Preparing Your Greenhouse for Winter: Tips for Energy Efficiency and Plant Protection
Preparing your greenhouse for the cold winter months is essential to maintain an energy-efficient space and protect your plants. By following these steps, you can ensure your greenhouse remains warm and your plants thrive even in freezing conditions.
Inspect and Seal Gaps– Begin by thoroughly inspecting your greenhouse for damaged panels and air gaps that could allow cold air to infiltrate. Pay close attention to ridge vents and the door. Seal any gaps you find with weather stripping, which can be easily obtained from a local hardware store. Installing a brush door sweep at the bottom of your greenhouse door will help cover gaps at the threshold.
Check Structural Integrity– Examine the structural aluminum framing of your greenhouse, making sure there are no loose connections or damage to the trusses or wall posts. A structurally sound greenhouse will better withstand winter weather.
Disconnect Water Systems– Shut off water systems, including drip lines and hoses, within the greenhouse to prevent freeze damage. It’s best to reduce watering during the colder months and opt for hand watering when needed. Insulate above-ground piping and disconnect hoses if you have a hose bib inside the greenhouse.
Test and Maintain Heaters– Check your greenhouse heater to ensure it is working properly. If it has a built-in thermostat, verify its accuracy and calibrate if necessary. Test the digital thermostat by cycling the heater on and off a few times to guarantee its functionality.
Clean and Declutter– Clean and declutter your greenhouse by removing dead or dying plants and debris. Remove any plants you don’t plan to grow during the winter. Sweep shelves, benches, and floors, then clean them with warm, soapy water and disinfectant. Organize your pots, tools, and growing supplies to maximize space and prepare for spring planting.
Clean Acrylic Panels– Clean both the inside and outside acrylic panels of your greenhouse using warm, soapy water with a micro-fiber cloth. Rinse with low-pressure water and choose a warm, sunny day for cleaning to prevent water staining.
Insulate Ventilation Intakes– Once temperatures inside your greenhouse are no longer above 90°F, disconnect the ventilation equipment, exhaust fan, and intake shutter. In most cases, these won’t be needed during the winter, as natural ventilation through the door, window, and ridge vents should suffice. Seal the vents to enhance insulation and reduce heating costs. The shutters are not airtight and will allow cold air and wind to infiltrate through the vent. By covering and sealing these openings you will increase the insulation of your greenhouse and reduce heating costs.
For recommendations on how to seal your Sunglo Greenhouse exhaust fan and intake vents see our Blog –
- Adding Insulation: adding extra insulation to the greenhouse walls using bubble wrap. Focus on the Ridge Vents and the North side of the greenhouse.
- Keeping a roll of frost blanket inside the greenhouse can provide added protection during extreme winter weather.
- Utilize Shade Cloth: If you have a Sunglo Aluminet Shade Cloth, hang it inside the greenhouse in the evening with the aluminum filament facing inward. This can help preserve heat collected during the day, resulting in energy savings of 20-30%.
- Hang a blanket in front of the door to prevent cold air from rushing in when entering or exiting.
In conclusion, properly winterizing your greenhouse is essential to save on heating costs and protect your plants from the harsh winter elements. By following these steps, you can ensure a cozy and energy-efficient environment for you and your plants.
If you have more questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us for further assistance.
Call our team of experienced greenhouse growers at 720-443-6761 to learn all the benefits of owning a Sunglo Greenhouse.
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