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How Do I Choose the Best Greenhouse Vents?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2016
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Greenhouse vents along the roof and base of the structure are necessary components to any greenhouse. There are several different types of vents available, making it essential to have a full understanding of each of them before choosing the best one for a particular greenhouse. Greenhouse vents can be opened automatically or manually. They also can be run by electricity or be solar powered, and they can be similar to a window or look like shutters or louvers.

Manual greenhouse vents open, as the name implies, manually. Although they may be less expensive than automatic models, they can also create a huge problem for the gardener, as they require constant attention. Specifically, if the greenhouse becomes too hot and the greenhouse vents are not open, all the plants in the greenhouse can die. As a result, the money saved by purchasing manual vents may be lost if the plants within the greenhouse are destroyed.

Automatic greenhouse vents are very popular. These may be the best choice because they save the gardener the risk of losing all of her plants due to extreme heat. Consumers should consider the climate and the physical location of the greenhouse when selecting the best greenhouse vents.

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Options for automatic vents include those run by solar power or by electricity. If they are run via electricity, they will be attached to a thermostat that is connected to the vent. The vent will open when the thermostat indicates that the greenhouse has reached a certain temperature.

If the greenhouse is located in a warm climate or in an area of direct sunlight, it may be a better choice to select solar powered vents. These vents will open when a substance, such as wax, heats within the solar unit. The substance will then expand and cause the vents to open. These units do not require electricity or the hiring of an electrician for installation, making them an easier choice for many gardeners.

There are many style options as well. For instance, the vents can look similar to a window and open on a pivot or by sliding. In most cases, these vents are made of a durable polycarbonate. These styles come in many sizes, and it is important to check that the window vents will fit properly in the greenhouse.

Greenhouse vents can also look similar to shutters or louvers. The shutters can open horizontally or vertically, depending on the model. They are usually made of aluminum, stainless steel, or PVC plastic. When selecting the best vents, it is important to make sure they are durable, they will not rust, and they will open easily.

Among the least expensive — but most unreliable — of the greenhouse vents is the shade cloth. This is a popular option for homemade greenhouse kits. The shade cloth is thin enough to allow for a flow of air, yet there is not any true opening. It may be difficult to control the temperature with this option.

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