Greenhouse operations involve a considerable amount of energy consumption that can also adversely affect your utility bills. There are various ways that greenhouse growers can implement energy-efficient methods in their greenhouses. Doing this will help lower your energy bills. Let’s have a look at five things a greenhouse grower can do to improve energy efficiency.
1. Use the right grow lights
Lighting plays a crucial role in the proper development of plants especially, in the seedling stage.
Artificial lighting is used in many greenhouses due to insufficient natural lighting. Using the correct type of grow lights for the seedling stage improves the growth and even helps to use energy efficiently. Grow lights are of three types, namely- LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes), CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights), and HID (High-Intensity Discharge Lamps). Each type of lighting has its pros and cons. Switching to the right grow lights can help you be more energy-efficient and lower your electricity bills.
You need to select each lighting type depending on factors such as whether your plants are seedlings or adults. However, relying on broad-spectrum LEDs has shown effective results in plant growth in a greenhouse.
2. Use solar panels
Investing in solar panels for your greenhouse can help you maintain an optimal temperature level and reduce your energy costs.
Solar panels can help improve plants’ food-making process, also known as photosynthesis, resulting in better growth. Additionally, these solar panels maintain a consistently warm temperature inside the greenhouse, adequate for plant development. Also, the solar energy stored on scorching hot days in the solar panels can be helpful on excessively cold days.
There are many advantages of using solar panels, and if you’re a greenhouse grower, you should consider using them.
3. Try Dehumidification
Humidity, when too high, can deteriorate the air quality inside the greenhouse. Keeping this in mind, you should try to maintain the right amount of moisture in your greenhouse. Through the process of dehumidification, growers can store the heat emitted by plants to maintain a consistent level of humidity.
At the same time, ensuring proper ventilation also plays a crucial role in enhancing healthy plant growth and reducing energy consumption. Using a small dehumidifier will help keep your plants healthy and create a plant-friendly environment in your greenhouse.
4. Seal air leaks
To keep the temperature optimal in greenhouses, you should take steps so that air constantly flows inside. At the same time, air can easily escape from the greenhouse as well.
To prevent this, a greenhouse grower should find ways to block any leaks in the greenhouse through which energy may be lost. Cracks, openings, or holes in the walls, corners, or roof make it easy for warm air inside a greenhouse to be replaced by cold air from the outside.
In winters, this may mean high heating bills. By sealing such air leaks, you may be able to lower your energy costs by 5% to 10%.
5. Insulate your greenhouse
Another method that can help create a tightly enclosed environment inside a greenhouse is by insulating it thoroughly. After all, heat is easily lost along the perimeter of a greenhouse, near the bottom of the sidewall, and the ground.
Understanding how to insulate your greenhouse will protect your plants from cold weather during winters and help them flourish. It will be cost-effective to insulate your greenhouse in the long run, especially at the perimeter and the sidewall.
Insulation helps decrease warm air inside from escaping your greenhouse, lowering the temperature inside. Hence, it will help save you from expending additional energy that would have otherwise have been necessary to heat your greenhouse.