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.