How To Choose The Right Heating System For Your Greenhouse

Choosing the right boiler for your greenhouse heating system can be quite challenging due to the multitude of options. With Toronto being at the forefront of urban gardening in Canada, it is crucial for your business to stay on top of your competition. With this, you have to invest in a top-quality greenhouse heating system. When doing so, you would want to get something that is within your budget without restricting your operations.

When you’re ready to buy a heating system for your greenhouse, do you have any idea about the factors that you have to consider? Fear not because here are some tips to help you decide on your greenhouse heating.


What you are growing

One of the first things you have to consider when choosing a greenhouse heating system are the produce or plants that you will grow in your greenhouse. Some vegetables thrive better in the cold and may not do well when you place them in a greenhouse. For instance, lettuce grows much better in a colder environment, and so does strawberries. Tomatoes also thrive better in warm areas. If you have cacti in your garden, you might want to consider if they can be placed in a greenhouse.

When you decide to get a heating system, you have to know the crops or herbs you’re growing. You have to know their heat requirements and the minimum outdoor temperature from where you live. You would also need to consider if you have any other uses for the heated water like your tow sprayers. Once you have this information, you can arrive at a better decision on how big or small your heating system should be.

Current and Future Heating Needs

When deciding on getting a heating system for your greenhouse, you have to take into consideration the current size and heating requirements of your greenhouse. You should also look into possible expansion. For large-scale greenhouses, you might want to consider a biomass boiler. These boiler systems are commonly installed in greenhouses that are at least 10 acres or larger. Most larger facilities can cover the upfront cost and receive a positive ROI within five to six years. While smaller greenhouses can also use biomass boilers, they are often more profitable for larger units. They are also usually best to use in areas where the cost of fuel is a substantial factor in operational costs.

A biomass boiler works in the same way as conventional boilers by combusting fuel to generate heat, which in turn is used to heat water. Biomass boilers are much bigger than other boilers because they need to use wood pellets rather than gas. They need to have a bigger frame to hold the higher fuel volume.

Additionally, you have to consider installing an automatic feeder hopper onto the biomass boiler so you’ll need more space. Feeder hoppers hold wood pellets, which are then fed onto the boiler so you don’t have to refuel the boiler frequently.

Your Working Environment

Smaller operations often go for natural gas and oil systems because of the quicker adjustments. Biomass has a much slower rate of burning than petroleum fuels, thus making it much slower inn reacting to swings in heat load. Bigger facilities often add huge water tanks, which can be heated by biomass boilers. These heated water tank then allow greenhouses to get as much heat from the tank as necessary.

 You have to take into consideration your working environment when it comes to choosing the right heating system for your greenhouse. If you are unsure, you can always consult a technician to help you decide.

System Selection

If you have a gutter-connected greenhouse or several individual greenhouses, it is best to go for a central boiler system. A central boiler system will allow you to efficiently distribute heating via water to air heaters and root zone radiation.

On the other hand, if you have individual hoop houses operating during the spring and fall, it is best to get unit heaters or hot air furnaces. These systems do not need draining in preparation for winter.

Your Maintenance and Repair Costs

When you are working on a strict budget, you have to think about the maintenance and repair costs. Greenhouse boilers need to have constant maintenance to prevent more substantial damages as a result of neglect. Accuserv suggests getting a boiler repair service that comes with upfront pricing and warranty for labour and parts replacement. In the end, paying a higher upfront cost can get you more savings. Some providers charge higher from individual maintenance and repair works.

If you get a service provider that can offer you a service plan that includes installation, regular repair and maintenance, it would be a lot better. Often the cost is lower. Similarly, you can prevent any catastrophic events from ever occurring because technicians would go to your place and do a comprehensive of your heating system. Paying for warranty is often necessary if you want to make sure that your heating system will continually function.

You have to note that most home insurance will not cover boiler breakdown, you’d have to get an additional cover for this. Some insurance packages will include this in the insurance cover if you can show proof that your plan comes with regular maintenance and repair.

 You also have to note that a boiler must be replaced once it is no longer safe to use, when it has efficiency less than 75%, or when its emissions are more than 10% of the EPA standards.

The Bottom Line

Your choice of a heating system depends on your current requirements and working budget. If you want to maximize the ROI of your greenhouse, then go for the one that has lesser fuel consumption. You may also choose to get the one that requires less maintenance and repair and the one that is suitable for the size of your greenhouse.

It is important that the design and installation of your greenhouse system are done by a professional with in-depth knowledge of greenhouse standards and conditions and as well as environmental control. Upon installation, make sure that you also get a quick rundown of the heating system’s operational controls and daily maintenance instructions.
How To Choose The Right Heating System For Your Greenhouse
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Tina Martino

My passion is gardening. Along with my husband and children, each year we grow a garden large enough to provide our family of five with over half of our needed produce. Besides vegetables and a small berry patch, I also focus my attention on beautifying our home with strategically placed flowers, herbs, and flowering plants. Gardening is more than just a hobby; it is a way of life.

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