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Thread: Heating the greenhosue...

  1. #17
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    I have a small space propane heater on extended loan! Anyways, I'm usually home, except now for being in college but the plants are taken care of. Anywho, in winter, I have a remote alarm and this alerts me of the temperature inside the greenhouse. if it goes off, power goes out, I go over and start this little baby up, it'll run a long while on a little tank of LP. It also has a hydro-thermic sensory bulb so it can kick on and off as needed, its not vented, but remember its an emergency heater! I also have a 2nd gas heater I just recently aquired, a LP direct vent wall furnace, given to me, just needed to be cleaned and have a thermostat hooked up to it. That WILL run without electricity, but the fan will nto function, still gives off heater however, and thats what counts.

  2. #18
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (JB_OrchidGuy @ Sep. 18 2006,8:29)]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.
    I am really quite suprised at that. The total bill including all other fees besides the cost of the gas was $60, or just the cost for the gas?? Are line usage fees based on the amount of gas used or just a fee for the account?

    I don't have natural gas so am not familiar with the fees. I think that when people are comparing gas vs electric etc they are comparing just the cost for the fuel as they already have an account for electric/gas and adding a greenhouse heater doesn't change any flat account fees for the extra fuel usage.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  3. #19
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    Thanks all for your imput. I think I'm going to stick with propane. Here are the 2 I'm most stuck between... 10,500 BTU for $547.01 delivered and 17,500 BTU for $656.39 delivered. I think the first could keep up. And the second is a overkill... Supplementing on the few very cold nights with a electric heater is definatly doable... Will I be wasting more money than nessasary running the larger BTU unit? Or will it really use the same amount of gas, just run less? It seems if you calculate the cost per BTU on those 2 units... The larger one is the "more bang for the buck" the first unit costs approx $.052 per BTU and the second $.037 per BTU... (Per BTU the unit puts out.. Not the cost of gas per any time frame to use...) Does this make any sense?!!! lol.. So what's your views from here?

    I'm also waiting to hear if my wife can get these in from her work (lowes) since I'm in AZ they don't carry anything like this LOL But their website shows some non vented ones that she thinks she can order. They are easily 1/4-1/5 the cost of the vented ones I'm looking at. But still want the above info so I know where to go with the BTU rating. One more question... If I have a choice... Do I want to go with open flame, or infared? (flame heats air which heats items in room, infared heats items in room as they heat the air... as I read it.)
    THANKS!
    Andrew



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  4. #20
    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    Tony the 60 bucks was the entire bill. I wasn't using that much gas. Granted I did alot of grilling, but a propane tank lasts me for well over a month so I wouldn't think running the Natural gas grill would use that much more. The bill had a line usage fee, and a 25 dollar customer service fee and this fee and that fee. It just got that crazy when they deregulated the gas indistry in GA and started to let other companies come in and do gas service.

    Andrew if I were you and the 110 dollar cost difference wasn;t a big issue I would go with the larger unit. Just because I think it will be more efficient in heating and if you ever did expand you would already have the heater. I think its just like a 110 heater vs a 220 heater. The 220 heater uses less power and heats faster than a 110 heater does. I know its compairing apples to oranges, but I like to have a little more than needed for the Just in case facter. Plus not to mention I think it may cost you less to run because I think it would run less to get the required heat faster. I would also use open flame units instead of the infrared unit. You want the air to be warmed and not the plants. Thats why you want to make sure you still have fans going to spread the warmth around the GH. Another thing you could do to reduce shock to the plants if a catastrofic failure happens is run your plants on the dryer side during the winter if they can stand it. According to a grower at Ratcliff orchids. If temps get cold a dry plant is a happy plant, but a wet plant is a cold plant. Ratcliffe orchids grows mainly Paphs. And paphs like to stay damp, but during the winter he runs them on the dryer side and normaly paphs don;t like to go down below 50 to 55, but with them being on the dry side they can take down into the 40s without rotting or dying because a dry plant is not a cold plant aqqording to this grower. Just my thoughts on the subject.
    JB
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  5. #21
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    I found a heater that is part radiant and part open flame... I think the benifit to that... Is I could sit my extra 5 gallon jugs of water in front of (not nessasaraly very near) the heater.. and they could contenue to dispence the heat when the heater is off... kinda like poeple talk about doing just with the sun... This is the unit:
    http://www.comfortheaters.com/heaters/sf20pt.html
    (I kinda dig the stupid flame thing that turns red for the radiant too LOL) I noticed most of these are not "on/off" they actually have different power levels that they control on their own. So I guess the bigger one would be okay since it'd be downing the output when it is not nessasary. Thoughts on that? They have a 30000btu one, but I think 20000btu (linked above) is enough.. Even though they say that's only good for 800sq ft... It's well over the 12000 btu that the g/h heat calcualtor calls for. I guess it's probably cause most people would use this for their house and keep it warmer than 60 or so....
    Andrew
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