How To Heat A Greenhouse Without Electricity
There are two main concepts concerning heating a greenhouse without electricity.
The first is by collecting the sun’s warmth as sunlight hits upon a dense material called thermal mass, such as rock and water. Thermal mass will absorb a lot of heat throughout the day and release that heat when temperatures drop at night. Utilizing thermal mass in a greenhouse is easy since it already receives much sunlight.
The second concept is with composting, since compost piles produce heat as the microorganisms within them break down the organic materials into compost.
small stones or gravel
organic materials (leaves, twigs, etc.)
Put down a layer of small stones or gravel in your greenhouse. This creates a layer of thermal mass that will remain dry and clean.
Paint the cinder blocks black. This will increase the efficiency of their absorbing heat.
Put one or more water containers in your greenhouse where you want them to absorb and release heat, and fill them up with water. You may want to paint these water containers black as well.
Use ceramic pots, they will absorb and release heat in the same way as cinder blocks.
Put a ring of wire mesh where you want your compost pile. A word of caution… compost piles are known to create immense amounts of heat, especially large ones… compost piles can spontaneously combust into flames, so just be aware of what you are doing if you have a large compost pile in your greenhouse especially if it is attached to your house!
Add compostable material to your compost bin, such as any plant clippings, fallen leaves, and weeds, and keep it moist.
Enjoy an increase in your greenhouse temperature without raising your electricity bill!
About Troy Boylan
Ecoculture Village Founder & President; Anthropology BA, Interdisciplinary Studies: Ethnobotany BS. Two things I think are worth anything at all… all things wilderness and ecoculture.