Greenhouses forum: Propane heater suggestion

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Name: Chris Pollock
Copperas Cove, Tx (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Texas Orchids Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Hibiscus
Dog Lover Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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chris1948
Aug 29, 2015 9:21 PM CST
I don't have electricity to my greenhouses and just can't get it there from the house so last year I used a Mr. Heater Big Buddy propane heater. It worked pretty good but his year I'll have a lot of orchids in one of the greenhouses. I plan on getting a generator/inverter to set between the two to run some box fans for warm air circulation and also adding some lights for evening work. Last year I ran it on low with two 15lb tanks and it would heat ok but not everywhere and I lost a few plants. Does anyone have suggestions for possibly another brand heater that would work with the two 15lb tanks or even a 20 or 40lb. Here are the specs on the one I have. My greenhouses are 10 x 13 or 130sqft. The built in fan didn't run too long on batteries so I'll more than likely order the AC adapter if I keep the Big Buddy.

The Most Popular Portable Propane Heater in North America. This patented radiant 4,000-18,000 BTU Liquid Propane heater connects directly to two 1 lb. cylinders and is the perfect solution for heating enclosed spaces like cabins up to 400 sq. ft. An integrated fan increases the heating capacity of this unit, blending radiant and convection style heat to give you the best of both worlds. Two swivel regulators give you the ability to adapt usage from disposable cylinders to a remote gas supply with the purchase of a single hose and filter. To light the unit, simply push and rotate the knob. The built in Piezo sparking mechanism will take care of the rest. With the Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS) and accidental tip-over safety shut-off, you can be sure that you will enjoy years of comfortable indoor safe heat.

4,000, 9,000, or 18,000 BTU per hour
For use with propane gas
Heats up to 400 sq. ft.
Single control start knob
Hi-Med-Low heat settings
Swivel regulators
Automatic low oxygen shut-off system (ODS)
Accidental tip-over safety shut-off
Connects to two 1 lb. cylinders
Connects to a 20 lb. cylinder with optional hose
Fan operates on 4 - D batteries or AC adapter, both sold separately
Chris
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
Aug 30, 2015 8:00 AM CST
Hi Chris -- the "Big Buddy" sounds good to me in terms of the ODS, tip-over safety, area that it will heat and so on, but I'd definitely recommend finding something that will run on a bigger tank! I don't think the 1-lb cylinders can be refilled (can they?), and I'm picturing how many of the little ones I'd be going through up here (and I only heat my GH for cold nights in the spring when my seedlings are out there) Blinking

Here's a link to a thread on the GH forum from a little while back that might have some useful info for you...
The thread "Propane Patio Heaters for GH's??" in Greenhouses forum
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Aug 30, 2015 8:08 AM CST
Unless an LP system can be retrofitted for a 5 gal. or larger tank, I would never even consider 1 lb. systems. You probably could not even get a full night from a 1 lb. heating unit. One lb. canisters are not re-filled.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 30, 2015 9:55 AM CST
I did use a Big Buddy heater for a couple of years in my 10 x 6 lean-to hobby GH. I used a larger propane tank set outside of the GH. DH snaked the hose through a lower vented window into the GH to hook up to the heater. I was then able to insulate the window to keep out the cold. Now I have a natural gas heater mounted on the wall in the GH and that freed up some space. I mount a fan higher up on the wall above the heater to circulate the warm air. I wish that I could heat the GH with just the sun but it gets too cold here for an above-ground GH. Do make sure that any emissions from whichever heater you use won't harm the plants you have in the GH.
Name: Chris Pollock
Copperas Cove, Tx (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Texas Orchids Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Hibiscus
Dog Lover Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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chris1948
Aug 30, 2015 11:08 AM CST
Thanks all, the Big Buddy I have currently runs on two 15lb tanks. You just buy hoses to run to the connectors for the 1lb tanks. It's capable of up to a 20lb tank so two of those would be better of course. I'll stick with my Big Buddy then. Just pickup another for the other greenhouse.
Chris
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 30, 2015 11:42 AM CST
With either system, air circulation proved to be important so that the heat would be distributed to all corners of the GH instead of rising straight up and causing the ceiling vents to open. An oscillating fan worked great.
Name: Chris Pollock
Copperas Cove, Tx (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Texas Orchids Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Hibiscus
Dog Lover Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
chris1948
Aug 30, 2015 12:15 PM CST
I was going to use box fans but you're right oscillating fans will be much better. Thanks for the suggestion.
Chris
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Aug 30, 2015 12:27 PM CST
I use both. Box fans to move the lower half of the greenhouses air-space and oscillating fans to move the upper half. I have three separate zones, two shelves and the floor.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 30, 2015 12:54 PM CST
I found that mounting the oscillating fan directly above the heater (in a safe area) proved effective to prevent the hot air from rising too high. For me in my tiny GH, a box fan on the floor takes up too much space. I do use those little personal clip on fans - clipping them on the shelves - to ventilate the lower shelves under lights.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Aug 30, 2015 1:14 PM CST
Got it. My two GHs are 10x12'. Since I overwinter hundreds of tropical plants, many of them orchids, I want lots of air movement whether the heaters are running or not.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 30, 2015 1:43 PM CST
I can understand that. I pretty much keep my fans on all the time in the winter as well. For seedlings under lights, I use a gentler breeze.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Aug 30, 2015 2:36 PM CST
Thumbs up
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

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