Free Heat Machine (FHM) was the brand name of the outdoor wood furnaces manufactured and sold by Timber Ridge, Inc. (The name should be read as “Free Heat” Machine, rather than: Free “Heat Machine”). Free Heat Machine is now out of business.
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Timber Ridge, Inc. began selling Fisher airtight wood stoves in 1974 / 75. In 2001 they began developing their line of outdoor wood furnaces. Timber Ridge marketed their furnaces a bit differently than most wood furnace manufacturers — they sold directly to the consumer rather than through a distributor.
Free Heat Machines is now out of business — they appear to have closed their doors in January 2011.
Free Heat Machine had three basic wood-burning outdoor models: the 90, the 150, and 250. The first model heated up to 3,000 square feet; the second one heated 6,000 square feet, and the 250 heated 12,000 square feet. The 150 and 250 featured a turbo burner that allowed a long burning duration, even heat distribution, and reduced smoke and ash emissions.
FHM is a Bit Different…
In October of 2007 we interviewed Larry from Timber Ridge to get a better sense of how someone who is not mechanically inclined would go about installing a Free Heat Machine. He explained that they had refined their design many times since 2001 with the goal of making the installation and repair of their furnaces dead simple. He claimed that if you could dig a ditch and follow a diagram, you could install their furnace — no sweating pipe required!
The process began when a homeowner called one of FHM’s consultants. The consultant helped them determine how large of a furnace they needed, and how that furnace would integrate into their existing heating system. Once the person purchased a “job ready” package, Timber Ridge would ship initial materials such as foot pads and ground cover so the buyer could prepare the area where the furnace would be located. When the buyer finished preparing the installation site, FHM shipped the furnace to the buyer on a flatbed truck, and the driver of the truck used a forklift to place the furnace on the installation site.
FHM then provided the customer with a 46-page installation guide. The only tools needed were a couple of specialized furnace tools, and FHM included those tools with the customer’s order.
Free Heat Machine also kept a file on every single furnace that they sold, and that file could run to 30 pages in length. It included photographs of the furnace itself, and all the details of the particular configuration that the owner bought. If a part failed, Free Heat Machine could ship the exact replacement part overnight.
Timber Ridge, Inc. provided a 20-year warranty for repair and replacement, a 5-year warranty on all electrical parts, and a 3-year warranty on their pumps.