[Market-farming] Heating Greenhouse with wood stoves

Etienne Goyer etienne.goyer at outlands.ca
Wed Oct 13 06:28:42 EDT 2010


This is very interesting.  I have been pondering boilers for a while.
If I may ask, where are you located?  How cold does it get in the winter?

My brother got quoted about 10K$ for an outdoor boiler, not sure the
exact type.  That is expensive, but it was a rather big one.  It would
take logs in 4', which save on labor when harvesting the wood.

Thanks for sharing,


Leigh Hauter wrote:
> I hadn't been following this thread until I saw 'wood stoves'  so
> here's  my comment, prob ably out of context.
> I heat several greenhouses with wood and have been doing so for 15 years
> more or less.
> At first I had a huge wood stove that someone unloaded on me and at the
> time my greenhouse was only 48 and then 72 feet long, so it kept it
> warmish.  I agree with the hassle of having to get up in the middle of
> the night.
> It wasn't too long until I installed a propane heater so I didn't have
> to get up at 3 am.
> Then, I finally gave in to my wife's annual complain about the dust from
> woodstove in the house.
> I didn't see it and really enjoy living in a house heated with wood but
> I surrendered my woodstove.
> And upgraded to a wood gasification boiler. (actually, technically,
> these are down draft boilers not gasifiers but they are real efficient. 
> To make my wife happy.  I put the wood stove outside (they are actually
> made to be fitted inside a building). In a room off of the wood shed and
> close enough to the greenhouse that I could send the hot heating water
> to the greenhouse as well as to our home.
> It worked great.  Besides back fitting the old farmhouse part of our
> home with radiators and putting in radiant heat in the floors of the new
> part of the house I put a manifold in the greenhouse that could handle
> six courses of 300 feet each of 3/8 pex which I ran along the tables.
> (there are many products you can buy that fit on greenhouse tables that
> you can run the hot water through but I chose to cut the cost and just
> run the pex in loops on the tables)
> This puts the heat right under the pots and flats where the seedlings
> appreciate it the most.  As we know, seedlings don't much care what the
> temperature is three feet over their heads, where your typical propane
> heater blows it, but they really appreciate it warm and cosy at the
> roots, where my hot water heating wood fueled  down draft boiler (this
> means the gases form the first fire are sucked down and burnt again
> before making it to the chimney and the outside world) puts it.  I could
> control each run of pex with its own thermostat  (I don't, lazy I guess,
> just one thermostat for the entire greenhouse, where, depending on what
> I'm growing and how old they are, I can set for 85 or 65,  whatever.
> This way it can be close to freezing up above the plants but 85 right on
> the tables and I don't have to heat all of that head space for nothing,
> or I guess for my own comfort and not the plants.  but I digress.
> Since then, I've added another couple greenhouses and moved them much
> further away from the house.  What I did is buy a Tarm gasification
> boiler for the house and took the original Alternative Heating System
> (AHS) up to the greenhouses where it can, if I need it, heat the tables
> on all three.  I only have to feed the boiler once a night, I usually go
> up there around ten and fill it up and just after sunup when I don't
> usually need heat in the greenhouses the woodbox is burning down.  It
> works fine.
> The real draw back with using a wood gasification boiler though is the
> initial cost of the boiler is expensive. Much, much more costly than a
> wood stove.  However, though, I make up for it, eventually with the
> price of the fuel.  With an 80 acre wood, my fuel costs amount to my
> time and what it cost to maintain a chainsaw.  That's probably a lot
> cheaper than burning propane.

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