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Greenhouse: Holly's Greenhouse HFGH 2 Heating

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HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

December 19, 2012
8:28 AM

Post #9362200

How are you trying to retain heat?
I've incorporated a modifications in an attempt to retain heat. First off I'm using a 20k BTU Heatstar LPG heater as my primary. I have covered the northernmost side and roof with used 6 mil uv resistant heat retaining poly. I got the poly from a friend who's recovering his hoop house. I covered the interior of those walls with 3/4" foil backed foam panels, and insulated the base and lower wall with covered straw. The factory supplied polycarbonate is a double wall 6mm and rather inefficient. Any future replacement will be with heavier triple wall to defray the increased material cost. Ric

I forgot to mention I have old cast iron radiators painted black under the sunward bench to collect solar. I plan to fill these with antifreeze and possibly attach a collector.

This message was edited Dec 19, 2012 12:32 PM

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melsalz
Mooresville, NC
(Zone 7b)

February 4, 2013
11:32 AM

Post #9408206

Just saw this post, love the idea of the reflective panels.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 4, 2013
12:20 PM

Post #9408266

They really seem to be working, were not expensive, and I probably can # them and store them in the barn. Ric
tropicalnut777
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

February 5, 2013
6:03 PM

Post #9409732

what size is the greenhouse? what temps can u keep in there?
great pics.. good luck !!!!
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 7, 2013
8:08 AM

Post #9411065

It's a 10x12 and we keep it in the mid 50s. You can see the whole story on this link http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1243490/ Ric

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HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 20, 2013
3:05 PM

Post #9425824

Heat requirements have been a bit higher than predicted by the gas co. Today I covered the northeast end of the GH with left over 6 mil poly. It seemed to make a real difference and I will soon see just how much pretty quickly with the weather headed our way. Ric
oldmudhouse
Las Cruces, NM
(Zone 8a)

February 22, 2013
7:56 PM

Post #9428442

Looks good Ric; your posts help me be grateful that we live in a warmer climate. Still we've had yet another winter with temps below average (third in a row for us.) So retaining heat is retaining money spent on my electric heaters.

I used foil faced insulation on the inside north wall of my GH and I do think it helps. I am able to leave mine up year round since the north side of my GH is close to our house, and wouldn't get much sun anyway. If I had to, I think I could also cover the lower half of the north side of my roof, too. I don't really think my plants would lose that much light, and I have read that most greenhouse heat is actually lost through the roof.

I have considered adding bubblewrap to the inside of the greenhouse roof for winter, but my bills have not been high enough to force me to do that extra work. ;-)

You may have read this elsewhere, but if you replace any poly panels in the future with thicker panels than the Harbor Freight supplied 4mm, watch out for the roof. The small channel at the peak of the roof will only accept 4mm thickness, so you'll have to be a little creative to figure out how to use thicker poly on the roof, or perhaps crimp or modify the top edge to slip into that channel. (From your posts, I'm sure you will have no problem finding a way to defeat this challenge.) Same with the panels in the roof windows and doors...I think those may have to stay 4mm to fit into the grooves.

The wall panels could be ordered in any lovely thickness with no problem, since they just sit in the outside of the frame.

Your beautiful photo above just makes me crazy. You have no idea how luscious that looks to a person trying to garden in the Chihuahuan desert. Good job!
Sheri
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 23, 2013
6:44 AM

Post #9428768

Sheri, The upper edge of 4mm roof channel could be cut off and replaced with a piece of flashing riveted or screwed in place and calked. Working both sides at once you could just clamp both flashings in place at once and rivet or screw them after the new panels are in place. I've already thought about it a bit. LOL Ric
oldmudhouse
Las Cruces, NM
(Zone 8a)

February 25, 2013
7:37 PM

Post #9431813

See, I knew that wouldn't slow you down one bit. :-) Seems like there is a solution to everything, if you're willing to put a bit of time and work into it.

Part of my concern about that particular problem is working on it up high; I do better work with my feet on the ground. My husband would probably be game, but I'm a little more wobbly working on a ladder. If I lived in a colder climate like you do, though, I might be motivated to try it. I'm guessing you'd see a nice difference in heat retention with thicker poly on the roof.

When you cross that bridge I hope you'll do a thread about it, no doubt it would help others facing the same challenge with the HFGH.

Ric_of_MAF

Ric_of_MAF
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

October 31, 2013
7:43 AM

Post #9698992

I got a like new Anderson sliding glass door with screen and plan to replace the awful leaky Harbor Freight door with it. It will reduce my opening from 6' to just under 3', but should save a whole lot of heat and expense.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

October 31, 2013
12:21 PM

Post #9699144

I'm not too happy with his plan as I like the wider opening, but I must agree it will conserve some heat.
tropicalnut777
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

October 31, 2013
6:47 PM

Post #9699366

no greenhouse here..yet..:) but..where the 1st one is going up..probably june/july 2014..
it will be on north side of back of house..gets good sun though..but using the insulated reflective
panel on north side..i like.. reflects back light..good..but also..added insulation to that side of
greenhouse..which i know im gonna need winter 2014.. at least so heat costs dont bust the bank..
much thanks to u all for your ideas and postings of experiences !!!!

Ric_of_MAF

Ric_of_MAF
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 1, 2013
5:01 AM

Post #9699521

777, Your welcome, I too like the reflective insulation, and will post more pics when the door is done.

Txtea

Txtea
Fabens, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 1, 2013
5:15 AM

Post #9699527

Hope to be able to see your improvements soon, look forward to it.

Ric_of_MAF

Ric_of_MAF
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 7, 2014
6:29 AM

Post #9742301

I had back surgery on Veterans Day and didn't get my new door in. With the current temp of 3*F and gusty I wish I'd have made it a priority.As I watched the temp drop to 40 and just below I realized I had to take action. My heater is rated 20k BTU and just could not keep up. According to the charts I only needed 14K, I ASSumed a 40% overkill was enough. Last night I added 2 5k electric heaters and it was enough to reach a stable 55-56*F temp. I will undoubtedly will be adding some more insulation to the north wall and possible some bubble wrap to the roof.
I also need to add an alarm,last month, for some unknown reason the heater did not come on one night and we lost some tropicals, coleus cuttings, and a few of my begonias.:-{

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