10 Ways To Heat Up Your Greenhouse Without Electricity
In Mulberry Greenhouses, we know that the the cost of heating a greenhouse in winter can sometimes be greater than the savings and advantages of using one to grow your own.
Greenhouses come in all shapes and sizes and are produced by many renowned brands as well. The science behind greenhouses is that they trap air and light. They are used to produce green vegetables or fruits and are designed so that off-season fruits and vegetables can be sustained by controlling temperature.
The essentials of a greenhouse include proper ventilation and direct sunlight exposure. Although greenhouses trap heat on their own, they require aid in keeping a warm temperature in the cooler months.
Using electricity may not be as cost-effective. Here, we discuss ten ways to keep your greenhouse warm without the use of electricity:
Some simple steps can be used to keep the greenhouse warm.
TIP 1. Hot Bed or Composting Hay and Straw Bales
One of the best ways to heat up a greenhouse is to create a 'hot bed' or a composting pile that you can fill up with wood chips (very important), mulch, manure, vegetable scraps, hay, vines etc.. if you layered them up nicely and turn them every now and then, it can generate up to a 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This won't take a huge amount of space but if you greenhouse is small you can even use it as a planting area.
TIP 2. Adding mass to Absorb Heat
During Sunny days, it is great to add more mass to absorb heat. The best way to do this is bring black water tanks in the greenhouse. It is advised to stack these water tanks or barrels in direct sunlight or facing north. The recommendation is to use around 2.5 to 5 gallons of water per sqft.
TIP 3. Double Layers
A simple way is to build a greenhouse with double layers for more insulation. This is a very effective way to heat or increase the temperature inside a greenhouse. A cheap way to do that is to use twin wall polycarbonate greenhouses like the Riga that provide great insulation for all 4 seasons, especially in high elevations and during very cold weather.
This way, the temperature inside the greenhouse will remain maintained for plants that require high temperatures even in the winter months.
What if it's already cold season and you are out of solutions? Bubble Wrap! Covering the walls with bubble wrap should also add an extra layer to help with insulation.
TIP 4. Placing a animal Hutch in your greenhouse
Placing a rabbit hutch or chicken coop in a greenhouse is cheap way to heat up the greenhouse. The rabbit or chicken will generate some heat consistently which will help keep the greenhouse warm in those cold days. It is estimated that a commercial hen can generate about 10 watts of heat. Imagine having 10 of those!
TIP 5. Seal Openings:
Another common yet simple way which most people do not seem to focus on is checking your greenhouse for gaps and spaces and filling them in. When we seal these openings, more heat stays trapped and does not escape.
TIP 6. Utilizing Black Paint
If you’re looking for an extremely simple, effective, and cheap solution, it’s to paint your greenhouse walls black. This is an easy solution as we know black absorbs heat more than any other color, which we can use as a source to increase the temperature in our greenhouse.
TIP 7. Make Use of a Humidifier
We are aware that heat increases with humidity; this knowledge can be used in our favor to act as a catalyst to increase heat in the greenhouse. Humidity helps by trapping heat during the day and emitting it during the night.
To increase humidity, we can install a humidifier that will make the process easy and give ample heat to our greenhouse without electricity.
TIP 8. Below the Ground Greenhouse
A below the ground greenhouse can provide more heat for your plants. If you build a greenhouse below ground level, the temperature will be consistent because it won't be affected by the outside air temperature. This is a great solution for your plants but will require grow lights taht will provide the much needed light for your plants.
TIP 9. Build Heated Beds
We have discussed earlier how each one of these tips is a great way to heat up the greenhouse. However, imaging combining a Hot bed (composting pile), thermal mass barrels (water tanks), a rabbit hutch, and sinking the greenhouse under ground...It would be great if you could use some solar powered water pipes that can be installed under the greenhouse or inside of it (if space permits). These pipes can be run from beneath the garden beds and the compost pile to help heat up the greenhouse in a cyclic manner.
TIP 10. Solar Powered Heaters:
One of the easiest solutions to heating up your greenhouse is attaching an electric heater to solar power panels. This is a great solution that would provide the needed heat inside the greenhouse but will also keep your budget in check. The thermostat would be a great addition too to set the desired temperature.
The following is an exhaust fan that is attached to a solar power source. A heater can definitely be added to this powered ventilation kit using the same solar system.