Greenhouses are designed to trap in heat and keep your plants in a protected environment throughout winter. However, not even the fanciest greenhouse can keep the temperatures above freezing level in the coldest months unless you heat up the environment. But how to heat your greenhouse without electricity? Are there alternative and less expensive solutions? Luckily, there are. Here are a few ideas.
1. Insulate your greenhouse
The simplest way to heat a greenhouse without electricity is with proper insulation. There are a few ways to insulate your greenhouse, either with greenhouse plastic, bubble wrap, glass, or acrylic glazing. Simply cover the interior with greenhouse plastic, and use either the same material or another of the ones mentioned above to insulate the interior as well. The more layers you create, the better will the greenhouse trap the heat, keeping your plants in excellent conditions.
2. Use solar panels to power a greenhouse heater
If you don’t want to spend on electricity but wouldn’t mind using an electric heater to warm up your greenhouse, simply invest in a few solar panels. There are many inexpensive solutions out there, including mini solar power generators that can power up the heater throughout the night.
3. Keep your compost bin inside the greenhouse
If you didn’t know, compost is more than a great source of nutrients for your plants. It is also the earth’s heater. The composting process generates carbon dioxide and heat, keeping the air inside your greenhouse warmer. The only downside is that the compost pile needs space, so this solution isn’t ideal if you have a small greenhouse.
4. Thermal mass
Creating thermal mass is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to heat your greenhouse without electricity. All you need is a big rock – or a few smaller ones – bricks, large barrels, and other materials that can retain heat. Paint them in black to allow for better heat absorption and scatter them throughout the greenhouse. These objects absorb heat during the day and release it during the night, helping maintain temperatures above freezing level inside your greenhouse.
5. Use paraffin heaters
Paraffin heaters also offer a simple and cheap solution, though not as secure as the other options above. Running on fuel, paraffin heaters aren’t expensive to run and are easy to maintain. However, you will have an open flame in your greenhouse at all times, or at least whenever the heater is on. Whilst the hazards are minimal, there is always a risk that an animal enters the greenhouse and trips over the heater or that a strong wind may knock it off, situations that could start a fire. That’s why it is not recommended to leave a paraffin heater on when you’re not at home or during the night.
Now that you know how to heat your greenhouse without electricity, all you have to do is buy or build the perfect greenhouse and get ready to enjoy your edibles all year round.