What Are the Pros and Cons of a Solar Greenhouse Heater?

Solar greenhouse heaters are cheaper to operate over the long run but may be less effective in poor weather and more expensive to buy and install than other types of heating.
Solar panels can provide energy, but add to costs.
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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2014
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A solar greenhouse heater has several advantages, as well as a few disadvantages. Any necessary heat is provided by the sun, which is a clean, renewable resource. A person with a solar greenhouse heater will typically have much lower energy bills than someone who has a greenhouse heated by other types of greenhouse heaters. On the other hand, there may not be sufficient heat on cloudy days. Also, some solar greenhouse equipment may be expensive, and it can be hard to keep the interior of a solar greenhouse at a steady temperature using this type of heater.

One of the biggest advantages of a solar greenhouse heater is that the sun is a completely renewable resource. Some greenhouse heaters are powered by natural gas, which is a non-renewable resource. A solar greenhouse heater is also much better for the environment because the energy used by these heaters is clean. No dangerous by-products or chemicals result from using the sun's rays to heat a greenhouse. Some fossil fuels, on the other hand, often result in dangerous by-products, like carcinogens.

Greenhouses heated by natural gas or electric can be expensive to maintain. With a solar greenhouse heater, on the other hand, a person will usually not need to worry about a high gas or electric bill. The sun is a free resource, and no one is charged to use it.


A gas or electric heater, however, may be needed to supplement a solar greenhouse heater as a backup. One of the biggest disadvantages of solar energy is that it is not always completely reliable. On cloudy days in colder months, for example, the sun may not provide enough heat to keep the plants healthy.

Building a solar greenhouse heater may also cost a little more than buying a traditional heat lamp system. Solar greenhouse supplies can be rather expensive. If a person plans to use solar panels, this will also impact the cost of building a solar greenhouse, since these are usually expensive.

Regulating the temperature inside a greenhouse with a solar heater can sometimes be difficult. During hot months, the insides of these greenhouses can get too warm. This can usually be remedied, however, by opening a door or window.


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