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[Aroid-l] Heaters, vented & otherwise (was "Anthurium")

  • Subject: [Aroid-l] Heaters, vented & otherwise (was "Anthurium")
  • From: Steve Marak samarak@gizmoworks.com
  • Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2006 17:46:56 -0600 (CST)

The topic of combusting greenhouse heaters without external venting came up at
an orchid society meeting a couple of years ago and the older, more experienced
growers unanimously issued dire warnings. Most said that their orchids didn't
die, but dropped flowers and leaves and generally ailed until they vented their
heaters externally or switched to another heat source.

I've always assumed this was due to carbon monoxide from incomplete combustion,
since that's always a concern when burning things indoors, and since I've
read/heard many times that carbon monoxide damages plants at very low
concentrations. I have no idea what the chemical mechanism would be and for
some reason find it counterintuitive, but it seems to be so - dying plants is
often listed as one of the things to watch for when a carbon monoxide problem
is suspected. 

But I've seen a lot of these self-venting greenhouse heaters advertised, and
I've used a portable kerosene heater to heat my sunroom, one winter until we
could get the failing house system replaced. I was meticulous about everything
to get the most complete combustion I could, used the heater the bare minimum,
and kept two carbon monoxide detectors nearby, and didn't see any problems.

If there are people with experience here, I'd love to hear from them - I need a 
non-electric backup heat source for a new structure.


On Mon, 20 Nov 2006, D. Christopher Rogers wrote:

> Hi Tom,
> The heater I purchased supposedly does not need a vent, but is "self venting"
> and was sold as a greenhouse heater. You have given pause to worry now! But
> then, my greenhouse is fairy small (17 feet x nine feet with an eight foot
> peak), and I have a strong exhaust fan, a good circulating fan, and three
> sliding glass windows that I use for vents, one of which is immediately above
> the heater.

(stuff deleted)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com
> [mailto:aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com]On Behalf Of Tom Croat
> Sent: Friday, November 17, 2006 2:34 PM
> To: Discussion of aroids
> Subject: [Spam] RE: [Aroid-l] Anthurium
> Dear Chris:
>             Will this propane burner be exhausted in your greenhouse.  You
> have to be concerned with the combustibles because as I recall we caused
> leaves to fall off plants by using a burner within the greenhouse.
> Tom

(more stuff deleted)

-- Steve Marak
-- samarak@gizmoworks.com
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