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Review of Jotul --- F45 Greenville -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only
Installation Type: Wood/Coal - Freestanding into metal Chimney
Date Reviewed: 2016-03-17 07:17:09

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): 288 | House Size (Sq feet): 720
Bought in 2015 , Price Paid: $1800
Location : Brewer, Maine , USA
Purchased from: Fireplace Retail Store - Evergreen Hearth and Home

Likes: Stove to wall distances at a minimum
Looks

Dislikes: Low heat
Difficult start-up
Poorly controlled burn
Only ONE single intake damper provided; no by pass for start-up

Comments: Had originally purchased a Lopi Endeavor and had problems with that. The salesman, who doesn't work there anymore, graciously offered me my money back, but I made the mistake of trying the Jotul F45, which turned out to be as bad. if not worse than the Lopi.

I have a 20' Metalbestos chimney optimally installed just off the ridge and yet the dealership was trying to tell me my new chimney was faulty and wasn't drafting correctly. The chimney was fine. I had originally purchased this unit during the warm weather and couldn't seriously evaluate it until the weather was cold. Once the weather was cold and the wood pile had ANOTHER season to dry out, the Jotul needed a nipple and a nursemaid to get running. Some days it literally took an hour to wet-nurse this POS into remembering that it was my main source of heat in an off-grid situation.

If you're a young urban professional who only wants to score a date in his condo, this would be a great stove. It looks real sweet, but you'll have to feed it almost every hour or two. Forget the 8-10 hour burn times; you're looking at maybe 4-5 hrs on a realistic basis.

I eventually realized that my supposedly deficiently drafted chimney was overdrafting and put an exhaust damper on it. That increased the burn time once I got it up in the burn zone, but obviously didn't do a damn thing for the startup. They'd tell you pack the stove with newspaper and do this routine J-U-S-T perfectly, but then if the wood happened to reposition itself the wrong way before the stove had heated up fully, the front intake damper ports would get restricted and the fire would start closing down. The thermal mass of this thing (at 545 lbs.) is high and the problem with this stove is that the warm-up curve for the paper-tinder-kindling procedure too often isn't enough to drag the thermal mass of a cold stove into an ongoing burn cycle.

This whole nightmare is further complicated by the addition of fore and aft air induction channels (particularly the REAR ones) which you have ABSOLUTELY no control over and in the quest for EPA ratings, this stove has sacrificed easy of use and burn time. You might as well buy a wedding ring for this one cuz you'll be married to it and will always have a headache.

Finally, I got so frustrated, I put in a duplicate of my previous stove, and the thing took off like a scalded ape. It has a slightly larger firebox but weighs less than half as much as the Greenville, starts right up; like 150F in one minute and 500F in five minutes. It burns longer, with half the ashes, and actually heats my 720 SF home.
And I was drawing off the SAME woodpile that the Jotul was choking on.

The stove is a piece of crap, and my decision to buy ANOTHER unit from them was only compounded by the owner telling me he wasn't going to stick to the agreement his former salesman made with me about returning the Jotul if I didn't like that one either. With that, I had even agreed to sacrifice $500 on the return because of them having to clean up and resell the two stoves at that point. I didn't have a problem with that, but the owner wouldn't even honor that, citing that I waited too long to bring it back. Heck, I had been calling every month to tell them this stove wasn't working and all he wanted to do was come down to the house with his equipment and perfectly desiccated pile of firewood in order to try to convince me to keep this stove I knew should have been made into a boat anchor. This was my primary heat source and he expected me to evaluate it over the summer months.

Evergreen Hearth and Home in Brewer Maine might as well be running a sleazy used car lot. Everyone was nice until I had to deal with the owner.



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