Heating a Small Greenhouse

This is always a difficult problem to balance cost versus effectiveness. What about heating with a pellet stove?

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Comments: 10
  • #1

    Tom Eckert (Wednesday, 17 December 2014 14:06)

    Installed a pellet stove this fall for winter heating in the 20 by 36 greenhouse. I installed it in the attached 18 by 20 head house. I have an LP heater as the backup. In the past I used wood and coal for heat but that is a lot more work and the coal is a very dirty heat source but it really created the heat. The cost of coal over the years increased a lot.
    This year so far I am satisfied with the pellet stove since the system is very clean burning. I did design a heat collection duck off the stove to move the heat into the greenhouse. This works very good. We have not had nights below 20 degrees yet so ....
    All pellet stoves do require that the "burning platform" be cleaned daily to keep the stove in proper burning condition. This is a simple operation, takes about 3 minutes after the stove is shut down, and needs done.

  • #2

    Bernie (Sunday, 20 September 2015 08:03)

    Winter is coming and it is always the question how to reduce your heating bills. I have considered putting two layers of plastic film with a blower in between on the roof but that is too big of job. Hope to hear suggestions that a 93 old greenhouse hobbyist can handle.

    Bernie Wiener

    Construct one or more mini-greenhouses inside your greenhouse that you can heat to the needs of certain plants. Heat the rest of the greenhouse to just above freezing, being careful to check if any spaces are below freezing. The main areas will keep plants alive over the winter at minimum cost of heat.


    I've used jugs of water (large ones, 2-5 gallon) along the inside perimeter of the greenhouse to capture solar heat for greenhouse. Takes up a bit of floor space, if your greenhouse is crowded, but seems to work. Also, I use a radiator type oil heater on lowest setting, doesn't even show up on my electric bill and keeps the greenhouse above freezing (in the 40's); I only turn it up to the next lowest setting if we get a cold spell (20's) that lasts for several days.

    Alice Dionne

    just one layer of 6 mil UV resistant poly would do a lot when on top of an existing glass greenhouse. hopefully one winter will not promote rot if framing/mullions are wood
    yep - the double layer with fan inflation would be a chore - for anyone at any age

    Robert Tiffany

  • #3

    Bernie (Saturday, 17 October 2015 08:13)

    Knowing that using electricity as a source of heating is expensive. I like to learn what space heater is the best from energy cost.

  • #4

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  • #6

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  • #7

    Tom Eckert (Monday, 07 August 2017 13:01)

    Update on the Pellet Stove in the greenhouse. I now recommend not trying to use a pellet stove in the greenhouse. The stove developed problems with the auger because they used a steel auger, should have been stainless steel I think, and brass bushings for mounting. The auger rusted over the summer months and locked up the supply system. After that repair the "metering unit" locked up also. These units do not like moisture. The company that makes them, Avalon, would not provide a new unit but wanted me crate and send the stove back to them in CA for repair. That would have cost a fortune. I scrapped the stove.

  • #8

    Jim Guinn (Sunday, 10 December 2017 09:12)

    I am only just really learning about heating my greenhouse. I was hoping to use it this winter, but life got in the way, and I didn't get enough done. In addition to Reflectix Insulation on the North and East Walls, I built a couple of big raised cold frames. I really don't want a gas, wood pellet or other fossil fuel source of heat...that's just me, so the only thing I am using right now are 5 gallons black pails painted black. While they have helped, I just don't have enough room for as many as I need. I have been searching endlessly for a way to minimize water storage space while increases the temperature of the water using solar power. I found this article about creating a thermosiphon system. I am thinking of just installing 2-3 55 gallon drums and fitting a solar powered pump to this system. This will greatly increase the stored water temperature rather than a passive system. Of course, I will still need some other auxiliary heater for real cold weather or a few sunless days in a row. If you are interested in reading about this system I mentioned, take a look at the article here: https://www.thereadystore.com/diy/9903/build-a-solar-powered-water-heater/

  • #9

    Tom Eckert (Sunday, 04 February 2018 13:53)

    As the years have gone by I have tried a wood stove, (a full stove only lasted about 4 hours), coal - worked great but terribly difficult to start if it went out but was a great provider of heat, a lot of work (getting up at 2AM to fill it again every night) and it was just too dirty (coal dust). Pellet stove was a real problem with moisture in the greenhouse. LP gas works great but lugging the tanks to the store to get filler is a problem as you get older. Last year I installed an 100,000 BTU oil heater. and it works great. Cost more to heat with it but a tank of fuel has been lasting a month in this terrible weather this winter. The LP heater is now used as a backup heater. The old wood burner has been installed in #2 greenhouse for use in spring growing. I have plenty of wood on the property so that is no problem. A full wood furnace only lasts about 4 hours but it helps offset the LP heat in that greenhouse when in use in March and April.

  • #10

    Bob (Wednesday, 20 April 2022 07:52)

    Looking for ways to heat a small greenhouse, 9x10’, during winter months, I have a small parabolic heater with a graphite element running at 800 watts, but need tips on insulating the greenhouse, especially the floor, where lot of cold comes from.