What Is the Most Efficient Way to Heat a Greenhouse in the Winter?
If you’re growing your crops year-round using a light deprivation greenhouse, heating costs can be prohibitive, especially in winter. That’s why efficiency matters above all else. If you don’t rein in costs, you’ll quickly find you’ve ruined profit margins, either by paying for the needed energy costs or cutting back and hurting the plants and your eventual harvest. It’s no surprise that one of the most common questions we get from clients is “What is the most efficient way to heat a greenhouse in the winter?”
Luckily, the answer is simple: root zone heating.
3 Reasons Why Root Zone Heating Is the Most Efficient Way to Heat a Greenhouse in the Winter
Root zone heating directs 95% of heating energy first at the plants and their needs. The goal of heating a greenhouse isn’t to keep the building nice and toasty to work in. It’s to keep plants at their ideal temperature for growth. Unfortunately, with forced air heating, much of the heat dissipates into the atmosphere before even reaching the plants, warming the greenhouse as a whole and leaving only 40-60% of the heat to the plants. Root zone heating, on the other hand, transfers 95% of the heat directly to the plants first. Heat dissipates throughout the rest of the greenhouse only after being transferred first to plants.
Figure 1 MegaTube In Bench Heating System Figure 2 MicroClimate Floor Heat System
When a plant’s root zone is warm, they can grow at their peak in cooler air temperatures. When it comes to peak growth, the roots are the most vital part of the plant to keep warm. If ground temperatures drop below the ideal, the plant will simply slow growth and achieve lower yields overall. Warm roots, however, can negate cool winter temperatures faster than any other solution. In fact, when the root temperature of a plant is kept at the ideal, the air temperature needed to sustain peak growth is about 5 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit lower, depending on the plant and stage in the growth cycle. This costs less to achieve all winter long.
Figure 3 Infra-Red Image of Floor Heat System
Hot water heating systems offer unparalleled flexibility in terms of heating capacity and manageability. Hot water carries tremendous amounts of energy over great distances – in fact 3,500 times the energy than air. And once there it can be directed to transfer its heating energy in a multitude of ways. So, whether you’re growing on benches or the floor, maybe even both, you can be sure the energy you are paying is being fully utilized.
Figure 4 Highly efficient wall hung boiler - up to 95% efficiency.
When you combine these factors with the other benefits of root zone heating, it’s no surprise that more and more greenhouse owners are turning to root zone heating systems.
If you would like to learn more about your options for energy-efficient greenhouse heating systems, we’d be happy to offer a free consultation with one of our engineers, so call today to set it this up!