Greenhouse heating question

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In another newsgroup, there's a discussion about heating a greenhouse. Electric heaters were mentioned. Also kerosene, but comments were made about fumes and stickiness. Someone recommended a plain propane barbecue. It was stated that the CO2 would be good for the plants. I was wondering about the CO produced, and what the levels would be.
What is the best/worst ways to do supplemental heat in a greenhouse?
Steve
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Our local plantsman used hot water. Seemed constant and humidity friendly. He grew just about everything and valved off and on as required. Mr Duncan was a officer in the Navy in WW2. Married a German war bride and had a small farm maybe 20 acres. I'd ask for a doz pulled plants and get over 20. Get asked in for a bit to eat and a shot too.
Whew I miss them!
<http://www.thomasnet.com/products/boilers-greenhouse-heating-6112809-1.h tml>
Bill
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA


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"Steve BS" wrote:

What, with all your hot air... LOL
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Started your celebration a bit early, didn't you Shelly, or have you just kept this "heat" goin' since Thanksgiving?
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'Steve B[_4_ Wrote:

Steve,
Take it from me and my experience, don't use anything other than electric fan heaters for heating your greenhouse.
All the best Gardenjunkie S. E. England
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Gardenjunkie

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Bench heating, aka root zone heating. http://preview.tinyurl.com/yz7qnq5 http://preview.tinyurl.com/ykt425d http://preview.tinyurl.com/yjpwdfy
which are the long, fractured URLs below:
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/fnn/2007-winter-forest-nursery-notes-2 / 2007-winter-forest-nursery-notes/root-zone-heating-can-save-energy-by- reducing-needs/file
http://www.hrt.msu.edu/energy/Notebook/pdf/Sec3/Exploring_Underbench_Heat ing_Systems_by_Bartok.pdf
http://www.umass.edu/umext/floriculture/fact_sheets/greenhouse_mana gement/jb_root_zone_heat.htm
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Sorry, I haven't looked at the links above, you don't get better than Kay Lancaster, but let me just say that if the flames on this propane heater come to a blue tip and not just a billowing cloud of flame, there is no chance, that I can see, that CO would be a problem.
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I've done similar with 3-4 gallon container plants with homemade heating jackets, simple 1/4" plywood boxes that house the container and a heat source. A single 7.5 watt light bulb on a dimmer is all that I need to keep a pot at an optimal 75 - 80 degrees F even if room temperature drops into the 50s. Plants given such a cozy set of overshoes thrive, even at 60F air temperature.
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Steve B wrote:

I don't think propane will be a good value. When I ran the numbers here, electric was cheaper than propane. Bear in mind that electric heaters are 100% efficient, and propane will not be.
I've got a small "greenhouse" 8' * 8' here that I have been experimenting with.
My thoughts so far have been to minimize heat loss and to maximize thermal storage so that night temps don't fall as far. I've had a few hard freezes and no damage, so far, to my tropicals with no supplemental heat. I'm thinking of adding some insulation.
You may also think about heat lamps, a little easier to put the heat where you need it, and less sensitive to drafts as you are heating the air only indirectly. Hot air goes out with the draft.
Jeff

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wrote:

Hmmm ...
Do plants need Oxygen as well as CO2?
The root growth for new plants... I believe needs Oxygen more than CO2. If one puts a propane barbecue heater inside the greenhouse this may be bad for the plants because the heat would use up the Oxygen. If I went with a propane heater it would be a camper/garage style heater in which the heater is outside and blows the heat inside the greenhouse OR has an exhaust vent to the outside. Electric mats under the plants are probably the best way to go. Electric is also nice for the over head watering systems. Electric can be a problem if the greenhouse is not near a power source. So therefore... propane.
Cross posted on edible as well.
Enjoy Life ... Dan
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Dan L. wrote:

I don't think many greenhouses are so well sealed that the O2 inside was much less than that outside.
If I

Perhaps.
A 20lB tank has 360,000 (if burned at 100% efficiency). If the tank is $20 then at most 18,000 BTU/$
Electric at 10 cents kWh is 32,400 BTU/$
You'd want to buy propane in quantity to make it affordable. Of course, a propane heater can kick out a lot more heat. But you also don't have the control and options that you have with electric.
I think we don't know enough about the OPs requirements yet.
YMMV.
Jeff

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That's true, bulk propane costs about $2.50/gallon

That's true. In most locals propane costs less than half of electric.

That's not true. There are many very sophisticated propane heaters and most any propane space heater can be thermostatically controlled. I heat my entire house with propane, I have a propane fired boiler, my house heats with baseboard hot water, and the same system makes domestic hot water. Many folks use propane fired forced air systems. There is no reason that a propane system needs to be fired inside the greenhouse either. A small propane fired hot water heater can easily heat a greenhouse for cheap... baseboard hot water radiators would be better for plants then blowing hot air. If one heats their house with baseboard hot water and the house is in close proximity to the greenhouse then the simplist least expensive method it to simply add a zone for the greenhouse.
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wrote:

But he is worried the power will got out, like it does every year, and he'll have to chip the ice off his tropicals.

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Wildbilly wrote:

I missed that, that pretty much settles it.
Do we know anything else about his greenhouse?
Had lunch in mine today. 40F outside, 70F inside, until the sky clouded over!
Jeff

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Dan: I specifically wrote separate articles to the two groups to placate people who were anal about cross posting. This message was not cross posted. It was done correctly to avoid people who have filters that eliminate anything posted to more than one group, and also reach readers of both groups, where they might not see it if they only read one group.
Hope this helps you comprehend the situation, but I really doubt it.
Are you moderator of this group? Or just want to be?
Steve
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Sounding a little testy Steve. Cabin fever setting in already?
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wrote

<stupid sig, blogsites and websites snipped for kindness>
Nah. Just don't like people who have more to say about the person than the topic.
Kinda like you.
plink!
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Yep. Definitely cabin fever, poor bastard;O) Hang on, Steve. Blue skies will return, you weren't made to be nutso. In the meantime, try not to break anything, and don't try to bite the cat's head off.
Uh, last thing. Try not to think about a large white bear. It would probably be enough to put you over the edge.
Come on daylight, and Happy New Year.
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In article

I stated what I did, that ticked you off, not what I said about someone else. There are no criticisms from me about cross posting.
Steve -- what did I say "more about the person than the topic"? I am curious? What did I say about anyone before your attack on me? I know the answer --- nothing! Until now, Are you Bi-polar Steve?
Billy, that is how I see the New Year, the days are now getting longer.
Enjoy Life... Dan
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In article

I wondering about that testiness as well :)
Enjoy Life... Dan
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