[Market-farming] Heating Greenhouse with wood stoves

Thamnophis thamnophis at gmail.com
Tue Oct 12 22:41:53 EDT 2010

Thanks for the interesting info Leigh. Where / from what manufacturer
did you get your boiler?
I'm wondering if it would be cost effective to combine this system
with a passive solar system, but need to learn a lot more about the
boiler first!


On 10/12/10, Leigh Hauter <bullrunfarm at hughes.net> 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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