Types Of Greenhouse Heating: Learn How To Heat A Greenhouse

Greenhouse Heater
greenhouse heater
(Image credit: doodah_stock)

If you've got a greenhouse in the northern part of the country, you're lucky enough to be able to stretch your growing season by a couple of months. Making your season last longer depends on keeping a greenhouse warm in those cold early spring months, as well as later in the fall. There are multiple types of greenhouse heating systems, from inexpensive homemade installations to professional-grade heaters designed for large, commercial growers. Read on for info about heating a greenhouse.

Keeping a Greenhouse Warm

Just like keeping a home warm is easier when you have insulation and double-glazed windows, heating a greenhouse is a simpler task when you don't lose as much heat during the night. Insulating the walls and roof with a simple system of Styrofoam boards can cut your heating needs by a large percentage. The heat that is collected in the daytime will stay around longer, keeping the inside warm without need extra help. Create an almost free passive heating system by building a wall of water-filled recycled milk jugs. When these jugs are painted black, the warmth collected from sunlight will hold on until nightfall. Once the temperature outside drops, the jugs will release their heat into the greenhouse interior. In a warmer climate, these passive solar heaters may be the only heating system your greenhouse needs.

Greenhouse Heating Tips

When researching how to heat a greenhouse, start with the smallest and least expensive system you can use in your building. Leave some room for expansion and improvement. With simple vegetable crops, such as early spring vegetables, you probably won't need anything as elaborate as a complete heating system. Once you expand into delicate orchids or other plants that need a tropical climate, consider expanding your heating into a more elaborate system, such as geothermal. For many home greenhouses, a small gas heater or two is the most equipment that they need. These are similar in build to home space heaters and will keep the air in your small enclosure warm enough to grow plants through all but the coldest of winter weather. For simply stretching the season, a combination of insulation and space heaters should be enough hardware for almost any grower.