Greenhouse Heaters: Eco-Friendly Options
It’s that time of year again when greenhouse heaters start to creep into the thoughts of serious greenhouse gardeners. As the last few warm days of summer fade away, you may find yourself eyeing those last few container tomato plants and wondering how long you can keep them going in the greenhouse with a reliable greenhouse heating system.
For some greenhouse gardeners, greenhouse heaters are merely a way to keep early morning frost from damaging still-blooming plants during the fall growing season. For others, greenhouse heaters are a year-round production used for carefully controlling the environment for delicate plants like tropical’s and exotics. If you are one extreme or somewhere in between, greenhouse heaters are likely to be on your necessity list once you get into serious greenhouse gardening.
Greenhouse heaters can range from the simple to expensively elaborate set ups. While thermostat controlled automated greenhouse heaters are certainly available, not every greenhouse gardener has the budget or the desire to own one. Instead, many greenhouse gardeners put on their green thinking caps and come up with a few ideas to create an eco-friendly greenhouse heater.
Eco-Friendly Greenhouse Heaters: Going Green
For an eco-friendly greenhouse gardener, harnessing the power of nature is the ideal way to heat and cool a greenhouse. Windmills, solar panels, and geothermal heating systems are all great options for taking advantage of nature’s gifts in the greenhouse.
Running geothermal pipes into your home and greenhouse is an excellent eco-friendly heating option. You can learn more about geothermal heating from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_heating. YouTube also has a short, informational video about how geothermal heating works. You can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ajqiPe_9Ko.
For the more adventurous greenhouse gardener, installing a greenhouse heater may be as simple as rerouting the ventilation system for your household dryer to heat a smaller greenhouse space.
You can also play around with physics a bit to come up with your own eco-friendly greenhouse heater idea. Water holds heat longer than the air, so many greenhouse gardeners choose to expend energy to heat standing water in barrels, pipes, or storage containers to allow for slower heat loss and longer temperature controlling periods. Even used bath water can be recycled to help heat an eco-friendly greenhouse. Some farmers have even been known to route the warmth from composting cow manure and collecting warm urine to help heat greenhouse spaces!
In short, for an innovative eco-friendly greenhouse gardener: If it’s warm, it can heat the greenhouse!
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