Sixty degree nights would be wonderful. Since the chill and drizzly
weather set in this past week I'm luck if I can get my greenhouse to 60
for the daytime high and hold it above 50 at night. The persistent cloud
cover is killing me as far as solar gain is concerned. If I could just
get sun during the day I could easily get up into the 90s even this time
of year and that would charge up the thermal mass in my barrels and
jugs. But the sun is undependable here once you get into Fall and the
weather turns icky.
Luckily the gas supplier brought the propane tank yesterday - which was
a great load off my mind since I feared the rains we've had would make
placement of the tank difficult in the same fashion that it was for the
cement truck last Fall. Today it was filled to 80% capacity- I have a
500 gallon LP tank which should get me thru the winter based on what
someone else I know who uses the same sized tank and heats a spacious
house with two fillups per season.
I will be making every effort to conserve fuel with the addition of
aircap (bubble wrap) to the glazing plus rig some cables inside to
support a night insualtion curtain of geotextile on O-rings that can be
pulled closed at night. Plus set my thermostat at 55 most of the time to
maintain a minimum night time temp and use my wood burner to boost it up
to more comfortable levels on days like this when there is no sun. This
also gives emergency backup heat when there is no electricity.
As for the non-plant inhabitants I have for the moment evacuated the
Mexican Wood Turtles until I can build a hood over their enclosure that
will allow me to heat it with a small ceramic space heater and provide a
warm micro climate without having to heat the whole greenhouse to 80
Since much of the vegetation is subtropical , I have opted to make the
fish fauna in the greenhouse pond of similar character. It's going to be
starheads, golden ear and bluefin Killies, Bantam and Dollar and pygmy
suns and Coastal and Sailfin Shiners. Certainly wish I could add more
exotic fare like Splash Tetras and neons but I don't think they can
handle the cooler temperatures. The pond is a liner pond that sits down
in the earth and the water is even very cool in the summer- which
probably helps keep the greenhouse from overheating for sure.
Maybe I'll experiment with one of those solar pool heaters that are made
out of dark plastic or rubber- or rig a coil of black pipe or hose to
circulate pond water thru on sunny days. That would probably help cut my
heating costs a little by making the pond store more heat.
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