Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers

Citrus => Citrus General Discussion => Topic started by: Mark in Texas on November 15, 2018, 07:36:59 AM

Title: Millet and other greenhouse growers, what heater do you use?
Post by: Mark in Texas on November 15, 2018, 07:36:59 AM
I have a 6 yr. old propane fed Reznor UDAP 120K heater which crapped out on me last year resulting in years of grafting/growing losses, much less the emotional strain.  Tech fixed it and sure enough, we get 23F lows the other day and it failed at about 5:00.  Luckily had only a low of 30F but still lost a few new grafts and a large bearing tomato plant.  I did 86 grafts this year on citrus, avocado, annona and mango and don't want to go thru this again! 

After narrowing my choices down between a L.B. White Thermoglow 120 and a Sterling GG 105, think I'm gonna go with the Sterling.  Lots to like and the change out will be easy.  http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/accessory/heaters4-sterling-gg.shtml (http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/accessory/heaters4-sterling-gg.shtml) 

Thoughts based on experience?  Am looking for a heater that is reliable.
Title: Re: Millet and other greenhouse growers, what heater do you use?
Post by: Millet on November 15, 2018, 11:35:38 AM
In the greenhouse I have a 250K 95% efficient Lennox heater, and a 200k Reznor.  Both run on propane.  The Lenox is set with a low night time temperature of 55-F, and the Reznor at 45-F.  If for some reason the first heater goes out of service, the second (Reznor) heater comes on.   Never had a complete failure in 30 years.
Title: Re: Millet and other greenhouse growers, what heater do you use?
Post by: Walt on November 15, 2018, 01:46:47 PM
I have used a greenhouse dug into a hillside, which never froze in northern zone 6.  But one year a blizzard piled a meter of snow on it and the roof fell in.
I used a greenhouse for 4 or 5 years with shutters of 2" styrofoam which were cranked up in the morning when good weather was predicted.  They were cranked back down nights.  As backup. that greenhouse had a wood stove which we kept filled and ready to light.  There was a thermostat hooked to an alarm.  The thermostat was set just above freezing.  If the alarm went off, someone had to get up and go light it.  It was a lot of daily work, cranking the shutters up and down, and having wood ready all the time.  But it was really cheap. and in those days cheap was very important to us.
Title: Re: Millet and other greenhouse growers, what heater do you use?
Post by: brian on November 16, 2018, 09:47:43 PM
I have a 75k modine hot dawg.  I actually have another backup one I haven’t installed yet.  Plus four “mr heater” screw-onto-20lb-grill-tank heaters as emergency backups that require no electricity.

I have a battery powered radio thermometer alarm, and an internet enabled alarm that sends text messages. 

I think having redundancy and backup plans is better than relying on a single unit
Title: Re: Millet and other greenhouse growers, what heater do you use?
Post by: Mark in Texas on November 17, 2018, 08:53:10 AM
In the greenhouse I have a 250K 95% efficient Lennox heater, and a 200k Reznor.  Both run on propane.  The Lenox is set with a low night time temperature of 55-F, and the Reznor at 45-F.  If for some reason the first heater goes out of service, the second (Reznor) heater comes on.   Never had a complete failure in 30 years.


Wow, you really keep it toasty in there! My setpoint is 35F.  Can't believe your good luck either.   A Reznor tech said he was surprised too.

Finally the 3rd local tech found a hairline fracture in the heat exchanger and said "it's toast". Choices are to replace the exchanger which is under a 10 yr. warranty (part only) or install a new one. I'll probably order this one with a concentric air separator and do this thing right.  http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/accessory/heaters4-sterling-gg.shtml?fbclid=IwAR0KttObQWjHKoOOjVIlv2j3gvoN7kbOWET9sDdmwydLV0VPE48QO3zMODA (http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/accessory/heaters4-sterling-gg.shtml?fbclid=IwAR0KttObQWjHKoOOjVIlv2j3gvoN7kbOWET9sDdmwydLV0VPE48QO3zMODA)

Any thoughts on Sterling?   Based on a lot of research they look reliable.
Title: Re: Millet and other greenhouse growers, what heater do you use?
Post by: Mark in Texas on November 17, 2018, 08:56:24 AM
I have a 75k modine hot dawg.  I actually have another backup one I haven’t installed yet.  Plus four “mr heater” screw-onto-20lb-grill-tank heaters as emergency backups that require no electricity.

I have a battery powered radio thermometer alarm, and an internet enabled alarm that sends text messages. 

I think having redundancy and backup plans is better than relying on a single unit

Ditto on all points.  I have a 100K freestanding pot type propane heater and a Davis Instruments Alarm that wirelessly ties into my console.  Kicker is I have questions on the setup and getting Davis techs to call back is like pulling teeth.  I called one time and was the 4th caller.  Come time for me the phone went dead.  Left a message for a call back, never got one.  Will try again.  I hate firms that have poor service.
Title: Re: Millet and other greenhouse growers, what heater do you use?
Post by: Millet on November 17, 2018, 11:39:41 AM
Mark, yes at the temperature I keep the greenhouse (55-F night) the trees flower and fruit year around, just as they do in the tropics.  Many of my in ground trees are in bloom at the present time (Cara Cara, Dekopon, Valentine Pummelo, Ponkan Mandarin, and a Tango Mandarin.  My in ground Marsh seedless grapefruit has started a general all around flush, and I can see tiny new flower buds at the ends of the flushes.  After the blooms have set fruit, I will give the trees a foliar spray of low biuret urea.
Title: Re: Millet and other greenhouse growers, what heater do you use?
Post by: Mark in Texas on November 17, 2018, 03:47:53 PM
Sounds great.  What brand of urea?
Title: Re: Millet and other greenhouse growers, what heater do you use?
Post by: SeaWalnut on May 28, 2019, 09:58:30 PM
For my greenhouse i will build a small rocket stove that will work on wood. I could make it to work on pellets and even on corn seeds but wood altough its much harder to feed for a long time its my choice because i get it for free - branches from my garden .If i didnt had the rocket stove idea ,then i would have probably bought a gas boile ,Viessmann vitopend 100 for just 100-200 dollars( from used) and i would fill it with antifreeze and water mix.Otther crazy idea i had was to install an air conditioner in a deep well i have where its never freezes and use it for heating because it improves efficiency if it was mounted in the well.Air conditioned heating has up to 400% efficiency on heating if its not too cold outside.Means with one Kw of electric current you get 4 kw of heat.when i get to a shop that sells air conditioned here ,the lady there was soo skared about what i was planning to do with it ,mounted in the well ,that they didnt wanted to sell me  ;D .Gas its still cheap,one KW of gas costs 10 times less than one Kw of electricity here.