Greenhouses forum: Propane Patio Heaters for GH's??

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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jun 15, 2014 12:44 AM CST
I can get deals on used Propane Patio Heaters right now. I guess while it's 99ยบ here, people don't want heaters taking up precious garage space. I am thinking of using propane heaters in the new greenhouse during our occasional freezes. I have electric heaters. But if we lose power, we'll be out of luck. Anyone have any hints on using these? How long would a propane tank last? All night? Is it expensive to use compared to electricity? There is a smaller table top heater that uses 1lb canisters. Would it be overkill to have two in the 10 x 12 GH? Heat rises. How does the patio heat work to keep the floor level plants warm? TIA
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jun 16, 2014 12:33 PM CST
Comments? Suggestions?
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Jun 16, 2014 6:37 PM CST
Hi Cheryl -- I'm in a vastly different climate than you are, but since no one else has chimed in here I thought I might as well tell you what I know (which probably isn't much, as far as being relevant to your situation). I use a ventless propane heater in the spring, when I move my seedlings from indoors (under fluorescent lights) to the GH. A 20-lb tank of propane pretty much lasts for what I need, since I try not to put too much outside until our temps get pretty well settled to staying above freezing at night.

That said, my heater isn't a "patio" type of heater -- do they have any sort of instructions about using or not using in enclosed areas? My feeling is that they are made to use outdoors, where carbon monoxide wouldn't be an issue, but I don't know that for sure. And I'm kind of doubtful that a 1-lb cylinder would last long for heating a 10x12' GH, even if you only need to raise the temp a few degrees.

Again, I'm not sure about any of that... but I would definitely research the issue of using whatever you purchase in an enclosed area. I hope someone else will have some more definitive answers for you!
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Jun 16, 2014 6:57 PM CST
This is the type of heater that I have -- I believe I have the 6000 btu one, although possibly the 10,000.

http://www.globalindustrial.com/g/hvac/heaters/vent-free-and...
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jun 17, 2014 7:32 PM CST
Thanks for mentioning the CO! Good point! I let the used OUTDOOR heaters go. I will look for ones more like you've mentioned.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: James
Fabens,TX (Zone 8a)
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Txtea
Jun 18, 2014 5:52 PM CST
The one I have in mine is similar to Sandy B's, but I got mine at Lowes. It will use Propane or natural gas. When I got it the price was around 179.00 don't know about now days. but they work well.
Lakeland Florida (Zone 9a)
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cycadjungle
Jul 27, 2014 7:45 AM CST
I have used propane heaters to heat the greenhouses for 25 years. I have small 18000 btu heaters that are about a foot tall and 8 inches wide. I have been told these are used by painters up north when it gets too cold that paint doesn't stick to the walls. One that size heats a 49x36x12 greenhouse with no problem, so you know you can do it for a lot less with a 12x12. A single tank of propane will last about 20 hours with this heater.
Hot air rises, but it also sinks as it gets cooler. It circulates on it's own, but if you want to bring that heat down faster than it will naturally, something like a ceiling fan pulling down the heat would help, but as I said, it is not needed. I just posted what I am heating a 12x12 greenhouse with in another thread. There are all sorts of ways to heat something that small. Dripping water from the house. Covering the floor with brick that will radiate heat during the night. Black barrels full of water that can be used as legs of a table that could hold plants above them. A pile of breaking down mulch ( I don't suggest this) will not only produce great but will also generate more Co2 as well. I bet you could get away with 1000 BTUs or maybe even slightly less, depending on the quality of the materials your greenhouse is made of and what lows you get and duration below freezing you experience. Tom
Name: Melissa
Memphis, TN (Zone 8a)
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shadytrake
Jul 31, 2014 3:55 AM CST
Hi Cheryl,

We used a single head outdoor propane heater as backup for the past 5 years. Hubby modified the valve setting to super low because they heat FAST and hot in a small area (8x11x9). We averaged 60 hours per 20lb tank at a temp of 55F.

Humidity will be an issue because these dry out everything. But they work well and are fairly cost efficient. $18 for refill, $50 for the single head, $59 for the tank deposit.

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