When people think of greenhouses, they very rarely think of them as being a place to grow food.

Most people think of greenhouses as large, expensive structures that are only found in botanical gardens or research facilities.

However, home greenhouses are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer a great way to extend the growing season and produce fresh, healthy food all year round.

If you’re thinking of setting up a greenhouse or are already using one, then you’ll need to think about how you’re going to heat it.

In this article, we’ll give you 21 of the best ways to heat your greenhouse so that you can get the most out of it all year round!

Basic Heating

The first type of heating source we will look at to heat your greenhouse is basic heating use electricity from the grid.

This is the most common type of heating for greenhouses and can be done in a number of ways.

1. Electric space heater

Using electric space heaters to heat your greenhouse is one of the most effective ways to do so.

You can buy electric space heaters specifically designed for greenhouses that will evenly distribute heat throughout the space.

Make sure to get a heater that has an automatic shut-off function so that it doesn’t overheat the greenhouse.

2. Oil-filled radiator

Another type of electric heater you can use is an oil-filled radiator.

These work in a similar way to electric space heaters but take up less space and are more efficient.

They work by heating up oil inside the radiator, which then heats up the metal surface of the radiator.

The heat from the metal surface then radiates outwards, warming up the air around it.

3. Ground To Air Heating

Ground to air heating is a form of geothermal heating and is a very efficient way to heat your greenhouse.

It works by running pipes filled with water through the ground around the perimeter of the greenhouse.

The ground absorbs heat from the sun during the day, which is then transferred to the water in the pipes.

At night, the water in the pipes transfers this heat to the air in the greenhouse, keeping it warm.

For the cultivation of perennials, herbs, nursery stock, and certain vegetables in a greenhouse.

This low-grade soil may be used either as heated air or directly, and a heat pump can be utilized to raise the temperature of the greenhouse.

Heat pumps come in a variety of configurations, including air to air, water to water, and water to air.

4. Kerosine or propane heater

Kerosene or propane heaters are a great way to heat a large space like a greenhouse.

They work by burning fuel, which produces heat that is then distributed evenly throughout the space.

5. Use heating cables

Heating cables are another great way to automatically control the temperature in your greenhouse.

Heating cables are wires that are wrapped around pipes or other objects to heat them up.

They can be used to heat the soil in your greenhouse, which will then radiate heat to the plants.

Heating cables are available in different lengths and wattages, so you can choose the size that’s right for your greenhouse.

6. Using a climate battery

Excess heat is sent to the floor beneath the greenhouse, where it is stored for later use, in a climate battery system.

Corrugated perforated tubing is buried beneath the greenhouse structure and a fan is used to draw air through it to transport and store heat.

When the greenhouse needs to be heated, the fan is reversed and the stored heat is brought back up into the greenhouse.

This type of system is most often used in commercial greenhouses where a large amount of heat is needed.

It can also be used in smaller greenhouses, but it may not be as effective due to the small size of the space.

Insulation (Add Thermal Mass To Regulate the Temperature)

When we talk about heat greenhouses, very few people think of insulation as a heating device.

But in fact, insulation is one of the most important things you can do to keep your greenhouse warm in winter and cool in summer.

By adding thermal mass to your greenhouse, you can regulate the temperature more effectively and reduce the amount of energy you need to heat or cool the space.

7. Earth/soil/clay

Using earth/soil/clay is a great material for thermal mass, as it has a high heat capacity and can absorb and store heat very effectively.

You can add thermal mass to your greenhouse by simply filling containers with soil or by planting crops directly in the ground.

8. Stone

Make use of stone or brick walls to raise your garden beds. This will assist to absorb the heat.

Many people utilize the thermal mass of water by stocking their greenhouses with several rain barrels full of water.

The water will trap the sun’s warmth throughout the day and then release it as temperatures drop.

9. Water

Water is the most popular thermal mass in greenhouses since it has the greatest heat capacity per volume of any readily available substance and is inexpensive.

The only required item is a storage container, which may be found in our plastic-crazed society.

To warm a greenhouse, water may be stored in black barrels or similar dark-colored containers.

10. Add mulch to protect plant roots

Mulch is another insulator that can be used to protect plant roots from the cold.

Mulch is any material that you put on top of the soil to help retain moisture and keep the roots of your plants warm.

Mulch can be anything from straw to wood chips to leaves, and it’s a great way to recycle garden waste.

Black plastic is often used as mulch in commercial greenhouses, but it’s not very attractive and can be harmful to the environment.

11. Insulate with bubble wrap

I bet you never thought of using bubble wrap to insulate your greenhouse, but it’s actually a great way to keep the heat in.

Bubble wrap is a type of plastic that has small bubbles of air trapped inside. It’s often used to protect fragile items when packing them for shipping.

To use bubble wrap as insulation, simply attach it to the inside of your greenhouse with tape or staples.

The bubble wrap will trap the heat inside the greenhouse and help keep your plants warm.

Use Thermostats

12. Thermostats are a great way to automatically control the temperature in your greenhouse.

You can set the thermostat to turn on the heat when the temperature drops below a certain point, and turn it off when the temperature rises above that point.

This will help to keep your greenhouse at a consistent temperature, which is important for plants.

On the Cheap

13. Rustic Heater With Candle and Plant Pot

In effect, you can create a tealight greenhouse heater. All you need is a plant pot, some stones, and a tealight.

The stones help to radiate the heat from the tealight upwards and outwards. Place the pot on top of the stones and then put your tealight in the pot.

This will give off a surprising amount of heat and will warm up your whole greenhouse.

This system only really works on a small scale, but it’s great if you’re on a budget and need to find a way to heat your greenhouse cheaply.

14. Use a heat lamp

Heat lamps are another cheap way to heat a greenhouse.

Heat lamps work by emitting infrared radiation, which is absorbed by objects in the path of the light.

The objects then re-radiate the heat, warming up the area around them.

To use a heat lamp in your greenhouse, simply hang it from the ceiling or place it on a shelf.

The heat from the lamp will warm up the air around it, and as long as the air is circulating, the whole greenhouse will eventually be warmed up.

Related: Using Solar Power for Running Heat Mats and Cables

15. Heating With Livestock

Now, we’re not talking cows and pigs here. But keeping a few chickens in your greenhouse can actually help to heat it up.

Chickens generate body heat, and as long as they have enough space, they’ll be comfortable in a greenhouse.

The warmth from the chickens will help to keep the air in the greenhouse warm, and their droppings can also be used as fertilizer for your plants.

Just make sure to keep an eye on the temperature and ventilation so that it doesn’t get too hot in there!

16. Heat Sinks

Heat sinks have been used to heat spaces for years, but they’re not commonly used in greenhouses.

A heat sink is a material that can store heat and then release it slowly over time.

One of the most common heat sinks is concrete. Concrete has a high thermal mass, meaning it can store a lot of heat.

To use a concrete heat sink in your greenhouse, simply place some slabs of concrete on the floor. The concrete will absorb the heat during the day and then release it at night, helping to keep the temperature in the greenhouse constant.

17. DIY solar window heater (passive)

A DIY solar window heater is a great way to heat your greenhouse for free.

Solar window heaters work by absorbing the sun’s rays and then re-radiating the heat inside the greenhouse.

You can make your own solar window heater out of an old window and some black paint.

To make a solar window heater, simply paint the window black and then place it in a sunny spot in your greenhouse. The black paint will absorb the heat from the sun, and the glass will help to trap it inside.

Related: Greenhouse Solar Kits – Bespoke or DIY?


18. Solar heating

Solar heating using solar energy is a great way to heat your greenhouse for free!

All you need is a sunny location and some solar panels.

Solar panels convert the sunlight into electricity, which can then be used to power a heater.

You can also use solar panels to heat water, which can be used for irrigation or to water your plants.

Related: Ideas for Lighting Your Greenhouse

19. Wind power

If you live in a windy area, you may be able to use wind power to heat your greenhouse.

Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of the wind into electricity, which can then be used to run a heater.

20. Wood-Fired/ Biomass Heating

Using wood to heat your greenhouse is a great way to be sustainable and use a renewable resource.

There are a number of different ways you can use wood to heat your greenhouse, including wood-fired boilers, stoves, and furnaces.

21. Infrared heater

An infrared heater uses solar power to create heat.

The sun’s rays are composed of visible light and invisible infrared radiation.

Infrared radiation is a type of energy that is absorbed by objects and then converted into heat.

An infrared heater works by converting the sun’s energy into infrared radiation, which is then absorbed by objects in the greenhouse.

This absorption of energy causes the objects to heat up, and the heat is then transferred to the air, raising the temperature inside the greenhouse.

In Summary

So there you have it, 20 of the best ways to heat a greenhouse in 2020!

Now, not all of these types of heating are eco-friendly, and some will be more expensive than others.

So, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of each type of heating before you decide which one is right for you.

But, hopefully, this list has given you some ideas on how you can keep your greenhouse warm this winter!

Also, don’t forget about decent ventilation and thermal mass! These are two other important factors to consider when heating a greenhouse.

Ventilation helps to regulate the temperature by exchanging the warm air inside for the cooler air outside, and thermal mass helps to store heat so that it can be released gradually over time.

Both of these factors will help to make your greenhouse more comfortable and efficient to heat.

Which one will you be using?

Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

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