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opinions wanted for good type of greenhouse heater, electric or gas, i like my parafin heater but here in essex the cost is ridiculous, need to get one that is economical to run

I use an electric fan heater with thermostat when it is needed, more into Spring in the North East as heating the full greenhouse would never repay you in produce. Also a heated sand bed with thermostat which is then curtained off with bubble wrap to keep the heat in the right place.
Anything too delicate goes into the conservatory for the cold months, anything hardy will be in the green house with a frost guard heater, Bubble wrap or fleece covers will keep the worst frost off them on the coldest nights and if you check you will find the floor level a few degrees warmer than on the benches.
Unless you have need to sow seed early I do not see the point of wasting heat, it takes a lot of power to heat a single glazed greenhouse even with full bubble wrap, the nursery up the road from me have commercial fan heaters and artificial sunlight lamps and the price of the plants show the cost of doing that.

Frank.

Gary Hobson
essexcowboy62 wrote (see)

... electric or gas... one that is economical to run

It depends on your electricity tariff, and how you buy propane. But, roughly, they cost about the same. Both cost around 10p-14p per BTU (British Thermal Unit).

To run a (small) 1kw electric heater for 18 hours per day for 2 months would use 18*30*2 = 1080 kWhr. If electricity costs 12p per KWhr, then that would cost 1080*12 = 12960p = £130.

Fully insulating a greenhouse with bubble wrap will approximately halve the heat loss, and the bill. As Frank says, if you can reduce the volume of air you are trying to keep warm, by having a mini-greenhouse within the greenhouse, then that achieves an additional reduction on top of that.

You might ask yourself whether it would be more economical to buy or raise new plants each season, and forget heating through the worst of the Winter.

Jeanne M.

One of the eco-friendly heaters that you can go for is the use of compost heap. You can place it at the center of your greenhouse and it can give heat as the compost materials rot down. You can also go for solar heating where you paint a large oil drum with a matte black paint and fill it with water. Then you will expose this drum to the part of your greenhouse that receives most of the sun's heat and at night this will serve as your heater. Hope this helps. - Jeanne

sotongeoff
Jeanne M. wrote (see)

One of the eco-friendly heaters that you can go for is the use of compost heap. You can place it at the center of your greenhouse and it can give heat as the compost materials rot down. You can also go for solar heating where you paint a large oil drum with a matte black paint and fill it with water. Then you will expose this drum to the part of your greenhouse that receives most of the sun's heat and at night this will serve as your heater. Hope this helps. - Jeanne

Compost heap in the greenhouse?-and a drum of water??-absolutely impractical in a domestic situation-might work in the USA where everything seems to be bigger - but not here.

And what a link to an American bead site has to do with this subject is beyond me-no-one buying ???

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Gary Hobson

Another eco-frienedly method of heating a greenhouse is to sleep in it, and your body heat should keep it frost free.

Two people would give out twice the heat of one. You could even invite friends round and create your own hotbed.

sotongeoff

Unless you are growing a marrow in there- and it is frosty-that would mean two people frozen to the marrow

(That joke was first broadcast sometime ago)

Lyn

I have had enough problems tripping over a bag of soil in mine today.

I dont use heating at all, but I do have a conservatory that plants go in for the winter. 

I have over wintered pixie lupins,big lupins, sweet peas, campanula, fuchias, geraniums, lots of trailing green/white stuff, lots of other things, all in an unheated bubble wrapped greenhouse.

I think its probably best not to start your seeds off to early, they will then be ok in the greenhouse, although I still havent put my tomato's out there yet.

SwissSue
Lyon Greene wrote (see)

Another eco-frienedly method of heating a greenhouse is to sleep in it, and your body heat should keep it frost free.

Two people would give out twice the heat of one. You could even invite friends round and create your own hotbed.

Love it!

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