Oil filled heater in make shift winter shelter?

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Oil filled heater in make shift winter shelter?

Post  Poink88 on Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:19 pm

I am contemplating on making a temporary/collapsible plastic "green house" for winter protection of my tropical plants. Texas has mild winter but tropical plants still need protection below 40*F and I am tired hauling my plants in every time it gets colder. Besides, my collection has grown considerably and the dining room is no longer big enough to accommodate them. My wife also do not appreciate the plants evicting the car from the garage (esp in the morning as we drive off to work) Very Happy

For heating, my original plan was to have heating cable on the patio concrete floor and putting the plants on top of that but just realized that I have an oil filled (DeLonghi) space heater we are not using and wondering if that will work. If it will, how far should it be from the plant leaves?

I will test the lowest setting I can get from the heater and add a secondary thermostat if needed.

Thank you for any input.

Poink88
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Re: Oil filled heater in make shift winter shelter?

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:41 pm

I'm not sure if oil heating can have any effect on the plants (I doubt it) but I do know people that protect their plants with propane space heaters. They point the heat so that it's not blasting the plants and keep a close watch on the temperature. It could easily get very warm in there, depending on the size of the space you're trying to heat.

Good luck with your plants. I hope they make it through the winter with no issues.
Sam

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Re: Oil filled heater in make shift winter shelter?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:52 pm

I have one of those heaters in my smallish bedroom, and it does fine for us. I see no reason why it would not work in a well-built greenhouse setup. I emphasize "well-built" because you'd want to keep the electrical cord away from a leaky roof, etc.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Oil filled heater in make shift winter shelter?

Post  Poink88 on Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:18 pm

Jim, the temporary greenhouse/enclosure will be under my existing covered patio and the heater will be plugged in a GFCI outlet as well. My biggest fear actually is it tripping while we have freezing temps. Thanks for being thorough. Smile

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Re: Oil filled heater in make shift winter shelter?

Post  Poink88 on Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:27 pm

Sam Ogranaja wrote:Good luck with your plants. I hope they make it through the winter with no issues.
Sam
Thanks Sam. We only have a month or so of winter left here in Texas so for now, I will continue hauling them in. The plan is more for next winter. I just need to put the entire plan together while the idea is still fresh.

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Re: Oil filled heater in make shift winter shelter?

Post  oboeologist on Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:46 pm

As a fellow Texan, I am VERY interested in what you come up with. My wife hates it when my plants take over the spare bedroom!

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Re: Oil filled heater in make shift winter shelter?

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:24 pm

Oil Filled heaters should not be confused with Oil Fired heaters. Oil Filled heaters use electricity to heat oil contained in the heater and oil dissipates the heat. Oil fired heaters burn kerosene or petroleum products to create the heat. I would not use an oil fired heater with plants because of the fumes. An unvented oil fired heater can be very dangerous to people and other animals also.


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Re: Oil filled heater in make shift winter shelter?

Post  NeilDellinger on Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:41 am

If its the radiator type they work great. Matt Ouwinga uses one in his unheated garage in Chicago-land area. It has a thermostat with a low point of 40f. It keeps everything perfect. If its for longer than a few days I'd recommend a small oscillating fan to move the air about. No problems with the plants and retains heat in the oil filled core.

I use a halogen heater attached to a greenhouse thermostat. I set mine to kick on when the garage temp hits 35f and it shuts off at 38F.

Neil

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Re: Oil filled heater in make shift winter shelter?

Post  Fore on Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:27 pm

I too am using one right now in a hoop style over wintering house. It's only 6'x10', but the heater worked, but not enough when it got really cold here. So I just put cardboard along the side walls...like up to 4'...and that provided enough insulation for the oil filled heater to work. I have a fan going continuously, and when it's getting real cold, I just put the fan behind the heater and it spread the heat evenly in the wintering house.
Chris

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