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Really, I have 1 room that consists of a family room where we watch tv and a table where we eat dinner, a total of 550 ft with its own oil heating zone. We put an insert into the fireplace in February and now we couldn't be any happier, we would never even consider putting a freestanding stove in front of a fireplace, but that is our preference. I don't need a house heater, I needed something to heat the 550 that I have. What may I ask is wrong with that? I didn't buy an Oslo, I got a montpelier. So for me I think I did the right thing.... What would make you think I didn't? Just asking, your comment doesn't jive with my situation yet you seem to me that you are in this profession of stoves. I bought and I'm happy, so I'm ok.......
    Michael Golden likes this.
  9. xman23

    xman23 Minister of Fire

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    If you want to heat all that house you will need a decent size stove. We all have the same issue with a large volume space heater in one location. It will heat that floor and above well. Heating a level below won't happen. We have ceiling fans to move air around. That's all we need as long as we keep the doors open.

    I can only speak about the Oslo. The first few years we would blacken the Oslo's glass every weekend. Now we almost never do. Better wood and know hot to burn and burn off the glass. And we can't burn very hot without overheating the whole house. The side door loading with up to 25" logs is great. Don't open the front door, the ash gets between the door, and falls out. That's one of the Oslo complaints. It's not a big deal because we go the whole season without opening the front. It's easy to clean the glass thru the side door, the little we clean the white haze.
    .
  10. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    Well, since you brought it up, my professional opinion is that the stove should be capable of heating a whole lot more footage than 550 sq. ft, that's all. I just can't see spending that kinda money unless you were gonna put it to work heating as much space as possible. My open fireplace is capable of heating 550 square feet.
    I'm glad your happy with your purchase though! :)
  11. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    I guess my situation is different. That is what brings me to my point, he needs to find out exactly what he needs most, right now in this thread discussion everyone has an opinion of what he needs to try and help him out, but he has to really know so that he doesn't make a mistake with such a huge purchase.
    The room my insert is in is an older house built in 1943, plaster walls and lots of windows in the the way of the direction that the wind blows, my fireplace did nothing to create heat in this space, but now I think I have the best solution to that problem. Also it could probably heat more space if needed but I have a narrow door to the kitchen where I haven't felt a heat difference, nor did I need too because it is on a different Zone for the rest of the house. But I plan on keep experimenting when we start back up heating with wood. I will get a cheap laser thermo and keep track of the heat travel. This is interesting and fun for me.....
    But bottom line, if he wants to sit in front of fire and enjoy it, I would think smaller is better than bigger. If he wants to heat his entire house, the larger one should be in order. But good luck...
  12. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Not sure if this helps or not, but my Oslo sits in the corner of my living room which is 281.25 square feet (12 1/2 feet x 22 1/2 feet). House is a 1976 two story Cape with moderate insulation. I live in Maine. Total size of the house is around 1,800 square feet. The Oslo is my main heat source . . . I haven't filled the oil tank since 2008 . . . although I'm thinking of filling it up this year as I do use some oil when I am away on vacation in the winter, when it's extremely cold outside, etc.

    The living room with the stove does get warm . . . then again . . . since I am just sitting there watching TV or reading and not moving I like it warm. You get used to the heat in fact. Regular temps are in the mid to high 70s . . . as I said, you often get used to that heat. My own chair is about 8-10 feet from the stove. I cannot tell you how often I have fallen asleep in that chair while just staring at the fire. As you move out the temps drop a few degrees. In the adjacent dining room the temps are typically in the mid-70s. Upstairs bedrooms are around the same temp. Temp in the master bedroom is one of the cooler rooms -- not sure of the exact temp, but I would guess it is in the low to mid-60s.

    I do use a fan to move the air through the home by pushing the air towards the stove. I'm not sure if you would classify the house as open or closed . . . the living room has two entries and we don't shut doors in the house, but it's not a wide open living space either.

    Attached Files:

  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for posting that Jake. It's most helpful guidance. The OP is in a bit warmer climate zone, but now that we know the room has 3 openings I'm going to reverse course and agree that the Oslo can work as long as a fan is helping move the air. A nice looking insert like the Jotul C450 would also do the job. Moving air through the room will be the key to keeping the area comfortable.
  14. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Actually another fellow here has the same unit that I do, he says he can heat his entire house, but we have different circumstances from each other....
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    There are a lot of factors that determine how well a stove heats a house. Size is just one of many.
  16. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    I agree, I also agree that an insert may be the way to go like you had mentioned. There are many nice ones out there...
  17. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    Considering the circumstances of the big house and the stove being in the living room, either stove would fit the bill in the "looks" department. The Oslo will get you the overnight burns however it will also give you a winter time sunburn in a 300 sq ft room if it gets away from you.
    I like BG's idea of considering a cat burner too, you will get the low temp burns and still have a show.

    And FYI, I love my Oslo
    Michael Golden likes this.
  18. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    While we are on the subject of not getting blasted out of the living room, what are the thoughts on an equivalent BTU SOAPSTONE like the hearthstone mansfield or heritage. Does that "softer" heat make a difference? Or is a hot room still a hot room?

    I am bummed about no woodstock, but I need ember protection only.
  19. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    It's not that "soft"! Once again it comes down the load that is put into it. It's a fire after all!
  20. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    FYI, there isn't much of a show with most cat stoves. Unless it's running pretty high, not much too see! That's where they get the efficiency.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I have found soapstone stoves to be less directly radiant off the sides than a straight cast or unjacketed steel stove, but I doubt that will make a lot of difference as a hearth stove. How you run the stove and moving air will have a larger influence. The soapstone stove will possibly soften the temp swings in the room.
  22. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    Thank you, that is actually very helpful.
  23. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    I'm feeling less worried about the room overheating now.

    Does it matter if there are headers over the doors? Does that act as a dam for the warm air, keep it from moving into the next room?
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It'll be warmer at the ceiling. How much is trapped there will depend somewhat on the ceiling height. Low ceiling, not too much. High ceiling a lot more. If it's a high ceiling a ceiling fan can help.
  25. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    I want to thank everyone for their carefully considered and patient answers to my questions, and for sharing your own experiences. It was all very helpful. It also taught me how much more there is to learn. We will definitely work on moving some air.

    I am no longer so afraid of overheating with the Oslo. While I personally do not mind the wool socks and 3 shirts indoors, and am quite content in the low 60's, my wife gently reminded me that she is a bit tropical in nature, and there is a baby on the way who will also likely appreciate an 80 degree house, and this old old formerly abandoned house I dragged them to live in is not exactly the most draft proof. Better to have too much stove than not.

    So, while I reserve the right to obsess over this a bit more until I've saved the $3000 dollars in real money (unfortunately not the hypothetical future savings from 15 cords of scrounged wood), it appears the Oslo will be our new companion, either this winter or next.

    Thank you again. And hoping there's a "cult of the Oslo" out there that may be happy to have me.

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