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Thread: greenhouse heaters

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    443

    greenhouse heaters

    hi all , i was wondering after i saw garys post on thermometers
    what kind of propane heater he uses and what do the est of you use.
    i use a outdoor woodburner that heats water and pumps it to a heat exchanger in my small greenhouse . the big GH doesnt have heat yet and is to far from my woodburner . i need the next size up if i were to use it anyway.180 ,000 btu 100,000 isnt enuf for all i am heating. anyway what are your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Santee-Cooper Lakes, South Carolina
    Posts
    94
    I looked at one of those for add on to house. I have plenty of wood. How often do you have to feed it?
    Jim Lang

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    443

    wood eating monster

    hi jim ,
    it isnt all that bad. when i use slabs from a saw mill , i fill it in the morning before i go to work . and i check it when i get home , thats about 4 pm. and i fill it up before i go to bed .that is about 10:30 pm. when i use what i call regular firewood, round pieces or split.maybe twice a day. but dont forget i am heating a 1800 sq.ft. home and a gh , and another 10 x 24 bldg. plus my domestic hot water. i am seriously thinking of buying a much larger model so i can heat more . like another GH. and then another. ha ha. shepp

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Center Point, TX
    Posts
    256

    Gary's Propane Heater

    I use an 80,000 btu propane heater because I have it and I also have the capability to refill my own propane bottles from my bulk propane tank (yes its legal in Texas - California would have a hissy fit).

    Most nights I get away with the propane valve just cracked open and some nights I run just the pilot flame. Mine is one of those industrial looking ones that is the shape of the round kerosene heaters. I make it a point to put a newly filled propane bottle on every night if it is predicted to go below 45, and I monitor it with my remote reading thermometer that has the alarm set to go off when he temp reaches 39. The remote has a probe that hangs down near the floor of the greenhouse where I expect it to be coolest. I have three remotes this year and I will put another one with the probe near the top of the greenhouse to monitor temps there for too much heat. I damaged some of my epi's this past winter. I think it got too cold and too warm for them at different times and the blossoms on them are white this year rather than fuschia. The blossoms on the new growth will be normal color.

    I will put up a second layer of plastic this winter to help even out the temp and to give a second line of defense against the wind tearing the plastic, but I think I will forgo the bubble wrap unless I came into some for a pittance.
    Gary J
    Center Point, TX
    Hill Country Texas Master Gardener
    USDA Zone 7B
    AHS Heat Zone 8

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934

    Re: Greenhouse Heaters

    Hey, SHepp and All!

    I have struggled with this topic, and a lot has to do with my lack of knowledge about different areas of the country and different needs. That is one of the reasons why I encourage llnks to be posted. There is so much to be learned, if we do our homework before we decide we should have less chance to make a mistake. The right heating depends on where you live and what your plant and propagating requirements are.

    Right now, all I can tell you is that what I use primarily is a small ceramic heater on the days that it is forecasted to be at or below 32 degrees. If it is only going to be at 32 or slightly below or above, I use flood lights in my greenhouse. There are six of them, 3 on each side, but keep in mind that can become expensive in electrical bills pretty fast, especially since I do not have a thermostat or any type of automatic controls on them.

    On days that it is forecasted to be 28 degrees or colder, I do not trust the forecast and the small ceramic heaters to keep the greenhouse warm enough to protect my cuttings. I use a small propane heater like the one described in the link below:

    http://www.a1camping.com/5017a751.html

    And for times that it is going to get really cold, say below 25 degrees (don't laugh, this is cold for us), I use a kerosene heater that puts out about 10,500 BTU/hr, but even that can be expensive and it means running to the store for more kerosene when the forecast says it will be that cold.

    Keep in mind that my greenhouse is small compared to yours and my heating requirements for now are very different from yours, but I have spent many hours researching what I hope to be a future, larger greenhouse, and I, like you, need to be concerned about the heating needs of that greenhouse.

    As I research the alternatives that I have, I will be sure to post them here, and I hope others will also, for it is certainly a concern that we should all have at this time of the year.

    Thanks!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Center Point, TX
    Posts
    256

    Temperature Zoning in a larger greenhouse

    A problem I would suspect in a larger greenhouse would be the zoning or stratification of the temps i.e. being quite hot at the ceiling and going down to quite chilly at the floor. I know this was a problem in mine last year. My epiphyllums are suffering because of it. They were hung from the wire in the roof of the greenhouse and may have gotten cooked a bit near the plstic on the top. On the coldest nights I had some cold burn near the bottom near the sides of the greenhouse - lost a few pepper plants that way.

    This year I will put in a fan to circulate the air around inside the greenhouse and hopefully even out the temps better. Its why also this year that I will put two temp sensors in the greenhouse - one near the floor and another near the top. My remote thermometer will scan up to three sensors.

    My propane heater is really overkill for my greenhouse, but I have it and its paid for so its what I use.
    Gary J
    Center Point, TX
    Hill Country Texas Master Gardener
    USDA Zone 7B
    AHS Heat Zone 8

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Stanwood,Washington zone 8
    Posts
    17

    Cool

    I live in NW USA and have a 10x20 G/H I just finished putting in a thermostaticaly controlled Warm Glo heater in .15,000-26,000 BTU. Have yet to really rely on the need for it but when I go out there in morning and it is 40 outside I kick it on and within 10 minuets it is 65 degrees in there.I grow fuchsias and geraniums
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