How to Choose a Greenhouse Heater
Whether you own a hobby or commercial greenhouse, efficiently heating the space is a must during these cold winter months. It is important that you provide your plants with the right environment in order for them to thrive and Growers Supply offers a variety of heaters to suit your cold-weather growing needs.
WHAT WILL YOU BE GROWING?
The first thing you will need to consider is what plants or crops you want to grow in your greenhouse because the temperature needed will be different depending on what you are growing inside. Certain crops are classified as warm-weather crops, such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, while some are classified as cool-weather crops, like lettuce, broccoli and cabbage. Cool-weather crops are best grown throughout the winter months, because they will require less heating to thrive. Warm-weather crops will not be as successful during colder climates, because your heater will need to work harder to keep the greenhouse at the right temperature. If you live in a climate of varying temperature, you should grow warm-weather crops in your greenhouse during warmer months and cool-weather crops during colder months.
HOW MUCH INSULATION WILL YOU NEED?
Although a greenhouse heater is necessary while growing in cold weather, it is important that you also insulate your greenhouse, especially if you live in an area with unreliable weather or drastic temperature changes. Insulation keeps energy costs down so that you don’t have to rely on heaters alone and it ensures that your plants are protected on even the coldest winter nights. Depending on where you live and what you are growing, the amount of insulation you need in your greenhouse will vary. TekFoil Insulation is an ideal solution and can cut your greenhouse heating costs in half. This highly UV-translucent bubble insulation can be installed in a variety of places in your greenhouse to greatly reduce fuel consumption, including northern and southern roofs, end walls, floors, propagation benches and below bench wall surfaces.
HOW MUCH HEAT WILL YOU NEED?
You can find out which heater is best for you by finding the number of BTUs (British Thermal Units) you will need to heat your greenhouse. All heaters are given a BTU rating based on the amount of heat they produce and using this number to pick the right heater makes sure that you don’t waste energy by overheating or compromise the welfare of your plants by under-heating. The amount of BTUs you will need for your greenhouse can be calculated with a formula that takes several factors into consideration, including the size of your greenhouse, desired temperature and heat loss of the greenhouse covering. Contact us for help calculating this value.
WHAT ENERGY SOURCE WILL YOU USE?
Another important factor to consider how you will run the heater. We offer a variety of heaters ideal for use in greenhouses, including electric, natural gas, and propane. Electric heaters are ideal for small greenhouses, typically owned by hobby growers. You must be able to run a main power line from your house to the greenhouse in order to use an electric heater. Natural gas heaters are used only when a gas line can run straight to the greenhouse, making this type of heater an efficient, but less practical option. The most popular types of heaters to use in a greenhouse are propane fueled, because they are very efficient and convenient to use. You can get the most heat for your dollar with the Modine Effinity 93 Condensing Unit Heater, which is available in either natural gas or propane.
WHERE SHOULD YOU PLACE YOUR HEATER?
The positioning of a heater depends on variables like location of vents or shutters, the height or width of the space and where the heat is going to be directed. The placement of doors in your greenhouse must also be taken into consideration. If you are unsure, speak with a professional before installing a heater in your space. You might need mounting hardware for your application, so ask your National Account Manager to help you decide what your specific needs are.
WHAT ACCESSORIES SHOULD YOU CONSIDER?
There are several accessories that would be great to have along with a greenhouse heater. Circulation fans can be helpful because they improve growing conditions by providing a constant, gentle airflow around plants, reducing disease and mildew. Thermostats are also ideal when using a heater in a greenhouse because they allow you to accurately regulate the temperature. This is key when growing fussy plants such as orchids or basil. Another accessory that is useful in a greenhouse for heating is the Root Zone Heating System Kit. This system increases growth and reduces production time for many plants by maintaining optimum root zone temperatures. It is ideal for propagating and for potted plants and can also save you money on your heating bill. You may also want to consider vent tubing for your greenhouse, which is used as a replacement for metal ducts. It works by emitting heat from prepunched holes and can be manufactured to any custom size and length. It is easy to install and maintain and is a fraction of the cost of metal ducts.
IT’S TIME TO GET YOUR HEATER!
By following these helpful hints, the task of finding a heater will be less daunting, and you will be able to grow beautiful, flourishing plants and crops all year round! Click here to shop our selection of heaters now, or call a National Account Manager at 1.800.476.9715 if you need a hand deciding which one is right for you.