Benefits of Infrared Greenhouse Plastic
Greenhouse plastics (aka greenhouse poly) with infrared (IR) additives have been around for a long time, they are not particularly new technology, but they are extremely advantageous. Surprisingly, many greenhouse growers go for the cheapest greenhouse poly instead of looking at greenhouse poly with infrared additives that are a better long-term value. Perhaps this is because they do not realize just how much added value they get for a slightly larger upfront investment.
First, let's review the basics of what is happening when sunlight passes through greenhouse plastic. Short-wave radiation from the sun converts to long-wave radiation when it hits materials like plants or the ground. This is how "light" turns into "heat." The plastic covering a greenhouse seals this heat inside the structure. This is what is referred to as the "greenhouse effect." At night, that heat trapped in plants, floors, and other materials in the greenhouse radiates that trapped heat out into the cooler environment outside of the greenhouse. However, if you use an infrared greenhouse plastic that IR additive will prevent that heat from passing through the plastic and will keep it inside the greenhouse. This allows the greenhouse to maintain a consistent temperature and prevents plants from freezing during especially cool and clear nights (cloudy nights do not draw away as much heat).
Choosing infrared greenhouse plastic will help you save a significant amount of energy and money on heating your greenhouse, especially if you operate a winter greenhouse. The cost per square foot of greenhouse plastic with IR additives is also very low, generally just a mere two cents more than greenhouse plastic without IR additive. Many of these plastics also come with an anti-condensate (AC) additive that is a huge bonus. AC additives reduce condensation from forming on the greenhouse plastic which is important for reducing issues with mold and pests.
Want another reason to consider infrared greenhouse plastic? How about reduced growing times! That's right, since IR greenhouse poly increases leaf temperature it can actually help you reduce the amount of time it takes to grow your crop!
|Berry Plastics Tufflite TES||Infrared additive, Anit-condensate additive, UV stabilized, Anti-dust additive|| 4 years
|| 32'x100' for $288
|Berry Plastics Tufflite TIV||UV stabilized, Anti-dust additive||4 years||32'x100' for $256|
| Berry Plastics Nursery
||UV stabilized (less than TIV or TES), Anti-dust additive||1 year||32'x100' for $192|
When you look at this table of greenhouse plastic features and prices you can very quickly see that there is a huge value in spending just $96.00 more than nursery plastic, and just $32.00 more than TIV plastic to get a plastic that will last you 4 years instead of one year. Also, you can get the added benefits of the Berry Plastic Tufflite TES for the same price as Tufflite TIV! If you are looking to save money on your greenhouse plastic, the best way to do that is actually to get a frame that has a size that will accommodate standard greenhouse plastic sizes. That is why we offer our greenhouse kits with 96-foot lengths instead of 100-foot lengths. The 96-foot long greenhouse can use a standard 100-foot long roll of plastic, but if your greenhouse is 100-feet long or 120-feet long you will still need to buy a 150-foot long roll of greenhouse plastic! With that in mind, you might as well build a 120-foot long greenhouse that you can grow more plants in than a 100-foot long greenhouse that will cost you more for plastic and not offer any additional growing space.