Forget paraffin and fossil fuels – heat your greenhouse with a wood burner

It is said that Country Living magazine once refused to feature houses with wood burners because they were too “common”.  Nowadays,they have been selling like the proverbial hot cakes that some people actually cook in them.

In view of the ongoing hike in oil, gas and electricity prices, people have turned to wood burners for their efficiency and ability to use renewable energy.  They cost less to run than central heating and, since wood is a carbon-neutral fuel, they benefit the environment too.  They also give out five times as much heat as a standard open fire and throw it out to a wider area of the house.

So if they’re so effective and efficient for the home, why not get one for your greenhouse?

One of the key issues to consider is the amount of heat generated – you don’t want to bake your over-wintering plants!  It might feel very homely as you escape to your  ‘see-through shed’ with your cup of tea but the plants may get a tad confused.

Whilst the heat can be regulated with a wood burner, they certainly are very warm, so we would only recommend using one in larger greenhouses that need to remain at a warmer temperature – 45-55oF.  You can choose from radiant heaters, forced air furnaces or boilers.  A boiler is best for regulating temperature.

Winter users of yurts and bell tents will be familiar with wood burners that can be used outdoors, or indoors with chimneys to release fumes outside.  You don’t want the fumes to damage your plants.

Before you buy, determine the size of furnace that you need.  The smaller it is, the more energy efficient it is likely to be.  You will need to ventilate the greenhouse to keep air circulating, maybe using a greenhouse fan to circulate any smoke.

Finally, choose a centralised location in your greenhouse for your burner and follow the useful instructions on the eHow website to install it:

Gabriel Ash greenhouse owners will already be familiar with the home-from-home feeling that you get inside one of our greenhouses, and with your wood burner installed you can invite the family in.

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