Is Winter Cold Killing Your Garden? - An Oil Heater and Greenhouse Will Solve Your Woes.
A greenhouse is a shelter for your plants, protecting them from outside elements like wind, bugs, diseases, rodents, birds, and low temperatures.
Maintaining kind conditions for your plants used to be out of your control, especially when it came to the weather. Even if you erected a greenhouse, you would notice that during the colder months it does little good. With all your plants dying off, you'll soon find yourself desperate for a new hobby.
However, you can keep your garden greenhouse at suitable temperatures simply by using a portable oil heater. They are affordable, require minimal installation, and are a great alternative to packing up and moving out west.
So let's look at these heaters, how they work, and why there great for green thumbs.
What is an Oil Heater?
Oil heaters, also known as oil radiator heaters, are modern electric space heaters with a twist. Rather than rely on a fan-forced system to expel hot air into the room, they gently transfers thermal energy into the room by circulating hot oil throughout internal coils.
Why Use One in a Greenhouse?
Many professionals will use a large, bulky oil boiler heat system that is fan forced. Not only are these units impractical for small, garden-variety green houses, they are also expensive. These units are designed for large greenhouses sized in the thousands of square feet while most domestic garden greenhouses are less than 500 square feet.
No Forced Heat, No Noise
Most hobby greenhouses are lightly insulated. However, they can receive as much as 25% of the needed warmth from solar energy. The rest of your heating needs can be handled using heaters, thermostats, and sometimes fans. Fans are not particularly recommended for several reasons.
The most important reason being that the plants closest to the fan can become troubled by the forced hot air. Fans can also dry the space out, sucking moisture from your flowers and causing unwanted crumbling leaves.
Thus, an oil heater is recommended because it does not include a fan in the design, unlike most other heaters. Instead, heat is gently introduced to the room, creating quiet, evenly distributed warmth for plants to enjoy.
Safe and Reliable
These heaters are safer than many other types of space heaters. They do not have exposed coils, which reduces the risk of burns or fire. The safely covered coils are protected by a shield of metal that is cool to the touch.
Easy to Transport
An oil heater is lightweight, compact in size, and most are equipped with ergonomic handles for safely lifting the unit. These oil-filled space heaters also have convenient wheels so you can easily transport them from house to greenhouse, and back again!
Greenhouse Heating Needs
Since greenhouses come in all sizes and shapes, you will need to calculate your heating needs accordingly. Take a look at a few different greenhouse types to get a better understanding of each of the different designs. The easiest way to determine the amount of heating you need is by looking at the wattage or BTUs (1 watt = 3.41 BTU) of the unit your considering.
Below is a useful chart for estimating your BTUs (and watts) needed. The chart lists a range of different greenhouse types by size. This is calculated by assuming that the outside temperature is 30° F (suitable conditions for snow) and you wish to heat your unit to a comfortable 70° F. Keep in mind that estimations differ according to heat loss value (i.e. glass thickness, insulation, etc.).
Type of Greenhouse
Area of Unit in Square Footage
Min. Temp Outside
Min. Temp Inside
Window Mounted Greenhouse
30 sq. ft.
396 BTUs = (116.1W)
150 sq. ft.
1,980 BTUs =(580.6W)
Small Freestanding Greenhouse
250 sq. ft.
3,300 BTUs =(967.7W)
Large Freestanding Greenhouse
500 sq. ft.
6,600 BTUs =(1,935.4W)
As you can see, a portable oil heater is perfectly suitable for small window mounted greenhouses to small freestanding greenhouses. For larger enclosures an additional heater can easily make up the difference. Always remember to properly follow safety instructions accompanying your heater for best results.
Shop our selection of oil heaters today and have fun this winter season in your home garden greenhouse!