Greenhouse Heating Efficiency Checklist
If you are interested in greenhouse energy conservation and efficiency, you will want to review this checklist. These are all great tips and things to consider when choosing greenhouse heating systems and when designing your greenhouse. Keep in mind that different types of greenhouse heating options will have different pros and cons. Making sure you choose the right type of greenhouse heating system is part of ensuring you can have efficient heating.
Reduce Air Leaks
In your greenhouse planning phase be sure to put the location of the greenhouses in a sheltered area to reduce heat loss due to high winds- but be sure to not sacrifice any natural light. Taking time to observe how the sun travels across the location will pay off in the long run and give you some time to think about ways you can improve greenhouse energy conservation and efficiency.
- Keep the doors closed at all times (it's a greenhouse, not a barn)
- Install weather seals on all fan and door openings
- Repair broken glass or holes in the plastic covering
Keep Up Annual Maintenance
It may not seem like a lot at first, but even a 2% jump in efficiency can save up to 200 gallons of fuel annually in a 30'x150' greenhouse. It is important to periodically assess the operation of any motorized louvers and be sure to keep them well lubricated. If a 50" fan louver isn't closing correctly and leaves a 1" gap, it is allowing 23,000 BTU of heat to escape every hour!
- Have a heating professional check all heating components to guarantee they are performing with exceptionally
- Have furnaces cleaned and adjusted by an HVAC professional
- Perform an efficiency test run before the heating season begins
Consider The Current Air Flow
Installation of horizontal airflow (HAF) fans will create a uniform air dispersion which translates to more accurate thermostat readings. Installation of vertical airflow (VAF) fans will help to de-stratify the layers of air in the greenhouse. As the plants fill the growing space can create a canopy, it is important to make sure the air underneath the canopy is being mixed with air above the canopy. This is also very important with any sort of radiant system where a heat source is located underneath the plants.
Conserve When You Can, Plan for When You Can't
- For every degree of nighttime temperature reduced, you can save up to 3% on heating expenses.
- For annual crops in areas with shorter growing seasons, consider your timeline and move plants into the greenhouse when the conditions favor minimum added heat. Starting plants in a smaller structure designed for propagation dramatically decrease heat inputs.
- Be sure to keep all areas of cultivation full at all times.
- Installing a radiant floor or under-bench heating system will allow the air temperature to be set 5 to 10°F lower.