Jøtul ay-hee-what?

I forged my way across the Great Divide into Connecticut once again, third time in three days, to get myself to Wilton. No easy trick from Bedford. It means going over hill and dale, up Route 22 to Route 35 to Ridgefield to 102 to Route 7 then slam on the brakes while turning left fast when you see the store and scare the pants off the guy behind you who wasn’t paying attention!!

All this to check out wood stoves at Yankee Doodle. It wasn’t exactly a Dandy outing.

The Goal: to lessen our oil consumption this winter and with five fireplaces in this old house, we figure one of them would be conducive for a wood stove.

Apparently not. What I heard:

Regulations. Code. Remove mantle. Regulations. Code. Regulations. Code. Hearth too small. Move the furniture. A Thousand $ for this. A Thousand $ for that. Permit from town. Must pass Code.

Our choices were built-in or stand alone. But without spending a fortune to extend the hearth to code length, remove the mantles for code, or take out all the furniture in the room, it doesn’t look like it will happen.

One of the two that appealed visually was the ivory color.

I was taken aback at the price tags. The larger green Jøtul was $2999.00, less tax, dealer prep, and undercoating! 🙂 The extras made the price hover around $5000.00 so comes the debate, how much do we REALLY want to lessen our burden on oil? $5000 is more than we’d spend to heat the house this winter and we’d still have to have some heat, especially when away so if it were based on the bottom line, a wood stove does not make financial sense.

We’ve survived (but did not flourish) winters in the Rhode Island house using nothing but a wood stove but it required constant attention and stoking, not to mention non-stop worry that one errant spark would take the 165-year old house down to kindling! Plus, we were young then!

Later this week I’ll go to Pound Ridge and check out the stoves at Wittus. From their website, I don’t think their designs and our house work, but I don’t want to be silly and not check them out. My guess: their cheapest stove starts at $5000.

Anyone wanting to share their own experiences, please do so.

UPDATE: Reader Jane emailed me this photo of a home with the Jotul under a mantle and on a hearth that seems normal size. Could it be for the photo shoot or was I being given a regulation Bill of Goods?

PS: In case you saw the headline and thought, oh boy, EOS is going to Yodel for us, enjoy…it’s really hysterical, and incredible!!

The lederhosen on the yodeler made me run to the photo album. Here’s one of ours, born in Switzerland, donning his finery. Too cute, eh?

19 thoughts on “Jøtul ay-hee-what?

  1. Adorable photo of your son in his lederhosen. LOVE IT.

    We have a gas stove insert in one of our fireplaces. Tighter fit. Less code requirements. Easy hook up. You have propane tanks for the pool (or former pool) heater, don’t you?

  2. Ha! My parents went all wilderness family on us in 1978 and moved the family into the summer house (log cabin) on Lake Michigan. Our only source of heat was a wood stove and I remember running, freezing, from the shower to warm up by the stove! I also had a friend in college who lived in a cabin with wood heat and he was a slave to that fire.

    Too cute with the lederhosen! I just finished reading Heidi with my 7year old and the pair I have fit him perfectly – I’ve nearly convinced him to go as Peter the goatherd for Halloween, but his daddy returned from Sweden with a vintage karate outfit so that is edging lederhosen in the cool factor! I remember my brothers hated wearing that stiff leather- but they are so charming!

    1. Martha: Talk about too cute….Let’s see: Peter the goatherd in lederhosen or vintage karate. 🙂

      That’s the problem with wood stove only heat. You can’t just walk away. Someone always has to tend or cut or add wood. Your last name wouldn’t be Robinson by any chance with a Treehouse in Adventureland at DisneyWorld??

      I think your parents did you a great service by giving you wilderness skills. It surely toughened you and made you understand the world you lived in better than most and appreciate all you had that came from the earth. Bet you didn’t have many friends anxious to come for sleepovers!

    1. I called them first SB but they said to me this: “we have not paid for insurance to sell, install, or repair in New York.” Honest, that’s what they said. On the NY/CT border and they choose not to include sales to us:? Crazy.

      UPDATE TO THIS COMMENT: SB sent me a link to Nordic’s “install and service page” of their website that said they DO sell and service both CT and NY so I am having doubts that this was the same company I called who told me they don’t. It was in Stamford though. Hmmm.

  3. Our north country home has three sources of heat- VT Castings wood stove, electric and Rinnai propane space heaters. Two space heaters heat our 2,600 sq. ft. Problem is, propane and electricity aren’t cheap and wood stoves require daily attention, not to mention wood. In other words, there aren’t a whole lot of options.
    What you can do is look at places where heat escapes. Electric outlets on outside walls, drafty windows, loose fireplace dampers are the obvious ones. Invest in one of those featherweight but warm down sweaters. Patagonia makes them but Bean’s has them, too.
    You could get an AGA and move into the kitchen for the winter. That would get my vote. I’d love to have an AGA.

    1. Swanton: Thanks so much for your suggestions and comments. Our NY house is pretty decent in terms of where heat escapes but Mr. EOS doesn’t take any chances and has already begun to sport his vintage LLB down vest. I go for thin layers to keep warm rather than wearing down….I have no desire to be confused with the Michelin tire boy! The house in RI is now undergoing some modern renovations but for the most part, an ancient house, unless gutted and redone 100%, is never going to be energy efficient.

      An AGA stove would be incredible – but by now they’ve got to cost $15k?

    1. I miss the days when I could dress the kids in what I liked. Then they grew up and………….:-) We have a rule now. I don’t ask the kids “what IS that you have on” and they can’t ask ME the same!!

  4. Energy certainly isn’t getting any cheaper, EOSr. I have a family member that switched to a heat pump and saves a great deal until the temps go below about twenty eight degrees and then the gas furnace has to augment. The total cost of installing the wood burner might come close to the heat pump cost. I’m thinking about one too but am also considering one of these: http://www.garn.com

    If you have a source for wood, your ROI would be much faster than if you had to purchase it. Fortunately, we do, but as we get a bit older, processing trees becomes physically more challenging so we’re still talking about it. Purchased energy is a convenience; wood is labor intensive but the price is right and it’s always there for us.

    1. Michigan: I really spent alot of time looking at your Garn link. Fascinating. Thank you.

      We have free wood cut and ready for a wood stove enough to last us until the cows some home. We lost alot of trees last year and took the time to stack and begin to age it. Mr. EOS would agree with you about getting older and the physical challenges of chopping so much wood, but I suspect you and he are very much alike and find it a source of enormous pride to get out there and do it, despite any aching hands. Keeps us young(er).

      I am waiting for my first winter fuel oil delivery to see this winter’s price and from there decide what makes the most sense for us to cut those costs down.

    1. Catherine: You must have ESP. I was contemplating going to Storm King today but within the last hour, the sun disappeared and there’s talk of rain. Yesterday would have been optimal and I should have seized the moment and done the wood stoves today. But YES, if you can go with little notice, I’d love company. It won’t be Wednesday or Thursday. maybe Friday?

  5. I read Sotheby’s website and they had an article today on historic homes. One link showed a photo of a Jotul woodstove sitting with (a) a mantel over it) and (b) on a hearth that didn’t seem very deep. I sent you the link so you can post the photo. I don’t know how to post a photo in an email

  6. I loved the video, it took me back to childhood. My dad was first generation American but his family came from Switzerland and since there was a fairly large Swiss population in the SF bay area they had many social clubs. My dad went to meetings monthly but the whole family always went to the Verein’s Christmas parties. Imagine hours of yodeling, polka music, food and dancing. 🙂

    1. Anonymous: Personally, I would LOVE hours of yodeling, polka music, food, and dancing! Lucky you to have so many memories!!

      I think we’d had this discussion, long ago, that your family heritage is Swiss – Swiss German if I remember and we talked about the language, Schwyzerdütsch.

      What brought so many Swiss to SF? It’s not exactly mountainous.

  7. @EOS, I’m not really sure other than John Sutter (have you heard of him?) emmigrated to SF and then established a fort and mills in the Sacramento valley and foothills before finding gold and…well, the rest is California history. My dad is related to the Sutter family although everybody on his side of the family seems to have been farmers of some kind after arriving so maybe they weren’t too keen on mountain living or gold panning. 🙂

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