Prep Your Greenhouse for a Successful Growing Season with Efficient Heating Solutions

Commercial greenhouses are very common in the United States and can be a lucrative venture. In fact, according to Business Wire, it has been estimated that there are more than 8,750 greenhouse vegetable farms present in the USA with many projects and expansions occurring under the radar. The market is expected to witness robust growth by 2027. The same report went on to say that a shortage of agricultural land across the region is boosting the demand for greenhouse farming.

With consumers demanding a variety of produce year-round, commercial greenhouses are extremely important to the economy. Greenhouses enable farmers to grow and produce fruits and vegetables throughout the year without the need to worry about the climate. During the winter, it is necessary for these individuals to grow their crops indoors to protect them from cold temperatures.

With winter on the horizon, it is important for commercial greenhouse owners to begin prepping for the seasonal shift. There are various tips that help ensure your winter growing season is efficient and successful.


Install An Efficient Unit Heater

One necessity for commercial greenhouses is a heating source. While there are various options for providing heat to the space, unit heaters will provide a permanent, efficient heating solution to your greenhouse. Efficient unit heaters not only help keep a few extra dollars in the budget, but it also dramatically lowers CO2 emissions. Products like the Effinity™ High-Efficiency Commercial Gas-Fired Unit Heater operate at up to 97% thermal efficiency thanks to the coupling of the secondary heat exchanger technology with a tubular primary heat exchanger design. By venting combustion fumes outside and away from the plants, high-efficiency units like the Effinity™ promote a clean air growing environment.

Almost as important as choosing the right unit heater for your commercial greenhouse is determining where it should be placed. When using more than one unit, it is advantageous to position them opposite of each other to help circulate the air. For maintenance and annual inspections, it is important to ensure the controls, motor and fan blade are accessible. Providing ample space around the unit heater will make it easier for maintenance to be performed when necessary.


Maintenance for Unit Heaters

To maintain efficiency, it is vital for commercial greenhouses to have their units serviced regularly. Even with quality performance, maintenance is required to keep the unit heater operational. Regular and preventative maintenance can extend the life of the unit and prevent you from having to make various repairs. It is recommended that greenhouse owners turn to a certified technician when it comes to inspecting and servicing the unit.

A technician can provide several services to maintain the unit heater. One area they will focus on is visually inspecting the unit to make sure there isn’t anything out of the ordinary. They will check for any rust on the unit or corrosion around the vent pipe. The technician will also inspect the unit equipment including the fan, wiring, gas pipes and venting systems for damage that may have occurred over time.

During an inspection, a technician will ensure the motor shaft turns correctly and the venting systems are free from obstruction. They will also inspect burner tubes and make sure rodents or insects haven’t nested in the burner. Here are several other steps a technician will take when inspecting and performing maintenance on your unit:

  • Make sure the heat exchanger and burners are cleaned properly if necessary and are in good operating condition.
  • Make sure the thermostat is still in good functioning condition by checking the thermostat and the wires.
  • Check and adjust the manifold gas pressure while also inspecting gas connections.
  • For high-efficiency units, they will check the condensate lines.  In addition, they will check for any indications of condensate leakage, which could be a sign of improper unit operation or vent configuration.

Regular maintenance is necessary to help guarantee your unit heater is ready to perform at optimal levels during the winter months. To get the maximum benefit from your unit heater, develop a maintenance plan that includes regular inspections from a certified professional.


Protecting Crops in the Winter

All heating solutions are not created equally. When it comes to protecting your investment in the commercial greenhouse industry, it is paramount to pick a solution that will keep your business running. Installing an energy-efficient unit heater will provide a permanent heat source to ensure your crops can continue to grow during the winter. It is also important to maintain a regular maintenance schedule to help guarantee your heater is in top shape for the heavy workload associated with the winter months. Following these tips will keep your business running smoothly and the crops growing for the increased demand for a variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the year.


Jamie Tuinstra is a product manager at Modine Manufacturing. He has been in the heating and  cooling industry for 25 years and with Modine for 16. Modine HVAC specializes wide variety of heating and air conditioning units that include unit heaters, commercial rooftop HVAC systems, classroom HVAC and more; providing reliable and efficient HVAC systems in various climate conditions. To learn more about Modine HVAC, visit




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