In 2019, a family of three moved into an old log house property in rural Norway. A well-heated home is a must in a location where ice-cold winters are a fact of life, as the family was soon to find out. Before long, the project to upgrade their log house and fulfil their dream of enjoying solid fuel heating got underway.
Rustic and cosy log home in Svorkmo
Anita and her teenage son and daughter moved into their new home in Svorkmo, Norway in 2019. Built in 1950, the log house had been refurbished to various degrees over the years. As a keen gardener with a passion for garden projects, Anita was thrilled by the idyllic rural location of their new home.
Small town in rural Norway
Svorkmo is a small town outside Trondheim in Central Norway. The area is farmed and forested, and its rolling landscape holds great opportunities for outdoor recreation, not least in winter. This is a place where everyone knows everyone, young and old, with a small town center within walking distance of their home.
When Anita realised her dream of buying an older property, she saw its potential as their ideal home. With a good many DIY hours invested in home improvements using reclaimed and salvage materials, their dream home came true.
Cold winters with temperatures dipping to -35 C
In winter, this small Norwegian town really feels the big chill, with the temperature plummeting to -20 and even as low as -35 degrees C! With freezing temperatures like this, a home with good insulation, modern windows and alternative heating sources is crucial for heat retention.
This old log home only had electrical heating, which is very costly these days. With log walling in some parts of the house, inadequate insulation and an outdated and prohibited leca pipe, there was clearly much to be done. Several improvements such as under-floor insulation were done, but the ban against burning firewood in the existing installation was a taller challenge.
Did you know? That having an alternative heating source like a wood-burning stove could prove crucial in case of a powercut in winter? Not least in a location like Svorkmo. A wood-burning stove always works, regardless of any power outage.
Warming help from a good friend
Anita’s good friend Carina was keen to help, so the family could withstand the winter freeze.
I’m fortunate to have a well-insulated home myself. I have underfloor heating and a modern wood stove from 2019 that performs well in the cold months. Everyone deserves that luxury, but for my friend Anita, it wasn’t going to be easily come by.
Following the fire safety ban on use of the pipe, with a notice informing them that the existing wood heater would have to be replaced, Carina had a brainwave. She mounted a crowdfunding campaign, using the social media to reach out to the community, asking for donations to her friend’s pipe and stove project.
This heart-warming campaign achieved a generous response, and Carina raised enough funds to launch the “Pipe & Stove Upgrade Project”.
More heat with a new clean-burning wood stove
A local retailer of modern stoves and fireplaces was contacted, and Anita received all the help she needed to pick out a woodstove to match her home. The existing stove was an outdated high-rise Jøtul 606, an iconic woodstove that had been immensely popular decades ago. Anita decided to go for a Jøtul F 167 wood-burning stove as a safe bet, since both Anita and Carina were already familiar with the Jøtul brand. The Jøtul F 167 is a clean-burning woodstove with modern combustion technology and far better heating performance than the vintage Jøtul 606. Anita will appreciate the big difference made by her new wood-burning stove, which also almost halves firewood consumption when used efficiently.
Wood burning tips and stove pipe upgrades to optimize space heating
By building and maintaining a fire correctly, you’ll enjoy far more heat and more eco-friendly combustion than from an old woodstove. The pipe – a whopping 12 metres in length – was also given an overhaul and is now approved for wood burning – and provides excellent draught for the woodstove. Since the pipe is the ‘engine’ that powers the woodstove, it has a crucial job to do when it comes to maintaining the fire.
Keen to learn how to build and maintain a wood fire for best results? We show you how in our step-by-step video tutorial!
In Svorkmo’s highly forested location, there’s plentiful access to firewood. In many cases, forest and land owners use the social media to advertise that an area is due to be cleared, and that the timber is there for the taking. Anita and her son then turn up to fetch the timber they need and chop the firewood themselves. When Jøtul came by, we reminded the family of the importance of air-drying the firewood well in advance of the heating season, and showed them various tricks for checking that the wood is dry enough.
Tip! A wood stove is no better than the firewood fed into it.
Looking ahead to cold winter nights in a warm and cosy home
Anita is thrilled to bits by her new wood-burning stove, enthusing over the pleasure of the great view of the flames from several sides.
I love sitting in front of the woodstove as I dream up new home and garden projects.
- We usually get the fire going in the morning and when we’re back from school and work. Both kids have learnt to light the fire, so we’re ready for the autumn and winter months, enthuses this delighted mother-of-two.
Looking to install a Jøtul F 167?
Our expert retailers will be pleased to assist you with your woodstove project! As part of our commitment to environmental sustainability, we recycle old wood-burning stoves and conduct research into clean burn technology, so that you can enjoy the comfort and cosiness that your fireplace brings with a clear conscience.