Q&A Experience with Jotul Oslo?

QandA Posted By QandA, Nov 24, 2007 at 5:51 AM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    For the last 20 years, we have been heating our 2100 sq. ft. home with a Defiant (manufactured in 1975). I have rebuilt the inside of the stove once with a revuild kit made by Vermont Castings, and generally it has performed well. We want to upgrade to a more efficient stove, and are looking at Jotul's CB line (Firelight and Oslo). Our house is passive solar, built on a slab, with 6" walls and a 12" ceiling. We also have a heat pump as a back up. Living in North Carolina, we don't have severe heating demands, but I'd be interested in other's experience with the Oslo. It's supposed to hold a fire for 8 hours, and the brochure says that it's maximum heat output is actually greater than the new Defiants. Should we switch? What are the performance tradeoffs between a Defiant and an Oslo/Firelight?


    After reading A.J.'s response, let me offer a couple other things to consider. A catalytic combustor typically does not have to be cleaned three times a years. If it does, it is an extreme and uncommon scenario. Once a year is all that is necessary. If the stove's performance seems to be off, it could be that some flyash has settled upon the combustor's surface. Fifteen minutes work is all it takes to remove this ash if you don't have a shop vac. My long time experience with combustors is that the annual inspection reveals little if any blockage has occurred during the season.

    Maintenance always seems to be a big issue regarding cat vs. non-cat. Yes, a "cat" needs to be replaced in time----usually after 15-18 cords of work (average). Other conditions may decrease that longevity, but if you burn 3 cords a year, that's 5-6 years. Average replacement cost is from $160 - 200. What many non-cat folks don't do is to tell you that some internal components, such as baffle plates, stainless steel secondary tubes, and firebrick need replacement in time as well. Usually, these parts are not sold at cost.

    A catalytic system will tend to be a little more complicated, but typically will perform at a higher level than a non-cat. But I must emphasize that BOTH types of systems work, and work well. Both.

    VC vs. Jotul: VC has a top loading feature, and Jotul is a side load. Top load is easier & safer. VC uses a thermostat for it's primary air control, and Jotul's control is a manual setting. Thermostat control is a terrific feature. VC has a swing-away ashpan with a lid for ash removal. Jotul has a standard ash pan. Both stoves are made of good quality cast iron.

    Since I don't deal with either products on a retail level, I can't comment on the recent quality of each. Five year warranty vs. three sounds better----just check the fine print of both if it's an issue.

    I'm not recommending either stove. However, there were some things that needed further clarification, and some differences that needed to be pointed out to consumers like yourself. Good luck, and thanks for supporting our industry.

    Ken Rajesky / Hearthlink International
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