Strawbale Farms Blog Posts

Fuel Sources for Your Portage & Main Boiler

If you own a Portage and Main boiler or are considering one, you are on the right track towards a smarter solution to heating your home. These efficient, dependable outdoor boilers are growing increasingly popular in the area due to their ability to offer energy efficient heating while remaining “off the grid.” Portage and Main Boilers and furnaces offer independence and money savings that cannot be beat. Portage and Main also manufactures boilers that can utilize different fuel sources such as wood, coal, or wood chips, wood pellets or other bio-mass heat sources. As experts on Portage and Main Boilers for Escanaba and the surrounding areas, we would like to discuss these different fuel sources with you here.

Minnesota Outdoor Wood Boiler

Conventional Wood

Wood burning boilers are a manual load system that would typically require loading with firewood twice a day in cold temperatures. It is important to season your firewood before use. Firewood can be a great alternative heat source to lower your monthly heating bill. Seasoning your own wood for use as fuel is ideal. Dry firewood burns hotter, easier and safer than wet wood.
And remember, seasoning firewood takes time. Cut your wood and allow it to season one full year before use.

Wood Chip or Pellet

Wood chip and pellet Portage and Main Boilers are easy to use and highly efficient. Made for the residential market. These types of boilers boiler can typically provide heat for several days to a week on one bin full of wood chips or pellets.


With the Ultimizer, a coal burning outdoor boiler from Portage and Main Boilers, you can save time, labor and thousands of dollars in fuel over the years. Both the Ultimizer shaker grate coal and wood burning models share many of the same quality features, such as the all important refractory cement lining which retains heat and encourages proper combustion. With coal Portage and Main Boilers you get a cleaner and more efficient burn.

Portage and Main Boilers are designed and built to be installed outside and are fully capable of handling whatever the outdoor elements throw at them. Quality construction and insulation ensure that the outdoor elements have minimal effect on the performance of an outdoor boiler, no matter the fuel source.

If you would like more information about Portage and Main Boilers for your Escanaba area home or business, call Strawbale Farms at 715-214-6683 or Contact Us today! We would love to speak with you and help you find the right outdoor boiler for your needs.

Some Common Misconceptions about Outdoor Boilers

If you are considering an outdoor boiler for your home, it can be a good idea to ask around to find out some more information. However, it is important to know there are some common misconceptions about them and their benefits. That’s why, as experts in all things outdoor boiler for Minnesota and the surrounding areas, we would like to dispel some of these common misconceptions.

BL 4044 Portage & Main Boiler

First of all, an outdoor boiler can do more than just heat the home. They are also a great way to give you all the hot water you need, heat your pool, spa, and anything else you wanted to keep warm with a truly efficient and renewable resource; wood.

When people hear wood, their minds automatically go to ‘old fashioned.’ They think that’s the old way of doing things therefore it must be inefficient, dirty and a lot of work.

However, this is not true! Wood heating has come of age. The modern outdoor boiler takes advantage of the latest developments in heating technology. Set up outside your home, and using water and heat exchangers, our incredible Portage & Main outdoor boilers burn cleanly and efficiently. In most cases, they can be connected directly to your existing system to distribute the heat.

And, because all of your fuel is kept outside, you won’t have the mess associated with indoor wood stoves. The unit will burn all sizes and types of wood, too. The best part is you only have to feed it once or twice a day. Load it up in the morning and evening, and the outdoor boiler will do the rest.

Here is another one: “Chopping and burning wood is bad for the environment.” Not so! Fossil fuels are far more damaging. And, trees are a renewable resource; this is an energy source that grows virtually everywhere. Outdoor boilers are environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and efficient. On the contrary, coal, gas, and oil are fossil-based, non-renewable resources. And in the last year, costs for these commodities have soared; even electricity prices are climbing. With an outdoor boiler you won’t have to worry about the high cost of wintertime heating again!

Our Portage & Main Boilers are known as the “Original Efficient One” and are the most efficient outdoor boilers in the industry. And, since these units are placed outdoors, there is less concern regarding fire and smoke hazards.

If you would like more information about an outdoor boiler for your Minnesota home or business, call Strawbale Farms at 715-214-6683 or Contact Us today! We would love to speak with you and help you find the right outdoor boiler for your needs.

Outdoor Boilers: The Smart Solution for Your Rural Home

Are you looking for a smarter, more efficient way to heat your Wisconsin homestead? An outdoor boiler not only provides you with more affordable heating, it also offers many environmental benefits. Outdoor boilers have been around for years but were pushed to the wayside with low cost of fossil fuels and electricity of yesteryear. Today, this is no longer the case. As electric, oil and gas prices rise, outdoor boilers are making a comeback. Many homeowners with the room to support one are choosing this far more efficient source of heat. As experts in outdoor boilers for Eau Claire and surrounding areas, we’d like to tell you more about them and what just might make them the solution for you.

Wood & Outdoor Wood Boiler

What if there were a way to heat your home, give you the hot water you need for baths, showers, laundry and more, heat your pool, and anything you want to keep warm with an efficient and renewable resource? What if you could help the environment while you were heating your home? The answer; you can, with outdoor boilers.

First of all, with outdoor boilers, you use wood for heat. You’re no longer dependent on the oil, electric, propane or gas companies. Using wood in a wood burning stove to meet your heating needs is an environmentally friendly fuel source. Unlike fossil fuels, wood is a renewable resource that is abundant here in North America and here in the city outskirts of Wisconsin.

And, the modern outdoor furnaces have come a long way; taking advantage of the latest developments in technology. Set up outside your home, they use water and heat exchangers and burn cleanly and efficiently.

Already have an old, outdated heating system installed in your home? In most cases, outdoor boilers can be connected to your existing system to distribute the heat. Outdoor furnaces can also be hooked up to swimming pools, radiant floor heating system and just about anything else you can think of.

Outdoor boilers take up no living space and the wood stays outside! Our Portage & Main Boilers are known as the “Original Efficient One” and are the most efficient wood boilers in the industry. And, since these units are placed outdoors, there is less concern regarding fire and smoke hazards.

If you would like more information about outdoor boilers for your Eau Claire home or business, call Strawbale Farms at 715-214-6683 or Contact Us today! We would love to speak with you and help you find the right outdoor boiler for your needs.

Is Your Minnesota Home Fit for Solar?

The popularity of solar energy continues to grow in Minnesota and all over the entire United States. Look around and you will see more and more roofs covered with solar panels. Despite the name, even in St Cloud, solar electricity continues to grow in popularity. But, how do you know if your home or cabin is a good fit for a solar electricity system? As the experts in alternative energy for Wisconsin and Minnesota, we’d like to tell you more about solar electricity as well as offer some areas to consider when trying to determine whether or not your home would be the perfect fit for solar.

Steel Roof Mounted Solar

Here we’ll cover the three S’s; shade, surface area and south-facing orientation. While these are a few indications your home could be a great fit for solar electricity, it is still important to have your property evaluated by the experts. But until then, here is a brief outline to help you identify your solar viability:


How much shade does your property have? Nearby obstructions like trees could impact your system. And not just trees, taller buildings can obstruct the sun too. Really anything that might impact the access of the sun on your roof. Ask yourself if you would be willing to remove the obstruction if it means solar electricity viability for your home.

Surface Area

How large is the area you’re interested in installing solar panels? How much usable roof surface area do you have? Is your roof angular? These are just a few of the considerations that could impact the type of solar electricity system you require. The more clear space the better, and if you’re unsure, the experts at Strawbale Farms can help determine if it’s adequate.

South-facing Orientation

The more south facing the surface for your panels, the better. Ideally, the solar electricity system will be installed on a surface within 40 degrees of direct South. And solar electricity systems installed on flat roofs or mounted on the ground can be tilted to offer a south-facing exposure.

Do you think your property might be a great fit for solar electricity? Not sure? Either way, contact us at Strawbale Farms and we can work to evaluate your property and find the right system for you. We even sell solar electric generators you can take with you or power your cabin. And, our patented ready-to-install solutions offer faster paybacks, energy independence for life, 98.5% efficiency systems, a 30-year performance warranty and much more.

Learn more about solar electricity for your farm, home or business today! Call Strawbale Farms at (715) 214-6683 or Contact Us to learn more.

Solar Electric & Wisconsin: A Very Bright Idea

What do you think of when you think of solar electricity? Sun of course! And though sun may not be the first thing you associate with Wisconsin, our great state is actually a great place for solar electric.

Jean & Steve Olson - Strawbale Farms Customer

Did you know that Northeast states like Massachusetts and New Jersey are some of the top places for solar electric installation? Wisconsin has as much sun as those guys do! And, did you know Wisconsin has the same solar window as Texas?

Solar electric for your Green Bay area home and for the entire state of Wisconsin is not only possible but can offer many incredible benefits. And, the outskirts of Green Bay offer many opportunities for effective solar electric installation.

At Strawbale Farms, we specialize in solar electric and other forms of alternative energy and are happy to tell you all about solar electric and what it can do for you and your Wisconsin home.

First, did you know that Wisconsin has a sales tax exemption for solar electric panels? Forget about sales tax when it comes to your Wisconsin home’s solar electric panels! There’s also a federal Income Tax Credit (ITC) on solar electric.

Another great thing is that with solar electric, your home will likely see a boost in its value. Many people are interested in buying homes that offer energy efficiency and solar electric can give your home an edge on the real estate market. A solar electric system can increase the resale value of your property by about $15,000 for every 5KW in system size. And the great news is that, here in Wisconsin, that extra value isn’t counted for your property tax. So, don’t miss out! Who knows how long incentives will last.

There are so many benefits to choosing solar electric for your farm, home or business. Whether your electric load is big or small we work to help you achieve your energy goals. With solar electric installation from Strawbale Farms you can expect:

  • Eligibility for 30% federal tax rebate! Also may be eligible for other rebates through your utility
  • Increased property resale value, approximately three dollars per installed watt
  • Excellent financing packages
  • Faster Paybacks 2 to 4 Year Average
  • Thirty-Year Performance Warranty
  • Energy independence for life
  • 5K W systems and stall and only 3 to 5 hours
  • High 98.5% efficiency systems
  • Maintenance-free operation
  • And more!

So why pay the utility company when you can pay yourself by generating your own electricity? Learn more about solar electric for your Green Bay area farm, home or business today! Call Strawbale Farms at (715) 214-6683 or Contact Us to learn more.

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