Jotul Oslo 3 yr review

MountainDream Posted By MountainDream, Feb 17, 2019 at 8:16 AM

  1. MountainDream

    MountainDream
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 4, 2016
    21
    17
    Loc:
    Sautee, GA
    We are coming to the close of our 3rd winter burning the Jotul Oslo as our only source of heat. I do have a heat pump but have never turned it on for heat, just for a/c in the summer. Here's the specs:

    Jotul Oslo
    I ran metal ducting to exterior for outside air kit
    30 feet of class A chimney, 18 feet of this is inside the house, 12 feet above the roof in a stone faced wood chase
    Burning red oak, maple, and a bunch of junk softwoods I cut when I built the house 3 yrs ago
    Location: NE GA mountains (Sautee Nacoochee, GA)
    Open floor plan, 2000 sf, 10' flat ceiling throughout house

    Bottom line: I absolutely love this stove. Caveat: For my house, and my climate, it is perfect. When I built my house (yes, I built it, with my own hands), I did a lot of studying on insulation and air sealing. I have all 2*6 exterior walls with blown cellulose, and spent a lot of time on air sealing details. As a result, the house is quick to warm up and holds heat for a long time. This is why the Oslo is perfect for me.

    If it's in the 20s, and I don't run the stove for 24 hrs, the house will get down to about 65. I fire up the Oslo, and within 3 or 4 hrs we are at 75. Then I load up before we go to bed, it's 70 when I get up in the morning. The Oslo gets up to temp and starts throwing intense heat very quickly. It doesn't burn nearly as long as my neighbors Blaze King, and for that I am grateful, or else it would be 90 in my house. We routinely crack a window open when it's in the 30s, it is nice to have a little fresh air coming in during the winter when we are sealed up.

    With a load of very dry red oak, the flame show is beautiful. Turn the air down, and the secondaries churn like a portal to hell. It is awesome to see the wood glow red, with no flames touching it, but a giant fireball swirling at the top of the stove.

    The glass stays immaculate. The air wash system works. It stays crystal clear. When the stove goes cold, there is the slightest tinge of tan residue on the glass. If I'm feeling fancy, I clean it off. If not it burns off quickly when the stove gets hot.

    I don't know how this stove would fare in an actual cold environment or poorly insulated house, but for my conditions I couldn't ask for a better stove. I need a quick blast of heat and then let it burn down. To top it off, it is a beautiful stove in my opinion, and the flame show is awesome. It creaks and pops as it gets up to temp. I like these noises. It is the sound of self reliance. When we get an ice storm and lose power, and my electrically heated neighbors start to freak out about their impending frostbite, I just sit by my Oslo with a great feeling of warmth and independence. We live out in the woods, and don't have a snow plow, so we can easily get stuck in the house for a few days without power in an ice/snow storm. It matters not to me with my Oslo and a stack of good books.

    This is definitely the best investment I made in this house. I have a friend that came over and said, "It's a lot of work and mess to heat with wood". Yes, it is. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Here's a photo of this morning's fire as I type this. Thank you to everyone on this forum that helped me choose this stove and learn how to operate it.

    IMG_20190217_081430.jpg
     
  2. MountainDream

    MountainDream
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 4, 2016
    21
    17
    Loc:
    Sautee, GA
    I forgot to mention ease of cleaning. I take the top off the stove and clean from the bottom up with a Sooteater. I take the front door off and tape a trash bag over the opening, then feed my rods through that. There is not a spec of mess that comes out of the stove doing it this way. I left the shipping bolts off the top the first time I did this, so the top just lifts off. It is plenty heavy enough to stay in place and seal under it's own weight, and I don't have any children to screw with it.

    I have a 10/12 pitch standing seam metal roof, with a 12' tall chase on top of that, so it is very risky to get up there with a ladder. I just send the wife outside with some binoculars, and she lets me know when the brush pops out the top of the chimney. I have no cap on the chimney pipe, so no need to clean that. I have a custom metal hip roof built over the chase, with galvanized screen around the sides to keep birds out, so there is no maintenance to be done at the top of the stack. I get about 1 cup of black crap out of the stack once a year.
     
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  3. begreen

    begreen
    Mooderator 2.
    NULL
    
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    77,260
    12,549
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Sounds like you like it! That's quite a hearth. It's a nice setting for the stove. Thanks for posting.
     
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  4. vwmike

    vwmike
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 7, 2013
    252
    102
    Loc:
    Chilliwack, BC, Can.
    Great review! Stunning install, can’t wait to
    build my own house and plans for the perfect stove install ==c
     
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  5. RSNovi

    RSNovi
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    May 12, 2010
    385
    45
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Awesome story.

    Do you mind describing your cleaning process a little bit more? When you say top do you mean the oval piece or the entire top?

    When we built our new house we put a new Oslo in and pipe runs straight runs straight up.

    I had an Oslo at my old house which had an outside T so it was easy to clean.
     
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  6. xman23

    xman23
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 7, 2008
    1,936
    381
    Loc:
    Lackawaxen PA
    Welcome to the Oslo Owners Club. For me, 19 years heating with an Oslo. -10 it's the only heat we use. Sounds like you have it all figured out. With a well insulated house it does take practice to not overheat the house.
     
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  7. XmasTreefarmer

    XmasTreefarmer
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 5, 2017
    194
    126
    Loc:
    Wisconsin
    Great to read your review! I've got probably another 2 months of burning to complete my first season with my new Oslo. I too am just delighted with the stove. Also like you, I have a different "burn style" than most guys. I used to say that I burned 24x7, but it's really more like 16x7, but that looks so weird when you type it. :eek: I almost always let the stove go out during the day when the day time highs are in the 20's - usually doing my last load around 7:00pm. In warmer weather, like 50's during the day, I might build a fire in the morning - with 3-4 splits and then let it go out. In both cases, the house will be around 65 in the morning and then I start 'er up again.

    I've been pleasantly surprised that if I do a load at say 7:00pm, I can usually re-start from coals at 6:00am. I found the secret to that was to leave plenty of ash in the stove, use a good coaling wood like oak, hickory, or elm, and to close the air as soon as I am up to temp.

    I have about 20' of "chimney" (I am counting the stove pipe from the top of the stove to where it enters the thimble of the masonry chimney in that figure). Approx. 12' of that is internal. One 90 degree elbow to plug into the thimble. I have plenty of draft.

    I get away with this type of burning because the house is well insulated, tight, I close thermal blinds on all windows at night, and I have a lot of thermal mass that stores heat (and my wife and I both prefer it cooler in the night when we are sleeping).

    The Olso replaced an old VC Defiant, circa 1979 that we burned here for almost 30 years, using it much the same way as we do the Olso. The burn is of course soooooo much cleaner. And I have much better coals for re-starts. With the Defiant the "automatic thermostat" would be wide open in the morning and all coals were out because of that.

    It didn't take too long to make the adjustment from "smoke dragon" to EPA, but my first few weeks were a challenge, no question about that.

    People will often ask why I heat with wood. Oh I do love that question!! I can list so many different reasons: I love the feel of the heat, I love the independence of being able to heat my house without using any LP gas, I like that I can stay warm even if we lose power, and on and on, but my favorite answer is, "Who woudn't? You get to have a campfire right in your house every single day!". :)
     
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