Gas Greenhouse Heaters – Common Problems and How to Solve Them
Are you having trouble with your gas greenhouse heater?
Greenhouse heaters are amazing – they’re the absolute best way to keep your greenhouse warm all year round. From keeping the frost away on cold winter nights, to protecting tender plants and extending the growing season, the right heater will help you make the most out of your greenhouse.
However, they can be troublesome!
At Keen Gardener, we get quite a few enquiries and questions surrounding the operation and setup of gas greenhouse heaters. Thankfully, the solution is usually straightforward!
In this guide, we cover some of the most common problems – and the easy fixes.*
*NB: The solutions suggested here are tailored to the Lifestyle Eden 2KW Gas Greenhouse Heater. However, many of the same principles and fixes can be applied to a wide range of gas greenhouse heaters.
1. The greenhouse heater is running too hot
This is a really common issue – and the solution is almost always related to the thermostat probe.
The first thing to check is the position of the thermostat probe. You want to ensure that the thermostat is measuring the general air temperature – so place the probe somewhere in the middle of the greenhouse if possible. If the probe is in a cold spot, the heater will keep running beyond the desired temperature.
If your probe is touching anything metallic (like the gas cylinder) it will impact on the sensing efficiency. This can lead to it running hot.
As a precaution make sure your heater is raised off the greenhouse floor by a minimum of 12 inches/30cm. This will reduce the impact of cold strike from the greenhouse floor, which can mess with the thermostat.
Finally, check the temperature range of your thermostat – it could be that you are trying to achieve a lower temperature than your heater is capable of!
2. The greenhouse heater is using too much gas
This can be due to a number of factors, but is usually related to the position of the heater, and the thermostat.
As in question 1, make sure the heater is raised off the floor. This will prevent cold transfer from interfering with the thermostat.
When placing the thermostatic probe – try to position this directly above the heater, at the height at which you want to measure the temperature from. This will ensure it works efficiently, and maintains the right temperature.
Another potential issue is with the cylinder, valve and hose. Start by checking all the seals and connections for leakages, using either leak detection spray, or a water and soap solution (never a naked flame!). It’s also important to ensure that you are using an approved regulator, with the right gas flow.
One final solution is to check the cleanliness of the heater. Sometimes, spiders and insects can take up residence inside the heater, nozzles and burner. Over time, soot can also build up, which can impact on efficiency. Check the manual for full cleaning instructions.
3. The plants are wilting
This is a very common problem – and is usually down to one of two reasons:
1. Overheating – see points 1 and 2.
2. Ventilation – excess exhaust gases from burning propane.
Lack of ventilation is a really common problem – and you need sufficient air circulation and ventilation to clear away the exhaust gases. Otherwise, these build up and deplete the oxygen, especially at ground level, which can damage the plants.
The solution is to provide ventilation – either by opening vents or cracking the window.
3. The heater has stopped working
This could also be a problem with ventilation. Many greenhouse heaters come fitted with ODS Sensors (Oxygen Depletion System). When the oxygen levels drop below a certain point, heaters fitted with ODS sensors automatically switch off. It’s a safety feature, designed to protect you and your plants from being exposed to dangerous levels of exhaust fumes.
Other obvious causes of this are an empty gas cylinder, loose valves or blockages in the burners.
4. The heater won’t light
This is often an issue with the pilot light – in terms of:
- No spark
- Air bubbles in the hose
- Poor positioning of spark
Check the igniter is sparking, and that the cable is securely attached to the button. You’ll also want to check the cable for damage. You’ll also need to ensure that the spark is in line with the gas flow.
You may need to depress the control valve for 30 seconds or more to clear trapped air from the hose. Persevere and the gas should come through.
Greenhouse Heaters from Keen Gardener
Looking to protect your tender plants in the greenhouse this winter?
You’ll find dozens of greenhouse heaters in all shapes and sizes at Keen Gardener. With electric greenhouse heaters , propane greenhouse heaters and paraffin greenhouse heaters , we’ve got solutions to suit every requirement and budget. All our greenhouse heaters are available at unbeatable prices and come backed up by our lowest price promise.
Need help choosing a greenhouse heater or troubleshooting? Speak to one of our friendly experts today on 01789 763336.
- Garden Maintenance