Heating Nepenthes greenhouse


Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

I know this topic is a bit like "how long is a piece of string?" but i've been thinking about this for a while.

In the next couple of years I would like to build a highland Nepenthes greenhouse: heated to approximately 9-10C at night and 18C during the day.

For an average sized (8' x 10-12') greenhouse with some insulation (bubblewrap) roughly how much would I be spending over the winter months?

I tried using online calculators like this one:

http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/heat-calc.shtml

But got some interesting (read: expensive) results :laugh:

I know there are a few guys on the forum who have highland houses, if you could help me i'd appreciate it.

Thanks,

Mark

PS, feel free to pm me if you would rather not publicly post how much you spend, can't have the other half finding out can we :laugh2:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could maybe save over 50% of the heating costs by only heating to 10 or thereabouts in winter, but some less hardy highlanders might suffer. Every degree will add substantially to the cost.

I tried keeping several over winter at just above 0, the real tough ones are fine but not so good for the rest...

Maybe it's my remnant Scottish genes but as I hate spending money wastefully I now don't heat the greenhouse and keep them all packed in a conservatory, much cheaper to heat, somewhere under a pound a day.

Edited by manders
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just used the calculator and if its right then I just hope the missus doesn't look too closely at the bills! I had no idea it's been costing me (us) so much.

Don't forget that decent insulation will help alot. My highland house is now lined on the inside and covered on the outside with bubble insulation.

If I get any spare time then I'm going to make a solar air heater. If it works at all then I'm not expecting it to save me much cash but a little is better than nothing and I like making things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The cost of heating is very much tied to how well insulated the greenhouse is. If it is to be a permanent nep house, then I cannot reccomend strongly enough changing the glass for thick polycarbonate. I use 18mm triple wall AND bubblewrap AND the solid walls are insulated as well. This will all pay for itself many times over. My nep house is over 60ft. long and 12ft. wide. It's divided into 3 sections; highland house is 23ft(10C min) lowland house is 25ft(20C min) and inter is 12ft. (15C min) Also the sides go straight up to accomodate the vining of the plants. The whole building is more of a giant oblong box.

Now with the figures already spoken about, you'd think my bill would be through the roof. It's a lot more yes; between 125 and 150 a month, but consider the size and the high temp in the lowland house. Without the insulation being as good as it is, my power bill would be the stuff of nightmares. Sort out the insulation first, and the bill will be a lot less than the figures being mentioned.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I only heat My highland house at night and not at all in the day,as I have four layers of bubble wrap on the inside what keeps the temperature at 12c to 15c at all times. the nepenthes and pitchers grow faster and bigger in the winter then summer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Talking of bubble wrap, what's the best source at the moment? I just got some from two wests and Elliot which was rubbish, home base stuff was far stronger and better quality, any other good sources?

I bought 30 meters from this guy and would highly recommend him.

Its a bit expensive but its top quality, arrived in just a couple of days, he was really pleasent to deal with and he gave me a good couple of meters more than I bought. I asked him if he could do one 30 meter roll which he stated he couldn't as it gets very expensive to ship bigger rolls.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

My estimate of less than pound a day to heat the conservatory has been woefully short, i've also abandoned trying to heat the greenhouse, we have -10 forecast in the next few days which is the lowest on record for this area...

Edited by manders
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

the way energy prices are going growing neps is not for the feint hearted. Your energy costs will depend primarily upon insulation and your minimun temp setting, but to grow them properly I think you need to budget 400-500 quid over the winter months end Oct - end March.

My hobby would soon come to an end if my wife had any idea how much I spend on keeping them warm not to mention how much I spend on plants/yr

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the way energy prices are going growing neps is not for the feint hearted. Your energy costs will depend primarily upon insulation and your minimun temp setting, but to grow them properly I think you need to budget 400-500 quid over the winter months end Oct - end March.

My hobby would soon come to an end if my wife had any idea how much I spend on keeping them warm not to mention how much I spend on plants/yr

Very true but if you compare it to other hobbies it isn't too bad.

I play golf and yearly membership for an adult male at my club is over £800 (other clubs even more) plus money to enter the competition every week plus equipment etc.

I cycle a bit as well and a decent bike can cost the same amount as a small second hand car if you're mad enough and add on all the paraphernalia too...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
Talking of bubble wrap, what's the best source at the moment? I just got some from two wests and Elliot which was rubbish, home base stuff was far stronger and better quality, any other good sources?

I was just going to buy some bubble wrap from TW&E's for a new greenhouse. Is their product really that much worse than from other suppliers? Strength isn't a huge concern for me as long as it can be fitted to the frame without tearing and doesn't later disintegrate on its own!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was just going to buy some bubble wrap from TW&E's for a new greenhouse. Is their product really that much worse than from other suppliers? Strength isn't a huge concern for me as long as it can be fitted to the frame without tearing and doesn't later disintegrate on its own!

The stuff they sent me was only one film of plastic with bubbles blown in it, other suppliers have two films of plastic with bubbles inbetween, therefore its far stronger and offers better insulation as the air is trapped over 100% of the area rather than say 50% with the single film version. I was putting mine on the outside of the greenhouse and the two wests stuff was really flimsy so i was a long way from happy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The stuff they sent me was only one film of plastic with bubbles blown in it, other suppliers have two films of plastic with bubbles inbetween, therefore its far stronger and offers better insulation as the air is trapped over 100% of the area rather than say 50% with the single film version. I was putting mine on the outside of the greenhouse and the two wests stuff was really flimsy so i was a long way from happy.

In that case I'll definitely be sourcing mine from elsewhere. Thanks for the detailed explanation!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share