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Thread: Heating the greenhosue...

  1. #9
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Did some quick calculations at 12,000 btu/hr.

    Will take 3,500watts from an electric heater. (assuming 3,143btu per Kwatt hour)
    Take your kwatt/hr rate and multiply by 3.5 to figure how much it would cost to run electric. So for example if your electric rate is 15cents/kwhour it would cost 52.5cents/hr to heat

    For fuels/gallon
    Price/gallon divided by btu/gallon multiply by btu/hour needed = cost/hour

    Compare to propane at 91,000btu/gallon and $2.25 gallon = 30cents/hr burning 12,000 btu.. the only problem is you will have to burn 15,000 roughly if your heater is 80% efficient which brings the cost to 37cents/hour

    Compare to kerosene (which is about 130,000 btu/gallon)
    or to #6 fuel oil which is 150,000 btu/gallon
    Again figure you need to burn about 15,000 btu to get 12,000 btu out.
    Take the cost/gallon divide by btu/gallon then multiply by 15,000
    so if kerosene is 2.50gallon it would cost $29cents/hour

    I don't know the prices on fuels currently but you can find that out locally and plug in the numbers. Your electric costs and fuel rates can vary considerably locally anyway.

    Now for my 2copper:
    Electric is probably the simplest but cost the most!

    Propane is fairly simple to install and clean and easy to maintain. Can get a bit pricey though if you need to have a vented heater installed as it will take a plumber to do the venting. The propane company can install a tank outside and run the pipe to the heater once installed.

    kerosene/fuel oil most economical but need a fuel tank and can be messy and the equipment is more dependent on regular maintance. Also will need to have the heater vented. The heaters generally are more expensive than gas/propane heaters because they are more compex. So while it is cheaper to run the cash outlay initially is higher.

    Note I did not compare natural gas since you don't have it.. for those that do however, natural gas usually comes in very favorably on the cost analysis. The benefits of simple to install equipment and clean easy to use.. but again have to be vented and running the gas line is more complex/work.

    tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  2. #10
    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    Well, not around here. Natural gass is more expencive when you figure in all the line usage fees and all that that we have in GA. I was paying a bill of around 60 bucks a month JUST FOR MY HOT WATER HEATER and gas grill that I has on nat gas. You don;t want to use Kerosine with plants because of the fumes even though its vented it is not normaly recomended from what I read about GH and I have been told to stay away from it for orchids so I would assume the same goes for CPs. So that leave propane or electric in my situation. Of course everyone is different as they are in different parts of the country. You can also store heat in your GH yby using water barrels to collect solar heat during the day and disurse it at night. It reduces need slightly. When I get a larger GH I am talking about a large GH then I will consider propane, but for right now electric is what I am going with. Possibly a 220 heater in the future. Good luck Andrew. I hope you figure something out.
    JB
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  3. #11
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Back when I was a kid and my mother had a GH, we used a propane(I guess) space heater and an automatic vent-opener thingy.

  4. #12
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Kerosene is fine, just be sure it is vented, I've been using it for about 4 years now.

  5. #13
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    Nepg- can you give an example of that type of heater?
    Oh and Orchid guy... there is a warning one one site to use vented with orchids... That goes for natgas and propane too. The quote was:
    the direct wall vent draws outside air to the sealed combustion chamber and vents exhaust gases directly outside. This feature is highly recommended if you grow orchids.



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  6. #14
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Thats what I have, a direct vent, sealed combustion heater. Its like this one, peak capacity is 43,000 BTUH, but it is variable heat, so it will adjust itself (93% gross efficiency, 88% net)

    Right here
    Mine is the first one, Monitor 441 Heaters

  7. #15

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    Sorry for jumping in here, but was wondering what people use for a backup heater when the power goes out?
    You don't need an iron chest if you have a sharp brain and a silk tongue.


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  8. #16
    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    Well, if your using propane, the heater will run withouth electricity. I on the other hand have a couple of small propane tanks that I connect to a fish fryer and put on a pot of water to boil inside the GH. I have to open up to vent it sometimes to clear the fumes, but in am emergency it works in a pinch. If I am not home when the power goes out I am screwed. When I get established as a nurse and get the big GHes I want I plan on having a whole house emergency generator as backup with a large propane tank sitting for it too. This is if I decide to stick with electric. I may have decided to go with propane when I get the large GHes.

    <---thinking nursery space for the large GHes. LOL
    JB
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