Picking the right solution for climate control By Jamie Tuinstra

Heating systems are a fundamental part of greenhouse growing throughout the year.

The commercial greenhouse business is booming. According to Precedence Research, the global commercial greenhouse market size is expected to hit around $78.9 billion by 2030. In 2022, the market size hit $38.11 billion. Other key takeaways from the report state that the vegetable segment hit a market share of over 43%, while the fruits segment garnered a market share of over 25.5% in 2021.

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Commercial greenhouses are a staple of the U.S. economy. For these entities to be successful, mechanical HVAC units are a necessity to ensure the proper climate is available to encourage plant growth. Without these systems, growers would not be able to produce products during the cold winter months. It would be especially difficult for growers in Alaska, who have to combat colder temperatures year-round.


When looking for an HVAC product to produce adequate and permanent heat for greenhouses, it’s important to consider efficiency. While providing a controlled climate for your product is the highest priority, ensuring you don’t break the bank to do it is also important. High-efficiency unit heaters provide the desired heat growers are looking for while generating savings on the backend.

A high-efficiency commercial gas-fired unit can operate up to 97% thermal efficiency thanks to the coupling of the secondary heat exchanger technology with a tubular primary heat exchanger design. The unit can decrease CO2 emissions by venting combustion fumes outside the greenhouse. This type of unit has energy saver controls that disable the gas as temperatures increase and turn it back on once temperatures drop. Equipment like this provides growers with a pivotal heating solution, and helps decrease the utility costs associated with running a commercial greenhouse.


While picking the right solution for your greenhouse is paramount, it is important to take measures to ensure the unit is continually operating at peak performance. This includes having the unit serviced regularly. One of the worst case scenarios is to have the system break down in winter, threatening large amounts of product. Facility managers need to develop a plan that includes scheduled maintenance by a trained, certified professional.

During an inspection, commercial growers can expect the professional to:
• Inspect the heat exchanger for cracks or rusting.
• Check the vent pipe for any rusting or blockages.
• Clean the burners on the heating unit.
• Check the water traps and condensate lines on high-efficiency units for any dirt or debris.

A technician will likely check for other common repairs that may be associated with the environment the heating unit operates in. With greenhouses, there is a higher level of moisture in the air, so it’s important for a certified professional to check for any mold that may be on the unit. The unit is also being used more often, so it’s vital to check the motors and make sure they are in good working order.

By being proactive and servicing your heating solution regularly, you are creating an atmosphere that promotes plant growth while also ensuring permanent heat and a controlled climate during the colder months.

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Jamie Tuinstra

Jamie Tuinstra has been in the heating and cooling industry for 25 years and is a product manager at Modine Manufacturing. For more information about Modine, visit modine.com.