What Options For Your Greenhouse Heater?
There are several types of heating methods suitable for greenhouses.
Warm air heating is perhaps the most suitable and economical for the
average greenhouse owner. Other options do exist but they are
mainly warm water pipe heater systems which are very expensive to
install. An electric greenhouse heater has many advantages. They are
comparatively cheap to install, they can easily be moved, they provide
all the additional benefits of air circulation and they provide a very
quick response to sudden changes in temperature.
GREENHOUSE HEATERS - POWER AND SIZE
Almost all electric greenhouse heaters come with a thermostat and this is
an essential feature. Easily available heaters for small to medium sized
greenhouses are 1,250 watt (1.25k W), 2,000 watt (2k W) and 3,000 watt
(3k W). If you want to relate these to heating costs, then the respective
Btu (British thermal unit) values are:
There are a couple of disadvantages with an electric
greenhouse heater and they relate to the fact they do not
distribute the heat as evenly as warm water pipe heating systems. This
results in cool spots in the greenhouse which occur in corners and
areas which are are in the direction of the warm air being blown by the
heater. It is best therefore to have two or more electric heaters in a
greenhouse so that the area heated is maximised.
The second disadvantage of the electric air greenhouse heater is that
any plants in the direct flow of the blown warm air may suffer damage
from loss of moisture and too high a temperature. Consider this
carefully when positioning your electric heater in the greenhouse. Plants
on benching will not be affected because the heater can be placed on
the floor and well below the plants on the benching.
GREENHOUSE HEATERS - SELECTION
First decide which power you require for your greenhouse heater - we
would recommend you go for a 2,000 or 3,000 watt heater. If these have
a thermostat then there seems little benefit in going for the lower
power models. Anything more powerful than 3,000 watts will
significantly increase the risk of damaging plants through too much
heat or water loss.
It's quite common on greenhouse heaters to have
adjustable fan strengths (high or low are normal) and a feature to blow
unheated air. These features are worth having and they will not
increase the cost significantly. One final point before considering
which model to choose is safety. Always select electric heaters
designed specifically for greenhouses. Household heater models are not
safe in the greenhouse.
GREENHOUSE HEATERS - BUY ONLINE
We have looked for models of greenhouse heater available online and
we recommend one company particularly for buying online, Harrod Horticultural. They offer safe, well-designed models of electric,
paraffin and propane greenhouse heaters.
They have been established for several years and will provide a reliable service. Click here
to view or buy greenhouse heaters online. They also an excellent range of greenhouse
insulation products which will significantly reduce your heating costs.
When considering the economics and cost of greenhouse heaters also
consider soil-warming cables. These
considerably reduce the requirement for greenhouse heaters. Finally, dont forget the
obvious, only heat the part of your greenhouse which you need at any one time.
Partioning off a section of your greenhouse and only heating one part of of it will
greatly reduce the cost of greenhouse heating.
PROPANE GAS ELECTRIC HEATERS
If you don't have an electric supply to your greenhouse then a propane
gas heater is probably your best option. The key advantage is that they do not require
electricity. They can however be bulky and they do give off carbon monoxide.
Condensation can also be a problem with propane gas heaters. For both reasons you need
to make sure that that propane greenhouse heaters are only used where there is adequate
Another disadvantage of propane greenhouse heaters is that they don't
have a fan and therefore heat distribution can be uneven resulting in cold pockets. But
if you have no electricity then a propane gas heater is your best bet. It's probably
wise to keep plants in your greenhouse which only require frost protection in the
coolest winter months.
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