Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Fire & Cats (Hi Andy!)

We are really, really enjoying the Jotul wood stove. That goes for both the humans and the felines in our houshold (Sr. Tortuga, Pinchi, and the fish declined to comment). The only problem is that sometimes we make the house TOO warm and we all fall asleep right after dinner. Sanford demonstrates:

In all seriousness though, I am really impressed at how nicely this stove burns. I grew up in a house with 3 wood stoves of varying antiquity and efficiency, and I've since lived in houses with an assortment of woodburning stoves and fireplaces, so I feel confident saying that I am well versed in the art of fire building. This stove is, hands down, the easiest stove to get a fire started in that I have ever used. Even with wet wood, or just crummy wood (not all species of tree make good firewood), and not much in the way of kindling or paper, it usually only takes one try to get the fire started. And once the fire is going, it will burn cleanly until all the wood is gone. The damper control is terrific, and the firebox is sized just perfectly so we can stuff it full of wood before bed, damper it down, and it will burn all night.
Besides its functionality, this is a beautiful stove (even with ashes and woody bits all over in front of it). The glass in the door stays clean as long as we are burning dry wood, thanks to something the brochure refers to as the "air-wash system". Sometimes wet wood does leave creosote on the glass but it always burns off in the next fire. There is nothing more entrancing than watching the flickering flames in the fireplace and listening to the wood crackle and pop... feeling very warm and sleepy...
This stove makes the house warm, in so many ways beyond just heat. On Jotul's website they have a list of 6 different kinds of warmth that a wood stove produces. These people are clearly obsessed with wood stoves and it really shows. I think we made the right choice!

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