January 25, 2011

Cost-Efficient Tips on Heating the Greenhouse

One of the secrets of success in greenhouse gardening is to ensure that the appropriate level of heat is maintained the whole year-round within greenhouses.

  • Basically, heat provides for a good environment for plant growth especially for frost-sensitive plants. You can combine the benefits of a greenhouse heater with other eco-friendly options like water in milk jugs and incandescent lights.

Ensure Maximum Insulation
No matter how expensive your greenhouse heater is, it will still be ineffective in its job if and when the greenhouse structure itself is not fully insulated from the cold outside.

  • Thus, it is highly recommended that greenhouses must be fully insulated using either bubble wrap or common materials around the house such as egg cartons and dried plants from last summer's crops.

However, said insulation will also block out the light coming in from the outside especially during the winter so it is best to hang incandescent lights, too. These lights will also provide indirect heat, thus, serving a double purpose.

Find the Right Greenhouse Heater
The trick in purchasing the right greenhouse heater is to look at the BTU (a measurement of heat) requirements in relations to the size of your greenhouse, the climate where it is located and the types of plants being grown inside.

  • There are heater calculators available in the shops and in online sites so calculating BTU requirements should be easier.

Why the emphasis on the right type of greenhouse heater?

  • Well, simply because the heater that produces more BTUS than necessary will lead to overheating in the greenhouse that, in turn, can result in plant disease and death as well as great increases on your heating bill.

You can choose from several types of heaters in the market.

  • The energy bills are fairly similar in all types of heaters so it is often a choice based on the convenience of the unit.
  • There are natural gas and electric heaters as well as vented and non-vented heaters.

Generally speaking the non-vented heaters will suffice for the purpose, not to mention that it is less expensive, too.

  • However, certain plant types such as orchids and begonias require vented heaters so consider them, too.

Consider Non-Heater Options

There are other options in heating the greenhouse, which can save on the heating bill as well as extend the life of your store-bought greenhouse heater.

  • Plus, these are eco-friendly options, too.

Paint numerous ten-gallon buckets with black paint on one side and white paint on the other side.

  • Then fill them with water, put their lids on and position them in many places across the greenhouse.
  • Just make sure that the white sides face the center of the greenhouse.
  • The black sides will absorb the heat during the day from the outside while the white sides will disperse the accumulated heat during the night into the inside of the greenhouse.

Keep additional rabbits in cages within the greenhouse.

  • You will then be able to harvest their dropping for use as organic fertilizer while adding more heat during the night.
  • Just make sure not to do this during very hot or very cold weather as the poor rabbits will die.
  • Shop and buy greenhouse accessories that you can depend upon, then you will be all set!

With these tips, you can expect to see your heating bills taking a nosedive while your plants continue to bloom in the protective warmth of the greenhouse.