I have an older olsen wood/electric furnace and it is pretty easy to operate.
The main source of heat is solid fuel or wood, you light a fire like you would a wood burning stove, close the door, set your temp and you have heat (after the fire box heats up that is).
Now in a perfect world, the thermostat would control the heat of the house. That means when the desired temp is reached, the blower would shut off. Unfortunately that isn't the case. My blower is controlled by the temperature of the firebox so if the box gets hot, the blower blows hot air. Doesn't matter if the desired temp is 70 deg, if the box is hot, the blower blows. I had it go as high as 95 deg before shutting off.
The truth of the matter is you raise the thermostat to open the vent. When the blower kicks on you lower the termostat all the way to zero. When the firebox cools, the fan shuts off. YOu keep doing this until the temp you want is reached.
Now the way the electric part works is you set it for a few degrees below your desired temp on the fire side. THat way it kicks in if the fire goes out and stops producing heat.
Unfortunately, electricity prices are astronomical in my area in Ontario Canada and running electrical side as a back up has costed me as much as $600 a month.
The trick to using this appliance properly is finding the balance between how much wood you put in, how hot the firebox gets, and how warm you want your house.
I will say this: it does warm up my 1500 sq ft house quickly.
I'm still experimenting with mine, but it seems like what you want to do is load up the firebox, and as soon as it starts producing heat, close the damper vent. That way the fire inside will burn slower thereby giving you a longer source of heat....