All about Greenhouses: Understanding How They Work

Farmer in the middle of a greenhouseWith the increasing need of consumers to know where their food is coming from, greenhouses are becoming a popular alternative to grow food on backyards, all-year-round. If you’re planning to buy in Colorado a greenhouse for sale, you first have to understand how greenhouses work.

A System of Heating and Moving Air

Greenhouses offer a mechanism to trap the sun’s heat and distribute it to the enclosed space through circulating air. This is perfect for conditions where the outside environment is too hot or cold. The warm air is trapped by the glass or plastic panels, warming the soil and the plants. Warm air rises when cool air comes in, which warms readily, faster than what the outside circulation can provide. As a result, a warm microclimate is created. This is popularly called the Greenhouse Effect.

The Greenhouse Effect

In a greenhouse, the energy absorbed by the panels is transferred to the plants, the soil, and the objects around them. They radiate back such energy as infrared heat. However, since the infrared heat has long wavelengths, it can’t pass through the panels anymore where they originally entered. This then warms the inside of the greenhouse, providing a controlled environment by which plants can grow unimpeded.

Solving Problems of Overheating

Of course, the plants still need a good environment to grow. Heat can double up and overwhelm plants, affecting their growth and flowering. Through ventilation systems (e.g., vents, evaporative coolers, exhaust fans) placed on top of greenhouses, excess heat is allowed to escape. Vents are passive systems and are less effective as coolers and fans.

Using Advanced Systems

Solar greenhouses are those newer greenhouses that are commonly used in barns and agricultural estates. These greenhouses store heat that it can utilize when there’s no available sun. There are two types of solar greenhouses: active, which uses heated water and air, and passive, which only relies on the sun’s heat.

Greenhouses are technologies that provide growers with a chance to get through changing environmental conditions. With the sun’s heat, and even coupled by heating water and air through novel systems, plants can grow efficiently and effectively.