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  • FIRST POST
    Hrh Fish
    What is cheapest and most efficient way to heat a tropical greenhouse
    • #1
    • 7th Jan 11, 10:21 AM
    What is cheapest and most efficient way to heat a tropical greenhouse 7th Jan 11 at 10:21 AM
    Can anyone suggest the most cost efficient way of heating a tropical greenhouse?

    I have to maintain a temprature of 72 farenhite in a 4m2(6'X6') greenhouse.

    I am looking at a low wattage (400-500 watt) fan heater with a seperate thermostat. Fan heaters heat the air which is not good for humidity.

    Infra red or halogen may be a possibillity. Does any one know what it costs to run at 400 watts 24/7 with a thermostat?


    Parafin heaters can soot the crop out. Can not be controlled by electronic thermostat.

    Calor gas can not be controlled by electronic thermostat. Plus I don't like the idea of leaving a naked flame unatended while I am out. I don't want to burn my flat down.

    I know there are people out there like me growing exotic fruit. Can anyone give me advice?
Page 1
    • alanobrien
    • By alanobrien 7th Jan 11, 10:46 AM
    • 3,237 Posts
    • 1,814 Thanks
    alanobrien
    • #2
    • 7th Jan 11, 10:46 AM
    • #2
    • 7th Jan 11, 10:46 AM
    Move it to Jamaica

    I grow a lot of tropical plants and overwinter them in the greenhouse but at circa 5c so they remain healthy but dormant.

    Obviously the cost will depend where you live but 72f = 22c is a lot of heat to provide in winter if you are in the uk and require this to be a constant temperature.

    The first thing to do would be to insulate the greenhouse as much as possible and minimise the space you need to heat. I would consider using
    knauf space blanket loft insulation for this purpose as it is silver coated and will reflect heat and light back into the greenhouse. Its currently 3.59 a roll from b&q so reasonably cost effective.

    Dont forget the floor and roof when you think about insulation, the more you can cocoon the area to be heated the lower the running cost will be.

    As regards heating i would not consider paraffin for anything but as an emergency backup. It creates high humidity which can cause rot at lower temperatures and is difficult to control.

    I would go for an electric fan heater with a digital thermostat. this will provide accurate temperature control, dry heat (to avoid rot) and air circulation to help avoid disease.

    If you do fully insulate you will also need lighting. In that case i would think about using T5 flourescents which are cost effective and work well. I use these in my prop with seeds and cuttings.
  • shellysue
    • #3
    • 7th Jan 11, 10:54 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Jan 11, 10:54 AM
    What is your greenhouse made of? ie glass or polycarb, is it insulated?
    The cost is going to be hard to work out because it depends on how long the heater is on for.
    Your electric bill will tell you how much you pay per kilowatt hour, so 500W is half a K, I pay 10p daytime and 4.8 night time, so 17x10p plus 7x4.8 = 2.03[6] for 1K per 24 hours.
    If your 500W heater was on all the time it would cost just over a pound a day to run.
    Hope you can understand that
  • Hrh Fish
    • #4
    • 7th Jan 11, 11:46 AM
    • #4
    • 7th Jan 11, 11:46 AM
    I have spoke to a reputable garden center. Fan heaters are not good if you need a humid environment. I need 50% humidity so they recommend using Halogen/ Infra red. It heats the same way as the sun and is best for humidity. Also is quite cheap to run on 400 watt setting.

    The green house is in a spare room. It is made with 3x2 and covered with black white mylar sheet. I am in a flat with no garden. I don't have to worry to much about insulation.

    Thanks guys. If any one has any helpful hints for me don't be shy!

    I would not go to Jamaica... I am retiring soon to Fiji!!
    • alanobrien
    • By alanobrien 7th Jan 11, 1:30 PM
    • 3,237 Posts
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    alanobrien
    • #5
    • 7th Jan 11, 1:30 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Jan 11, 1:30 PM
    Ahhhh, if its inside thats a whole different game, heating cost will be much lower.

    I use a dehumidifier in my greenhouse outside, you should find humidity much easier to control inside but 50% is low so you may find you have to indroduce a mister into the set up.
    • Farway
    • By Farway 7th Jan 11, 3:06 PM
    • 7,140 Posts
    • 13,280 Thanks
    Farway
    • #6
    • 7th Jan 11, 3:06 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Jan 11, 3:06 PM
    [QUOTE=Hrh Fish;39993456 I need 50% humidity so they recommend using Halogen/ Infra red. It heats the same way as the sun and is best for humidity. Also is quite cheap to run on 400 watt setting.

    The green house is in a spare room. It is made with 3x2 and covered with black white mylar sheet. I am in a flat with no garden. I don't have to worry to much about insulation.

    [/QUOTE]

    Err it is not waccy baccy is it? In which case tap into next doors meter and use that
    • alanobrien
    • By alanobrien 7th Jan 11, 3:10 PM
    • 3,237 Posts
    • 1,814 Thanks
    alanobrien
    • #7
    • 7th Jan 11, 3:10 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Jan 11, 3:10 PM
    Err it is not waccy baccy is it? In which case tap into next doors meter and use that
    Originally posted by Farway
    The first rule of the GF MS board is that we don't reveal what we grow.

    The second rule of the GF MS board is.....see the first......

    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 8th Jan 11, 12:04 AM
    • 28,955 Posts
    • 11,865 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    • #8
    • 8th Jan 11, 12:04 AM
    • #8
    • 8th Jan 11, 12:04 AM
    Just wonder why as you drive down the road all the houses are covered in snow except the odd one here & there.

    Strange that.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 8th Jan 11, 9:19 AM
    • 27,863 Posts
    • 99,003 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #9
    • 8th Jan 11, 9:19 AM
    • #9
    • 8th Jan 11, 9:19 AM
    Just wonder why as you drive down the road all the houses are covered in snow except the odd one here & there.

    Strange that.
    Originally posted by forgotmyname
    Could be over-active imagination, or no decent loft insulation.
    'I've suffered for my music, now it's your turn.' Neil Innes, introducing 'Protest Song.'
  • squack
    for these "tropical plants", waccy baccy or not, the best thing would be a 400 or 600 watt sodium lamp, they produce some heat as a by product,to give you the warm temperature, the plants will be craving light as well as you aren't going to get much natural light through the window this time of year
    squaaaaaaaaacccckkkkkk!!!!
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