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How much does it cost to heat a greenhouse

Electric Garden Greenhouse Heater

The cost of heating a greenhouse depends on a number of factors:

  • The size of the greenhouse or portion of the greenhouse being heated
  • The type of glazing and any insulation
  • The internal temperature required
  • The external temperature
  • The type of heating (Gas, electric, paraffin etc)

Size of Greenhouse

It's pretty obvious that the larger the greenhouse, the higher the cost of heating it but it is possible to curtain off a section of the house in the winter with bubble-wrap and reduce the volume that has to be heated.

Type of Glazing / Insulation

The type of heating used will affect the cost of heating. In the days of the Victorians with their grand glasshouses and orangeries heated to tropical temperatures, heating was by large cast-iron pipes that took hot water around the house produced by a massive coal, coke or wood-fired boiler. Not only did they eat large amounts of fuel, they required a person to be on duty 24 hours a day to feed them!

Nowadays the choice comes down to three:

  • Gas (Mains or Propane)
  • Paraffin
  • Electric

To compare running costs is difficult as you can pay different prices from different suppliers and they all need converting to the same basis. I have worked in kilowatt hours, one kilowatt delivered over one hour will be one kilowatt hour – 1 kWh but please keep in mind this is a guide and energy prices vary.

Fuel Cost per kWh in Pence
Mains Gas 4.5 to 5.0
Propane 9.0 to 15.0
Paraffin (from DIY shed in small containers) 10.0 to 12.0
Paraffin (from tank supplier) 4.0 to 6.0
Electricity (standard tariff) 14.0 to 16.0

Mains gas and electricity supplies must be installed by a suitably qualified person.

Paraffin used to be easily and cheaply available like petrol from garages and hardware shops but is more difficult to obtain today. The DIY sheds often supply paraffin under various trade names in 1 or 2 litre containers which is why I have two prices listed.

Thermostatically controlled electrical and gas appliances will use a lot less energy than manually controlled as they only use energy when required.

Greenhouses Heaters

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