How to Build a Temperature Controlled Greenhouse

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Maintaining a temperature-controlled greenhouse can be imperative for home gardeners, market growers, plant nurseries and garden centers who want to ensure their plants are grown and kept in optimal conditions. While the greenhouse itself affords protection from the elements and draws in heat from the sun in the warmer months, the greenhouse in and of itself can become too hot or too cold if it is not outfitted with some type of greenhouse temperature control system.

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Examine the climate in your locale and determine what aspect of temperature control is going to be the most pressing and important. For example, if you live in an area that is hot year 'round, your primary concerns will probably be keeping the greenhouse from overheating and becoming unbearably hot for the plants inside. In that case you may want to look closely at solar-powered vents, greenhouse shade covers and fans. Conversely, if you live in a cooler climate with a harsh winter, it may be important to implement heaters and programmable automatic timers that will kick the heat on should the overall greenhouse temperature drop below a certain point.

Start with the most basic and affordable options, if possible. In many cases, the greenhouse climate can be controlled by something as simple as a thermostatic outlet, which is a pre-programmed device that gets plugged in to an electrical outlet. Depending on the temperature needs of your greenhouse, buy either a cooling outlet or a heating outlet; once the temperature drops or exceeds the preset temperature, it will automatically engage the fans or heater to regulate the temperature and maintain it.

Invest in a more intricate, detailed temperature-control system if you have a commercial greenhouse or growing operation that requires that the most precise temperature be consistently maintained and monitored. By selecting the right type of programmable thermostat and or humidistat, it is possible to automate your entire operation and provide the best ventilation, humidity, heating and cooling options for your plants.

Consider the added benefit of implementing an alarm and monitor system. Alarm and monitor systems, such as Sensaphones, are automated and computerized systems that will instantly call the pre-programmed telephone numbers you provide to advise you of problems in the greenhouse, such as a severe temperature fluctuation or a power outage. These systems serve as an important warning system to let you know that a problem exists so that it can be rectified quickly.

Hire a qualified electrician to handle the wiring and setup of your temperature-control system. If you are not familiar with an electrician, you may wish to contact the manufacturer of your equipment to see if it offer installation services or recommend independent contractors. Another option is to ask other gardeners or farmers in your area if they have a good electrician who they would recommend for greenhouse wiring jobs.

Tips & Warnings

  • By utilizing a thermostat system, sensors or timers in conjunction with fans and heaters it is possible to provide plants with ideal growing and living conditions regardless of the season.
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