Infiltration Heat Loss

Last updated: May 11, 2021

What Does Infiltration Heat Loss Mean?

Infiltration heat loss refers to the loss of heat inside of a greenhouse. The heat may seep out through cracks, open doors, or other gaps in the structure.

A greenhouse is a controlled environment, so excessive infiltration heat loss is of significant concern to a grower.

Older greenhouses typically pose the greatest risk of infiltration heat loss because holes may have developed in the greenhouse covering material or under-door gaps have formed due to age.


Maximum Yield Explains Infiltration Heat Loss

Infiltration heat loss is of special concern in areas where a greenhouse must be heated to afford year-round crop production. Heating a greenhouse is often a costly endeavor, so avoiding heat loss is of paramount concern for most growers.

A compromised greenhouse structure allows heat to escape and cold air to enter. There are many ways in which a greenhouse grower can avoid infiltration heat loss, most of which relate to the proper maintenance of equipment. For example, inlet and outlet fan shutters tend to be major contributors to infiltration heat loss. They often do not close properly due to accumulated dirt, lack of proper lubrication, or age.

In addition, general wear and tear and holes and cracks also need to be repaired as soon as they are detected.

In order to prevent infiltration heat loss, growers should keep a vigilant watch on the condition of the entire greenhouse to catch structural problems before they become too severe.

It is important to note that infiltration heat loss is related somewhat to radiant heat loss in a greenhouse. In general, radiant heat loss is a term used to describe the transfer of heat from a warm body, such as a plant, to a cooler medium, such as the air above the plant, the soil below the plant, or a greenhouse cover.

Combating radiant heat loss can be done in several ways, including using an opaque covering around, between, and above plants. However, there is no way to completely eliminate it.


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