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ABC Guide to Greenhouse Heaters

At garden4less.co.uk we want to make sure that you select the correct greenhouse heater for your requirements and that's why we have come up with this simple ABC guide to greenhouse heaters. By following these simple step you can select the correct heater for your Greenhouse.

Electric Greenhouse Heater
A - Selecting a Fuel Type

There are 4 main fuel types for running a greenhouse heater. Select your fuel type based on the following points:-

>> Electric Heaters The obvious first question here is do you have an electrical outlet in your greenhouse or is the greenhouse close enough to the house to run an extension cable it. If not then this isn't an option.

The advantages with electric heaters is the lack of fumes and that most electric heaters are fan assisted and thermostatically controlled. The fan will allow the the heat to be distributed better around the greenhouse, especially with heaters hung from the roof as with the Bio Green Phoenix.

Many electric heaters also double up as a cold air fan in the summer to allow air circulation around the greenhouse.

>> Propane Heaters If its not possible to get electricity to a greenhouse then propane is usually the second choice for medium to large greenhouses. Although they are not as efficient and they produce fumes from the burning process they are an easy solution to getting heat into the greenhouse. Its fairly easy to get hold of a propane bottle in the UK, but it will need to be stored safely.

>> Natural Gas Heaters Having a gas supply in your greenhouse takes the need away from obtaining a propane bottle and replacing the bottle periodically, but the initial outlay in getting a gas supply to your greenhouse makes this the least popular choice.

>> Paraffin Heaters This is usually only an option for smaller greenhouses and cold frames. A Paraffin heater will need to be re-filled frequently and the wick will also need maintenance. The heat control will be very basic and we would only recommend using a paraffin heater for frost protection or as backup for a main heater.

B - Measuring Your Greenhouse

The size of your greenhouse is extremely important when selecting a greenhouse heater. We have categorised our heaters into four groups to make selection easier.

>> Cold Frame / Mini Greenhouse up to (6ft by 6ft)
>> Small Greenhouses under (6ft by 8ft)
>> Medium Greenhouse up to (10ft by 12ft)
>> Large Greenhouse over (10ft by 12ft)

Although its possible to view the heaters suitable for your greenhouse in these groupings, we actually suggest that you first view step C as this will have an impact on your selection and you may end up selecting a heater from a group either above or below the category containing your greenhouse size.

Propane Greenhouse Heater
Paraffin Greenhouse Heater
C - Your Heating Requirements

Your greenhouse sizes isn't the only factor to consider when selecting the power output of the heater, you need to consider your heating requirements. Are you trying to heat your greenhouse or just offer frost protection?

The following guide allows you to work out the kw output needed to provide the required heat levels in your greenhouse. It doesn't need to be exact as the heaters are adjustable.

1Kw - Heat 48sq ft  - Frost Protection 80sq ft
2Kw - Heat 60sq ft  - Frost Protection 120sq ft
3Kw - Heat 120sq ft - Frost Protection 260sq ft
4Kw - Heat 150sq ft - Frost Protection 350sq ft
6Kw - Heat 200sq ft - Frost Protection 500sq ft

Beware of fuel estimate calculators on the internet, we have found that they are not at all accurate. The purpose of these are to estimate the amount of fuel you will use during the winter but we have tested these out and they appear to be very inaccurate. We have even managed to come out with negative values, meaning that if you use a greenhouse heater then according to the calculators you would actually be getting a cheque back from the power companies.

The reason these will not work is that many people use a greenhouse heater to protect from frost and in effect they will only turn on when the outside temperature drops below the required temperature, so no matter what the average temperature during the winter you are only actually using the heater at certain times and the lower the outside temperature the harder the heater has to work and the more fuel it will use.

If you now know which fuel type you need and the required kw output you can make your purchase.

View by Fuel Type
>> Electric Heaters
>> Propane Heaters
>> Paraffin Heaters
>> Natural Gas Heaters

View by KW Range
>> 0 to 1Kw
>> 1Kw to 2.25Kw
>> 1.5Kw to 3Kw
>> 3Kw and Over