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Upgrading To Big Jack -OR- Super Jack Questions

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Upgrading To Big Jack -OR- Super Jack Questions

Postby RVcook » Mon May 18, 2009 4:50 am

Hi All...new user here.

I have been doing lots and LOTS of research on add-on wood furnaces made by different manufacturers and have pretty much settled on Yukon-Eagle units, but I have a few questions after I give a little background.

Our current home has an old Monarch add-on wood furnace that has served us faithfully (albeit, VERY inefficiently) for many years as it was installed in 1979. Due to the age of the Monarch, we had to run our furnace fan only to move the heat through the ductwork as there was no thermostat available to control heat (incompatible with new furnace.)

In addition to the obvious reasons for burning wood as a supplemental heat source (cost), it is very important to us to have a unit that will operate in the event of a power failure - we lose power here at least three times during the winter and sometimes for hours! Some units that I have researched require the user to kill the fire; which makes no sense since heat rises and should be available because after all, we are burning wood to keep warm.

My questions:

1. What is the efficiency rating for the Big Jack and Super Jack AND, is the efficiency difference mainly due to the secondary heat exchanger on the Super Jack?
2. With a 1400 s/f home with a vaulted ceiling, should we consider the Super Jack only?
3. Can we still burn in the event of a power failure?
4. What is the amp draw for the blowers?

Thank you for your help.

RVcook
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Re: Upgrading To Big Jack -OR- Super Jack Questions

Postby Keith Nelson » Tue May 19, 2009 1:27 pm

There is no set efficiency on any wood appliance in the industry althought "they" would like to advertise there is.
Also just because a unit tests out under the best conditions a % number, there is no real number I can give you that makes sense.
If you had a decent flue and if your wood was dry under 20% moisture content and if you installed and set the barometric draft regulator that comes standard with the furnace ...you should be in the 60-70% range again depending on where you are at in the burn phase and is the furnace calling for heat or is the thermostat satisfied.
I know that was a long answer but I'm not going to try and blow smoke.
you'll get the most honsest answer I can give...save on the marketing hype.
I could have said 75-80% with the lower heat value testing method.
That method is not giving the real efficiency percentage.

The furnace requires a 20 amp circuit.
You most certainly can use it as a gravity flow furnace.

Getting back to what makes an effcient furnace.
Lots of surface area to exchange heat.
Lots of dense firebrick for thermal mass(3200 degree rated).
Cycling the burn rate by automatically through draft control.
Alleviating draft speeds with a barometric draft regulator.
A normal draft (.08)watercolumn is way to fast for most furnace to exchange heat.
We dial it back to (.03)to maintain a 400 degree stack or flue gas tempertaure.
Last and most important.
Smoke is a gas...it should be burned.We use an afterburn system in all of our furnaces.30-40% of your heat is in this smoke/gas...might as well make it.

If you have a basement that is not in that 1400 s/f I'd go with a SJ125...if you do not have a lower level basement I'd go with the BJ90.
Yukon Eagle Sales & Service
800-358-0060
..."if you have integrity nothing else matters....if you don't have it....still nothing else matters!"
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Re: Upgrading To Big Jack -OR- Super Jack Questions

Postby RVcook » Wed May 20, 2009 1:43 pm

Thank you for our reply Keith. Your post was very informational and really not long at all.

I know that efficiency ratings should not be used as the only factor when deciding on which furnace to purchase, but we are looking to cover a wide-range of issues so that we can make an informed purchase.

Presently, our Monarch works very well, but has several drawbacks. First, it eats wood like crazy! We get an excellent draw up the chimney (that we recently had lined with Ventinox), but the draft controls don't really give us much control. After the initial fire is blazing for about 15 minutes, we start backing off the draft and then we have to add two split pieces of wood every 28 minutes for as long as we are burning. We have tried to shut the damper down to a level that would allow us to get a nice 'glowing' fire with an equally nice bed of coals, but if we go too far, the fire smoulders. So it's either burn on HIGH or OFF.

Then, there is the issue of the thermostatically controlled fan...this unit doesn't have one. The only way to move the heat is to utilize our LP furnace fan which is either ON or OFF. We have an appropriately sized 90,000 btu furnace. The blower on that furnace is not small, so constantly running it adds tremendously to our electric usage. I like the idea that we can get a fire rolling, damper it and have the thermostat take over. I am more excited at the thought that I won't have to keep going up and down the stairs to feed the monster every half hour! For our relatively tiny 1400 s/f home, burning 6 cords of seasoned and split hardwood seems rather excessive. Loading the furnace and getting a steady 6 hour burn would be a luxury at this point, not to mention the amount of wood we would be saving.

After looking at these factors, plus the LP we would be saving, we figure that our payback for a new installed unit would be slightly shy of 3 years. Not too bad.

I appreciate your taking the time to answer my questions and clarify specifics. Considering we also have a basement (which is partially finished), it looks like the SuperJack would be the way to go.

Thanks again.

RVcook
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Re: Upgrading To Big Jack -OR- Super Jack Questions

Postby Keith Nelson » Wed May 20, 2009 1:54 pm

Well now ......since you have said what you've said I can safely say that you'll be making 2 trips a day to your new furnace!

They are on sale until the end of May!
Yukon Eagle Sales & Service
800-358-0060
..."if you have integrity nothing else matters....if you don't have it....still nothing else matters!"
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Re: Upgrading To Big Jack -OR- Super Jack Questions

Postby RVcook » Wed May 20, 2009 4:40 pm

Keith Nelson wrote:Well now ......since you have said what you've said I can safely say that you'll be making 2 trips a day to your new furnace!

They are on sale until the end of May!


2 trips a day!!! That would be wonderful.

SALE??? Now you've got my undivided attention!

One more question. I see that there must be a fresh air vent installed. Our direct-vent furnace and water heater utilize PVC pipe. Does the Super Jack also use PVC or must it be ductwork?

RVcook
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Re: Upgrading To Big Jack -OR- Super Jack Questions

Postby Keith Nelson » Wed May 20, 2009 4:52 pm

That Super Jack is $200 off until the end of May.

For combustion make up air we suggest a pvc pipe that is about the same size as the flue on the furnace to enter through an exterior wall...make a turn to follow the wall and dead ending 1 foot from the floor. It can either have a goose neck trap or a containment box at the floor.
Fresh air is needed to make up for what the furnace uses in burning the wood and for what the flue is venting.
Yukon Eagle Sales & Service
800-358-0060
..."if you have integrity nothing else matters....if you don't have it....still nothing else matters!"
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Re: Upgrading To Big Jack -OR- Super Jack Questions

Postby RVcook » Wed May 20, 2009 4:59 pm

Thank you for all your help!

RVcook
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Re: Upgrading To Big Jack -OR- Super Jack Questions

Postby Keith Nelson » Wed May 20, 2009 6:23 pm

RVcook wrote:Thank you for all your help!

RVcook


We do have the manual that shows how this is all done.
http://www.yukon-eagle.com/pdfs/jack.pdf
Yukon Eagle Sales & Service
800-358-0060
..."if you have integrity nothing else matters....if you don't have it....still nothing else matters!"
User avatar
Keith Nelson
 
Posts: 364
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:00 pm


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