Greenhouse Heating: How to Do it With Kerosene

What You'll Need
Kerosene heater

Greenhouse heating can be an expensive thing to do, because electricity can become expensive to wire to a greenhouse. If you are primarily interested in heating a small greenhouse, that can be accomplished with a kerosene heater. This is a much more economical solution than hiring a contractor and electrician to wire your greenhouse. There are certain things that you need to know when greenhouse heating is in your plans. The article below will explain these potential problems to you, as well as explain how greenhouse heating can be accomplished using kerosene heaters.

Step 1 – Choosing the Kerosene

Kerosene, like gas and diesel, will often have all kinds of things added to it which changes the inherent properties of the kerosene. The properties are not changed enough to make it useless or less effective, but these additives can harm your plants if used as greenhouse heating. This means that choosing the right kerosene for the heater or heaters is important. By law, the company has to list the ingredients and additives in the fuel. The ingredient you need to concern yourself with is the sulfur. Choose kerosene that is very low in sulfur, as high amounts can damage the plants.

Step 2 – Choose the Heater

When heating a greenhouse with kerosene, the right kerosene heater is just as important as the actual kerosene. There are many styles of heaters on the market today. You need one that throws enough heat to heat the entire greenhouse. For the most part, greenhouse heating with kerosene is best left to a hobby greenhouse, that is no larger than 12-feet squared. You will find that there are convection kerosene heaters and radiant heat kerosene heaters. Radiant heat kerosene heaters heat a space around them. This means that plants close to the heater can easily burn. A convection heater is different, in that it propels the heat around a certain area. These are the best heaters to use. You should also consider choosing a kerosene heater that has a built-in thermostat. This way you can control the temperature through the heater, instead of trying to regulate it by opening and closing windows.

Step 3 – Select the Perfect Spot

There is no real right or wrong answer when you are attempting to conduct greenhouse heating with kerosene, as far as where to place the heaters. If there is an exhaust fan in the greenhouse, then that area becomes ideal, as it will help to remove any fumes generated by the kerosene. If you want to heat a space larger than 12-by-12, then you need more than 1 kerosene heater. Look at the greenhouse as though it were split in half. Place 1 of the heaters in the center of each half. Run the heaters at half their power level. This will generate sufficient heat, without releasing too many kerosene fumes. If there is no exhaust, and you are in a smaller greenhouse, then 1 heater in the center of the greenhouse will work. Make sure there are no plants within a 2-feet radius.