If you are professional grower or a hobbyist, radiant heating in your greenhouse may have crossed your mind. Heating your greenhouse will extend your growing season by a few months at both the beginning and the end of the growing season depending on your area. However, blowing around hot air in a growing house will be both in-efficient due to the low insulating factors of the greenhouse walls and ineffective as the hot air can be damaging to the plants. You may get better performance from a radiant floor in the building. A radiant system installed in a concrete floor will have a very high heat mass and will retain heat well. You can also install tubing in a crushed stone, RCA (recycled concrete), sand bed or compacted clay floor. All of these will have good heat mass and conductivity and will be able to transfer heat well to the building. If you place your growing beds on the floor you will get better heat transfer to the plants. This will keep the roots warm even when the air temperatures may drop considerably. It will also allow you to run the system at lower temperatures which will give better energy efficiency.
You may also consider putting heating tubing in the growing beds. Placing the tubing in a stone/sand layer at the bottom of elevated bed will get the heat in contact with the plants. This will again gain energy efficiency by keeping the system temperatures low.
Controls that monitor and limit the slab heating temperatures are crucial in these applications due to the delicate nature of the plants and the high heat capacity of the systems.
Heat can be generated by electric or gas boilers or water heaters. We can also use electric heating cables set in the heating slabs.
Contact us to help you size and design your system.