Greenhouse Heaters and Alternative Heat Sources
It’s that time again! It is time to begin protecting your precious greenhouse plants from the bitter cold nights and wintery days with greenhouse heaters.
Heating your greenhouse can be a big concern, especially in today’s down economy where every penny counts and the cost of heating your greenhouse only seems to rise higher and higher.
Finding the Right Greenhouse Heater for Your Greenhouse
Finding the right greenhouse heater for your greenhouse begins with examining your heating needs. Are you heating a free-standing greenhouse, a lean-to greenhouse, or a basement or indoor greenhouse in your home? Calculate the square footage of the space you will be heating, and consult the recommended BTU guide of popular heaters to find out which size greenhouse heater you will need.
You can then shop around for differing brands and the best prices. Online greenhouse supply stores are often a great source of discounted greenhouse heaters, and your local newspaper or bargain publication may list used greenhouse heaters for sale.
In addition to finding the right sized greenhouse heater for your greenhouse, you may want to look into ways to save energy with alternative heating sources for the greenhouse. These alternative heat sources can help supplement your greenhouse heater and save you money in heating costs in the greenhouse.
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to save money on heating costs in the greenhouse is to utilize shade cloths. Leave your greenhouse panels uncovered during peak sunlight hours, and pull your shade cloths to help trap in heat for the remainder of the day and night.
During the most waning daylight hours of the winter months when the sun is weakest, you may choose to keep your shade cloths in place most of the time to help prevent the heat generated by your greenhouse heater from escaping through the panels. There are also bubble wrap and other materials available that would be even better insulators. Note: Be sure to take off the shade cloth if you are expecting snow. Shade cloth tends to hold the snow and the weight of the snow could damage your greenhouse.
Another alternative greenhouse heating option is to fill large barrels with water and place them in direct contact with sunlight during the day. The water will serve as a store for the sun’s heat which can then be released during the evening and nighttime hours as the greenhouse cools off.
This approach can significantly reduce your greenhouse heating bills if enough barrels are used depending on the climate you live in and the effectively and efficiency of your existing greenhouse heater.
Selecting an appropriate greenhouse heater coupled with a variety of alternative greenhouse heating methods can effectively reduce the cost of heating your greenhouse garden this winter.
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