Greenhouse improvments / advice

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Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2016
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Tamworth UK

So with the ever increasing costs of electric going up, the greenhouse is really going to have to me as efficient and green as possible. As the electric forecast for next year for me in the UK, nearly turned me to charcoal.
I will be in the spring re-roofing the greenhouse with 6mm twin wall polcarb, from the regular Hort glass that’s it there at the moment. I also have two layers of bubble wrap in the roof, with air gaps between them as well.

So I am looking in to giving the greenhouse, second skin of sorts. Has anyone done this on the outside of the greenhouse, and how to?

So also looking at removing as much electric, dependence as possible. So I am looking at installing a 100W Solar panel connected up to a 12 volt leisure battery which I can then hook up 6/8 12amp fans for air movement. I might in time adding more solar panels to boost what’s already there at there.

Now I am also looking at moving away from electric heater and to a 12V 5KW Air Diesel Heater for the main heat source, running either on Kerosene or Red Diesel. With the electric heater being the backup heater in case of fuel run out.

I do have a Propane Heater as the emergency back up if there was a power cut but at £45 for 6Kg bottle I won’t be using that as a main heater ever.

All help and ideas are very much appreciated



Orchid Iconoclast
Staff member
Supporting Member
Jun 9, 2006
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Oak Island NC
I highly recommend a double layer of 6 mil UV-stabilized polyethylene sheet on the outside, completely sealed. The inflate the space between them with a small blower from the outside.


Well-Known Member
Feb 16, 2019
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Nottingham, UK
Blondie, it might be worth looking at installing solar panels on your house to then power the fans and any daytime power needs. You can even install batteries on some systems to give you some power at night. Before investing in switching to a diesel heater this might be worth a look as the price of that is only going to keep rising as well.

Do you have plants on lower shelves of your staging? If not you could put kingspan or similar up to bench height which will give you much better u values.

I need to build a new greenhouse and I'm battling with similar issues to you - there are depressingly few options for well-insulated greenhouses in the UK and the cost of anything non-standard is ludicrous. I wanted a space about 16' square for my cacti with lots of passive heat sinks built in so hopefully it would need little heating to stay frost free, but the cost of the frame and glass alone compared to 2x 8'x16' greenhouses is about 4 times the price!

I'm looking at toughened glass outside and then possibly fitting twin or triple layer polycarbonate inside that to provide the insulation.


Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2021
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NE Victoria, Aus
I am using solar powered fans, purchased quite cheaply from ebay and Amazon, they do work reasonably well and you can place them according to plant needs and also according to the changing position of Sun. They are small size about 100 mm in diameter and they are carbon neutral which I like. The only concern I have is their lifespan. I have been using them for about 4 months so the future will tell. My next greenhouse is 10 mm polycarb and I am curious what temp difference it is going to make. Here in Oz the prices of polycarb greenhouses are not exactly low, so it is the same as in UK I guess. My existing greenhouse is only 4 mm polycarb lined with plastic foil which keeps the night temp around 6 degC but I do not have any intermediate or warm growers.

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